Hatha Yoga is a top Yoga style practiced today. Swami Swatmarama is the founder of Hatha Yoga and wrote that “Hatha Yoga is the preparation for physical purification and a method to achieve a higher meditative state”. The name ‘Hatha yoga’, is itself derived from the combination of two Sanskrit words ‘ha’ and ‘tha’, which means a mixture of sun’s energy and the moon’s energy. It is believed that a better balance is achieved from Hatha Yoga by combining the two forms of energy. Some of the derivations from Hatha yoga are Ashtanga, Kundalini and Bikram.
Hatha Yoga and the 6 Limbs
Hatha yoga is based on using the 6 limbs and is focused on achieving Samadhi. The six limbs of Hatha Yoga are Dhyana, Dharana, Samadhi, Pranayama, Asana and Prathyahara. Hatha yoga is performed in order to bring in peace and happiness into life. Hatha Yoga consists of opposing energies similar to yin-yang.
Hatha Yoga is commonly comprised of five techniques including Asana or yoga poses, shartkriya or purification, mudras or hand gestures, Pranayama or breathing and dhyan or Meditation.
ASANAS are generally referred to as the physical exercises that are carried out just to help the body gain some relief from stress. There are still further sub classifications of asanas derived from Hatha yoga.
PRANAYAMA are the breathing techniques that are practiced to purify the lungs for Hatha Yoga. This involves holding in the breath and releasing slowly. This expands the abdomen of the body.
MEDITATION is practiced as a part of Hatha Yoga. Meditation helps relieve mental stress and brings in peace. It also improves the concentration of mind.
Hatha Yoga Health Benefits
Hatha Yoga has both physical and psychological benefits but is mainly practiced for its ability to relieve stress. Various people have reported many positive Hatha yoga benefits. People practicing Hatha Yoga regularly have observed the following health benefits:
Hatha Yoga Weight Management Benefits:
Hatha yoga boosts the metabolism so it can be helpful for weight loss or weight management. Hatha Yoga health benefits also include improved muscle tone and increased strength without strains or muscle imbalances. Hatha Yoga also doesn’t require expensive equipment and can be practiced almost anywhere.
It was concluded that people who practice yoga may have better alpha activity. This was an outcome from a rerch which was conducted as a part of yoga health benefits by comparing the brain activity of people before and after practicing yoga.
Improved Blood Flow:
With the help of yoga, people who are over anxious can be effectively treated. It reduces high blood pressure rate, as meditation has the ability to bring down the pressure rates to normal on relaxation. Yoga helps in improving the blood flow control, impulse and results in better functioning of various organs of the body.
Other Hatha Yoga benefits:
Yoga practices have also led to some of miraculous health benefits. Various incurable diseases have been cured by undergoing a regular practice of yoga. Researchers have concluded that yoga helps in curing diseases like asthma, blood pressure, acidity, anemia, constipation, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, menopause, intestine problems, immunity disorder and nervous tension.
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