hatha yoga

Hatha Yoga, Dirk de Waal

Hatha Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ha, meaning “sun,” and tha, meaning “moon.” The practice of Hatha Yoga aims to balance these two energies (masculine/feminine, strong/soft, yin/yang) to achieve an equilibrium in the body, mind and the spirit. A Hatha Yoga class involves a set of physical postures (asana), progressive relaxation (savassana) and breathing techniques (pranayama).

Hatha Yoga is accessible to all levels of experience, given that a variety of poses are offered to students depending on their level of practice. The poses are practiced individually with more static holds, and the class is a lot slower than Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga.

Moon Practice

Moon practice is an inward nourishing class, primarily focusing longer held standing poses, forward folds and twists. Consciously focusing on developing a longer exhalation to guide awareness inwards.

Sun Practice

Sun practice is slightly more dynamic, focusing on backbend and lateral poses to open the chest and upper body, allowing for a more expansive inhalation. 

Benefits

Hatha Yoga aims to lubricate the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It increases flexibility and stimulates the circulatory system. Emphasis is placed on the health of the spine, building strength and increasing mobility. The spine contains the central nervous system, and is considered to be direct extension of the brain. While maintaining the spine’s flexibility and health, the blood circulation is intensified, the nerves are supplied with nutrients and oxygen promoting health and well-being.

What you will need

You will need a smooth soft surface to practice on (yoga mat, carpet or a big towel), one yoga block (book or brick), strap (belt or scarf) and a firm blanket or a towel.