Hatha Yoga ClassInvigorate | Revitalize | Transform
What is Hatha Yoga?
- Slow to medium-paced
- Gentle flow to build strength, balance and flexibility
- Focuses on alignment, rhythmic breathing
Hatha yoga is an umbrella term in yoga with many different styles falling under it. I define Hatha Yoga as a style that is slower- paced than Vinyasa Yoga (also known as Active, Flow or Power Yoga), but certainly not any less challenging.
In Hatha Yoga, poses transition with more awareness and are held for a slightly longer period of time, which helps to build strength and endurance. Slowing transitions down and holding poses longer allows for mindful alignment, and for the practitioner to truly feel into the benefits of each pose.
More about Hatha Yoga
Since Hatha Yoga is practiced at a pace slower than one breath per movement like Vinyasa Yoga is, it allows the practitioner to notice the quality of the breath within each pose. Tuning the mind into the breath, and whether it has become shallow or difficult, is an indication that the practitioner should back out of the pose, modify, or come back to it another day. The breath is our guide throughout the practice of yoga, and alerts us to the status of our body in the moment. Certain fitness practices cultivate a “no pain, no gain” philosophy, whereas yoga is quite the opposite. Discomfort may happen in a pose, but pain should never be something we push through during our practice. If the breath becomes distorted during yoga, it is an indication that we may begin to experience pain and that we need to readjust. Yoga is a brilliant teacher, helping us to become more mindful and attuned to the needs of our body. Yoga also helps us transition this awareness into the rest of our lives when we are not on the mat.
The word Hatha in Sanskrit is broken down into two different words: “Ha” means sun, and “tha” means moon. In Sanskrit, Yoga means union, to yoke or to join. So if one were to break “Hatha Yoga” down to its literal meaning one could infer that it is the union of the sun and the moon, or the action of bringing into balance two different parts. The sun represents masculine energy, hot and active, whereas the moon symbolizes feminine energy, cool and receptive. Hatha Yoga requires a balance of masculine and feminine energies in its practice. It is very similar to the concept of Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy. To me, Hatha Yoga also connotes the balance of strength, known as “sthira” in Sanskrit, with ease, or “sukha.” It is easy to become out of balance with an increase in strength and a deficit of ease and flexibility, or to have too much flexibility and not enough strength. Hatha Yoga challenges us to utilize more of what we have a deficit in, and to release that which is in excess. This brings about better balance internally and externally, creating harmony within ourselves.
Hatha Yoga Resources
Breathe, move and live – better.
Yoga is a brilliant teacher, helping us to become more mindful and attuned to the needs of our body, mind and spirit.
I hope you give me the opportunity to share the joy of yoga with you so you can experience the many benefits it has to offer. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Other Yoga Styles & More
Yoga Mojo & Movement Therapy
108 SE 124th Ave, Suite 18
Vancouver, WA 98684
Mon – Thurs 10a – 4p
By appointment only
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Yoga Mojo & Movement Therapy is conveniently located off I-205 and Mill Plain and serves all of the Clark County, Washington area including Vancouver, Washougal, Camas, Felida, Salmon Creek, Ridgefield, Battle Ground, Hockinson and La Center.The second exit after the NB I-205 bridge, Yoga Mojo is also quick and easy to get to from Portland, Oregon.