Yoga is one of the most ancient practices known to mankind, originating from India. Hatha yoga is a particular type of yoga that uses physical poses and breathing techniques to improve our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In the process of practicing Hatha Yoga, the body is stretched, strengthened and psychologically balanced. A consistent practice of Hatha yoga helps us build greater physical vitality, improved mental clarity and an enhanced sense of self.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
The mountain pose is the foundation of all standing poses in Hatha yoga. Tadasana encourages stability, correct posture and encourages a deeply engaging experience of to truly engage the breath and body. This pose helps in stretching your arms, legs, torso and joint to its maximal extent. Above all, this pose helps to build strength and maintain our centre of gravity.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar (meaning ‘salutation to the sun’) is a sequence of postures often practised at the beginning of the Hatha yoga practice. Each part of the pose rotates and stretches the body, improving flexibility and strength. All twelve postures in the series are performed in a single breath, making it a great way to learn and develop mindful control of our breath and body. During this practice, we offer gratitude to the sun while giving thanks for its life-giving energies.
Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
Virabhadrasana is sometimes referred to as the ‘warrior’ pose because it gives us the strength and the power of the fierce Hindu warrior. During the practice, we use both our arms and our legs to generate a strong force. Practising the warrior pose releases tension, helps us to keep a stable, upright stance, and builds strength both physically and mentally. This pose also helps to open up our chest and increase our lung capacity.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana, also known as the cobra pose, helps us to stretch and strengthen our lower back as well as open up our chest to release any built-up tightness. During the practice, we extend into a full cobra lift, pushing our body up from the cobra’s hood. This pose allows us to give more focus to our breath as well as hold enhanced levels of concentration. It also helps us to elbow, wrist and shoulder flexibility.
Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Utthita Trikonasana is an effective Hatha yoga pose that helps us to improve our balance and posture. This pose takes us to a deeper level of stretching while strengthening our legs and torso. By generating a strong amount of energy from the core of our body, practising this pose increases our sense of wellbeing and creates a feeling of connectedness. Regular practice of this Hatha yoga pose helps to improve flexibility and concentration.
Hatha Yoga is much more than physical stretches, providing us with a whole list of mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Whether it’s the mountain pose or warrior pose, remember that the real benefit is found in stopping, looking and listening to your body in the moment. And each moment provides a new opportunity to live in the present and expand your practice.