First, here’s why I practice and teach Hatha Yoga — it works. Hatha Yoga is a holistic, whole-life way of being and practice that has been around for thousands of years — it’s not “trendy” — and it still works. It works on my mind, body, breath and spirit.
I’m done with comparing myself to others, with the latest trend in self-improvement. Hatha Yoga is a living system of practices that support us in being and becoming who we already are: amazing, light-filled, love-bearing beings.
As I practice day after day, I feel more myself — and Hatha Yoga practices infuse my daily life with more confidence, ease and clarity. Hatha is full of life-long practices that change and grow with me.
So, here’s the low-down on Hatha Yoga. See if it’s for you, and then join me in class =) —
Hatha yoga, which includes rules of conduct and observances, as well as cleansing practices, asana, pranayama, and relaxation practice—is designed to relieve tension in the body, balance the nervous system, and gently withdraw the mind from its usual preoccupations.
Classes labeled “hatha” can vary widely, depending on the teacher and his/her background and interests. Some classes will be quite physical, while others will focus more on breathwork and meditation practices. In general, the classes I teach are inspired by the Himalayan sage tradition of The Himalayan Institute where I received my training — a living tradition from which I continue to learn and practice.
Hatha combines mindful asana (postures), breathwork, and a finishing guided relaxation (Often I hear from new students that the guided relaxation at the end of class is a unique feature of Hatha classes). In general, traditional “Hatha” classes tend to move at a steady, intentional pace. We focus on the breath and hold poses a little longer than in a vinyasa flow style class. Poses are sequenced intelligently and in a specific order to facilitate mindful movement of energy in the body, to soothe the nervous system, and to focus the mind.
In layman’s terms — students often say, “I just FEEL good after class,” “I slept better after class,” “I feel more focused and energized during the day.”
Hatha yoga is well-suited for beginners because it gives you more time to investigate the pose, breath technique or energy focus. That said, Hatha is also perfect for more advanced students — holding postures is an incredible way to build strength and focus, and breath techniques advance your practice on and off your mat. The ultimate goal of “yoga” is to master the fluctuations of the mind — an advanced practice in itself!
See you on the mat!