What is Hatha Yoga + How to Practice It

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

New to Hatha yoga? Maybe you’ve actually done a Hatha class but just didn’t know it! With so many different styles of yoga, it’s becoming quite tricky to keep track of the various practices.


These days, when someone refers to yoga, they can refer to a cardio practice or a breakthing mediative practice. Big difference!


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What is considered “regular” yoga considered anyway?


Depending on the location and individual, “regular” yoga can be a form of Hatha yoga. In highly active and health conscious cities like San Francisco, a “typical” yoga class is probably in reference to a power yoga class.


Whether you are new to yoga or a hard core yogini, it can be tricky to keep track of the various styles of yoga popping up everywhere. There are so many creative variations of yoga that combine Eastern and Western practices.


At this point, the most traditional types of yoga styles may be less known as it can get crowded out from the other latest variations. Hatha yoga is one of the most traditional types of yoga out there.



Hatha = Sun + Moon


In Sanskit, “Ha” means sun and “Tha” means moon. When you put the sun and moon together, it’s all about balance. Accordingly, the yoga sequences in a typical Hatha yoga class are focused on balance movements.


Hatha sequences aim to align the spine as the poses help to counterbalance all the sitting we do at our desks and in our car.


The poses in Hatha also center on gentle stretching and hear openers to counterbalance the hunching we do while typing and texting through the day. This includes stretching the hip flexors and other muscles of the body.


In mixed-level Hatha classes, instructors typically offer modifications so there are options for folks completely new to yoga.


Yoga teachers will also offer amplifications for those who have been practicing yoga for years and seek advanced poses for a more challenging workout.


A typical one hour mixed-level Hatha yoga class may include variations of the following yoga sequence:



5-minutes:

Centering and grounding

Seated in sukhasana.

Focus on breath

10-minutes:

Warm-up (seated)

Neck rolls, shoulder rolls, spine twist, arm stretches

10-minutes:

Warm-up (on hands/knees)

Cats/cows, threading the needle, child’s pose

10-minutes:

Standing exercises

Sun A and/or Sun B salutation

10-minutes:

Floor exercises

Dandasana, butterfly pose, januasana

10-minutes:

Back series

Bridge pose, happy baby, wheel

5-minutes:

Cool down

Savansana, meditation


Health is wealth.


Incorporate a holistic approach to your next yoga practice. How? Apply Reiki energy healing techniques!


Ready to learn simple Reiki healing techniques?

Check out the Reiki Master Manual!