It’s that time of week again, where I unleash further ramblings about a different kind of yoga. This time, Hatha Yoga is under the spotlight. The word ‘Hatha’ means ‘forceful’ in Sanskrit, which is the ancient Indian language that is the source of most yogic terminology. It can be used to describe Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, along with most physical types of yoga today, making it an extremely broad term. Despite it not being particularly specific, you can still prepare yourself well for a Hatha class; they are slower-paced and focus mainly on stretching and steady meditation, so don’t expect to be breaking a massive sweat. What you can expect is improved alignment, core strength and a better handle on how to relax in general. Read on for our Top 5 Benefits of Hatha Yoga!
1. Improves energy and blood flow
Hatha flow which can also be known as Vinyasa yoga is a more intense version of Hatha with no pauses between poses; yogis just flow from one position to the next, meaning that the circulation of your blood improves drastically.
2. Builds bone density
Poses that require weight-bearing (such as the Tree pose, Side Angle and Warrior poses) help to build strength within your bones and can even, (as published in Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation in 2016) reverse bone-loss in people with osteoporosis.
3. Improves heart health
The Indian Journal of Community Medicine in 2014 published an article stating that regular yoga practice helps to alleviate blood pressure issues even in people with a history of cardiovascular disease. It also stated that yoga created better blood-flow to the heart and lungs.
4. Reduces back pain
If you are unlucky enough, like me to get it, gentle yoga, such as Hatha, is extremely effective when it comes to lessening the pain of lower (lumbar) back discomfort. For the best results, focus on pure Hatha poses rather than Hatha flow; weight-bearing slowness within exercises will be the most comfortable if you suffer with a problematic back.
5. Builds immunity
The contraction and movement of your muscles cause your organs to shift around as well, which in turn encourages the drainage of lymph. Therefore your lymphatic system is kept operating optimally for you to fight infection and destroy dangerous cells.
So, even though this kind of yoga is generally gentler, slower and used to help all manner of back problems and joint discomfort, it is still highly recommended for everyone. It is the best kind of practice to do to wind down before going to sleep, as it helps to naturally relax your body. Switch on to some Smooth FM and give it a shot – let us know how you get on below or @KeepfitKingdom !