Introduced by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century in India, Hatha Yoga is one of the prominent types of Yoga. Hatha Yoga is the origin of many other styles of Yoga, including Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. The word 'hatha', derived from Sanskrit, means the combination of the opposites - ha (meaning Sun) and tha (meaning Moon). It unites the positive (Sun) and negative (Moon) currents in the system. It is mainly concentrated on the third (Asana) and fourth (Pranayams) in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. It aims to attain a balance between the body and mind, through the physical postures of Asanas, purification procedures (Shatkriyas), poses (Mudras), yogic breathing (Pranayams) and meditation. It also aims to pacify the mind through relaxation and meditation techniques.
During Hatha Yoga, Asanas are performed to improve the overall health. The regular practice of Asanas grants the practitioner with the improvement in his/her overall health. The postures make the body feel relaxed for long time after they are performed. The muscle flexibility and bone strength are improved, by performing Asanas. Apart from the physical postures, Pranayams also form an important part of Hatha Yoga. Yogis in the ancient times believed that the control to one's mind could be unlocked by controlling one's breath. Hence, the practice of Hatha Yoga can help you identify your hidden physical and mental strengths. Meditation is another part of Hatha Yoga, which rewards the practitioner with some non-physical benefits such as the increase in his/her concentration power.
By the regular practice of Hatha Yoga, one can ensure overall physical and mental health. The branch of Yoga helps the person to reduce the risk of various kinds of physical and mental ailments. The individual tends to feel more relaxed during stressful situations, after performing Hatha Yoga. Apart from toning the internal organs, the physical postures of Hatha Yoga help prevent diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. Muscular-skeletal problems such as scoliosis can be prevented by doing Hatha Yoga. The physical postures also improve blood circulation, immune system and stimulate endocrine glands. On the other hand, Pranayams help prevent breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis.
Hatha yoga is beneficial for people of all ages. Children, adults and elderly people can enjoy the benefits of Hatha Yoga, alike. The Asanas and Pranayams are gentle, but highly effective forms of exercises. Patience, calmness and determination can help you garner the benefits of Hatha Yoga, effectively. It is the best bet to lead a life free of anxiety, stress and tension. If you are in search of inner-enlightenment, Hatha Yoga is the answer for you. The relaxation exercises will help in opening up the energy channels, thereby allowing the free flow of spiritual energy within you.