Guest Post by Vivek Roy- Yoga Blogger
The “Hatha”, a Sanskrit word, means “Force”. So, Hatha Yoga literally means the practice of different yoga postures with force and discipline. On a different note, “Ha” denotes the Sun and “tha” describes the Moon. In short, Hatha Yoga helps to bring balance between the Sun and the Moon. In other words, in a stressed and tensed life that we are experiencing now, these are the postures which help you to stretch your body to make it more strong, flexible and relaxed. Spiritually also these postures make you feel inner calm and bliss.
Now going further, keen on knowing the best poses practiced in Hatha yoga? Basically, Hatha yoga comprises of poses for standing, resting, sitting, balancing and bending backwards. Here is a list of best poses a beginner should know before actually starting this exercise.
- A tree posture: Vrikshasana
Its name is derived from its similar look to a tree. Practice this pose in the morning with your stomach empty. This pose represents a quiet and stable nature of the tree. You can keep your eyes open while you are doing this asana.
Pose: Stand strongly on the floor. Now, raise your left leg up to the level of the thigh and keep the raised leg on the inner side of the right thigh. Stand firmly in this position and maintain proper body balance. Practice taking deep breaths for some time. Next, raise your hands above your head and straighten them. After this, fold the arms in a “Namaste” manner. Keep your mind calm. With each inhalation and exhalation feel more and more relaxed. Now to release this pose, bring your hands to normal position and bring back your left leg on the floor. Repeat this procedure for the right leg also.
Benefits: This posture is specifically beneficial in balancing your body. It facilitates proper stretching of your arms, legs and spine. If you practice this pose regularly it will help your legs and thighs to become strong with the strengthening of all your leg ligaments as well as tendons. If you are suffering from sciatica, this pose may help to get relief from your sciatica.
- A mountain Pose: Tadasana
This asana is a basic step to learn all the postures practiced in standing position. Its name is derived from a Sanskrit word “Tada” meaning a mountain. This is a very simple pose to follow even for beginners.
Pose: Stand tall on your yoga mat. Keep some distance between your feet. Balance your body weight on feet. Now take a deep breath and raise both your hands above your head. Fold palm and fingers of both the hands in each other and raise them upwards. Now stretch your shoulders also in the upward direction and stand on your toes. Stretch all your body upwards. Try to keep balance in this position for a few seconds. To release this pose, lower your toes and feet to the ground. Bring your hands down.
Benefits: The stretched position practiced in this pose helps to circulate your blood efficiently. All the tendons, ligaments and muscles of the leg become strong. This pose improves the overall posture and balance of the body.
- Standing forward Bend Pose: Uttanasana
The next asana in series of standing position is Uttanasana. Here, the “Ut’ means intense and “tana” means stretching. The asana is especially helpful in improving blood circulation in the nervous system and relieving the headache.
Pose: Stand tall on the yoga mat in a pose of Tadasana. Keep hands on hip. Now stretch your hands upwards while taking a deep breath. Next, try bending down from the hip while you exhale. You can either touch your hands to feet or keep them backside of ankles. In this position keep forehead, nose and chest close to thigh. Inhale and exhale normally and try to remain in this position for a few seconds. Now you can release the asana slowly and come to the normal position.
Benefits: It helps to maintain balance through stretching of thighs, knees and hips. It also improves your digestive system. This pose is especially helpful to get relief from headache, asthma and sinusitis.
- Downward facing dog pose: Adho Mukha Svanasana
It derives its name from the similarity of the posture to the dog bending forward. It is a very simple pose and easy for beginners also. However, take care that your bowels are empty before dinging this pose.
Pose: Lie down on a yoga mat on your stomach. Now by using hands and feet and with the help of taking the support of the floor, try to stand on the yoga mat forming a table like a pose. Now while exhaling try raising your hips upwards stretching legs. Your body now is in V shape. Stretch hands and legs in respective directions. Keep your neck straight. Try to remain in this position for some time and release slowly.
Benefits: Helps to erect your spinal cord. This pose also improves blood circulation towards the nervous system thus reducing headache and anxiety. Due to stretching, the legs and arms become strong.
- Bridge Pose: Setu Bandhasana
Pose: Lie down on your yoga mat on your back. Raise your legs and bend the knees. Rest your arms on the sides. Now by taking the support of the floor, raise your feet firmly. Try to push the chest, stomach, hips and thighs in an upward direction. Fold your hands on the floor. Try to remain in this position as long as you are comfortable and then release the pose slowly.
Benefits: The asana is helpful for the functioning of the circulatory system and heart. It also relaxes the shoulders. It provides good stretching to the chest, stomach, thighs and legs.
- Locust Pose: Salabhasana
Pose: Lie down on a yoga mat on your stomach. Rest your chin on the floor. Straighten your legs. Rest the arms on the floor. Now raise the legs upwards stretching thighs and legs. Now try stretching the arms parallel to the legs in such a way that all the weight and balance of the body remains on the stomach. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly release the asana.
Benefits: The asana helps strengthen the muscles of the stomach. It also improves the working of digestive system if practiced regularly.
Now as you have an idea of these poses, try to practice them regularly. However, you should avoid doing these poses if you are suffering from some health issues like blood pressure, heart problems, joint diseases etc.
Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Yoga blogger and Traveller from India. He has done Yoga certification in India. He loves to travel and share the knowledge of yoga around the world. For more information about him visit his website Sattva Yoga Academy.