Hatha Yoga, also called Hathavidya, is a branch of yoga, wherein ‘hatha’ denotes force. Hatha yoga refers to a system of physical techniques complementary to a broad conception of yoga. According to Hindu tradition, the deity Lord Shiva himself is said to be the founder of Hatha Yoga. Now colloquially termed as simply ‘yoga’, hatha yoga, particularly aasanas or postures was popularized throughout the world in the 20th century. Hatha yoga is a way of working with the body. It is a technique wherein you discipline, purify and prepare the body for higher levels of possibilities. ‘Aasana’ means a posture. The postures through which you reach your higher self can be termed as yogaasanas. When one consciously gets their body into different postures, one can elevate their consciousness.
Hatha yoga is also recognized as a stress-reducing practice and when practiced in the West, it is mostly consists of aasanas understood as physical exercise. But yoga is much more than just physical exercise. It is a union with one’s higher nature. Here are a few reasons on why you should learn Hatha Yoga –
Strengthens the Body
Yoga poses, repeated multiple times during practice, are weight bearing and are held for varying lengths of time. Yoga helps relieve muscle pain and stiffness and helps tone the body. Yoga results in great functional fitness as it allows the body to be stretched and strengthened in various positions.
Maintains Good Health
Practicing yoga on a regular basis results in good digestion, sound sleep, real hunger, proper pulsation and functioning of various body organs, timely and proper elimination of body wastes and a happy and calm mind. These signs can be termed as symptoms of good health. It can also benefit the heart rate and blood pressure. Yoga helps ease back pain and improve conditions such as bad knees and tight shoulders and neck. It also helps increase stamina and creates balance and grace. It increases body awareness, relaxes mind and body, sharpens concentration and frees the spirit.
The body can become either a means or a major barrier for spiritual growth. The science wherein one uses their body to hasten the evolutionary process is termed as yoga. When one practices yoga, one attains a relaxed and calm state of mind which facilitates a connection with one’s higher self and hence become a means for attainment of spiritual growth.
The postures of yoga when coordinated with one’s breathing help the fresh air in and let out toxins from the body. When one attains a relaxed state of mind, they are bound to get rid of all the stress around them, because then their body and mind are in their control. It helps release tension from the body. Yoga is a perfect stress reliever.
Contracting and stretching of muscles and moving around of organs coming in and out of yoga postures enables one to increase the drainage of the lymph. This helps the lymphatic system to fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose the toxic wastes of cellular functioning.
Practicing yoga leads to an increase in the elasticity of the connective tissues, the cells that bind muscle fibers together and encapsulate them, and also attends to the stretch reflex and other functions of the autonomic nervous system. Once you practice and adapt to the different yoga postures, flexibility is improved greatly.
Isn’t it fascinating how certain postures coordinated with breathing can benefit your body and health so much? These reasons and many more, would inspire anyone to learn and practice Hatha Yoga on a regular basis.
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