In today’s world, there are various different practices and styles of yoga. Hatha Yoga is one of the first practices of yoga to be developed in 15th century India by Yogi Swatmarama. Hatha Yoga was by far the most popular system of yoga that led to other variations, such as Ashtanga, Power Yoga, and Bikram Yoga.
The word Hatha is derived from Sanskrit, which means the Sun and the Moon (or the negative and the positive). “Ha” means Sun and “tha” means Moon. Hatha Yoga focuses on the third and the fourth steps in the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which are Asana and Pranayama.
Using various body positions (Asanas) and breath control (Pranayama) this specific practice of yoga focuses on balancing the body and mind, as well as improving mental concentration and muscle flexibility.
Breath control is very important in this practice. Yogis of the past believed that controlling one’s breath was the key to controlling one’s mind.
Hatha Yoga is a wonderful way to prepare the mind and body for meditation and is very beneficial for stress relief.