What is Hatha Yoga and its Benefits?
What is Hatha Yoga? Over the next several weeks we will be exploring Hatha Yoga and its benefits. Ha means sun and tha means moon. Ha is masculine, heating, expanding and strengthening. Tha is feminine, cooling, contracting, and flexible. We need both in our practice to create balance. Flexibility without strength leads to fragility. Strength without flexibility leads to rigidity. Too many heating practices would cause you to burn out. Your inhalation for example increases energy, tightens and strengthens (HA), while your exhalation releases energy, softens and lengthens.
The style of hatha yoga we practice on Yoga with Melissa encourages long holds anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute to several minutes. Ideally without the time constraints of computer download file sizes I would have you holding yoga poses for at least 3-5 minutes
Long holds allow for deeper openings. Long holds release deeply held stress and tension. Long holds release holding patterns in your musculature that leads to better alignment of your muscles, bones and nerves. Long holds allow you to penetrate to deeper and subtler areas of your energetic body. This allows you to tune into energy and receive the messages from your body, ultimately allowing you to strengthen, heal and balance.
Asanas/Postures : Bridge Pose/setu bandha sarvangasana, apanasana/knee to chest pose, Pigeon, Kapalabhati breath/skull shining breath, sitali breath/cooling breath, Surya Namaskar/Sun Salutations, Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon Balancing, Yoga Mudra/Rabbit Pose, Salamba Sarvangasana/Supported Shoulderstand, Backbending Pigeon/Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Matsyendrasana/ Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Janu Sirsasana/head beyond knee pose
Props Needed: Block
Yoga Photos and Yoga Poses from Yoga with Melissa 191