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Hatha yoga

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What is Hatha yoga?

Hatha yoga is generally thought of as a gentle form of yoga practice, with a focus on proper form while holding postures and connecting movements to your breath.
Hatha yoga classes usually range from 45 - 90 minutes. They will tend to include a gentle warm-up, moving through a number of physical poses, and then end with meditation and relaxation.

What is a Hatha yoga class like?

A class will usually be labelled as Hatha yoga when it doesn’t fit the description of one of the more specialised and stylised classes such as Iyengar, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga. The class structure and intensity is set by each individual teacher, following a loose structure of a gentle warm-up, moving through physical postures, and finally a meditation or relaxation session in these cases.

Who should practice Hatha yoga?

Hatha yoga is suitable for all levels, whether you’re a long-time yoga-lover or you’re brand new, it’s easy to learn. The slower pace and focus on longer poses is ideal for beginners, giving you more time to become familiar with the poses as well as the structure of the class. Find a Hatha yoga class near you and give it a try as part of your ClassPass membership.
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Is Hatha yoga good for you?

Hatha yoga is good for you because in addition to the benefits of physical activity, Hatha yoga can help improve your flexibility, mobility and mental well being. Hatha yoga is also a very thoughtful form of exercise, placing a strong emphasis on connecting with and “listening” to your body. This means you’re far less likely to induce injuries or push yourself too hard when you’re just starting out.

Hatha yoga benefits

Hatha yoga offers a number of health benefits that go beyond those produced by other forms of exercise, including improved balance, a strengthened core and increased flexibility. When looking more specifically at the slower-paced form of Hatha yoga — compared to other, more vigorous practices — there are a number of key health benefits backed by substantial medical research.

Hatha yoga history

Since the term Hatha has been used in both Buddhist and Hindu texts since as far back as the 1st century, there’s some debate as to when Hatha yoga practices first officially began.
Some say that Hatha yoga was founded in the 15th century, when a number of yogis from the Natha lineage were impatient to start their practice and skipped some of the more existential disciplines of yoga. These are known as Yamas and Niyamas and focus on ethical standards, integrity, self-discipline and spiritual observances rather than a physical practice that we’re familiar with today. It’s said that as their minds weren’t ready for this level of practice meaning they had to work harder, thus the “stubborn” practice of yoga was born — what we now call Hatha yoga.

What does Hatha mean?

Hatha is often used as an umbrella term for a yoga class in most fitness studios and gyms. While Hatha technically translates to mean stubborn or forceful, Hatha yoga classes are often fairly gentle and very accessible to all fitness levels.

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