Here is a short description of this style of yoga – to learn more join our JIIVA tribe and come on the #JIIVAjourney with us!
What is it?
Hatha yoga is the linking of physical poses (asana) with breath (pranayama) and is the style most commonly familiar to Western culture. It is a holistic practice which ultimately aims to bring balance, and to find mental clarity and stillness through the practice of physical poses and breath.
What does it mean?
Ha means ‘sun’. Tha means ‘moon’. However the Sanskrit word Hatha literally means ‘force’ and implies the use of effort or exertion when referring to the physical asana practice.
Who founded it?
It is widely believed that Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s was the original Sanskrit text written around 400AD. The 196 Sutra’s describe Hatha Yoga as consisting of eight limbs and refer to it as the eightfold path. There are other fundamental texts for Hatha yoga such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and through these seminal texts Hatha Yoga has evolved into a practice that has spread across the world.
How did it evolve?
In the 20th century, Hatha yoga became popular in the West through several key yogi’s who brought practices that appealed to a Western audience and focussed on the physical practice of asana such as Iyengar and Ashtanga.
What is a class like?
Most Hatha classes are gentle and inclusive, offering the ability to be able to step into most classes where a teacher can cater for different needs such as pregnancy or injury. Due to the eight limbs of Hatha Yoga there can be wide variation due to the broad nature of the style so you may find that one class focusses more on postures (asana) whereas others focus more on the breath (pranayama) or focus/concentration (Dharana).