Hatha Yoga is a branch of Yoga that deals with a comprehensive set of physical postures and exercises to stimulate flow of energy in the body and balance the Chakras. Yoga is India’s gift to the world. It has become the most popular form of physical exercise that people all over the world perform to keep the body fit, flexible and disease free. Indeed, nobody is too young or too old to practice Hatha Yoga. However, medical advice or expert supervision is recommended in case of very frail people and pregnant women.
The asanas or physical postures of Yoga have a common universality to them. It is almost as if we have been doing them since our childhood. Whether it is the Cat Stretch that strengthens the spine or the Wind-Relieving pose that boosts digestion, you will even find infants doing some of the other form of yoga throughout the day. Overall, Yoga is such a broad concept that it can mean different things to different people.
Starting with Yoga
Those new to yoga should start with the 12 basic postures that will ease them into the field of Hatha Yoga. These postures open up and balance the Chakras of the body, improve blood circulation and promote flexibility of the spine. When practiced with the right breathing or pranayama, yoga asanas have the potential to elevate both body and mind of the practitioner to higher levels of consciousness and wellbeing.
Benefits of Yoga
The practice of Yoga asanas strengthens the muscles and the skeletal system in addition to improving the flexibility of the spine. With daily practice, you can address imbalances of blood pressure, breathing ailments and digestive and endocrine disorders. Practice of yoga postures is known to calm the mind and improve mental focus and clarity.
12 basic Yoga Asanas:
1. Sirshasana (Headstand)
2. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
3. Halasana (Plough)
4. Matsyasana (Fish)
5. Paschimothanasana (Sitting Forward bend)
6. Bhujangasana (Cobra)
7. Shalabhasana (Locust)
8. Dhanurasana (Bow)
9. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Spinal twist)
10. Crow (Kakasana)
11. Pada Hasthasana (Standing forward bend)
12. Trikonasana (Triangle)
Before you practice any asana, know the specific instructions that must accompany the practice and follow them step by step, in a relaxed and unhurried manner. Remember that yoga is a spiritual system. There is no competition and no goals to achieve. Therefore, mindfulness and right breathing are most important if you are to derive the best benefits from Yoga practice.