Hatha Yoga – creates balance and unites opposites
The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.
Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.
Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.
"Ha" - Sun & "Tha" - Moon
„Ha“ and „Tha“ are opposites which are to be balanced in the practice of hatha yoga. It aims at gaining a balance between the flexibility of our joints and our muscular density and strength. This is the reason for some of the very challenging exercises because the body can then fully relax after engaging in strenuous asanas. It is the starting point to prepare for pranayama and meditation.
Tadasana, with ‘tada’ meaning ‘mountain’, is regarded as one of the most beneficial postures in yoga. Though it seems to be quite simple, a person has to undergo lots of practice to attain the perfect tadasana posture. The asana is believed to provide not only physical, but mental benefits as well. It helps a person improve his posture and also promotes confidence as well as happiness. A basic yoga posture, Tadasana can also be used as the starting point for other asanas that are performed in a standing position. It’ll help to maintain stability in many challenging life situations.
The space to begin the journey to oneself
The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.
The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).
Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended in front of your torso. If your torso is leaning back, it may be because tight hamstrings are dragging the sitting bones toward the knees and the back of the pelvis toward the floor. It may be helpful to sit on a blanket or a bolster to lift the pelvis. A simple way to check alignment is to sit with your back against a wall. The sacrum and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but not lower back or the back of the head. Put a small rolled-up towel between the wall and the lower back. Sit towards the front of the sitting bones, and adjust the pubis and tail bone equidistant from the floor. Without hardening the belly, firm the thighs, press them down against the floor (or your support), rotate them slightly toward each other, and draw the inner groins toward the sacrum. Flex your ankles, pressing out through your heels. To lengthen your front torso perpendicular to the floor, think of energy streaming upward from the pubis to the sternum, then down the back from the shoulders to the tail bone.