Relaxing Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga features simple poses which flow from one to another at a pace that is generally comfortable for most participants. Hatha yoga uses poses to balance the mind and body with purification procedures, breath control and meditation. Hatha is an excellent type of yoga for relaxing at the end of a long day. Hatha is the "typical" yoga that individuals think of when they imagine yoga, and many of the other forms of yoga are derived from it.

Relaxing Hatha yoga is an old form of yoga which first appeared in the 15th century in India. The creator of Hatha is often credited as Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage that also compiled the important document to yogic enthusiasts known as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

In Sanskrit, the term "Hatha" implies the use of force, or abstract meditation. Fortunately, today's modern version of Hatha yoga is far less brutal and self-torturing than it was when it was first introduced. Most relaxing Hatha yoga practitioners no longer inhale smoke with an inverted head, for example.

Types of Movements

Hatha yoga uses gentle positions and stretches. The movements between poses are more relaxed and the breathing techniques are not as demanding as some of the other types of yoga. Hatha yoga is designed to purify and prepare the body for meditation, so the movements are mostly relaxing and limbering. Students are encouraged to perform the movements and poses at their own paces.

You will encounter many different poses in Hatha yoga. Generally, it is a less difficult type of yoga, but it still takes strength to hold the poses, so muscles do get worked. The legs, back and abdomen usually get stretched and exercised well with basic Hatha poses.

Breath control elevates the heart rate and improves circulation while performing the exercises, but the mind and spirit are the main targets of Hatha yoga. It uses meditation techniques to clear the mind and achieve a sense of calm and balance.

Mental and Physical Requirements

Like other types of yoga, you must be somewhat flexible and possess the strength to hold the poses. However, Hatha yoga is not as difficult as some of the other types, so it is very accessible to beginners. It is very important to concentrate on breathing and clearing your mind, so you must be able to remove yourself from distractions and relax.

Equipment Requirements

  • Yoga Blocks
  • Yoga Straps
  • Mat
  • Yoga Blanket
  • Comfortable, Breathing Clothes

Mental and Physical Benefits


  • Improved Mood
  • Improved Attention
  • Increased Social Skills
  • Decreased Hostility
  • Improved Well-Being


  • Decreased EMG Activity
  • Normalized Gastrointestinal Function
  • Decreased Respiratory Rate
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Improved Grip Strength

Aerobic Effect

Hatha Yoga

Different instructors have different approaches when leading a Hatha yoga class. While some instructors may perform more strenuous poses than others, Hatha yoga is generally a type of yoga that is relaxed and gentle. While not usually a very active form of yoga, Hatha yoga does moderately exercise the cardiovascular system. Breath control provides an aerobic effect, raising the heart rate and increases blood flow to the muscles being exercised.

As with most of the other forms of yoga, all that one really needs for Hatha yoga is a good mat. This is to keep you clean and comfortable so you can concentrate on your breathing and positions. Also, the clothes you wear must allow free movement.

Hatha yoga provides a wide range of health, fitness, and mental well-being benefits. These include physical ones like stronger, more toned muscles, increased flexibility, and better cardiovascular health. There are also mental and spiritual benefits such as reduced stress, a calmer and more focused mind, and a happier, more positive outlook on life. Finally, there are also several benefits associated with improvements in balance, coordination, and increased range of motion.