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Hatha Yoga: Get Physical!

Jan 15, 2008
There seem to be many different forms of Yoga and, for the beginner, this can be confusing. Which form should he/she choose? Exactly what are the benefits of each type of Yoga form? Well, you can't go far wrong with 'Hatha Yoga'. It is very much like normal Yoga, involving:

1. Stretches and poses.
2. Can bring relief from stress and anxiety.
3. It will help you to achieve greater levels of concentration.
4. For some individuals, it can also act as a cleanser for the spirit.

Body Purification

Thanks to a fifteenth century Indian Yogi called Swatmarama, Hatha Yoga will help you to think more clearly. Swatmarama found a way for practitioners of Yoga to prepare their body for purification and this was to be achieved chiefly through meditation. Originally, this kind of Yoga was called 'Shatkarma' ('Hatha' is a combination of 'Ha', meaning sun, and 'tha', meaning moon).

'Hatha Yoga' is similar to 'Raji Yoga' where it is believed that practitioners can gain total control over the spirit, body and mind. With practice, you should be able to focus your energy into your whole body. In fact, because these two forms of Yoga are so closely related, they are often talked about simply as 'Yoga'. The point of all this is that Hatha Yoga can help you to eliminate physical and/or mental problems by directing your energy to the areas that need the most assistance. What more could you ask for?

A major benefit of Hatha Yoga is the ability to get relief from many different aches and pains that may be afflicting your body, particularly in the head and neck area. After developing your skills further, you will learn how best to relax your body as you will have a greater understanding about how your body works. By releasing energy that has been suppressed for a long period of time, you will become happier and enjoy a range of health benefits. Also, your inner self will not be neglected either and you will have a far greater facility for getting in touch with your feelings. This combination of physical AND mental benefits makes Hatha Yoga extremely popular to most sections of the population.

Breathing is a major part of Hatha Yoga and allows you to focus your energy on the correct parts of the body that need assistance. Higher, more esoteric, benefits can also be reached by working on the breath. Pranayama is the name given to these kind of breathing techniques and (combined with postures called asanas and meditation) can help you to balance the positive and negative forces in your life. As a result, you will find your mind becoming clearer and access to your subconscious will become much easier.

So, Hatha Yoga is a very physical form of Yoga, but one that, perhaps, provides the greatest benefits, especially to beginners. Although it is a physical form, the mental and spiritual benefits are also considerable and so it is a good 'all-rounder' if you are undecided.
About the Author
Yardley Moore invites you to discover more about the great benefits of Yoga by visiting www.YourYogaTips.com where you will find lots of information and advice for the Yoga enthusiast.
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