Yoga is a type of exercise and well-being practice that comes in many forms. While there are a variety of yoga practices out there to choose from, if you’re looking to incorporate some serious health benefits into your life, Hatha Yoga may be just the ticket. This form of yoga is likely what comes to mind when someone mentions a typical yoga session. It’s a popular form of exercise when you’re looking to boost a healthy lifestyle at your own pace!
What Exactly is Hatha Yoga?
A little Hatha yoga can go a long way thanks to the practice’s focus on learning and maintaining body postures. These postures are referred to as asanas. The idea is that as a yogi holds a specific posture, they’ll simultaneously be strengthening their body and mind.
Hatha yoga is a holistic approach to yoga practice that asks participants to balance their inner thought process, breath, and body control over time. Whether you’re practicing in a studio or in your own living room, Hatha yoga comes with some serious health benefits to consider.
1.Reduced Stress Levels Through Breath Technique
Translated from Sanskrit, Hatha means discipline of force. While much of that discipline tends to go towards strengthening muscles through postures, this practice really relies on disciplined breath technique to reap the full health rewards as well. In fact, those who practice Hatha yoga regularly find that a focus on these breath techniques is a great tool in stress management.
A focus on mindful, steady breathing through a Hatha yoga practice can effectively slow down both the nervous system and the endocrine system. These systems oversee hormone release and blood pressure throughout the body. The deep breathing that’s integral to a successful Hatha yoga session helps the body balance these systems and can lower cortisol levels as a result. The benefits of this lower-stress experience can follow you into the rest of your day.
2. Enhanced Core Strength
The benefits of a stronger core are vast. Our core muscles affect nearly everything we do from tasks as small as tying our shoes in the morning to activities like lifting children out of car seats, carrying groceries, walking, and overall posture. Limited core strength can lead to significant issues with chronic back pain or stability and balance issues over time.
Infusing a little Hatha yoga into your exercise routine can be an effective solution to gaining healthy core strength and avoiding injury. The foundation of Hatha yoga is learning to hold poses for extended periods of time. This alone strengthens and lengthens core muscles with continued practice. It’s also an exercise that’s easy on joints as it asks muscles to work harder than bone to maintain proper postures. Strengthening poses like the boat pose within Hatha yoga, activate abdominal muscles on the front wall while side planks target obliques. While these are just a few of many posture examples within the practice, they’re a good start if you want to see some exciting improvement in a short amount of time.
3. Improved Flexibility
While flexibility isn’t typically viewed as the ultimate goal of Hatha yoga, it tends to be a great benefit that comes as the result of incorporating regular practice into your lifestyle. This is because Hatha yoga focuses on a significant amount of stretching paired with breathwork.
The beauty of earning flexibility through Hatha yoga is that you hardly notice it’s happening. This practice never forces participants into difficult postures quickly. Instead, Hatha yoga asks yogis to slowly and steadily use breath and stretching techniques that will eventually lead to the ability to hold a posture for an extended period of time.
The result of this consistent and slow practice is elongated and more flexible muscles without any added pain or stress. It’s a manageable and personalized way to gain flexibility. The health benefits of increased flexibility are astounding and are linked to everything from reduced chronic pain to improved overall balance.
Give Hatha Yoga a Try for Yourself
Even a short Hatha yoga session daily can do wonders for your overall health. Try starting with a 15 minute session in the morning using some basic poses and enjoy the reward of a less stressful and more flexible day.
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