what is Hatha Yoga – definition and benefits

what is Hatha Yoga - definition and benefits
what is Hatha Yoga - definition and benefits

What is Hatha Yoga – definition and benefits: The word Yoga is nothing but a group of mental, physical, and spiritual practices. It originated in ancient India and is practiced in the present modern world. There are many varieties of yoga schools and practices in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Among them, very well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.

What is Hatha yoga?

Through a practice of asanas, pranayama, mudra, bandha, and shatkarma (internal cleansing) one can attain the union of mind-body-spirit- this is hatha yoga. Hatha is a Sanskrit word which is translated into two different ways in English that is “willful” or “forceful”. It aims to achieve harmony and balance in the mind-body-spirit.

To bring focus, we are doing this by about challenging breath. We not only need mental strength but also physical strength too. Hatha Yoga balances the mind and body. Hatha means force and is defined as ‘the yoga of force’ or also called ‘the means of attaining a state of yoga through force’.


The sound “ha” means sun and “tha” refers to the moon. It is heating and cooling at the body level. Agni, which is the foundation for both of them keeps the metabolism at the level of the body. Vayu or air is bringing them together. Therefore, it is the movement of the life force or prana.

Moreover, prana moves through the channel to the right of the spine center. It is called Pingala. In the same way, Apana moves through the channel to the left of the spine center. It called the ida. Aim of hatha yoga is to bring the prana and Apana together.

If we combine two forces, they lose their original texture and take on a composite nature instead. But here they are not separate forces or entities they are of the same force. Initially, the classical texts separate the breaths into two components. The first one is the prana which connects to the sun. The second one is the Apana, which connects to the moon. It is not absolute but representative.

The mind scatters when unitary prana flows in the left and right channels. The mind focuses When the unitary prana flows in the center channel, Sushumna. Finally, hatha yoga leads to the deep focus of the mind.


Initially, hatha yoga mainly focuses on transforming the physical body through purification and cultivating the subtle energies of the body. It is also a preliminary step to achieve deeper states of meditation.

‘Hatha yoga pradipika’ is the most widely used ancient text on the physical properties of hatha yoga. Swami swatamarama composed this book in the 15th century from older Sanskrit texts. To illuminate the physical disciplines and practices of this hatha yoga is the main goal of this text.

The origins of yoga have been observed to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions.

Hatha yogis origin

Actually, in ancient times Hatha yogis do tapas, translated as ‘heat’,’glow’,’ discipline’ and referring to a sense of ‘burning’ off past karma, and refining the body and mind, was their practice.

Also, Hatha yogis perform extraordinary feats such as submerging themselves in cold water, standing on one leg, or carrying out the ‘bat penance’(hanging upside down) to perfect the body and senses. For several years, Lord Buddha also practiced asceticism for many years.

Also read: Yoga Mudra at your fingertips – control diseases

From east to west

It focuses upon the breath and the means of controlling it. Pranayama is one of the branches of hatha yoga. This extreme breath control was essentially considered the ability to prana or one’s own ‘life force’. Furthermore, society easily accepted these extreme bodily changes and breathing techniques. Therefore, yoga postures and pranayama practices become a sort of performance.

In order to this, Hatha yogis earned money by attracting audiences which created a buzz by these yogas. moreover, during colonialism westerners were able to see and experience hatha yoga practices for themselves. The reason was due to ascetics who traveled to other lands themselves, the word yoga began to spread.

In the 1800s contortionism, gymnastics and yoga postures do look almost identical. The only difference is the intention behind these practices; either transcendence or treasures.

When Swami Vivekananda visited the US in the late 1800s and the first physical performance of yoga graced in the UK in 1893, then it finally entered into western consciousness. The changes, evolution, and reinvention within hatha yoga take place not only in the west but also in the east.


It is not a matter of how old yoga itself is, hatha yoga practices that accompany it are contested at healthy too. Chris Tompkins teaches that the suryanamaskar practices of hatha yoga originated from the ancient Vedic texts. yogis even practiced this. Now, we find ourselves in a much more comfortable and safe variation of hatha yoga in the world.

In ancient times, asanas were not merely postures, to begin with, but mudras- intended to seal and direct energy within the body. ‘Hatha yoga pradipika’ is a well- known text on hatha yoga, which can be thought of almost as an anthology of many Hatha texts combined. A total of 84 asanas was there in it. In this, fifteen are primary postures- seven are seated, eight are non-seated.

Really, now it is the first time we know of an asana being reimagined as something other than seated for meditation. Asana means seat, specifically a seat for meditation.

Creating change

However, hatha yoga practices- the asana, pranayama, mudra and mantra techniques many of us dedicate time to create change.

Hatha yoga good for

This yoga focus on the physical attainment of the yoga poses. To calm your body, mind, spirit- hatha yoga practices are useful. It is also useful to attain deeper states of meditation and spiritual realization. In addition to this, regular practice can improve strength, stamina, flexibility, range of motion and balance. reduces stress, promotes mental calm and many other therapeutic benefits also there with this yoga.


It is a concentrated major emphasis on low food, which suggests “measured diet” which is nothing but “moderate eating”. One’s eating habits balance the body and gaining the most benefits. It not only teaches breath exercises but does not refer to it as Pranayama, It is the core practice of this yoga. It also includes various steps of the cleansing inner body that teaches.

This yoga is the basis for all contemporary yoga and this will help you establish a firm foundation in Yoga and its practice. You can follow the program on free yoga online for yoga classes. The selection of Yoga place is very important to perform Yoga for you. One can easily get back to health by Hatha yoga class learning online.

Also read: Best Yoga asanas for Health and Fitness


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