What is Hatha Yoga – Living Smart Girl

You may already know there are several types of yoga out there. In fact, that knowledge may be what started you on the path to finding out what type of yoga may be suitable to your needs and to your lifestyle. Hatha yoga is appealing to many people for a variety of reasons. If you have never heard of Hatha yoga here are a few quick facts to get your started.

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The Technique

The first thing to understand about Hatha yoga is that it is a gentle form of yoga. In fact, it is considered the ideal yoga practice for someone that is new to the world of yoga. It has gentle slow movements. It also allows you to learn different breathing techniques and to grasp them before moving into more complex and intense yoga styles. The technique is an ancient technique that works on not only breathing techniques but the flow of the movements.

The Movements

Most of the Hatha yoga movements you see are ones used in other yoga traditions. The difference with Hatha is that the movements connect. They flow from one to the other instead of breaking up with a small break and movement in between. This is ideal if you are looking for a set routine that you can memorize and use while you are at home or on the go. In some other traditions, you can learn the movements and poses, but they may not join. In Hatha, they do join and move as a flow.

Hatha Classes

If you plan on going to Hatha yoga classes there are a few things you should expect. It is a low energy and quiet environment in most cases. This is ideal for someone who wants a stress free environment where they can concentrate on the yoga and not on the world around them. You will also have an instructor that likely moves around the room and helps you with your poses. This is a hands on class, but a silent meditation class. It is peaceful and the flow of the class moves with the flow of the poses.

These facts should let you know if you want to continue pursuing your path of Hatha yoga. If you do, you will find there are several poses to help stress as well as ways to incorporate Hatha into your natural healing and health routine.

You can find more yoga resources here.

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way 🙂

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What is Raja Yoga? Comparison of Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga

Raja Yoga – The Royal Path or the Path of Meditation

Raja Yoga is one of the oldest systems of yoga referenced by many ancient spiritual texts. It is thought of as the ultimate goal of yoga practice as it leads to samadhi, or the ultimate state of consciousness. Raja Yoga emphasizes the practice of meditation for spiritual growth and self-realization.

Raja Yoga is known as the key to all yoga or the Royal Path. It is called Royal Yoga because it speaks to having direct control or mastery over our mind to experience a transcendental state or Oneness. Raja Yoga has been compiled and unified by Rishi Patanjali in his famous text, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where he outlines Ashtanga Yoga- the eightfold path.

Rishi Patanjali describes in detail about the eightfold path or eight limbs as:

  1. Yama – Self-restraint or Social code of conduct
  2. Niyama – Self-Observance or Personal Discipline
  3. Asana – Postures
  4. Pranayama – Breathing Practices, Control of Prana
  5. Pratyahara – Inward journey of Senses or withdrawal of Senses
  6. Dharana – Concentration
  7. Dhyana – Meditation
  8. Samadhi- Super-Conscious State or Transcendental State

Comparison of Raja Yoga & Hatha Yoga

You may be wondering what the difference is between Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Here is a simple breakdown:

  • Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali is the classical text describing Raja Yoga and its eightfold path and practices. Hatha Yoga Pradipika is the main classical text describing Hatha Yoga and its practices
  • The goal of Raja Yoga is to achieve the highest state of consciousness known as samadhi; meditation is the main practice for samadhi. The main purpose of Hatha Yoga is to awaken the kundalini (the subtle energy source); the main practices are asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, and shatkarma
  • Raja Yoga is considered as the ultimate goal of human life, whereas Hatha Yoga serves as preparatory means to Raja Yoga.
  • Raja Yoga adopts the methods of controlling the mind and mental force to achieve the transcendental state of consciousness; Hatha Yoga adopts the methods of controlling the prana, or vital forces, to awaken the kundalini
  • Raja Yoga is the union of Shiva or Purusha- the Supreme Consciousness with Shakti or Prakriti- also known as the Primordial Energy; Hatha Yoga is the union of Ida- the Prana Shakti and Pingala- also known as the mental Shakti.

The post What is Raja Yoga? Comparison of Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga appeared first on Yoga Essence Rishikesh.

Jala Neti – Hatha Yoga Technique for Cleaning your Sinuses

Jala Neti is a yogic technique to clean your sinuses. Neti is one of the six purification methods in Hatha Yoga. The sinus cavities can get clogged with impurities which may cause infections, inflammations and headaches. The yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika gives a simple method to keep your sinuses clean. The text gives six practices for cleansing the body and to prepare the body and mind for higher practices of Yoga. These are called Shatkarmas. One of them deals with Nasal hygiene and is called Neti. Nasal hygiene is extremely important as it is linked to many conditions like sinusitis, migraine, headaches, allergies and asthma. Neti is a very simple practice that can be done along with your daily routine, say immediately after brushing your teeth in the morning. It takes just a few minutes and helps to relieve many of the problems related to the nasal and sinus cavities.

To do Jala Neti (Neti using plain warm saline water), you need a Neti Pot, some salt and water. Neti pot is a small pot with a long spout on the side which is inserted into one of the nostrils during the practice. It can be made of copper, steel, ceramic or even plastic. It is available in most health stores that sell yoga products. Prepare salt water by mixing 1 table spoon of salt to one liter of warm water. The salt should be of the right proportion and the water should be slightly warm so that it does not irritate the tissues inside the nostrils. Neti practiced with water is called Jala Neti. Neti can also be done using milk and is then called Dugdha Neti.

How to Practice Jala Neti (Nasal Cleaning with Water)?

When you first start this practice, you may get irritations in the nose, sneezing, coughing, etc. which will disappear after few sessions.

Benefits of Jala Neti (Nasal Cleaning with Water)

Associated Practices of Neti

Neti or Nasal Cleaning can also be done with milk. It is then a called Dhugdha Neti. There is another practice called Sutra Neti. In Sutra Neti, a waxed cotton string is inserted into the nose and pulled out from the mouth. Cleaning is done by to and fro motion of the string. Instead of using cotton thread, a rubber catheter may also be used, as it is convenient and easily available in any medical store. Benefits of Sutra Neti are similar to that of Jala Neti.

Hatha yoga and Yoga Nidra Yoga styles

You must be practicing the different postures or form of yoga but unaware of its name and origin detail. Here are two different yoga styles detail:

Hatha Yoga:

It is one such physical yoga posture which has power yoga like Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa etc. The word Hatha Yoga is derived from the combination of two most eminent sources of nature Sun and Moon which means “Ha” and “Tha” respectively. It means willful and forceful balance. This is followed mainly to keep the body, mind and our spirit calm while mediating.  The deeper spirit relaxes and holds for the long poses that are for the proper human system alignment.

Through this body style, you learn your body mechanism and sustain the energy. You can experience a healthy life, think and feel better by blooming through all the possibilities. In Hatha Yoga, you learn about the different ancient powerful practices like:

Yoga Nidra:

Getting failed to sleep or happing a restless nap? You must not be aware of the Yoga Nidra, it’s an effective way of well-rested sleep than the conventional sleep.  Mostly beneficial for the ladies it is a perfect substitute were after practicing this asana one can feel that the yogic sleep of 45 minutes is equal to the regular sleep of 3 hours.

While falling asleep the entire body gets relaxed but if it not fully relaxed than in an increasing way it becomes difficult to carry the daily lifestyle and because of which the body starts tiring and health disorders start. The Yoga Nidra is a stage between waking up and sleeping which is the stage to go to sleep. Here the body gets relaxed completely and the inner world is explored, it is best done when followed by the instructed voice.

Give the complete power to access your daily life by joining or practicing the Hatha Yoga and Yoga Nidra. Diya Yoga classes in Goa retreat you by making your stay in a comfort zone and you get an immense power to carry your life.

Hatha Yoga union of Sun and Moon union of Prana and Apana Vayus.

  •  Hatha means any tenacious practice until the object or purpose is achieved. “Ha” and “tha” signify the union of the Sun and Moon, union of Prana and Apana Vayus.
  •  Hatha Yoga cares about the body and Prana. It helps to control the body and Prana, through Asanas and Pranayama.
  • Hatha Yoga itself is not the goal. Meditation helps you attain Samadhi or the Superconscious State.
  • The practice of Hatha Yoga awakens the Kundalini Sakti that remains latent in the Muladhara Chakra.
  • There are six chakras or lotuses in the body. They are Muladhara (near the anus), Svadhisthana (halfway between Muladhara and Manipura which is in the navel). Anahata Chakra in the heart, Vishuddha in the neck and Ajna in the space between the two eyebrows and Sahasrara or the lotus of a thousand petals (Chakra) in the crown of the head.
  • Sushumna rises through all the Chakras. Kundalini passes through the Chakras and unites with Lord Siva in the Sahasrara.
  • Learn the Asanas, Pranayama, Bandhas, Mudras and Shad Kriyas under the expert Hatha Yogi.
  • Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the three important Nadis in the body.
  • Ida is the Chandra-Nadi. It cools the body. It flows through the left nostril.
  • Pingala is the Surya-Nadi. Heat the body. It flows through the right nostril.
  • Sushumna Nadi flows through both nostrils. It helps meditation. It’s Agni-Nadi.
  • Get good health through the practice of Yoga Asanas and Pranayama. Without good health, how can you win, how can you succeed in any company, how can you sit and meditate?
  • Practice yoga Asanas and Pranayama on an empty stomach in the early morning.
  • Be moderate in eating and sleeping. Then you can only succeed in Hatha Yoga.
  • Be regular in your practice. Regularity is of the utmost importance.
  • Drink a glass of milk after finishing the Asanas.
  • Wait half an hour after finishing Asanas to take a bath.
  • Do Asanas first and then practice Pranayama.
  •  Spend half an hour daily in the practice of Asanas and Pranayama. This will give you health, vim, vigor and vitality. This will eliminate all diseases.
  • Dhauti (cleaning the stomach with a piece of cloth), Basti (extraction of water through the anus), Neti (cleaning of the nostrils with the aid of a thread), Nauli (manipulation of the abdominal muscles), Trataka Un Object), Kapalabhati (a species of Pranayama) – are the Shad Kriyas of Hatha Yoga.
  • Sirshasana is the king of all Asanas. It strengthens the brain and brain-centers and improves memory, and helps Brahmacharya.
  • Sarvanga, Hala and Ardhamatsyendra Asanas make the spine elastic. Sarvanga develops the thyroid gland and provides good health. It helps Brahmacharya and gives it longevity.
  • Paschimottanasana reduces fat and helps digestion. The same thing happens with Mayurasana.
  • Bhujanga, Salabha and Dhanur Asanas eliminate constipation and muscular rheumatism of the back.
  • Relax all muscles through Savasana. Do this Asana at the end.
  • Ujjayi, Sitkari, Sukha-Purvaka, Suryabheda are other classes of Pranayama. Through the practice of these results Kevala-Kumbhaka Pranayamas.
  • Puraka is the inhalation of breath; Rechaka is exhalation; Kumbhaka is retention. Kumbhaka gives you longevity and energy.
  • Sitali Pranayama refreshes your body and purifies the blood. Bhastrika heats the body and eliminates asthma and consumption.
  • Practice Bhandatraya Pranayama. Includes Mula-Bandha or contraction of the anus, Jalandara-Bandha or Chin-lock and Uddiyana-Bandha, drawing the belly back at the end of the exhalation.
  • Maha Mudra is an important Mudra. This eliminates piles, enlargement of the spleen, indigestion, constipation.
  • Practice Yoga-Mudra daily. This is a good exercise for the abdominal organs.

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An Insightful Discussion on the Concepts and Advantages of the Hatha Yoga

Yoga is all about realizing and understanding the energy, which already undermines inside your body. The journey of this perception is not so easy. Hatha Yoga makes you prepare for this perception. It is no exercise, rather a practice that serves energy to the body as well as the mind.

  • The concept of Hatha Yoga

Yoga is an ancient invention of the ancient men, who sought spirituality and the empowerment of the body and soul. Therefore, the Yoga practice is considered as the matter of a great amount of dedication. It is such a powerful thing that it can do anything in this world. The conception of Yoga and spirituality believes that everything, which is there is the universe is compiled together in a human body. Yoga and its posture put its effort to invent all the unknowns of the body and mind. The power of the Hatha Yoga is so great that it can understand a person’s condition, his state of mind and so many other things only from his sitting posture. A person’s expression and approach may tell many things if you have practiced this special attainment properly.

  • The Benefits of this practice

There are certain benefits of this form of the Yoga, though it is not the physical posture actually. Those benefits are like these-

  • It is already mentioned that it aims at spiritual growth. Therefore, the practice of this can provide a great amount of emotional strength to face the odds of the world.
  • It can act as a catharsis in a person by bringing out the dominant ecstasy from him/her, like laughter, crying etc.
  • It contributes a lot in the mental and emotional health by healing certain facts that would have been hurting a person for a long.
  • It provides higher energy to the mind, which transfers it to the body. Thus, the body also gains healthier features in it than before.
  • It follows the classical tradition of the preacher and disciples to learn how to practice this trick. It usually happens to open the shortcomings of the minds in front of the preacher to get rid of the emotional trauma he/she is suffering from.

Due to all these features, Hatha Yoga is quite popular all around the world. It not only brings back the old traditions but also revives the effective ways to percept the inner power of the soul with the help of its unique techniques.

The post An Insightful Discussion on the Concepts and Advantages of the Hatha Yoga appeared first on Yoga Teacher Training & Yoga Nidra – India.

3 Hatha Yoga Poses For Those Who Sit All Day

Article by Eve Sengkeo

Do you have an office job that requires you to sit at your desk all day? Maybe you are in meetings for hours at a time? Or have long commutes?

It goes without saying that sitting for long periods of time can lead to all sorts of physical discomforts and ailments. Some medical professionals have even said that sitting is the new smoking.

So let’s talk about three yoga poses to help counter the long periods of sitting.

The gentle stretching in Hatha and restorative yoga sequences can help to counter the tight hip joints and hunching we do at our computer.

As background, “Ha” refers to the sun and “Tha” refers to the moon.

Thus, the yoga sequences focus on aligning the spine. Overall, Hatha yoga movements are very helpful in counterbalancing the long periods of sitting as the poses stretch the hip flexors, open up the chest, and increase blood flow to various muscles of the body.

So whether you sit all day at home, the office, or in the car, try out the poses below.

3 Hatha Yoga Poses For Those Who Sit All DayDavid Marcu
These 3 Hatha yoga poses help you to counterbalance the long periods of inactivity:

1. Viparita Karani aka – Legs Up the Wall pose

Inversions such as placing your legs up against the wall, help to release pressure in the ankles and feet. I don’t know about you but if I’m sitting on a long flight, my feet and ankles swell up.

After sitting for hours, blood that has been flowing to the ankles and feet. Thus, placing your legs at an angle or directly parallel against the wall helps to alleviate the tension.

You can also use a block or blanket under the sacrum to lift the hips for added support.

2. Supta baddha konasana aka – reclining bound angle pose

Bringing the soles of the feet together with the knees bent and pointed outward will help to open up the hip flexors.

This restorative hip opener also helps to stretch the inner thighs.

If the hips are too tight, ease into the pose by placing a block on both sides of the knees to support the weight of the legs.

3. Ustrasana aka – camel pose

Whether or not you are sitting at the desk or behind a wheel, it’s easy to start hunching in front of the keyboard or wheel.

The same goes for those who text on their phones throughout the day. Camel pose helps to open up the chest and expand the lungs. This heart opener is also good for stretching the abdomen, thighs and back.

If you don’t have times to get to the yoga studio or gym, getting up from the desk to walk every so often will help with blood circulation too!

Eve SengkeoSilverLinedDays.com. Welcome to connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SilverLinedDays/.

The post 3 Hatha Yoga Poses For Those Who Sit All Day appeared first on Yoga Rays.

You have to try the Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga at The Circle Studios

Here at The Circle we run lots of different yoga classes. All classes are always suitable for all levels – but we know that people like to practice their Yoga in different ways which is why we also try and have a range at suits everyone. Kirsty attended her first Hatha Yoga class with Kristal recently – read her thoughts on the beautiful class.

I’m feeling very relaxed, open and whole after Kristal’s lovely yoga class. Her soothing kind voice made us feel very relaxed, calm and supported. This was a gentle Hatha class, but also strengthening, stretching and toning. I feel the class really echoed Patanjali’s main teaching of ‘Ahimsa’ in the Yoga Sutras (written 2,000 years ago). Ahimsa means non-harming to yourself and others in mind, thoughts, our words and how we care for our body.

Kristal made me feel there was no pressure and to stay comfortable where you are in your yoga practice at present. I felt the class worked the heart chakra ‘Anahata’ as it was a very self-loving class. The peaceful low lighting in the studio and relaxing music felt we like we were in our own nurturing bubble. This class would suit beginners or any yogi who would like to slow down, be in the present moment, relax and have a gentle practice. A quote from the Buddha came to mind whilst in the class ‘‘You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection’’ My only regret was having a coffee beforehand! I would have been much better off with one of The Circle Cafe’s Organic Mango, Kale and Kiwi smoothies!

Check the timetable here for details of our next Hatha Yoga or any of our other yoga classes.

The post You have to try the Hatha Yoga appeared first on The Circle Studios Hove.

Hatha Yoga advice to prevent spring allergies

Hatha Yoga advice to prevent spring allergies and infections

Change is the only constant, and now we are ready for the next big change from the freezing winter to entering into spring. It’s one of the most destabilizing forces we have to contend with in our lives.

While we look forward to the sunshine and warmth of spring, it brings many allergies and flu also.

“In Australia, pollen and dust carried by spring northerly winds that whip them up, act as an irritant to eyes, noses, and lungs, especially, but not only, in those with allergies. The moist air associated with seasonal thunderstorm can also concentrate and break up pollen and pollution into smaller particles, which are more easily, inhaled deep into the lungs and trigger asthma attacks. Warm and moist conditions also promote the release of fungal spores, which can set off allergies in some people.’’


How can Hatha Yoga help?

The breathing and purification methods (pranayama & Kriyas) in Yoga are very helpful practices to prevent from the allergies and flues.

Among all the methods Jala Neti and Kapalbhati are the most effective practices.

Jala Neti-

Jala Neti has been practiced as part of Hatha Yoga for centuries. Jala means water and Neti mean piercing/cleaning.

Jala Neti is now advocated by many doctors and ENT specialists as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of nasal and sinus problems.

There is a growing body of scientific research into the practice, including this excellent article entitled ‘The Safety and Efficacy of Nasal Saline Irrigation’.

The article goes into a great deal of detail, backed up by a number of studies.

The full article, by Diane G. Heatley, M.D., Associate Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine can be found here  :

How to practice Jala Neti-

Step 1- Get a copper Jala Neti pot.

Step 2-take Luke warm saline water in the pot. Keep the nasal close to one nostril, open the mouth and breathe through your mouth. Let the water pass from another nostril.

Step 3-Repeat from the other side.

Step 4- Exhale out many times to clean the water from the nasal passages. Remember there should not be any water left inside the respiratory tract.

**You can practice Jala Neti once in a week as a preventive method and every day to cure any allergies.

**Note-Best to learn under the supervision of an expert before you try yourself.


Kapal means skull and Bhati mean shine.

-Sit comfortably on the chair or on the floor with a straight spine and closed eyes.

-Exhale forcefully while inhalations are passive.

-Repeat 2-3 minutes.

-Do not open the eyes immediately.

-Practice everyday early morning empty stomach.

Please take care of these practices. It is also important to note that not all of these practices will be suitable for everyone. If you experience any discomfort with these exercises, please STOP immediately.

Namaste !

The post Hatha Yoga advice to prevent spring allergies appeared first on Yoga Begins.

Hatha yoga and Alexander Technique Retreat

Improve your alignment, body awareness and ability to release.
1 – 7 May 2019 & 9 – 15 May 2019
Hatha yoga and the Alexander Technique together – what better combination!

Moving through daily life with more ease and poise, and practising yoga without forcing, stiffening or overworking is the aim of this yoga retreat at the beautiful and magical Rustic Retreats home, Bagend. We will be applying a few important principles of the Alexander Technique to help you improve your alignment, your body awareness and the ability to release within our dynamic Hatha in the morning and more gentle, restorative practice in the evening.
No right position: From an Alexander Technique point of view, working on your posture is less about achieving the “right” position than it is about how you support any position you are in. This might be a very different approach for you, where sometimes it seems that one of the most important things is to bring the body into the “right” position.
When practising an unfamiliar asana, instead of trying to force ourselves into it, we will be trying to keep our attention on the lengthening and widening of our body. We will be working on what happens when we let go of forcing the right position and turn our attention to how we are supporting ourselves to find more ease, more enjoyment, and paradoxically, it may be easier to execute the asana.
Don’t get pulled down towards your goal: We tend to pull ourselves toward the goal of any activity, thus often tightening our neck and shoulders. We pull our head to our phones, our heads and shoulders to the computer, or we pull ourselves into an asana. We will be looking at accepting where we are now in our poses, imagining the lengthening and widening and feeling an entirely different sensation allowing us to practice with more ease.
Finding where “up” is and expansion in all directions: Because of points 1 and 2 we often lose sense of where “up” is, where we are in space. Keeping awareness in the space around us (above, in front, behind, under, and at the sides) will help us to keep our body “open” and will make it easier to expand in all directions. We will practice finding the vertical and 3 dimensions while walking, making it easier to find the “up” and the space inside our body when practising yoga.

Do not lose the relationship between head, neck and back when engaging the limbs: When we raise an arm, be it in everyday life or in yoga, we often pull the trunk with the arms. Imagine you are typing on your laptop, the front of the trunk gets pulled forward and down slightly towards the keyboard and the shoulders get pulled in. Over time, this tightens the whole front of the body.
We will be looking at how we lift our arms in yoga asanas and how we can do this without losing the relationship between head, neck and back – for example, by imagining the head floating up, the weight of the body falling through the heels into the floor and the back widening, before lifting up the arms.