5 Essential Postures in Hatha Yoga
© Palmaia The House of Aia, Mexico
A dynamic world demands a strong body and a positive and resilient mind. To achieve this, the world has turned its head to the ancient practice of Yoga as a great way to get closer to the balance required to keep a good and non-stressful life, as yoga has a lot of benefits for the body, mind, and soul.
With regular practice you can get great stability, strength, you can release the tension in articulations and muscles, and with this, get amazing flexibility. For the mind, you can get more clarity on your thoughts, and as a result, you’ll become more efficient on a daily basis, being a more objective seeker. But most of all, you can be more aware of the world surrounding you, which makes you a more conscious person.
What is Hatha Yoga
Being more resilient, conscious, and flexible in all aspects of our life, helps our soul to be calm, reaching new levels of understanding. So, as you can see, yoga (which means union with yourself) fusions integrally and harmoniously the forces inside a human being. In Yoga, there exist five different main practices: Raja, Bhakti, Jnana, Karma, and Hatha Yoga, being the last, one of the most induced in the occidental world.
In the beginning, it is said that Matsyendranath and his disciple Gorakshanath were the first known gurus. Actually, the last one is considered the reincarnation of Shiva, the most important known guru and to whom the first texts on Hatha Yoga are attributed. It is hard to define what Hatha Yoga is or is not, as for the contemporary Hindu sādhus this is not a therapeutical or even a relaxed way to practice yoga, it goes beyond that. It is not a yoga system, but represents a mental attitude related with the austerity (or restriction, either from food, words, comfort, etc), to reach an elevated state of mind, to balance the world or just to give an example of spiritual compromise.
In a more occidental approach, Hatha Yoga is taught as a physical practice that requires breathing, meditation, and spiritual purification, teaching the ones that are looking for a basic approach to yoga the main ”asanas” or postures, and breathing exercises. In Hatha Yoga, everybody goes at their own pace, being the main objective to achieve control over the body (organs, blood, etc.) and the mind, so we won’t find impediments to our final liberation: Self-knowledge.
Reach Your Maximum Potential
We have to remember that, what makes Hatha Yoga unique, is the importance of the postures and the time we manage to keep it, without moving and their consequences on health. On Palmaïa – The House of AïA this is complemented with ancient techniques of relaxation and a variety of vegan meals.
A basic Hatha Yoga class will include the balance of the three forces of the human: the body, the mind, and the soul, so first of all it will start regulating your breathing through a series of exercises to calm the mind (what is called pranayama, the breathing that regulates the energy of the cosmos). Then we will proceed to start with some postures (asanas) that will require all the concentration and full connection with the body to keep the posture during a prolongated time. As Hatha Yoga is seen as an introduction to Yoga itself, many of the postures will be done to have a deeper meditation process.
So without further ado, we will leave you with 5 essential postures in Hatha Yoga to reach your maximum potential, both in the practice of yoga and in life itself.
- Padmasana: Better known as the lotus position (sitting cross-legged, both soles of the foot resting on the groin), is the perfect asana to meditate. It will help to concentrate and find mental peace.
- Ustrasana: The camel position will help to strengthen your back and the front part of the body as you stretch, and eventually, this will help you to balance your energy and be in a great mood, as the curved back and fallen shoulders are a sign of sadness.
- Vrkasana: The Tree posture will help your body to get a better balance, strengthen thighs, ankles, and spine.
- Balasana: To relax, try the Child Posture. This will help you to re-balance your body after working hard with specific parts of your body.
- Savasana: This asana, which means The Corpse Position, is the peak moment that closes any yoga class. It’s all about reaching the maximum stillness in your body, and mind, to reach maximum enlightenment after the whole session.
With the regular practice of Hatha Yoga, you will be able to balance your thoughts and emotions, developing an inner vision of yourself beyond the limits of the flesh, the key is the compromise with the process of self-knowledge, because, without it, we will be completely numb and will never reach our full potential, our best version.