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Hatha Yoga


There are many interpretations of Hatha Yoga in our western culture and it can be very confusing for the novice yogi or yogini. From a traditional perspective, Hatha Yoga means "forceful" yoga or physical yoga, meaning that the focus of the practice is predominantly on ASANAS or postures. Under the generic label or umbrella of HATHA YOGA you will find subsidiary titles such as Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Kundilini Yoga and so on. These branches of yoga are all different presentations of HATHA YOGA, that is they are all a physical form of yoga.

The objective of HATHA YOGA in its form at YOGA WEST is to use the physical body as the vehicle or gateway to bring more conscious awareness and connection to the "self" ... to become AWARE of experiences in life both on and off the yoga mat.

The Asanas (postures) are taught with emphasis on correct body alignment within each student's capability, and the student learns self-discipline within each of the postures, knowing how far to go without becoming competitive or aggressive in their practice. Everything that we do can then become a "yogic experience" and we can cope better with our everyday lives.

Within nature, there lies a radiant beauty, reminding us to treat everything in life with reverence, respect and love.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER BEFORE PRACTISING YOGA:
  • Come to your class with an EMPTY stomach - if you must eat something, make it light. Save your big meal for later.

  • Wear comfortable stretchy clothing such as tracky daks and T shirt, leotard, etc.

  • Let the teacher know if you have any new injuries, headache, menstruating, pregnant, etc.

  • Try to practise yoga WITHIN your own limitations. Yoga is non competitive (even with yourself!). Injuries can occur if you are aggressive and force yourself deeper into postures. Use your breath as a guide - if your breath is stready and smooth, your practice is right; if you are holding your breath, or it is "bumpy", you are going too far.

HOW TO PRACTICE YOGA SAFELY
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SOME OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF HATHA YOGA:

  Builds bone density

  Releases stress

  Builds confidence and vitality

  Improves posture

  Improves strength and flexibility

  Relaxes and centres the mind

  Calms the brain, helping us to think more clearly

  Relieves backache, headache

  Helps breathing problems

  Strengthens the immune system

  Helps balance the hormonal system

2009 YogaWest Natural Therapies
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