If you are looking to try out Hatha yoga for the first time you have landed in the right place.
Hatha yoga for beginners is a practical guidance for those looking to begin their yoga experience online before heading into a class.
Below you will find an instructional video on Hatha yoga for beginners along with information that is good to know before taking a new class.
When people say they are practicing yoga, most times they are referencing Hatha yoga.
Hatha yoga is a compilation of postures or asanas which are created to tone, strengthen and encourage the connection between your mind, body and breath.
Most yoga styles in the West may be classified as Hatha Yoga.
Hatha itself simply refers to the practice of physical yogic postures, which can be Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Kripalu the list goes on.
Since yoga has burst on the scene there seems to be a new yoga class for the newest style.
For the purpose of this site, we will keep all forms of different yoga in its classical form.
The Sanskrit translation of the word Hatha is “Ha” meaning “sun” and “Tha” meaning “moon”.
Hatha Yoga is designed to calm your body and mind along with your spirit, to better prepare you for meditation.
There are many modifications of Hatha yoga, one of which is vinyasa yoga, a version of Ashtanga yoga.
Vinyasa uses traditional yoga poses and places a greater prominence on the fluidity between breath and movement.
Yoga in Sanskrit translates to the word “yoke” as in bringing something together.
In practicing yoga, we are aiming to yoke the body with the mind through our breath.
Most people live with their minds and body detached and this is what ultimately may bring on sickness and dis-ease.
For the most part, yoga in itself is all about connecting your breath with your body and mind.
How you do it and how you maintain your practice will fall under whichever ‘style’ you choose.
As your practice grows and you become comfortable with what you do, you can ‘try on’ all the different variations of yoga taught to see what best suits your needs.
For your understanding here are some terms good to know:
The term vinyasa is a term you will hear in most yoga classes.
The word itself means “a synchronized breath with movement”.
While doing a movement, in yoga, the transition between one movement to the next is fluid and because they are fluid vinyasa is also known as vinyasa flow.
The Sun Salutation, or in Sanskrit, Surya Namaskara, is a series of movements which is found in most Vinyasa classes, each movement connecting with either an inhale or exhale.
Asana” means a “posture.”
A posture done in any style of yoga is called “asana”
Health Benefits Practicing Yoga:
Better nights sleep
Lower blood pressure
Hatha Yoga is an effective way to manage stress, and when practicing along with a healthy lifestyle, it may help with weight loss and those with high blood pressure. (source)
When you are practicing Hatha yoga you are NOT exercising.
You are using the body with specific postures, or asanas, to create and help direct your energy flow.
The posture which brings you to your highest, your calmest self, your happiest self, is what you strive for.
Everyone begins yoga with a different level of consciousness.
There are many mental and emotional situations we all go through and the body tends to create and assume certain postures which keep us in a specific pattern, sometimes throughout our entire life.
While practicing yoga, we begin to consciously get our bodies into different positions which ultimately will unravel and help with our emotions, our negative self-talk, and other holding patterns we are not even aware of.
Spiritual Growth thru Meditation
Hatha yoga prepares your body for deeper relaxation allowing you to be better prepared for meditation.
Preparing for meditation is essential for spiritual growth.
While practicing Hatha yoga for beginners, your body will begin to open up the necessary channels to allow proper energy flow, energy which flows upwards in your body.
Hatha yoga is a gentle and mild way to begin your journey towards meditation.
Meditation directly affects your entire nervous system.
The stress related chemicals such as cortisol are reduced while serotonin levels, the mood enhancing chemicals are increased.
Anyone can meditate.
You don’t have to practice yoga to learn how to meditate.
Many people with physical injuries to their bodies take up meditation.
People in wheelchairs learn how to meditate and benefit in ways that are amazing.
Meditation has increased in popularity over these past decades and has recently been accepted as a ‘break’ in the corporate world, with meditation rooms, for those who need to take a mental health pause from their busy working schedules.
Being new to yoga and meditation may seem a bit overwhelming but it really is all very simple.
Each one is unique to their own experience and there is no right or wrong.
Begin slowly and do not do what you are not comfortable with.
Tips for the complete newbie to meditation.
You can sit wherever you are comfortable. If you need to sit in a chair that’s fine!
People get hung up on what meditation is supposed to ‘look’ like – don’t.
If you can sit on the ground with your legs crossed, lotus pose, that great too.
Whatever works for you.
Don’t worry about the positions of your hands.
You can keep them in gian mudra as shown in the image below or leave your hands flat on your thighs.
Start with 3 – 5 minutes.
Even three minutes can seem like a very long time if you have never sat still with your eyes closed.
Pay attention to your breath on each inhale and exhale.
Simply notice your breath.
Take into consideration what meditation will do for you as you are noticing your breath.
Irritability, stress, anxiety and overthinking will lessen as you are paying attention to your breathing.
Understand that you are not going to be rid of all thoughts as a new meditator.
Thoughts come and go as you are paying attention to the rate of your breath.
A good way to begin meditation is to simply be aware of when your mind begins to drift; notice when your are not being focused on your breath.
It may sound simple but it’s not.
Self-talk and all the chatter that goes on inside our minds can be incredibly overwhelming when we sit quietly and listen to our breath.
Being aware of what you are thinking and being able to redirect your attention back to focus while not criticizing yourself is a great start for new meditators.
Sitting for three minutes may not sound like much but it is for so many people who have busy lives.