Strike a pose. Hatha yoga is a physical and spiritual discipline which aims to bring the mind and body into perfect balance. It focuses mainly on the practice of postures (asanas) and breathing (pranayama); practicing hatha yoga will help clear the mind and channel all emotions, enabling you to dispel stress and anxiety as you tone and strengthen the body.
Hatha yoga is the most physical form of yoga practice and it is better known in the West. The postures, or asanas, used in hatha yoga are physically challenging and are designed to stretch, strengthen and tone the body. During a class, the instructor puts you through a series of poses where each one is held for different amounts of time. This will ensure that all muscle groups are being used so your concentration will be tested to the limit.
Meditation is an important part of hatha yoga as it creates a calm mental state for you to relax the mind and release mental and physical tension and stress. After much practice you will be able to comfortably hold the poses for a longer period of time which will enable you to master your meditation techniques.
A mastering of breathing technique, or pranayama, is also important when practicing hatha yoga. During a session you will be reminded to be aware of your breathing as control of breath is vital to the control of the body and encourages an inner focus which helps develop your spirituality and physical strength.
Hatha is the perfect introduction to yoga as you will first master basic poses and relaxation techniques that will strengthen your body and allow it to cope with more challenging forms of yoga.