It’s widely practised by both men and women across the globe, taking classes, joining studios, or practising on your own.
But some people might not be too familiar with what yoga entails or how to put it into practice.
Yoga consists of three different practices:
- Posture (the poses)
- Concentration (strongly focusing on your breath)
- Meditation (contemplating on a higher consciousness)
The idea of yoga originated in ancient India, where yogis held daily or nightly yoga sessions for many years.
It was believed that they could reach a higher state of awareness through the expansion of the mind.
If you are a beginner who wants to start practising yoga – you’re in the right place. This article will provide you with a helpful and easy-to-use guide on how to begin hatha yoga and the basics of the practice.
What is hatha yoga?
Hatha yoga is one of the eight primary forms of yoga. Although hatha has many different practices, it mainly focuses on balancing body, breath, and mind, which anyone can do by engaging in a series of postures or poses.
This way, yoga practitioners can bring attention to their breath to relieve tension in the body, resulting in a more calm and clear state of mind.
Hatha yoga comprises different poses that are practised to help improve your physical and mental health.
Many of these poses can enhance your body's flexibility, build muscle strength and relieve tension.
It was first practised in India thousands of years ago – and after its introduction to Europe, eastern and western cultures adopted it as a primary form of exercise.
However, the practice is now worldwide and is available in many different types of studios. Some studios even offer classes or workshops teaching you how to practice yoga.
It focuses on improving your life quality through meditation, relaxation, and faith.
How to start practising?
Hatha yoga is a devotion given to improving your life quality. But you can’t simply pick up a yoga mat and start doing it – it takes a lot of patience and dedication.
Therefore, if you're starting, we suggest that you build up your practice slowly – or perhaps start with one pose that interests you.
After practising for some time, you could do more, perhaps with the help of your yoga teacher or with the support of your friends.
For beginners, it is recommended that you start with some basic postures like the cat pose (called Ardha Matsya in Sanskrit) or plank pose (called vajrasana in Sanskrit).
You can find a list of some basic postures to start with here.
- Mountain Pose
- Standing Forward Fold Pose
- Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Tree Pose
- Child Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Locust Pose
- Bow Pose
How to do the poses?
Above are the primary yoga poses. They are not difficult, but you need to be patient and persistent in doing them – make sure that you’re doing them properly before moving on.
Also, make sure always to ask your instructor for help if you're still unsure whether you're doing something correctly.
Start practising the poses step-by-step, and master them one by one. It will not only help you to get on the right track, but it will also help you to develop a more defined practice that suits your needs best.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. Before I close this article, I want to remind you that yoga is a lifelong practice – not a competition to see who can make the most advanced moves.
As long as you go to the gym and make your “yoga” moves, you will eventually reap its endless benefits.