Hatha yoga is a style of yoga which focuses on different asanas or poses and bringing awareness to your breathing. It is one of the more common forms of yoga in the west. Yoga teacher training will help you focus on all the different types of poses and what they area they are intended to benefit.
Asanas – Poses
During yoga teacher training and the focus on Hatha yoga the yoga teacher will talk about asanas. Asana is simply defined as “posture.” In tradition training the asanas main purpose was to offer a strong pose to use during long periods of meditation. Asanas open up the energy flow of the body while helping to strengthen and purify the body and bring focus and control to the mind. Asana is part of the eight limbs of traditional yoga which explains that it should be comfortable and steady while relaxed.
While a yoga teacher is having you hold a yoga posture, always make sure that you are breathing deeply and slowly. While in the pose find your edge during a pose and when you feel that good stretch or your body is working just over your comfort zone hold on. Do not push your body so far that you feel any strain or pain. Yoga is never meant to hurt your body.
Tips for Practicing
Yoga teacher training will teach you how the practice of yoga will improve your flexibility, posture and your over-all range of movement. Things to remember while practicing these yoga poses are that while you are stretching and strengthening your body you are also helping it relax and bringing a calm atmosphere around you. Practice asanas slowly and very carefully while adjusting your poses and keeping them pain free. Always remember to breathe normally during your yoga practice allowing your diaphragm to expand and open between each pose. Try to build your body and flexibility up to the more difficult postures. You have to be patient and give your body the time it needs to adjust and welcome more challenging poses.
Finding a teacher with yoga certification is the best way to learn how to correctly do a pose but there are many videos and books available to teach you also. Some people enjoy being able to see an example of how to make your body flow into the pose and also ask questions. Someone with yoga teaching experience can help adjust your poses to make sure you can feel the difference if you are doing it incorrectly. You can find a local class or go on a yoga vacation to have the training and experience one on one.
Different Asanas or Poses
Here are some of the poses and what area of the body will benefit the most:
- Knee-Chest – this pose will help stretch you back and hips while strengthening you abdominal muscles and neck. This will help relax your back and should area
- Prone Spinal Twist-Each Side- this pose helps to stretch and relax the shoulders and hips while loosening the neck and spine. This pose will also induce a sense of relaxation and calm.
- Bridge- this pose helps with a reverse pull for your back and will firm and strengthen your back, buttocks, and thighs. It allows you to open your chest increasing the air capacity and will help in your circulation
- Forward Bend- this pose will help loosen and stretch your spine, helps fight constipation, and improves your digestion. Always be cautious not to over stretch the small of your back or hamstrings.
- Spinal Twist-this pose will help prevent problems with a slipped disc or pinched nerve. It will help keep the spine healthy and aligned while nourishing the centers of the spinal nerves.
- Table Lift- this pose will help strengthen your shoulder and arms while stretching it will open the chest and lungs
- Sitting-this pose is used during meditation and can help teach awareness, self-knowledge and patience
- Cat Stretch-this pose helps to loosen the pelvis and back while stretching and relaxing the shoulders
- Mule-Kick-this pose is good to strengthen the lower back and helps to teach focus and centration
- Yoga Mudra-this pose helps to relax the neck and back while improving the blood flow to the head. It helps bring energy to the brain, eyes, and face while relaxing your mind and clearing your thoughts
- Back Arm Lift-this pose will help relax and squeeze your shoulders. While doing the stretches it is strengthening and opening up the chest muscles
- Relaxation-this pose is beneficial to your nervous system and helps your immune system
- Half Moon-this pose helps open the chest, shoulders and throat while stretching out the thighs, knees and hips. It will leave you energized and strong.
- Dog Stretch-this pose is good to stretch your back, legs and shoulders
Yoga teacher training can help you find the Hatha poses that are most comfortable to you and get you on your way to striking the right pose!