An Overview of Hatha Vinyasa Yoga

MBV   February 10, 2016

Hatha Vinyasa Yoga

The practice of yoga is known as an effective way to find balance between the mind and body. For centuries, this fascinating and complex technique has been helping people ease tension and cultivate inner balance. Yoga as we are familiar with today is a practice consisting mainly of physical movement and exercise.

But in the Indian traditions that gave root to yoga, the philosophy carries much more meaning and runs deeper than just the physical realm.

What makes yoga such an interesting practice is that there are many techniques, traditions, and philosophies contained within. Among the most popular forms of yoga are Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga (path to meditation).

One interesting branch of yoga that combines a variety of different teachings and practices is Hatha Vinyasa Yoga. This multi-disciplinary approach is worth a closer look.

Hatha Vinyasa Yoga

This type of yoga is well known for it’s fast paced and athletic style. Hatha can be broken down into two terms: “ha” – signifying the stimulating energy of the sun; and “tha”- signifying the calming energy of the moon. Put together, the term hatha incorporates these two opposing energies to generate the meaning of “force.” In Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) vinyasa literally means “connection”.

Hatha Vinyasa Yoga - Connection

Hatha Vinyasa Yoga signifies a connection of natural forces, and the way this is integrated into the discipline of yoga is by synchronizing the movement of the body with the rhythms of the breath.

As the sequence of postures transitions, with little pause between each movement, the breath is used as an anchor point, guiding the practitioner into focus and balance. In yoga, this delicate dance is referred to as “flow.”

This type of yoga is known for it’s higher level of intensity compared to other techniques. This is driven by the consistent breathing pattern, longer holds on the asanas (postures), and emphasis on core strength and stability.

As an additional component to Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, many studios offer this technique in a hot room with temperatures at about 78-84 degrees. Along with the deep, consecutive breathing, the added element of heat provides a cleansing environment for the body to open up and release tension. These conditions also add to the intensity of Hatha Vinyasa Yoga.

Benefits of Hatha Vinyasa Yoga

The athletic flow of this type of yoga sequence carries many life enhancing benefits. Due to the disciplined breathing patterns, Hatha Vinyasa Yoga is preferred by many practitioners for its athletic and cardiovascular benefit.

Other benefits include:

  • enhanced muscle strength
  • higher endurance to exercise
  • increased flexibility
  • reduce levels of stress
  • higher and larger amounts of vibrant energy
  • lower blood pressure
  • healthier breathing patterns
  • overall feelings of peace and calm

This invigorating and multi-dimensional approach to yoga has been credited for helping many people develop a healthy and positive relationship with the practice of yoga. Yoga is a very powerful discipline when it comes to lowering stress and gaining more control over the quality of life you can live.

Combining the profound meditative capabilities of the mind with the movement of the body, using the breath as an entry into flow, Hatha Vinyasa Yoga is a powerful way to get acquainted with the mind, body, and spiritual implications of the ancient practice of yoga.

Ask your local yoga instructor about Hatha Vinyasa Yoga or other types of yoga programs that may be right for you.

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