Hatha yoga for beginners: features of this type of yoga, examples of exercises
Hatha yoga is a rather capacious concept. It is one of the techniques aimed at spiritual development through physical practices.
And if we consider hatha yoga from the standpoint of physiology, then it is a way to find a compromise with your body regarding harmonious interaction with it.
In this article I want to tell you in more detail about hatha yoga and its features.
Hatha yoga: what is it?
The ancient master of art of Patanjali called yoga a definite state of consciousness, free from involuntary vibrations of the mind (represented by thoughts, emotions, desires).
And hatha yoga can be identified as “hard work on your body -“ hatha ”, which allows to bring your consciousness to higher planes -“ yoga ”.
An overview of the close relationship between body and mind
Not only neurologists and physiologists talk about the close connection between the physical and mental. Absolutely all types of movements performed by our body (swings, wiggling, pulsating blood through the veins, and so on) are a response to brain signals.
And vice versa — on the basis of feedback signals, we can understand what a certain organ needs (tissues or cells), and what substances it should get rid of. It becomes clear that the speed and accuracy of the described bonds affects the vital activity of the organism in general.
When there are failures in the signal system, we are faced with a general disorder in the body: its manifestations will be less and more for specific parts of the body, but in general they will involve the whole body.
These failures are often manifested as injuries, but often they are not provoked by the injuries themselves, but by untrained communication channels.
When the signal system that controls the body, coarsen, we begin to spend a lot of energy in vain. Also, due to the fact that organs and systems do not work properly — the body is confronted with their starvation or pollution, the accumulation of a large amount of waste, and as a result, all this is fraught with various pathologies.
The effect of hatha yoga on the body
Physiologically, hatha yoga is a gymnastics, a kind of physical culture, which develops that signal system between parts of the body and the brain.
If you at least a couple of times were in yoga class, then you probably know that after training you begin to feel such muscles, about the presence of which you had never known before. And if you work out for several months — and the connection between the brain and various organs will be restored in full.
Try to imagine what happens to the brain during yoga? If, in ordinary life, he receives signals indicating stress in different parts of the body, he has to learn to contact them again.
Thanks to the development of a network of neural connections, you help your brain to distinguish between signals, which will certainly come in handy in its daily life. You get a unique opportunity to do ordinary actions, but with minimal muscle tension, and therefore, with minimal energy costs.
Thanks to the establishment of the mechanism of regulation of the body, you get a general health impact that will be higher than any of your expectations.
At the expense of energy saving, the potential for awareness is released. When you have a lot of accumulated internal energy — you can spend it on various creative activities and start to improve as a person.
You can also direct the energy towards awareness of your personality and your nature (that is, spiritual self-improvement). This will be the end of hatha yoga and the beginning of raja yoga — the yoga of awareness.
When a person learns to concentrate his attention, he can catch movement in the body of subtle energies and is able to consciously control them.
Then the practitioner shifts the focus of his attention from what is happening “outside” to what is happening inside, concentrates on his inner feelings as much as possible. At that moment, when the concentration is at the highest level — it becomes possible to completely disable the perception of stimuli from the outside and you are completely immersed in yourself.
At such moments you are aware of yourself as a single, integral and infinite being, which is not limited either by space or by time (according to the opinions of practicing people).
Why do you need a mentor in yoga?
Asanas of yoga have a powerful effect on the human body, but in case of incorrect execution, instead of positive, it will be destructive.
Of course, you can fend off that today there are enough different books, as well as training videos on yoga that will help you master this art on your own. Yes, they can really help you, but to learn yoga as an art you need exclusively personally from those who have been practicing it for a long time.
It’s not for nothing that there is a saying “it’s better to see once than to hear 100 times”: it will be much easier for our body to understand the language of another body than a verbal description.
In the same way, the tradition of yoga from ancient times and passed from mentor to student.
The benefits and harm of hatha yoga
Yoga will have a healing effect on the human body in a number of situations:
- in the presence of pathology of the ridge (if you suffer from osteochondrosis, scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, hernias of intervertebral discs;
- in the presence of arthritis and arthrosis;
- if you suffer from chronic exhaustion syndrome, increased anxiety, sleep poorly;
- are in a constant state of chronic stress;
- suffer from asthenia or vascular dystonia;
- you have violated the functions of internal organs
However, be sure to pay attention to the fact that yoga has its own contraindications of a sustainable and temporary nature. Next we look at both categories in more detail.
To sustainable contraindications include:
- general severe condition;
- the presence of psychological disorders or borderline states of the psyche;
- the presence of organic pathologies of the heart — uncompensated defects; paroxysmal tachycardia; atrial fibrillation; aortic aneurysm, myocardial dystrophy;
- in the presence of pathologies of blood circulation;
- with severe infections of the musculoskeletal system;
- with serious head injuries, damaged spine in a situation where there is inadequate compensation;
- with neuro infections;
- in case of serious violations of body proportions;
- in the presence of malignant tumors.
It should be noted that even in all the above conditions, the correct implementation of yoga exercises can be useful, but it is extremely important that you are supervised by an experienced mentor. To do this, it is recommended to register for a course of yogotherapy, before which you will need to undergo a preliminary individual interview.
Review of temporary contraindications
- regular consumption in large doses of potent drugs;
- exacerbated chronic pathologies;
- period after surgery;
- states of physical exhaustion;
- overheating and undercooling states;
- an increase in temperature above thirty seven or less thirty six and two degrees;
- performing heavy physical labor;
- condition of full stomach;
- undergoing a deep massage course on “chen-jiu” therapy;
- You can visit the steam room or sauna no less than 6-8 hours after yoga classes or four hours before it.
Components of hatha yoga
The practice of Hatha Yoga is formed by the following components:
- Pranayama — practice, consisting in the performance of special breathing exercises, which are designed to teach a person to control their emotions. And pranayama allows you to massage the internal organs.
- Asanas — physical exercises performed in special positions that complement the special breathing techniques and concentration.
In hatha yoga practiced static exercises performed on the inhale, exhale or hold your breath. It is unacceptable to perform asanas on the limits of their physical capabilities, because, on the contrary, they should contribute to relaxation and peace.
It is very important that doing hatha yoga, you do not feel physical discomfort. But the pleasant sensations that occur in the body in the process of performing asanas are a good sign — they indicate the correct circulation of prana through the body.
- Meditative practice. Her main goal is the ability to hear herself, to get rid of all that is superfluous, feigned. During relaxation, a person relaxes physically and mentally, and energy is also directed to his spiritual development.
- Shatkarma — they are exercises and methods of hatha yoga that promote the purification of internal organs. Translated from Sanskrit means “six acts”. In fact, there are six cleansing practices:
- jouti — cleans the digestive tract;
- Basti — tones and washes the large intestine;
- nauli (lauliki) — special techniques in which the abdominal area is massaged and internal organs are strengthened;
- neti — cleans and flushes the nasal passages;
- Kapalabhati — three simple techniques that help clean the anterior lobe of the brain;
- Trataka — strengthens the optic nerves and eyes, improves eyesight, develops attentiveness.
- Healthy diet. In yoga practice, a lot of attention is paid to proper nutrition. Yoga masters are sure that health and satisfaction with life will be provided by simple natural food and refusal from overeating.
With the help of the practice of hatha yoga, these goals become possible:
- to awaken the Kundalini energy — a special energy concentrated at the base of the spinal column;
- restore or maintain health;
- ensure a long life;
- realize your higher self;
- to achieve a harmonious state between the inner and the outer, that is, to be in a state of enlightenment.
Asanas in hatha yoga
Asanas are static positions that need to be held for a certain time in order to redistribute energy flows in the body.
When you hold a specific position (asana), one or several channels overlap, and the energy is redirected through the other channels — open. That is why it is important to retain each of the positions for a long time, you should not rush to quickly change it to another, because it is important that the energy is properly distributed.
Special movements-ligaments will help to move from one exercise to another, although they are not considered mandatory. After all, initially asanas were not thought of as a group of exercises designed to develop a physical body or to engage in physical exercise.
These are ideal poses to perform spiritual practices and many of them can be used in meditative practices or self-contemplation.
Kinds of Asanas in Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is formed by a huge number of asanas, it acts as a kind of encyclopedia of positions in yoga. And for greater convenience, all asanas are divided into categories:
- balance exercises;
In addition, all types of asanas can be divided and other attributes. For example, some of them contribute to the development of strength and endurance, and the rest — stretching.
For example, the asana of Hanumanasana is a typical example of stretching exercises from a sitting position, while the positions of a crane (Bakasan) or a peacock (Mayurasana) are used as strength exercises.
For inverted positions, the stimulation of the blood supply to the brain is characteristic, because during their performance, blood flows to the head and this has a very positive effect on brain activity. Also, most of the asanas of this type stimulate the digestive organs and tone the internal organs.
Twists also have a positive effect on the health of the back and the abdominal cavity.
And exercises designed to balance, in principle, are universal. A well-designed complex of asanas on the balance strengthens almost all muscle groups and normalizes the activity of the internal organs.
In addition, significantly improved coordination of movements. If you begin to practice yoga regularly, then very soon note that even asanas performed on one leg are given very easily and habitually.
Overview of the main positions for beginners in yoga
Initially, it is not bad to start performing standing asanas, because it is easier to get used to them than to others. For them, neither deflections nor twisting will be required, although there are also such types of exercises that are made from a sitting position and are gradually becoming more complex.
For beginners in hatha yoga, it is recommended to start from such positions. Like Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Virabhadrasana.
Next, we consider the main options for asanas with a detailed description.
Vajrasana is externally a very simple posture performed from a sitting position, but it is incredibly useful because it contributes to the proper distribution of energy in the spine from bottom to top.
With the help of this asana, as well as other asanas, for example, Sidhasana, Sukhasana, Swastikasana and classical Padmasana, you will be able to perform a meditative practice.
These positions are stable, bring the spine to the correct position and it is permissible in them to linger for a long time.
Among them, of course, stands Shavasana. This is the asana, which is always the final for daily yoga practice.
To perform it is quite simple and it contributes to the organic completion of the entire complex of asanas.
And it doesn’t matter how much time it took to practice — twenty minutes or a few hours — always remember that performing the specified position at the end helps to complete the practice harmoniously, to accept energy and allow it to begin to dissolve in the body.
This asana is also useful not only as a final one, but also represents a basic asana, which can be practiced in the process of meditation. It has a remarkable effect not only on the physical organism, but also on the emotional state, it contributes to the pacification and the adjustment of its feelings.
Surya Namaskar — Sunshine Greeting
Special attention should be paid to the complex of exercises «Surya Namaskar». It is truly an ideal option for beginners in yoga.
The implementation of the Greeting to the Sun is based on several basic asanas, which form a dynamic complex, and then are carried out separately.
With all this, Surya Namaskar does not take much of your time and, as a rule, is used as a warming up complex in the initial stages of the practice, although it can be performed separately. Allowed to do simultaneously for several circles of this complex.
How important is regularity in hatha yoga classes?
It should be noted that the systematic implementation of yoga exercises — this is probably the main rule. If you even do a little yoga, but every day, you can get a much better result than in the case of non-permanent workouts.
Moreover, this principle is suitable for beginners and for those who have been practicing yoga for a long time. Regular classes will help maintain muscle tone, and you do not have to recover after long breaks.
Plus, the emergence of gradual progress always has a very positive effect on the body and gives the practitioner a lot of positive experiences.
Therefore, it is definitely better to practice every day than once a week. And you can not perform all the asanas of the complex at once, but do the most beloved ones or those that have already managed to master well enough.
Soon it will become your habit and you will be waiting for each occupation with enthusiasm.
Comfort exercise performance
The most important principle is that in the process of performing all the hatha yoga asanas you feel comfortable. Hence, the point in this case is not to fight with a constant internal protest or to make any achievements.
Although, of course, when you practice more time-consuming asanas, you will probably feel a certain protest and you will need more time to complete them.
However, the main rule here will be the following — your body should be relaxed in the process of doing the exercises, and the asanas themselves should bring real pleasure. It is on this principle that you understand how well you are doing the exercises.
When building your complex of practices, do not forget about the compensatory principle. It lies in the fact that each of the movements must be supplemented by counter-movement.
For example, if you lean, then you need to bend over. And if you tense up — you should relax.
After inhalation, exhalation follows — this is an uncomplicated principle, the observance of which ensures safety when practicing yoga for a long time, and then as a result you will be able to get the desired benefit and become richer in spiritual terms.
These were the basic principles of Hatha yoga, in particular for beginners.
At the end of the topic, be sure to watch the thematic video:
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