What is Hatha yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice, one of six fundamental systems of thought from ancient India. The essence of the word 'yoga' means 'to harness or unite with'. The aim of Hatha yoga is to 'harness' energy for physical, mental and spiritual balance and well-being.

According to Hatha yoga, the human being is a field of energy.

Hatha Yoga harnesses the positive and negative currents of energy, represented by the terms 'Ha' (symbol for sun/active/heating energy) and 'tha' (symbol for moon/calming/cool energy). The term 'hatha' also means 'to remove'. Hatha yoga is a way of removing blocks in our energy, so that well-being is maintained and improved. There is research to support Hatha yoga as a complementary therapy which can alleviate stress-related symptoms, promote suppleness, stamina, strength and improve fitness and well-being. The body is de-toxified and mind refreshed. Yoga also promotes a very deep relaxation that is one of its most significant benefits.

Hatha yoga consists of the postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) plus a number of other useful techniques. When we practice hatha yoga, we learn to integrate the movements of our body with the breath in a harmonious and healing way.

  • Asanas

    Asanas massage the joints and internal organs, improve lymphatic drainage and circulation to promote healthy and efficient body function. Based on spinal alignment, asanas improve posture and mood whilst balancing the right and left halves of the body.
  • Pranayama

    This yogic breath regulation promotes calmness and alertness.
  • Mudra

    Is a juxtaposition of fingertips, to connect pressure points and send signals to the brain.
  • Bandha

    Muscle groups are engaged (squeezed) to create muscular 'locks' to control the flow of breath.
  • Mantra

    Is the mental and/or spoken repetition of syllables and can promote the relaxation response.
  • Meditation

    Is focussing the mind to improve clarity and calmness.
  • Yoga Nidra

    Is guided muscular relaxation with or without visualisations to promote a deep level relaxation in which undisturbed awareness is cultivated

Hatha yoga encourages a healthy lifestyle to maintain long-term benefits. Modern Hatha yoga practices are designed to complement rather than conflict with a person’s individuality and life-style, reflecting how in ancient times, Hatha yoga was taught on an individual basis based on constitution. Many people find that Hatha yoga supports them in making beneficial changes within various aspects of their life.

What to expect from a Yoga Class

Most classes will include asana, pranayama and relaxation. Our teachers will adapt yoga to the needs of the individual in a group class, as much as is possible. For a more personalised programme, one-to-one yoga can be arranged.

Yoga is not a competition to see who can stretch the furthest or achieve the most complicated posture. It is a journey that complements self-discovery and self-mastery, in keeping with the yoga principle of ahimsa - a non-violent approach to mind, body and spirit.