Great for beginners! If you have never done yoga before this is most likely the yoga for you, as a generic style of yoga that is perhaps the most straightforward this is the yoga to learn how to do the basics. A traditional Hatha Yoga class will include a series of asanas (yoga postures), done one after another, without much attention to the transitions between them. You can expect to hold poses for around five breaths each, making it a fairly accessible practice for most students.
In a demanding society there is often very little space or attention for oneself. This makes us easy targets for stress and exhaustion so that we are distracted from what we truly want, feel or are. That’s why, at the USC, you can participate in a variety of activities to achieve a better balance and coordination between mind and body.
The most important pillars of Hatha yoga are control of the body and control of breathing. The word Hatha is derived from the Sanskrit ha (sun) and tha (moon). The sun represents action and the moon stands for inner reflection. In Hatha yoga these two opposing energies are united. By directing your concentration and breathing to certain parts of your body you create awareness. Hatha yoga does not have a specific founder or guru, meaning it is very open and accessible to all. Each pose consist of four ‘moments’:
- Preparation: whilst in a neutral and relaxed position ensure that your mind is in the ‘here and now’.
- Adopt the pose: in a fluid and natural way adopt your pose. Don’t force anything. Physical achievement is not important. Of course it’s great if you can fold yourself double, but it’s not yoga if the experience itself is not the focus.
- Maintain the pose: maintain your pose for some time whilst breathing continuously and feeling the energy spreading through your muscles. This keeps you alert.
- Observation: whilst in a resting position reflect on the effect of the pose. Adopt the pose (asana) several times. This helps you to become truly familiar with the pose and makes it easier for you to give it your full concentration. It becomes a pose of both the body and the mind.
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