“Ha” represents sun and “tha” represents moon. The purpose behind Hatha Yoga practice is to achieve balance. Life exists because there is balance between the earth’s elements. Sun rises for the moon to set and vice versa. Hatha implies that there are opposites in our lives. Yin and Yang, warm and cold, light and darkness; both are necessary in our life and hence there should be a balance between them.
Hatha Yoga is for the physical body. By performing Hatha Yoga you can release the negative energy and tension in your body which has created an imbalance in it. Finding such balance is a step forward towards spiritual growth.
You can practice the following Hatha Yoga poses to begin your spiritual journey.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Stand straight with your feet touching each other and arms on either side. Stand in such a manner that your weight is equally distributed on the balls of your feet. Your tailbone should be tucked in. Then raise your arms over your head and bring them together so that the palms and fingers are touching. Please remember to breathe slowly and steadily. You should be relaxed. Then focus at a point ahead of you and remain in this pose for 60 seconds.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. Stretch your arms over your head. Now slowly try bending your upper body so that your forehead, chest and nose rest on your thighs. Then hold the back of your ankles with your hands. Remain in this posture for 15-20 seconds.
Note: This hatha yoga pose might be difficult for beginners as the hamstring will have to get accustomed to the stretch. So avoid overdoing it in the beginning.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
This Hatha Yoga posture has various benefits. Begin by coming onto your hands and knees. Keep your hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width apart. Slowly lift your knee with the support of hands and feet. Then raise your posterior upwards till your knees are straightened. Your head should not be hanging, and should be in line with your arms. Hold this posture for 20-30 sec.
AyurYoga Eco-Ashram in Mysore, India is counted amongst the best schools to learn and master hatha yoga in India.