Anyone looking for Hatha yoga camps in India should know that it’s very important to learn about the meaning of this type of yoga first. Let’s quickly take you through the meaning, evolution and practices of Hatha before you start exploring yoga camps in India.
Hatha yoga’s meaning hasn’t changed much despite it being around for thousands of years. However, the perception and thinking of it has. We all know the power of language, and how the same word can be interpreted differently in different countries and cultures. The term Hatha yoga has also been perceived differently by various cultures, throughout its evolution.
“Hatha Yoga teaches us to use the body as the bow, asana as the arrow, and the soul the target.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
The popular perception in the Western countries is that Hatha yoga is essentially about finding the right balance between one’s body and mind. ‘Ha’ represents the esoteric sun, while ‘tha’ depicts moon; and Hatha yoga is aimed at joining or finding the right balance between these two energies.
The literal meaning of Hatha, however, is ‘force,’ and it’s conventionally perceived as ‘the yoga of force’ or ‘a method of accomplishing the yoga state through force.’ Therefore, Hatha yoga can refer to anything you do with your body including:
Pranayama – Breathing techniques
Asana – Yoga postures that are practised in any yoga style
Mudra – About hand gestures
Shatkarmas and shat kriyas – Different cleansing methods
Mantra – Recitations or chanting
and various ways of visualization too
So, as explained above, Hatha encompasses any type of physical yoga practice too. You can even use it to describe any type of yoga asana practice ranging from Ashtanga to Iyengar Yoga and everything between and beyond. If looked at closely, the majority of the contemporary physical yoga types are actually Hatha Yoga only.
History of Hatha yoga
As per Ellen Stansell, a yogic literature scholar, the term Hatha may have been used for the first time in the early 12th century. Although it’s widely perceived as a gentle type of yoga practice these days, it must have come across as very strong compared to other subtle practices like meditation, which were easily accessible at that time.
Contemporary Hatha yoga
Considering the fact that Hatha yoga has such an open meaning, what can you expect when you are finalizing among best yoga centers in india towards attending a Hatha yoga classes?
Nowadays, the term Hatha is used to describe the basic and gentle yoga classes that don’t have any flow between the poses. You can expect a slower-paced class with plenty of focus on stretching and some basic pranayama exercises; perhaps ending it with a seated meditation session. These Hatha yoga centers are excellent places to correct your alignment, get comfortable with the idea of yoga, learn different relaxation techniques and build plenty of flexibility and strength while you do that.
But is it for you?
You must definitely try Hatha yoga if you’re tempted by the idea of gentle yoga. However, please know, even though it’s an excellent way to get introduced to yoga, Hatha yoga shouldn’t be mistaken as something very easy, as it can still push your mental and physical limits. It offers a good opportunity to unwind, stretch and release any tension from your body.
Furthermore, if you do take a Hatha yoga class, you shouldn’t give up on yoga practice just because it didn’t feel active enough or felt too slow.
Now that you’ve gained some familiarity with Hatha Yoga, AyurYoga Eco-Ashram in Mysore, India is considered one of the best yoga institute in india to learn this yoga type.