The Benefits of Traditional Hatha Yoga
One of the oldest forms of yoga, Traditional Hatha Yoga has been praised for its ability to positively affect one’s physical and mental well-being. The practice which originated in India some 2000 years ago is a gentle form of yoga, where students search for the essence of movement from an inner perspective.
This yoga practice comprises of a series of physical poses (or in yogi terms - asanas) that are designed to cleanse the body and mind, while also strengthening and building muscle. It is rooted in these teachings: practice yoga in softness, stability and comfort, and expand your practice from this place, and this place only.
Regularly doing Traditional Hatha Yoga can enrich the mind, body and soul by opening channels of energy in the body and allowing it to flow freely.
Finding balance, and letting go of stress in your working life
Being able to release stress and reach a level of peace isn’t going to happen overnight, but by regularly practicing you’ll gradually see the difference.
Practicing a Traditional Hatha Yoga sequence at work or at home can help you clear your mind before making tough decisions and can be a powerful platform for stress release.
Now we’re not saying you have to whip out your yoga mat, get on your exercise clothes and start practicing in the middle of your office. ;) There are actually some simple, more subtle breathing techniques you can adapt and use in any public situation. As always, to get the best results out of anything you need to be focused and willing to dedicate yourself to the task - a small price to pay for a stress-free working day!
Here are two quick and easy sequences we recommend you try:
Hakini mudra boosts memory power, increases concentration, energises the brain, coordinates the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and promotes calmness.
To perform Hakini Mudra, bring the palms in front of the body with each palm facing the other. Bring the fingertips of both hands together by letting them maintain light contact. Focus on the third eye chakra (located on the forehead, between the eyebrows; the center of intuition and foresight). Place the tongue against the roof of the mouth and inhale. Relax the tongue while exhaling. Inhale, and exhale for several minutes.
Anuloma Vuloma, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing
In alternate nostril breathing, one inhales through the right nostril and exhales through the left, then inhales through the left and exhales through the right. This purifies the Ida Nadi (moon principle or the mind) and the Pingala Nadi (sun principle or the body) which brings balance to body and mind.
The purpose of the Alternate Nostril Breathing is to balance physical and mental energy. Traditional Hatha Yoga principle says that health issues arise when there’s an imbalance between the Ida and Pingala Nadis. Alternate Nostril Breathing balances these two forces.
Still not convinced?
There are many benefits to the exercises mentioned above. You’ll start to reap these benefits with more commitment to the practice and the breathing techniques.
- Excellent breathing technique to calm and center the mind.
- Our mind has a tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future. Nadi Shodhan pranayama helps to bring the mind back to the present moment.
- Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.
- Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively.
- Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
- Helps purify and balance the Nadis (the subtle energy channels), ensuring smooth flow of prana (life force) through the body.
- Maintains body temperature.
Enjoying using the breathing techniques, but wanting to more deeply connect with your spitirual self? Come along to one of Ramon Kinkel’s Traditional Hatha Yoga classes at The Conscious Club.