Hatha yoga is the first and foremost style of yoga that was introduced to the world. All other styles have come out of it. Hatha Yoga means ‘willful’ or yoga of activity. ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon, i.e. a balance between both. This yoga is practiced to bring balance between mind, body and spirit by bringing calm to them.
Hatha yoga poses challenge your body to its limit, so you can bring out more from your body. It also helps bring balance and control over mind and body. To begin with its poses, you must sit erect without any support, and try to remain like that for longer periods (for sitting poses). Surya Namaskar is very helpful as it prepares your body for Hatha yoga sequence/s. Let’s begin with Surya Namaskar, followed by other Hatha yoga poses in a complete sequence.
Stand with your feet apart with a gap of a hand. Now exhale and bring hands together in a prayer position. Now inhale and bend your back slightly. Next, exhale and move forward while keeping your palms on the floor, on both sides of your feet. Now move your right foot back while inhaling, lower your left knee towards the ground and extend your spine in forward direction.
Now step back your left foot while holding your breathe to plank pose. Then exhale as you lower your knees, chest and chin towards the ground. Now inhale and move forward in cobra pose. Next, exhale and get back in down-faced dog pose. Again take a deep breath and move in a back-bend position. Follow this with exhaling and return to the prayer pose. Now repeat the whole sequence with your left foot. This completes 1 round surya namaskar. Do at least 4 rounds daily.
Shoulder stand pose:
This pose supplies fresh blood to your brain which revitalizes your mind and makes your body relaxed. To do this pose, lie down flat on the ground with legs together. Inhale and bend your knees towards chest while trying to move your feet towards sky. Use your hands to support your lower back with fingers pointed upwards. Now brings your elbows towards each-other with hands straight in-line with shoulders. Keep your legs and feet straight and relaxed. Hold this pose for a minute and return to lying on the ground pose.
Plow pose is important as it extends your spine to maximum. To do this, get into shoulder stand pose, from where you must bring your hands to your back; followed by dropping your feet to the ground. In case your feet are touching the ground, interlock them and use their grip to move your shoulders under your body. Your legs should be straight and feet together during this time. Maintain this pose for a minute.
This is a counter-pose of shoulder stand, in which your middle and lower spine are stretched out in the opposite direction. To do this, lie down with your back on the ground with bent knees, flat feet and a 2 palms distance away. Your feet should be close to your hips.
Now inhale deeply and start lifting your butts upward with arms by your side and palms touching the ground. Intertwine your fingers on the ground and shoulders folded under your body. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
This pose follows the bridge pose and helps broaden your chest and stretch your abdomen. This pose can be done by lying on the ground straight, with arms on the sides and feet together. Now move your hands below your bum with palms facing the ground. Take a breathe and thrust your elbows on the ground and lift your chest upwards. Now rest on your head gently while bringing the whole body’s weight on the elbows. Remain in this pose for a minute.
Half Lord of Fishes pose:
To do this pose, you must sit with legs folded under you. Now shift your bums to the right with left foot just out of your right knee. Your knee should be bent and foot should be touching the ground. Now breathe in and move your right hand straight upwards, while keeping your left tips of your fingers on the ground behind you. Next, breathe out with your arm bent while your elbow should be against your right knee. Follow this by turning towards left. Maintain this pose for a minute and then repeat on the other/left side.
Alternate Nose breathing pose:
This is also known as anulom-viloma pranayama, which improves air-flow in your body. It also helps improve focus and concentration, and improves blood flow. For this, sit in a comfortable position on the ground with your spine straight. Bring your right hand in front of your nose and close its right side with first 2 fingers while the other 2 fingers should be straight and thumb pointed upwards.
Now breathe in slowly from your left side, now close the left side and open the right side and exhale while releasing your fingers. Now repeat this exercise from the other side (close left side this time and breathe in front the right side). This will be counted as 1 cycle. Repeat this cycle from 5 to 10 times. The breathe in and breath out should be slow and easy.
In all, this complete Hatha yoga sequence will require about 30 minutes to complete. This will completely rejuvenate and revitalize your body and make you feel fresh and full of energy.