Hatha Yoga

The Sanskrit word hatha is
thought to be derived from the verbal root hath which means “to
force” or “hold firmly” and thus Hatha Yoga is
sometimes called “forceful yoga.” It is also thought to be
the combinates of two words ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon”
and thus Hatha Yoga is said to balance the opposing energies of the
body – sun and moon, male and female, etc.

Hatha Yoga is most often identified with the practice of physical
postures (asana)
and breathing techniques (pranayama). There are
many schools of Hatha Yoga, and many approaches to teaching. It is
not unusual for teachers to study in various schools and to blend
techniques to create their own approaches. Differences among the
schools are usually about emphasis: One may focus on strict
alignment of the body
, another on coordination of
breath and movement
; one may focus on holding each
posture for a period of time
, another on the flow
(vinyasa) from one posture to another
.

A new yoga may want to try classes in different styles and with
different teachers to find those that best match his or her needs.
Many of the schools of Hatha Yoga popular today in the West can
trace their roots to the Indian Sanskrit scholar and teacher
Krishnamacharya
(1889-1989), several of whose pupils have themselves become
prominent teachers. Among the most popular and influential in the
West are: B.K.S. Iyengar,
who founded Iyengar yoga; T.K.V.Desikachar
(Krishnamacharya’s son), who carries on the tradition, known as
Viniyoga,
that he learned from his father; and Sri K. Pattabhi
Jois
, who developed Ashtanga
Yoga
.

Reposted from this fabulous website: www.santosha.com

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