Updated: Aug 30
Do you remember when you were completely new to yoga? How overwhelming was it to see all the different styles available to you and then decide where to start?
No matter where you are in your yoga journey, it's possible that the sheer quantity of yoga styles still overwhelms you at times.
Don't worry - we've been there, too.
Still, understanding the various styles of yoga is vital to guiding your practice and having clarity on the type of knowledge and wisdom you hope to spread as a teacher someday.
Together we will explore these two popular yoga styles.
We'll be covering their origins and benefits to help you move forward with greater understanding and confidence in your decisions for both your current and future yoga journey.
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga. It represents the style of yoga that comes to mind when most people think of the elements of a typical yoga class - breath, postures, and meditation.
Hatha is a general or umbrella term for all physical styles of yoga. The branch of yoga that is Hatha includes styles of yoga such as Ashtanga and Iyengar. Hatha style yoga practices are rooted in a physical focus, and it's often a style that many yoga practitioners begin with. Between its widespread availability to yogis along with its emphasis on the physical aspect, it's no surprise that Hatha Yoga is so prevalent in the Western world today.
You might wonder why Hatha Yoga is an ideal introductory style of yoga for students if there is such great emphasis on its physicality and postures. The answer is not that Hatha is necessarily limited to basic yoga poses. Instead, Hatha is a slow-paced and gentle approach to practicing yoga. The postures in a Hatha Yoga class will range in difficulty, and its slow pace provides more room for modifications and hands-on assists as students need them.