During the Hatha classes the postures (asanas) are held for longer periods of time (linked with bandhas which are energy locks and breath awareness). The classes are suitable for anybody from beginner to advanced – you simply take yourself as deep as you wish to in the postures.
Hatha is made up of 2 words ‘Ha’ and ‘Tha’. In Sanskrit the word ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘Tha’ means moon or the male and female aspects of our bodies. So in effect the meaning of the word itself conveys the intention of bringing two worlds of opposition together. During the practise of yoga you try to bring balance between these two aspects, thereby bringing alignment to the entire system. For example when practising yoga you might find it easier to perform the posture on the left side as opposed to the right side. Thus, the idea behind Hatha is to bring balance to the body.
During these classes you will perform sun salutes to heat up the body followed by back bends, forward bends, spinal twists, inversions and a period of relaxation at the end. These classes will leave you feeling refreshed, restored and stretched out.
The classes are Vinyasa (which means to flow with the breath). Postures are linked together with a Vinyasa. It is based on the Ashtanga system however I do not follow the exact sequence of the Ashtanga method. Our classes are a mix of Ashtanga/Jivamukti/Iyengar/Power Yoga/Hatha Yoga – taking a little from the different styles and bringing this mix to the beautiful art of Vinyasa Yoga (Flow Yoga).
During these classes you will be taught how to use the Ujjayi Breath which will definitely result in you improving your respiratory system, and which also develops an internal heat.
You will also learn how to engage three major energy centres (locks) in the body – which in turn not only protects your back but also stores energy/prana/life force inside your system.
You will always begin the class with sun salutes (Suria Namaskara A+B) which are fantastic to heat up the body. This will be followed by standing asanas – balancing asanas – forward bends – backbends – spinal twists – core strength training – hip openers – groin openers – inversions – relaxation.
Remember that each of these various postures (asanas) are linked together with a Vinyasa which helps to maintain the heat of your body and therefore make you more pliable (flexible). The Vinyasa is very important not only to make the spine more flexible but also to irrigate the spine with fresh life force (prana). The practise will not only improve your flexibility but also your strength, bone mineral density (BMD), lung capacity, cardiovascular fitness, weight loss and so much more.
If you want a strong, lean, healthy body this is the practise for you.