Hatha yoga Sequence for beginners
For beginners, yoga can be a little overwhelming. All those terms and poses get mixed up, and it becomes very inconvenient to meditate with a confused mind. Are you are also a newbie and looking for a Hatha yoga sequence for beginners? Well, let’s dive into this world, starting from a bit of the history of yoga.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj, which means “to join,” indicating the union of mind and body. Although yoga has been around for thousands of years, even dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization in approximately 2700 BC. It was not until the modern age, in the 19th century, that people started practicing yoga worldwide.
Yoga in this modern-day and time is a source of wellbeing. While its secondary focus is to enhance physical and mental health. The primary focus is to create a union between your body and the universe through aligning mind and body with everything around. You do this by creating awareness of your body, the surrounding atmosphere, harmonizing thoughts through deep breathing and stability.
Contrary to popular belief, Yoga is not tied to any one belief system. Anyone, who chooses to engage, can reap its benefits, regardless of religion, caste, or race. Any specific religion or ethnicity does not limit its services. Wellbeing is a matter of mind and body, and yoga is a form of therapy for this very wellbeing that involves the mind and body being in a state of Zen.
Table of Contents
What is Hatha yoga?
Derived from Sanskrit, the word Hatha meaning “force,” signifies the use of unique breathing alongside mind and body. If broken down, Ha means “sun,” and that means “moon.” Thus, indicating the universe in its balance with the sun as its energy source and the moon as a source of calm. The sun also represents masculinity and the moon’s femininity. Therefore Hatha means a balance of the two entities within us. The masculinity or energy being displayed in the strength from a posture, whereas femininity or calm is portrayed in the meditations.
It is the preparation of the body to uphold higher levels of energy through chakras. It comprises a process beginning from the body, continuing through the breath, and on to the mind and inner self.
Asana or modern-day Hatha yoga
Modern-day Hatha yoga also happens to be the most common form of yoga. It focuses on the physical postures, called the asanas.
The popularity of Hatha yoga is due to the flexibility of the exercise itself. Through its wide range of poses, aligned with breathing exercises, Hatha yoga can be done by anyone and everyone. Its focus is on achieving stability in both life and the stance. In addition to that, it emphasizes awareness. With practice, you will be able to use this awareness to focus on primary goals in your life.
The idea is to gradually flow between different postures, with periodic pauses, allowing the body to stretch and fill with energy any spaces that might exist. This in turn is contributed to by a guided breathing technique enabling the mind to simultaneously “heal” along with the body. Postures and breathing in a pattern for a while expels the body of energy which is then recuperated via a meditation segment, allowing both the mind and the body to rejuvenate with renewed energy. This alleviates the conscience, balancing mind and body.
84 Asanas of Hatha Yoga
Over different centuries scholars and experts of yoga noted down details of their knowledge about different forms, asanas and their benefits. Examples of such documentation would include Goraksha Sataka from the 10th century and then Hatha Yoga Pradipika from the 15th century. Through these texts we know that there are about 84 asanas of Hatha yoga. However, over the coming centuries as yoga has changed and new forms are born, some of these asanas have been lost. But the good news is that the ones we know of today are still greatly beneficial to the practice of yoga and carry benefits. The asanas practiced today might not be all but they are still some of the more prominent asanas.
Hatha yoga sequence for beginners
While creating a Hatha yoga sequence for beginners, it is essential to create an ebb and flow to reach total relaxation. To alleviate the energy to the maximum, the series will have to warm up the body and gradually increase intensity. Then go ahead and slow down to calm the body and mind but with a boost in energy levels, optimizing the inner potential.
For beginners, Hatha yoga sequences should balance asanas, physical postures, pranayamas, and breath control. A typical class would run through a duration lasting roughly 45 to 60 minutes, focusing on breathing and yoga poses.
The Detailed Sequence:
The sequence would usually start with a few pranayamas to ease the mind and relax the body, stimulating both with a new refreshed energy level. This energy is then utilized in the next segment of the Hatha yoga sequence specifically designed for beginners when you would hold a basic asana such as Tadasana-the mountain pose or Vrikshasana– the tree pose.
The energy is further drained with more advanced poses that require concentration and mental focus, building on the strength of your core while de-stressing your mind and strengthening your physical being. The idea is to deplete the body’s energy, so the mind is focused on a particular task and aligns with the surroundings.
Your instructor will guide you through each step, reminding and prompting you to breathe, teaching you on inhaling through your nose, exhaling through your mouth. He will guide you to experience the journey of the breath within you. Every in-breath and out-breath will have significance in enhancing your connection with your environment, developing awareness.
This breathing and the journey is further stressed upon in the next stage where Dhyana, meaning meditation, is the key. With the body and mind both focused and relaxed, you will regain your energy, this time you are aware of it. Your instructor will guide you with meditating and focusing on your energy. The focus is to be mindful of your body space and heal by filling any voids that exist with energy before exhaling and cleansing yourself of impure energy. This sense of temporary suspension of energy between each breath allows you to concentrate on your presence and integrate yourself into the surroundings.
Why are these sequences helpful?
Once accomplished, the sequence of Hatha yoga can benefit in multiple ways.
- Yoga aids in relieving anxiety and depression
- Creates better resilience
- Enhances emotional health
- Improves sleep and inner calm, which in turn benefits stress management.
But the benefits do not end there, with many physical advantages in the bag as well. With alleviated energy levels, the body can enhance itself. Yoga also aids the healing of aches and pains in various joints such as the neck and spine.
Hatha yoga vs Ashtanga yoga
If you are starting and curious about yoga, a Hatha yoga sequence might be preferential instead of ashtanga yoga. While Hatha yoga leads to eventual meditation through gradual physical poses and breathing, ashtanga yoga begins with personal transformation before heading on to meditation and physical therapy through yoga.
Advantage of Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga will be advantageous to you if you wish to lose weight or simply tone your muscles physically. While at the same time, it strengthens your mind. Balance and calm are focused on both body and mind to obtain inner peace and enlightenment while liberating yourself. This serves as a cornerstone for all other types of yoga.
Advantage of Ashtanga yoga
Ashtanga yoga, on the other hand, focuses on self-transformation. The initial stage involves ethically changing yourself first before moving on to the physical transformation. It consists of finding a deeper meaning to what you would like to obtain. You pursue it by ethically aligning yourself and your virtues with gradual changes. This aligns with the eight “limbs” required to leading a life of purpose. Ashtanga yoga requires a focus on integrity and discipline to lead to an ecstasy state called Samadhi.
Which one to choose?
Among the two, which one should you choose, is a personal choice. As everyone best knows their capacity and their physical statures differ. Only you can evaluate which one is best suited for you. It is recommended to visit a yoga center and attend a class of both. This will enable you to understand better the physical and mental challenges that accompany Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga individually. This will also allow you to gauge which of the two best aligns with your objectives and end-goal for you. It is wise to keep in mind that yoga is not getting to a final destination but instead is the attainment of the journey.
Hatha yoga poses chart
The Hatha yoga poses chart shows multiple poses or asanas. These are intended to enhance the physical well-being as well as alleviate the mind. This is done by focusing the breathing and improving blood circulation to the brain and body.
The poses’ flow has a gentle progression as is visible in order not to be too challenging. While at the same time, they relax the muscles and strategically increase oxygen-rich blood flow. The best part about the chart is its immense variety, allowing anyone of any stature or physical capacity to part-take.
If you are unable to cope with the poses as they progress, do not fret. Practice makes perfect. This is even more true for yoga as your bodies have the propensity to adapt over time. Do not give up and keep at it. Eventually, your body will be flexible to get into even the most complex poses from the Hatha yoga poses chart.
Some of the beneficial poses present in the Hatha yoga poses chart are as follows:
Adho Mukha Svanasana:
The downward dog pose is a versatile pose that works as a progressive build from beginner to advanced yoga. It relieves stress levels almost immediately. It can stretch multiple muscles in the body from the calves to the spine onward to the shoulders. Thus, it supports blood flow with its energy levels.
The forward bend or the uttanasana is another highly beneficial pose. It is of an intermediary level to progress a beginner. This pose allows the blood to flow to the head. It enables the mind to calm and be energized and relieve it of stress. It boosts the functional efficiency of bodily organs. For example, the liver and kidney and even the digestive system.
For a beginner, the warrior pose provides numerous benefits. This pose aligns you with the correct breathing patterns. It encourages oxygenation of the blood while opening up the lungs and chest to maximize this. The warrior pose allows beginners the ability to better their stability and to work on their balance. It gives everyone, beginner or advanced, the opportunity to focus inside upon their lives and reach for more clean energy.
The cobra pose involves a reclining posture. You raise your head back, similar to that of a cobra that is poised to strike. It is a great position to lengthen your spine, reducing aches you might experience in it. It is also helpful in enhancing breathing as it extends the airways in the throat and chest. This position is also quite effective in reducing belly fat.
Vrikshasana, or most Commonly the tree pose is one of the most basic postures present in the Hatha yoga poses chart. It involves balancing yourself by “rooting” your body like a tree onto one foot. The position of the arms allows for stretching of the shoulders and the chest for breathing.
While allowing the mind to focus on stability, it strengthens the body at the core, ligaments, and tendons. During meditation, it is a great way to build confidence and balance. While at the same time, you gain insight into your physical space.
For all those looking for Hatha yoga for beginners, you must remember the following things. Firstly, regardless of religion, race, caste, belief, nationality, or sex, anyone can embark upon this journey of righteousness and self-knowledge. You can explore the mind and body’s sensations to push them to their limits while still being in total control of emotions and pain.
Hatha yoga’s objective is to achieve not only physical benefits to your body, such as healing and longevity. You can also obtain the liberation of the mind and spirit. As an exercise, this spiritual liberation sets yoga apart from other physical activities and from when it gains its current popularity.