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YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
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9/27/13 4:36 A

"Hatha yoga" is really an umbrella term for any kind of asana-based yoga (asana = poses/postures); it doesn't distinguish the way you move so much as the fact that you are moving rather than, say, sitting in quiet meditation. As a result, there's a lot of variety in how instructors interpret the term.

That being said, when talking specifically about asana-based yoga, the term hatha tends to refer to a sort of middle ground. On the one end of the spectrum, you've got the broad term of "vinyasa"/"flow" for the styles that link breath with movement, like power yoga and Ashtanga yoga. These classes are quite intense and fast-paced, because you're moving into a new pose each breath. There's a significant strength component, and you'll probably find your heart rate rising.

On the other end of the spectrum you have things like yin yoga and restorative yoga. In these styles you hold poses for up to 5 minutes. Yin is all about flexibility, while restorative is a bit more gentle and aimed at relaxation.

Somewhere in between the two extremes you have the classes that get called "hatha". In general, these are more balanced classes. Some are really gentle, without much strength requirement at all, and focus on opening up tight areas of the body. Others will have a mix of postures that strengthen and stretch. The latter is what you're more likely to find in classes labelled "yoga" or "hatha yoga". There is a strength component, but in more gentle varieties it only exists in comparison to yin and restorative, and there's also a definite flexibility element.

BEBARB149 SparkPoints: (161,655)
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9/26/13 3:10 P

Odd that they didn't specify the kind of yoga when you signed up for the class. If they just said "yoga" its probably hatha yoga. If you want to check out some different kinds you can look on YouTube. There are many yoga videos there. Do be careful and not push yourself too far. Yoga's something you work into gradually.

TRIPLEMWF Posts: 906
9/26/13 2:29 P

Thank you for the feedback!

When I say "regular" yoga, I don't really know what I'm talking about LOL I've taken classes before, albeit, it was quite a long time ago, but I don't remember them being called anything other than "yoga". Of course, I'm getting older and my memory isn't what it use to be :)

I'm glad to hear though that it is a slower paced type of yoga. I'm trying to come back from a back injury and while I am a former runner, right now for me, slow and easy wins the race.

Thanks again.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,623)
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9/26/13 1:40 P

Online Now  • ))
So, what's regular yoga ? There are lots of different forms. If you're taking a class at a gym, you're probably alreading doing Hatha. You could also be doing power yoga or vinyasa. Those are also popular gym type yoga classes.

Here's the thing, what a person does in their yoga class depends on what their instructor teaches. My instructor (and I have taken Hatha), varied her class. Some days we might do a class that involved many strength poses. Other days we did classes that stressed flexibility or balance. There were no set rules. So, a class could vary from week to week.

Don't go in with any expectations. Hatha is not bikram. Hatha yoga is supposed to be a slower paced style of yoga. It's vinyasa, bikram and power yoga that are faster.

Let the instructor know that you are new so that they can show you pose modifications where you need them. We all have limitations. There are many poses I can do and many that I can't. Don't compare yourself to anyone else in the class. Some of those people could have been taking that class for months.

Just enjoy the class for what it is. And don't feel obligated to like the teacher. Some really are better than others. I've done a variety of different classes with different instructors. Yes, some I liked better than others. Go at your own pace !!

TRIPLEMWF Posts: 906
9/26/13 12:27 P

Can someone please explain this to me? I've done regular yoga before and google tells me that Hatha Yoga is more strength than flexibility focused, but I would love to hear from someone who's actually done it what to expect. I'm trying it tonight for the first time and want to know what I'm getting myself in to :)

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