What is hatha yoga

Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that aims to attain insight into the nature of reality through work with body and energy. Hatha yoga complements purely meditative techniques of Classical yoga with practices of bodily purification, strengthening, and energy stimulation.

Very generally, every class of yoga that is conducted in modern studios and schools, that aims to work with body and breath, is a class of hatha yoga. In this sense, all most popular yoga styles of today, such as Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Sivananda, etc., are substyles of hatha yoga. Only purely meditative classes where a practitioner sits in one pose and performs mental concentration or awareness exercises, do not fall under hatha yoga, as they belong to Jnana yoga branch - attaining of insight through training of attention, awareness and right understanding, excluding any manipulations with body and energies. However, meditations in kundalini yoga or kriya yoga are practices of hatha yoga since they incorporate bodily and energetic aspects of practice.


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