Hatha means “forceful” in Sanskrit and it all refers to a set of postures that are designed to align the skin, the muscles and the bones. They are designed to open many channels of the body so that energy can flow more freely through the body. While the practice of hatha yoga is slower paced, it is by no means a gentle practice.
Hatha is also broken down as “ha” meaning “sun” and “tha” meaning “moon”. This refers to the balance of the masculine (sun, hot, active) and the feminine (moon, cool, receptive) within all of us. It is a path of creating balance and uniting opposites.
In our physical body we develop balance between strength and flexibility – something that is much needed with our current day lifestyles.
Hatha is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be present in the unfolding of each moment.
Vinyasa means “flow”, movement or position. This style of yoga not only make one very strong and flexible but also improves muscle tone, confidence and boosts self-image. It is a dynamic and creative practice which needs to be built up with care and proper alignment, a stable knowledge of hatha yoga practice.
Should you do Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga?
The two styles are two sides of the same coin. Use of both practices should result in a well-rounded student. Our bodies are constantly evolving due to external as well as internal factors and we cannot have the same practice every single day.