Why Hatha Yoga?
My yoga classes in Stafford are mainly based on Hatha Yoga, an ancient practice that I combine with other traditional and contemporary holistic wellness techniques.
Developing this specific mix of healing methods has been a long journey, and you can read more about it here. However, the base of it all is Hatha Yoga, and there are some very good reasons why I mainly focus on this specific style in my classes…
The History of Hatha Yoga
Did you know Hatha Yoga is the basis of many other yoga styles? Hatha yoga is thought to be the first type of yoga to be documented in ancient scripture, and its origins date to thousands of years ago. Due to the ancient roots of Hatha Yoga, it is believed that this is the style of yoga from which all others derived.
Hatha comes from the ancient Sanskrit ha, meaning “sun,” and tha, meaning “moon”. In other words, hatha refers the balance of our masculine and feminine energies.
Together, ha and tha form a similar concept to yin and yang in Chinese philosophy: the balance of forces and energies. Hatha is often also translated as forceful or tenacious, something that persists with effort.
The Benefits of Hatha Yoga
The goals of Hatha Yoga are:
Purifying the Body
Balancing our physical and mental energies
Tapping into consciousness
Hatha yoga intends to bring balance to body, mind, and soul, achieving a body that resists disease and overcomes the limitations beyond what is traditionally thought possible.
Hatha is thought of as a gentle practice, but in reality, it can encompass all degrees of effort: from mild to intense.
Benefits of Attending Yoga By Noel Classes
In the Hatha Yoga tradition, the focus is on the postures and finding an alignment within them that can bring us to a state of steadiness. This is known as sukha and shtira, the balance between effort and ease.
In my classes the postures are held for a number of breaths, giving participants the opportunity to explore how their body feels, as well as to create space for modifications and adaptations. We also focus on allowing the breath to be an anchor to the present moment, enabling us to observe our inner landscape.
My teaching style allows time for slow, mindful transitions between asanas (postures). This makes the practice more accessible for beginners as well as those who like to take a bit more time in postures, refining their physical or energetic alignment.
But don’t be fooled - my classes can be quite energetic too. I’ve combined Hatha with a bit of a cheeky flow (Vinyasa) in between the postures: this means that your heart will start to pump, you just may feel a sweat on your brow, and you could notice the next day that you have worked your body.
You can choose if you wish to push yourself to the full extent of your fitness abilities (making it a strength-based class with planks and downward dogs) or take it easy to enjoy a more relaxed practice. Whatever you choose, I’ll always encourage you to change it up and do whatever feels right for you in the moment.
Yoga has been a life changer for me, in times of worry, anxiety, the lows and the highs…it’s provided me with the opportunity to reflect, go within and come out of those times feeling totally nurtured and ready to take on every single chapter. My only hope is that you also feel this from the yoga practice.