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Hatha Yoga

Although the roots of Hatha yoga lie in ancient yogic traditions, it is now commonly recognised as a gentle form of asana (postural) yoga practice which also includes pranayama (breathing techniques). A combination of these practices helps to bring about a calmness to the mind and body and is an excellent form of preparation for meditation and supports the process in awakening to our true basic nature.

Hatha yoga includes individual postures, which are sometimes linked together and synchronised with the breath, such as in Surya Namaskara, commonly known as Sun Salutations.

It is the union of body, movement, breath and awareness which makes yoga asana so much more than just a physical exercise. When practised as a form of moving meditation we receive the maximum healing and transformational benefits of the practice.

Other benefits of yoga include:

  • It increases flexibility

  • It increases muscle tone and strength

  • It improves your circulatory and cardiovascular health

  • It improves joint mobility

  • It is anti-rheumatic

  • It promotes better sleep

  • It increases your energy levels

  • It improves athletic performance

  • It reduces injuries

  • It detoxifies the body’s organs

  • It improves your posture

  • It relieves anxiety and depression

  • It helps with chronic pain

  • It releases endorphins which improve your mood

Hatha Yoga is a practice which can help us to navigate  and remain present through the ups and downs of life. People who practise yoga regularly give themselves this gift, plus all its associated benefits.

Three common myths about hatha yoga

Myth #1: You have to be flexible and skinny to practise yoga

Yoga (as we teach it at The Tree) is suitable for everyone, regardless of age, shape or size. So you don’t have to be particularly strong, flexible or slim – and you don’t even have to be a vegetarian!


Myth #2: The aim of yoga is to become flexible like a gymnast

It is true that regularly practising yoga will help you to become more flexible. However, here at The Tree, it’s not all about being able to twist yourself into the shape of a pretzel! The aim of yoga asana is to improve your health, strength and flexibility. But the true aim of yoga as a whole is to combine the postural practice with pranayama and meditation. This will enable you to become more present and will help to bring about a sense of inner peace. At The Tree we teach that the perfect posture is the one in which you feel most steady and comfortable.

Myth #3: Hatha Yoga is not for Men

The origins of yoga date back to India, thousands of years ago. And, believe it or not, yoga was initially only practised by men. Since yoga has been assimilated into the west, it is true that more women have embraced the practice. However, in recent years, more and more men are realising the benefits of yoga and we have many male guests who are regulars on our courses. So it’s not just Sting, Ryan Giggs and the England rugby team who are enjoying the benefits. Men from all walks of life are enjoying the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of hatha yoga.

Getting started

Want to learn more about yoga but don’t know where to start? Why not come along to one of our Relaxation and Yoga Weekends, where we teach an introduction to Hatha yoga. We also teach a hatha Yoga as part of our five-day silent retreat. We have some handy instruction sheets that you can take home with you, to continue your practice at home.

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