Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga has been prevalent since the 15th century in India and is also known as Hatha Vidya or the science of Hatha. It is believed that Hatha yoga can purify the body and make it fit for meditation. Hatha comes from two words – Ha stands for sun and Tha is the moon. So it’s two forces – the active and masculine force of the sun and the feminine and receptive energy of the moon – that join together to purify the body.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga has its roots in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript compiled by a sage. Vinyasa means a dynamic concentrating posture. This type of yoga flows between the traditional static yoga asanas. Vinyasa is about linking the movement of the postures to the breath. Vinyasa yoga gives a lot of importance to the journey between the postures.Vinyasa yoga has a series of six postures, each flowing into the other. Ujjayi breathing is part of Vinyasa yoga.

The Difference Between Hatha And Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa is derived from Hatha yoga, though the postures and practice is different. Both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga make the body more supple and strong; improve breath work; calm the mind; and, prevent diseases. Both these forms of yoga are work towards the same goal – fitness of the body and the mind, though the way they achieve this is different.

Vinyasa is fast paced, while Hatha yoga is slower. Vinyasa yoga is about a series of movements, each linked to another. This is similar to the Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar. Postures with a series of movements have greater effect on the cardiovascular system, unlike the effects of hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is about individual postures, rather than flowing movements.

Hatha yoga is good for beginners, who are new to yoga and are learning yoga postures. Since the pace of hatha yoga is gentle and slow, it is easier for beginners to learn the postures, the breathing techniques and the principles of yoga. Vinyasa yoga, on the other hand, should be attempted by people who already know yoga, unless embarking on a fundamentals or introductory course or workshop.

Vinyasa yoga with its flowing movement and fast pace, builds heat in the body and stretches the muscles of the body more than the postures of Hatha yoga which allows more rest in between poses and brings the yin and yang/masculine and feminine/active and passive into alignment.

Restorative Yoga

In restorative yoga, props are used for support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. The postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining. For instance, aseated forward bend (paschimottanasana) can be done with a bolster or several folded blankets on top of the legs so that your forward bend is fully supported with the entire torso resting on your props. Legs up the wall (viparita karani) is a classic restorative, with the wall used as a prop to support the legs.

Restorative classes are usually very relaxing and are a good complement to more active practices and other stronger physical training. The teacher will arrange for the necessary props to be available to you. The lights may be dimmed and if it is chilly, you may be covered with a blanket since you will not be warming up the body the way you would be in a regular class. After you are set up in a pose with all your props, you will hold the pose for an extended period, often up to ten to twenty minutes. Although you are supported, you will definitely still feel the stretch. It’s a relaxing style of practice that leaves you feeling open and refreshed.

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