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Article Contributor: Hema
With more than a mind blowing 84’000 asanas (posture variations) Hatha Yoga is known the world over and is often the kind of yoga that people practice when they are doing ‘Yoga’.
Is Hatha Yoga right for you, your family or your children? Any kind of yoga when performed correctly and regularly provides a while host of benefits to the body and mind.
In this Q&A session Hema D’Souza, a professional Yoga personal trainer and teacher in Dubai helps to clarify what Hatha Yoga is and who it is for.
Question: There are so many different types of Yoga available here in Dubai and the UAE and one name I hear often is ‘Hatha Yoga’ Can you explain what Hatha Yoga is?
Basically, Hatha means very strict dedication, using will power and yoga means to Unite Mind and Body or Bring balance or steadiness in between Mind and Body.
Not only the Postures, it also includes basic rules like restraints on behaviour, observances, diet, body cleansing process, breath control, seals and locks, nadis and kundalini power, withdrawal of senses, concentration, mediation and absorption. yoga for fitness personal training in Dubai and Abu DhabiHatha yoga was written by Indian Sage Swami Svatmarama in the 15th century in old Indian Sanskrit Language.
There are 16 Asanas explained in Hatha yoga pradipika. In modern times people think Hatha yoga is for beginners and basic but it really depends on the structure of the postures and also an individual’s level of knowledge and of course fitness level.
As with any form of yoga it requires practice. It will take some time to become perfect in postures so basic postures are learned first before advancing on yoga postures and poses which are more advanced.
There are more than 84000 postures, so the muscles and joints can flex, rotate and extend in several ways with proper breathing techniques.
For more information there are plenty of resources online referring to Hatha yoga pradipika text.
Question: Do I need to be really flexible to start doing Hatha Yoga? I am concerned because I am overweight and think this might limit my progress.
No. Not at all. You don’t need to be flexible to start doing hatha yoga or any kind of yoga. Also your weight as well as your age doesn’t matter.
A professional Yoga Teacher in Dubai will guide you on the right path and ensure that your Hatha Yoga practice starts and progresses correctly.
All you need is some dedication and self-belief. There is no limit to your progress, with so many postures that are beneficial to different areas of the body (and mind) you will find the right form of Yoga for your fitness needs.
Once you start Yoga it’s amazing how quickly you will feel the benefit.
Question: I often get aches and pains because my job requires me to sit in the same position for extended periods of time, will regular Hatha Yoga practice help fix this and other posture related problems?
Sitting in one place for many hours at a time and working on computers is a sedentary kind of occupation and lifestyle. Ultimately this means people tend to get aches, pains etc. 15 to 30 minutes of selective Yoga postures and Yogic breathing techniques will help you to overcome these aches and pains.
Low back pain is very common for corporate workers who sit behind a desk for most of the day but Hatha Yoga practice helps to overcome these problems.
Many corporate companies in Dubai now hire Yoga Personal Trainers for their employee’s benefits.
Some Hatha Yoga postures which can definitely help with posture and back problems are:
The above postures when practised with effective breathing techniques (Pranayamas) can do wonders for aching muscles and joint pain.
Question: Can you give me some examples of Hatha Yoga poses, what these poses seek to achieve (fitness wise) and also how hard they are to do for beginners and moderate practitioners of Yoga?
As a yoga personal trainer and coach I don’t initially teach Hatha Yoga to new students because the poses look difficult which may discourage them from continuing their yoga regime.
Instead I first concentrate on the basics which are body warm ups, body lightning, sun salutations, and other ‘easier’ basic yoga postures.
Once these basic principles and poses are perfected I like to move on to Hatha Yoga poses depending on the client’s needs and what they expect to achieve from their yoga sessions in Dubai.
Yoga is not difficult when started right and when you get guidance from a knowledgeable, professional yoga teacher.
Question: Is Hatha Yoga in the UAE suitable for children too?
If so what benefit does this method of Yoga practice provide for kids?
Yes. Hatha yoga in the UAE is definitely suitable for children of all ages, in fact many families choose to practice yoga together as a way to lead a healthier, fitter life.
In the UAE today a sedentary way of life is on the increase and it seems that with so many home entertainment options this affects children in a big way.
Many children do not take part in any extra-curricular sports or exercise activities which can lead to health and weight issues as they grow.
This trend then continues on to adulthood and the circle continues. Hatha Yoga for children in Dubai is a great way for children to learn about fitness, how their body works and also provide some mental clarity in a society that suffers from information overload.
Even for kids in the UAE Hatha Yoga provides a great way to combat mental stress and daily fatigue. As a professional yoga practitioner in Dubai I develop different yoga training plans for children based on their age and their current level of fitness activity.
Question: I’ve heard some people say that in order to do well and get results from Yoga I should meditate too, would you agree with this?
While meditation is useful to clear the mind and relax the body it is not a critical element for the practice of Hatha Yoga.
You can stick with Yoga Postures and Yoga Breathing Techniques (Pranayama) too. If you are interested in Meditation either as a stand-alone option or as part of a yoga package in Dubai then let me know.