7 Key Benefits of Combining Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga practice is a state of body and mind, it goes beyond the parameters of an exercise or workout regimen. The practice involves utilizing the mind, body, and spirit and bringing the inner self to find its center. Those who are beginning their yoga journey would come across two major terms Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. These two are the most ancient forms of yoga on which the entire discipline is based. 

Aspiring yogis often wonder whether to go with Hatha Yoga certification or Ashtanga Yoga certification during their 200 hour Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh or any other prominent yogic destination known for traditional yoga teachings. The truth is it is better to go with a program that combines the teachings of both Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga for your own good. Both styles complement each other and are ideal to practice in unison to complete the goal of Yoga therapy, which is to establish a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Like great sage, Patanjali said Yoga means the union, of the mind, body, and spirit and to obtain this state of union, asanas practices combined with yoga ethics, pranayama (breath work), meditation, and discipline are needed. 

Here, we will discuss why doing Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga simultaneously is a great way to stimulate internal and external well-being. 

Hatha Yoga: The Style & Concept 

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is the classical concept of yoga, the foundational yoga style on which the other styles of yoga are based. It includes meditation, pranayama, mantra chanting, and various devotional methods aimed at purifying the inner being to eventually find the perfect equilibrium of the body, mind, and being. The practice is slow-paced and ideal for all body types in which you navigate the breath and body to stay in a posture for longer periods. The Hatha Yoga tradition as taught during yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and other traditional yogic destinations focuses on sharpening the asana practices while controlling the breath to channel it through the entire body. Meditation to gain proper focus is an important method to practice Hatha Yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga: The Style & Concept

Ashtanga Yoga

The concept of Ashtanga Yoga is derived from Hatha Yoga, only it is more dynamic rather than still like Hatha Yoga is. It is a series of yoga asanas performed in a continuous motion while syncing the breath with each pose from one to the next. Ashtanga Yoga is more of a semi-traditional style of yoga and one of the most picked yoga styles. An Ashtanga Yoga teacher designs their own series for the class with the purpose of creating a rush of energy and vitality that is innately meditative as well. The focus is more physical than spiritual. However, this greatly depends from teacher to teacher and practitioner to practitioner how they want their Ashtanga Yoga classes to be. 

Core Benefits of Combining Hatha Yoga & Ashtanga Yoga

Ideal for Any Age and Weight

Ashtanga and Hatha yoga instructors focus on guiding your body and mind to transcend its limits and do it at a comfortable pace without feeling distressed or discouraged. As you do prana work (breath work) during the Hatha and Ashtanga practices, with each inhalation, you are able to relax the body and mind and eventually activate the brain to feel more calm and relaxed, more optimistic as well. Ideal for any age and weight, this combination is great to achieve a complete balance of the mind and body. 

Gain Flexibility & Strength

Develop agility in the body and mind while increasing the strength of the body during Hatha and Ashtanga Classes. If you do 21 days of Hatha Yoga you will notice an increased muscle tone and strength. As for Ashtanga Yoga, with regular practice, you gain flexibility in the mind and body as you push your body to stretch in a continuous motion. 

Hatha Yoga & Ashtanga Yoga

Improve Mindfulness 

With regular Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga practices, you can achieve better mindfulness as well. Being mindful is important to gain proper benefit from each asana and also enhances meditation practices. You will make healthier choices with enhanced mindfulness. 

Manage Depression

According to yogic experts, it is a known fact that Ashtanga and Hatha yoga boost the feel-good hormone production in our body which means an increase in the production of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid, responsible for boosting the mood. 

Manage Your Weight

Building muscles and strength with Hatha Yoga and increasing stamina along with increasing the cardiovascular activity through Ashtanga Yoga work together to help you manage appropriate weight. Try 60-90 minutes of Ashtanga Yoga and 30 minutes of Hatha Yoga to get optimum results. Follow it with a planned Vedic weight management diet. 

Ease Body Ache and Cramps

Relieve neck pain and any pain in the back with a regular practice of Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga. Yoga helps improve the body’s posture, strengthens core muscles and also helps correct spinal imbalance. A regular practice also improves the range of motion of the neck and back thereby releasing muscle ache. 

Relieve Anxiety and Stress 

Stress can be a major element of a fast-paced lifestyle. As you come into yoga, your body enters a meditative state of its own thereby disconnecting you from the noise and hassle of the external world. You can also lower blood pressure and cortisol levels in the body through regular Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga practices. 

Get Better Quality of Sleep

Try an intense session of Hatha and Ashtanga and soak up the feeling of being light as a feather that only works towards helping you get a completely stress-free sleep. 

To gain proper benefits of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga, it is best to learn the styles, walk through each component of these styles one by one under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Once you are well-versed in the styles, you can conduct these practices independently. 

About the Guest Author: Yoga Vidya School

Yoga Vidya School is one of the best yoga teacher training school in Rishikesh India , provides help and steering by giving the self-discipline and spiritual tools that helps you to grow and go deeper into your inner self. It is a place to immerse in serious authentic yoga practice led by best yoga teachers of India, in an energetic environment created for transformation through Yogic Movements, Mudras, Meditations, Philosophy and Spiritual Lifestyle. 


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