Hatha Yoga was introduced by Yogi Swatmarama in 15th century India. It is unique in that it contains various physical poses, however, it also includes a number of purification procedures and methods for reducing stress and increasing mediation. It is mostly practiced in Western countries.
It is one of the several types of yoga that an aspiring yogic can undertake. In contrast to ashtanga yoga, which involves very convoluted and advanced postures, hatha yoga is based on the breath body connection and each pose puts the breath in focus. It is the foundation of all other yoga practices, and thus should probably be practiced before you try other types of yoga.
Actually, hatha yoga simply refers to the physical yoga made up of poses, or “asanas.” Hatha yoga is the type of yoga practiced at a yoga studio, be it Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, etc. Those are all types of hatha yoga. Non-physical, meditative types of yoga also exist, as yoga is intended to be a spiritual practice.
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