Starting to practice Hatha yoga is quite easy and requires very little. Contrary to a popular belief that Hatha yoga was designed for experienced, flexible yogis with lean and well toned bodies, Hatha yoga is actually a discipline suitable for people of all ages, experience levels, and lifestyles.
Your approach to the discipline is for more fundamental than your experience. It's easy to be discouraged when seeing yogis hold position well beyond your range of flexibility. Don't be discouraged. It will come with time, if your dedicated to your practice.
Hatha yoga can be described as a physical practice but it's much more than that. It's also a way to get in touch with our spirit, to help calm our mind, and to learn to appreciate our body (including its limitations).
With Hatha yoga, through the synchrony of breath and movement, you can really learn to listen to your body and understand its signals, leading to a respect and understanding of your body.
Therefore, to start practicing Hatha yoga, it is essential to have an open and flexible mindset. Your physical flexibility will come with time and continued practice!
A flexible mind that is willing to accept new challenges by facing them in a serene way and as part of a path is perhaps the only real requirement to start practicing Hatha yoga.
So, what does it take to start practicing?
First and foremost a mat. I recommend choosing one that is comfortable, non-slip, eco-friendly and will support your throughout your practice. Our signature namaSTAY mat is perfect.
How long should the Hatha yoga session last?
10 minutes might be a good place to start. In this amount of time you should be able to move through a series of simple positions and still have the opportunity to synchronize your breath and movement.
As you continue your practice and growth, extend your sessions working up to 45-60 minutes.
Benefits of Hatha yoga
As a discipline, Hatha yoga has a marvelous ability to make you more flexible, lose weight, tone your body and make it more agile (while improving strength and balance). Increased muscle elasticity and improved posture are also benefits one can expect to receive from this practice.
Each movement is paired with a breath, helping you to continue learning about your body and mind while establishing your inner balance.
This can transform the practice from simply a moment in your day dedicated to physical activity, to a moment to yourself, where you can disconnect from the chaotic, or repetitive, or mundane aspects of your day. This is a moment you deserve. Use it to find yourself and bring your mind and body together.