What to Expect from Hatha Yoga Class

What to Expect from Hatha Yoga Class

If you would like to try yoga and wonder what hatha yoga class looks like, this article is for you. I can imagine how difficult and confusing it is for a beginner to choose the right style. It can make you feel more confident to join yoga class if you know what to expect. So let’s look at the hatha yoga.

Can beginners do Hatha yoga?

Hatha yoga is usually not physically demanding. Asanas -postures are held for longer time and breathing is slow. Traditional hatha yoga class lasts at least hour and a half, but it’s not about constant movement. So yes, hatha yoga is a good choice for a total beginner.

What is Hatha yoga class like?

1. In the beginning, practitioners usually tune in by lying in savasana pose for five minutes. Some teachers start their class with a comfortable sitting position like sukhasana or sidhasana. So the first minutes are used for calming the mind and realizing the body.

2. Then the second part of a hatha yoga class is usually focused on warming up the body with various simple exercises. Gradually preparing each part of the body for asanas practice. Sometimes yoga teachers use sequences like Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation to wake up the body and build the heat.

3. The most important part is the asanas practice, the practice of yoga postures. There are tens of them and they differ from tradition to tradition. They vary in severity and complexity. There are sitting asanas, standing postures and lying down on back, belly or sides asanas. Sometimes hatha yoga teachers encourage students to hold the postures for as long as it’s comfortable. Others change postures after few seconds.

4. The relaxation or yoga nidra is very common practice during the hatha yoga classes after the physical exercises. The goal is to provide much-needed rest for our bodies. But maybe, more importantly, to train our mind and consciousness to sense our inner environment.

5. At the end of the class, yoga teachers use pranayamas – breathing exercises, tratak or other dharana technique. The goal is to focus even more on our inner world so that we can gradually take control of our feelings and mind flow.

What if I can’t do one of the asanas?

Every good yoga teacher should be able to provide variations of any asana for those who can’t make it. So don’t worry, if you, let’s say, can’t sit in cross-legged position, your yoga teacher will propose other sitting posture for you.

What are the most important texts of the hatha yoga?

If you wonder what historical resources are there available about hatha yoga, the most influential one is The Hatha Yoga Pradipika compiled by Svātmārāma in the 15th century CE. You can download it for free. 

Which style is more physically demanding than the hatha yoga?

Choose ashtanga, power yoga or flow yoga class, in case you’re looking for quick paced class and strong physical workout.

How does Ashtanga yoga class look like?