Hatha Yoga is a form of yoga that is the art of good health and long life. Mariane Kohler wrote a book called: The Secrets of Relaxation where she speaks on how yoga can help you with stress in your life.
Hatha yoga is concerned with the body and the breath. It can be of great use if you suffer from fatigue, need to manage your nerves, are hypersensitive and super-emotional, if you sleep badly or if you are looking your age!
What is Yoga?
As opposed to gym exercises, yoga is a series of movements that are slow and controlled.
Your body becomes harmonious with your mind and spirit.
The asanas (poses) become different masterpieces of your body like an art form. You stay in the poses effortlessly ( after much practice!)
What do the postures help with?
You will find that the postures can help with rheumatism and arthritis. They massage the viscera (your belly fat), activate the bile, stimulate the intestines, liver and can even regulate your metabolism.
The 3 phases of Asanas: How the Postures Work to help you
1. When you assume the posture, your muscles work in a fashion that is slow, progressive and continuous. This becomes the dynamic phase of asana
2. The “Freeze.” This is the static phase. You freeze in your chosen posture. You are transformed into a statue. You remain still for 3-4 breaths and then with practice 8-10 breaths. You can stay in asanas for as long as you feel comfortable. You are in the flow of stillness~
3. The return. Slowly you return to your original position. You relax your muscles, get back to your breath and when you are ready, another posture begins. At the end of your asanas, you should never forget to rest. This is as important to your practice as the breath and asanas.
RESTING BETWEEN ASANAS
Rest is important. Do not neglect it. This little rest time is part of the third phase. This is when nothing seems to be happening. But in Eastern thought, it is taught that the rest should be at least the same length of time as the asana proceeding it.
Do Not Force things
Yoga is a practice.
In time you will get better at your practice.
Do your exercises with regularity. Ten minutes a day may be better than 1 hour a week. If you force yourself, you will be strained and your muscles will contract. True yoga should be practiced with suppleness and ease.
Stop at once if you feel any kind of tension or concentration. Then wait a few moments. If pain persists, abandon the exercise until the next day. If pain disappears ( which is more likely), push yourself and try again. But always stop at the threshold of any kind of pain.
Taken in Part from: Kohler, M. ( 1973) The Secrets of Relaxation. New York, NY. Warner Communication Company