Yoga Lingo: Hatha Yoga

On our yoga level page, we refer to our classes as Hatha Yoga, which essentially means the physical practice of yoga. Hatha literally translates to force; though not force as in forcing your body into poses and movement, but rather force as in the power of physical movement  (or as I like to think of it- 'the force is with you young Skywalker.')  Hatha yoga can range from gentle movement and postures that are restorative in nature, to more energetic movement involving poses that utilize strength and flexibility. One of the earliest documentations is found in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, composed by Swatmarama in the 15th Century CE, which describes Hatha as a system of preparatory stages of physical purification based on asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) performed by the body in order to practice meditation. In a Hatha yoga class today, it is essentially the same, we practice postures and focus on the breath in order to cultivate presence and peace in the mind.