Hatha Yoga for Beginners

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is a physical yoga that includes meditation, Asana, Mudra, Pranayama, rituals, Mantra, Kriya, and Bandha. It came from the Sanskrit word “Ha” which means the “sun” and “Tha” which translates to “moon”. Its goal is to maintain the balance of the mind and body, thus being described as the practice of balance.

The purpose of the practice of Hatha Yoga is Kundalini energy awakening and reach Samadhi. The Kundalini energy is the vital force or energy within our body. Awakening of the Kundalini energy is important to achieving inner knowledge or Samadhi, which is having great awareness and consciousness.

hatha yoga for beginners

What to Prepare?

Wear a top that will allow the body to move freely. Because of the different poses involved in yoga, choose a top that is flexible and not distracting. The fabric should be soft and allows sweat to disperse. Sleeveless tops are the most popular top to wear for yoga. The material for the pants should also be stretchable and comfortable. Shorts can also be used, although it is hard to find, short shorts and loose ones should be avoided. For females, a sports bra is advised to support and hold the breasts while doing the movements.

Most yoga studios have yoga mats available. Although, it is being done somewhere else, like at home, having a good yoga mat is advisable. Keeping yourself dehydrated is a must during yoga. Make sure to have a water bottle available. Towels are necessary for sweats. Props like blocks, straps, or blankets can also be used.

Hatha Yoga Sequence for Beginners

  1. Start in a seated position with the legs crossed or in a Sukhasana position.
  2. Close the eyes and breathe deeply through the nostrils. Focus on each inhale and exhale.
  3. Open the eyes and inhale while stretching the arms up towards the ceiling and looking up.
  4. Exhale and put arms down behind the thighs followed by the head and the elbows pointing towards the back.
  5. Lift the chest up, arching the body and look up at the ceiling.
  6. On the next exhale, release the body from the arch and place hands back on the knees.
  7. Do the Balasana or Child’s Pose:
    • Keep big toes together and slightly separate knees.
    • Push hips towards the heels and relax the torso over the thighs.
    • Relax arms out in front while the forehead is touching the ground.
  8. Keep the position. Breathe in and out calmly and steadily.
  9. Bring self up to tabletop position
  10. Do Anjaneyasana or Crescent Launch pose:
    • Step the right leg forward and push the right knee to align the toes.
    • The left leg is kept in a diagonal position while stretching the hip and quad.
    • Keep the position for a few moments. Breathe in and out calmly and steadily.
    • Transfer the weight to the left leg and straighten the right leg. Stretch the hip and quad.
  11. Keep the position for a few moments. Breathe in and out calmly and steadily.
  12. Switch the position of the legs and do the Crescent Launch pose on the left leg.
  13. Go back to the tabletop position.
  14. Do the Anahatasana or Melting Heart Pose:
    • From the tabletop position, slide the torso downwards.
    • The forehead should be touching the ground and the arms stretch in front.
    • Raise the hips towards the ceiling while slightly arching the back.
    • Keep the position for a few moments. Breathe in and out calmly and steadily.
  15. Go back to the tabletop position and do a wide-legged Child’s Pose:
    • Keep big toes together and separate knees widely or about the width of the yoga mat.
    • Push hips towards the heels and relax the torso over the thighs.
    • Relax arms out in front while the forehead is touching the ground.
    • Hold the position for a few moments. Inhale and exhale.
  16. Go back to the tabletop position.
  17. Do Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog pose:
    • Fold the toes and straighten legs, lifting hips up.
    • Peddle legs and move shoulders alternately.
    • Hold the position and do several deep breaths.
  18. Do a Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I Pose:
    • Step right leg forward in between the hands.
    • Push the right knee just above the right ankle.
    • Keep left foot on toes with heel lifted.
    • Stretch arms towards the ceiling.
  19. Keep the position for a few moments and breathe.
  20. Bring hands back down to the ground and go back to the Downward Facing Dog pose.
  21. Peddle legs and move shoulders alternately.
  22. Do the Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I Pose with the left leg.
  23. Bring hands back down to the ground and go back to the Downward Facing Dog pose.
  24. Hold this pose for a few moments and breathe.
  25. Do an Uttanasana or Forward Bending pose with the elbow grab.
    • Walk feet towards the hands while keeping the torso bent.
    • Lift arms up and hold elbows with opposite hands.
    • Allow torso to hang and relax the neck.
    • Gently swing torso from side to side.
  26. Release hands from the elbow and stand up while raising arms upwards.
  27. Inhale and grab right wrist with the left hand. Stretch torso towards the left and exhale.
  28. Inhale and come back up.
  29. On the next inhale, grab left wrist with the right hand and stretch towards the right.
  30. Exhale and bring back the arms to the side of the body.

This sequence is good for a 10-minute Hatha Yoga and finish off with a Savasana or Corpse pose.

Other Techniques Needed

Pranayama – is the practice of controlled breathing. It allows an individual to control breathing which is said to be the source of one’s vital life force. It is important that the individual is aware of how to control breathing for better practice on Hatha yoga.

Sun Salutation – used as a warm-up before beginning the yoga.

Asana – since Hatha yoga is a physical practice of yoga, a big part of the sequences used are Asana or yogic postures.

Savasana – is the Corpse pose. It is a final pose used for final relaxation. To do this, simply lie on the yoga mat. Spread arms and legs. Let go completely. This final relaxation allows the body to revitalize the body. Stay in this position for about 10-15 minutes with closed eyes and breathing deeply.