Confused About Hatha yoga or Ashtanga Yoga?

 

So, you are confused about the two types of yoga? And you want to pursue a course for yoga teacher training in India or somewhere else? Well! Then you don’t have to worry about it.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha, meaning forceful or willful, also means sun moon that represents the opposites of femininity/muscularity, winter/summers, day/ nights etc. Hatha yoga is a form that was formed in fifteenth century and is considered to be the oldest form of yoga. Hatha  yoga is comparatively a small paced and gentle type of yoga, suitable for anyone. This form of yoga basically focuses on stretching and holding various postures.  These postures are held for 15-30 seconds continuous with conscious breathing. Hatha yoga mainly consists of shat kriya, yoga asana and pranayama (breathing techniques).  The postures/asanas that are practiced in hatha yoga, mainly aims at achieving higher levels of meditation and keeping the body free from diseases thus increasing your flexibility and strength. Regular practice of pranayama helps you to gain control over your breathing. This can help you to control your mind also. Hatha yoga is very beneficial for patients with hypertension, bronchitis, chronic asthma and some psychiatry patients. And for those who are planning to join a course for yoga teacher training in India or anywhere else, this is the first form that should be practiced.

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Ashtanga Yoga

‘Ashtanga’ means ‘eight limbs’ in Sanskrit. Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga that has its stems from hatha yoga, but is a somewhat different discipline of yoga, that was founded by an ancient sage named ‘Patanjali’. This form of yoga will help you to reach a higher level of self realization.

The 8 steps of yoga are-

  • Yama (behavior) – leads to pure and good behavior with others. It has 5 sub parts which include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy) and aparigrah (non hoarding).
  • Niyama (regulations)-the body exercises for self control. It again has 5 sub parts shauch (cleanliness), santosh (contentment), tapa (dutifulness), svadhyaya (regular practice), ishwar pranidhan (surrenders to god).
  • Asanas- the body quiets the mind with the help of a series of 48 asanas and postures.
  • Pranayama- controlling of breath, thus giving a control on mind.
  • Pratyahara- control on all your sensations with a control on your sense organs.
  • Dharana (concentration) – the body of the yogi slips into deeper levels of concentration.
  • Dhyan (meditation) – keeping your mind continuously in concentration is meditation.
  • Samadhi (communion) – this is a where you have reached pure consciousness.

Since Ashtanga yoga needs a lot of physical stamina and needs a regular work out, students who are willing to give that much time and those who are physically and emotionally strong should opt for this type of yoga.

Courses offered by Yoga Alliance for yoga teacher training in India and at other places provided 3 main courses 200 hour yoga teacher training course, 300 and 500 hour yoga teacher training course offers specialization in both types of yoga. So, it completely your choice and ability, that which among these two is your type. You have to assess your abilities and limitations to select the best course that suits you.