Yoga fundamentals for beginners and experienced yogis
The most popular yoga forms in the West today derive from Hatha Yoga, including (but not limited to) Bikram Yoga, Iyengar, Jivamukti and Ashtanga Vinyasa.“Hatha” means “force” in Sanskrit, and refers to yoga as a system of physical techniques. Hatha Yoga is mentioned early in both Hindu and Buddhist contexts, with the earliest records of the term “Hatha Yoga” being found in Buddhist Tantric works from the eighth century. However, according to legend, Hatha Yoga was developed by Buddhist/Hindu saint Matsyendranath (c. early tenth century), who overheard Shiva describing the principals of yoga and from this founded Hatha Yoga.
Even though Hatha Yoga is an ancient practice, the most influential work on Hatha Yoga is medieval: Svami Svatmarama’s fifteenth-century Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Among other things, his work contains descriptions of postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayamas), power centres (chakras), and meditation. During India’s movement for independence from the British Empire in the 1920s and 1930s, the interest for Hatha Yoga grew enormously. Hatha Yoga became so popular in this period because it was considered a symbol of national unity, Indian traditions, and freedom, as opposed to imposed “Britishness”.
With Hatha Yoga’s popular rise in the 1920s and 1930s, it was also greatly developed in this time period. Some of the most influential revivers and reformers of Hatha Yoga were Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Bishnu Ghosh. They all had in common that they focused more on the asana practice than had been done before, and they also worked on optimal sequencing of and alignment in asanas. However, all of them primarily taught the 84 classical Hatha Yoga asanas. These 84 classical asanas are also the focus of the Hatha Yoga offered at Yogateket. In our classes, we combine deliberate breathing with static postures, and in so doing create a strong foundation for your yoga practice. After some time, you might even find meditation and relaxation by staying in the postures.