Complete Guide To Hatha Yoga: Meaning, Poses Benefits And More

The World Yoga Day

Hatha Yoga is the branch of Yoga that focuses on the physical health and mental wellbeing of practitioners. To ensure a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind, focusing on postures of the body (asanas), the techniques of breathing (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana), is the Hatha Yoga definition. Hatha yoga is not an exercise; instead, it is all about developing the understanding of the mechanism of the body by creating a certain atmosphere, and then driving the energy in specific directions by using several body postures.

In this guide you will read about Hatha yoga for beginners and more:

Complete Guide To Hatha Yoga: Meaning, Poses Benefits And More

Why Hatha Yoga?

Allahabad, India- February 05 2019 Sadhu in deep meditation at the Kumbh Mela festival, Allahabad, India.The original philosopher of yoga has developed the eight-fold path of yoga and amongst it, Hatha yoga concentrated mainly on the two of the eight paths to complete the health viz. Breathing and Posture.

Near about 200 Hatha yoga poses are there with their hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and promote blood and energy circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. The postures of Hatha yoga promote the balance and flexibility to the body by stretching and aligning the body. Each and every posture has a certain form and the specific steps to attain the preferred position and for exiting it. Yogis maintain to increase the circulation and health right from the muscular tissues to the glands and the internal organs of the body.

In addition to postures, Hatha yoga poses utilizes breathing. Yogis believe that breathing is the most significant metabolic function and hence, is extremely important to the health. Thus, aside from making the body strong and fit, it works miracles on the whole body’s maintenance and balance.

What does Hatha Yoga mean?

chakras (the energy centers in body)Hatha Yoga is an ancient practice used even today for physical purification. So what does hatha yoga mean? The word Hatha is a combination of two words – Ha (sun) and Tha (moon). The sun and the moon here are two forms of energy, the masculine and the feminine. A hatha yogi is supposed to achieve equilibrium between these two forms of body energy, which eventually leads to enlightenment. This is the reason why hatha yoga is so much popular not just in India, where it originated, but in many countries, wherein people love to practice it for the sake of their mental and physical health.

Yogi Swatmarama, a 15th century sage of India compiled Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which introduced hatha yoga in the lives of people. The Pradipika contains details about hatha yoga, like the asanas, breathing patterns, shatkarma (purification), chakras (the energy centers in body), kundalini (enlightenment energy), kriya ( purification techniques), mudras (energy gestures), nadi (energy channels), and bandhas (energy control). If you get the hang of all these poses and patterns, you can become a perfect hatha yogi and can enjoy the bliss of the mind and body. You can practice hatha yoga at home and enjoy all the benefits.

What does Hatha yoga teach?

Young african woman smiling Hatha yoga teaches you to find happiness within yourself, rather than wandering from place to place in search of happiness. In yoga, human body is considered as an onion, a peel over peel. They are the peels off tension, stress, anxiety, insecurity, jealousy, and all the negative feelings that make it tough for an individual to lead a happy and a healthy life. Hatha yoga enables a person to conquer all the negative feelings and help him emerge as a happy person. Not just this, hatha yoga enables a person to conquer every fear, thirst, sleep, hunger, heat, cold, and enables a person to preserve youth even as age advances.

Hatha yoga is a wonder but it is a difficult path to follow, as it requires a lot of determination and the will to go by rules and regulations in order to become an expert hath yogi. A person who wants to start this practice has to follow stringent diet patterns, as in foods and drinks that are too hot, sour, or spicy like the pepper, flesh, mustard, liquor, onion, garlic, fish, buttermilk, and curd should not be eaten. Once the food is cooked, you cannot reheat that because reheated food is hard to digest, and it should not be high in salt. A hatha yogi can take wheat, rice, barley, butter, milk, sugar, and honey. Hatha yoga teaches a person to consider everything that one eats, as in; it should be clean and well cooked.

Another strict guideline for a person practicing hatha yoga is not to stay in a place that is over heated, should inhale fresh air, and drink clean water. They should not take any type of artificial stimulants like coffee, tea, beer, or wine. All the artificial stimulants affect the nervous system badly over a period. Hatha yoga through different postures, breathing exercises along with a combination of strict diet and healthy habits enables a person to take control over his life and the happenings.

In order to become perfect at hatha yoga, you should seek the help of an instructor who himself has an expertise in this form of yoga. While practicing Hatha yoga at home, you should follow every instruction that your master gives you. Be a vegetarian, leave all bad habits, have control over your senses, keep your mind and body clean, and be kind to everybody around.

Hatha yoga for beginners: things to know

hot yogaThe heat in Hatha Yoga helps to achieve deeper stretches and also boosts the heart rate to add a stronger cardio component. Thus Hatha yoga has become popular as the ‘hot yoga’. Here are some tips for the Hatha yoga practitioners to get prepared for their hot yoga class:

First, practitioners need to be very sure about whether it is Bikram or Hot Vinyasa that they aim to master eventually. Once decided to pursue the type of Hatha Yoga, they need to follow certain steps. Always bring your own towels with yoga mat. Next, they need to focus on hydrating their bodies to avoid fatigue. They should listen to what their body feels. The best way to do so is to wear the right clothing which is form-fitting and hence,will not interfere with the movement.

Know some yoga etiquette required for the Hatha Yoga class, both for Bikram and Hot Vinyasa. They should arrive in the class early to ensure they get a decent spot and also get chance to relax before the class starts. Furthermore, it is advisable not to eat too much before yoga class. Balanced to minimal diet will help them minimize  nausea.

Tips for the elderly Hatha Yoga practitioners

Private yoga instructor with senior woman doing yogaSenior citizens need to talk to their instructor about their physical limitations. When they are sure about going ahead with their decision, what they simply need to do first is choose a space in the back row to avoid awkwardness or embarrassment. They should start slowly and be kind to their body, by not pushing too hard. In order to do seemingly difficult poses, they should make it a a point to use proper props to be comfortable.

The best way to avoid embarrassment is not to compare yourself with others, as everybody is different. Don’t judge yourself or your body; instead, be relaxed, breathe and just take the resting pose without worrying about others. Commit to a series of classes. Mind you, beginning will not be easy; but at the end, they will enjoy doing it.

What is hatha yoga good for?

Close-up image of fit young women attending outdoor yoga class, making mudra gesture and breathingThe primary aim of Hatha yoga is to absorb energy into your body and soul rather than perfecting poses and postures. While practicing Hatha yoga at home, beginners have to keep close tab on their discomfort and when it occurs, they need to stop immediately. Instead of admiring others performances and feeling low about their performance, they should keep practicing it.

Breathing is important in Hatha yoga practice to have a continue smooth breathing pattern. By stabilizing the breathing pattern, practitioners get to learn about how to bring the balance in life. To achieve the best results of Hatha yoga the three most important aspects which are needed and are linked together are breathing, movement, and postures.

Five Hatha Yoga styles you should know about

Young man working yoga in the park.Yoga as a form of practice has evolved over the years to meet our individualistic needs. In this respect, Hatha Yoga (and its derived styles) is arguably the most popular and evolved form of Yoga that caters to our element of physicality. Driven by the dictum of ‘body is the vehicle of the spirit’, these different styles have progressed from the same root; and, they do strive to meet the same goal, the union of body, mind and spirituality.

Ananda Yoga

young caucasian Woman dressed skinny sporty clothes cheerfully smiling into camera doing yoga exercises Ananda Balasana pose on pilates mat legs wide apartPerhaps the most orthodox derivation of Hatha Yoga, this classical interpretation is related more to our inner energy than outer exertion. Developed by Swami Kriyananda, the style is based upon two the pillars of Asana and Pranayama. Naturally, the movements and poses are easy paced with more consideration given to the subtle forces of our body. This makes the Yoga very peaceful and graceful at the same time.

Ashtanga

Ashtanga YogaVery different from the Ananda, the Ashtanga is generally considered as the most complex style of all Yoga forms. Developed by K. Pattabhi Jois, the style consists of a series of poses, which flow from one posture to another. Aimed to build our core strength, stamina and concentration, the whole work out can be very physically demanding, especially for the amateurs. In fact, the very concepts of Power Yoga are derived from Ashtanga.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram YogaGenerally performed in high temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Bikram Yoga is named after its founder Bikram Choudhury. Consisting of a series of 26 Asanas, each pose is actually repeated twice for enhanced effect. Moreover, the ‘sweaty’ style is known for its individualistic approach to our different body parts like shoulders, thighs and ankles, through various bends and twists. But the end effect is a collective one that combines these individual results in a symbiotic manner.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar YogaNamed after one of the foremost Yoga teachers in the world – B.K.S Iyengar, Iyengar Yoga is known for its intricate details while following the postures. Showering more attention to the precision of the pose, most of the adherents also make use of external props. As a matter of fact, these props (like belts and supports) enhance the degree of perfection for a pose, and thus help practitioners to hold on to the positions for a longer time. Moreover, the improved alignment of movements is also kept in consideration.

Jivamukti Yoga

David Life and Sharon GannonImage Source : images.squarespace-cdn.com

Actually developed by two westerners David Life and Sharon Gannon, this interesting style is a fusion of graceful physical postures and a high degree of mental cultivation. Giving more importance to the philosophical and spiritual aspect of Yoga, a typical class can consist of a myriad of activities like Sanskrit chanting, scripture readings, Yoga music, Asanas and breathing exercises; all of them related to the ambiance of a particular theme.

Iyengar Yoga can help you stay fit despite debilitations

woman got injury after over stretching exercise in yoga class with her trainer helping to supportIyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga that is used to help practitioners prevent injuries or pain and correct the alignment of their body. The yoga practice uses many props that help practitioners achieve perfect results without pushing themselves too far.

How did Iyengar yoga originate?

B.K.S. IyengarImage Source : yoga.ayush.gov.in

Iyengar Yoga is the brainchild of a well-known Indian yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar. The yoga scholar based this form on Maharishi (saint) Patanjali’s eight Yoga Sutras limbs. Hence, it is one of the most systematic and comprehensive yoga forms that can be customized to suit almost anyone’s needs. Iyengar systematized 14 pranayamas and 200 classical asanas to create a system that would allow beginners and ailing people to practice yoga and improve their health.

Where can you find an Iyengar yoga class?

woman-got-certificationIyengar Yoga is a lot more stringent in giving out certification, which means that advanced teachers need to train themselves for many years before they can receive a certificate to teach it. The props used in this form of yoga are also very specific so one should check the credentials of a teacher thoroughly before enrolling in a class. Apart from inquiring about the teacher/trainer’s certification, a practitioner should ensure that the teacher/student ratio in a class is on the lower side.

What does Iyengar yoga encompass?

Group of four women practicing yoga with ropes standing in a row in yoga studioA typical Iyengar yoga class focuses on getting practitioners to achieve correctness in regular yoga poses using props like sand bags, straps, benches, cushions, blocks and belts. The emphasis on correctness means that the technique, sequence and training elements of this form are a lot more easily paced. The props also allow almost anyone to practice this form without feeling strained. However, this also means that one has to devote a lot more time to perfecting basic poses before they can attempt tougher ones.

What is the difference between yoga and Hatha yoga?

group of young caucasian, asian sporty people practicing yoga lesson Hatha yoga is basically the generic term which refers to any form of yoga that teaches the yoga asanas, and is actually the ‘regular’ yoga classes that are taught in yoga centers. These classes will either be called ‘yoga’ classes or ‘Hatha Yoga’ classes, to differentiate from power yoga, vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, hot yoga or Bikram yoga or any other type of yoga. So to clarify, what is the difference between yoga and Hatha yoga – hatha yoga is the term used in place of yoga by yoga studios and instructors.

Which is harder Hatha or Vinyasa?

Fit slim young woman exercising under control of professional fitness trainer in the morningYou may ask which is harder Hatha or Vinyasa yoga? Vinyasa yoga is considered to be harder unless you are really physically fit or you have experience of performing yoga poses. Vinyasa yoga and hatha yoga have many same poses, the difference is in the pace or speed of the two types of yoga.

Vinyasa yoga poses are done at a much faster speed and need greater control over breathing than Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga allows more stretching as the poses have to be held for a longer time.

Vinyasa yoga can be summed up as a type of cardio workout as you have to change poses with your breath, and Hatha yoga is a flexibility and stretching workout.

Hatha yoga benefits irrespective of age

Depression man drinking alcohol at homeYoga can help you in innumerable ways, as it empowers your body, mind and soul to fight the stress and everyday problems of life. Modern uncontrolled lifestyle has led our generation to health disorders and emotional distress. A bad lifestyle and absence of self-awareness could lead to destructive habits and a pessimistic vision of life. To cleanse your body and spirit you should find out the right kind of Yoga for yourself and practice them regularly for best results.

Every Yoga posture in all types of yoga, including Hatha yoga, has some exclusive benefits for your body and soul. It helps you control your mind. Ayurveda, the ancient medical science evolved in India, is the counterpart of Yoga. This clearly indicates that like Ayurveda, Yoga also has medicinal value. Here are some of the key benefits of yoga, and Hatha yoga benefits irrespective of which type of yoga you practice:

●     Fitness and Flexibility:Male torso with measure tape on waistline over white background

Yoga promotes the overall fitness of your body and improves your flexibility. Yoga incorporates many stretching movements that tones your body muscles and makes them stronger. Fitness of the body depends on the fitness of the mind. Yoga is not only a physical exercise. It is also a way of developing your mental ability and concentration levels.

●     Weight Loss Aid:

Personal trainer correct his client while doing stretching exercise. Overweight woman doing yoga with instructor support.Yoga is a great weapon against obesity and unseemly body fat. Regular practice of Yoga will help in substantial weight loss. Unlike other forms of exercises Yoga doesn’t only help in weight reduction but also tones your body and makes you look slimmer and more beautiful.

●     Shield against Diseases:

Wife taking care of her elderly sick husband

Yoga is like a shield against many diseases and health disorders. It gives your body the power to protect itself from the immunity related diseases like cold and cough, viral fever etc. Yoga also cures backaches, neck aches, arthritis etc. The regular practice of Yoga can reduce your blood sugar levels and eases the discomfort and pain of chemotherapy. Yoga provides vitality to our inner organs and improves their functions.

●     Peace of Mind: 

woman-practicing-outdoor-meditation

Through the help of Yoga you can get back the peace of your mind and do away with the negative thoughts that burden your soul. Yoga soothes your soul and connects you to your spiritual self. Meditation, which is an important part of every Yoga session, strengthens your soul and helps you discover your true self. Yoga leads to a spiritual awakening which in turn helps in restoring your inner peace.

●     Concentration and Creativity:

Beautiful modern woman is writing something down on the blueprint and using laptop while working in the creative office.To succeed in any profession you need to concentrate and be creative. Yoga opens up the doors of imagination and creativity. It helps you focus on your works. Improved concentration is a great tool for achieving your professional goals.

●     Personal Relationships:

Young couple dressed in white shirts and jeans standing together outdoors on the terrace of the modern houseYoga disperses the negative energy flowing through your body and mind. When the negative energy is absent, your personal relationships start improving.  With an enhanced clarity of mind and improved listening skills you can communicate with your spouse better than before. Communication is many a times the best solution of relationship problems.

Whether 13 or 65, you can always benefit from Yoga

Mother and daughter are engaged in yoga in sportswearAre you health conscious? Are you worried that any exercise regime might not suit you according to your age? If yes, then there is an ideal way to stay fit without even bothering how old you are because yoga benefits are for everyone. In case you are thinking that you can hardly move or touch your toes, how can you indulge in yoga? There is nothing to worry, as there are different yoga poses that can be done at any age throughout the life.

Yoga helps fight all the problems related to aged body, such as loosening of bones, stiffness, hardening of the arteries, hormonal problems and depression. At the same time, it helps teenagers to deal with their mood swings, find mental balance. People in their middle ages can maintain their youth, while those who live modern lifestyle can practice yoga for overall well being.

What studies say about yoga benefits?

Young girl practicing stretching and yoga workout exercise on the terraceWhen it comes to yoga, it’s never too late. Benefits of yoga can be realized at any phase of life irrespective of age, sex and color.

Yoga has a positive impact on migraine patients

migraine issues with womanDealing with migraine is a complex job since there is no ‘one-size-fits-for-all’ treatment. A 2020 study from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with two groups found that medications and a 2-month yoga program combined had better impact on migraine sufferers than those only on standard medication. The group following yoga experienced a reduced severity in migraine with fewer episodes of headaches and consumed fewer medicines. It is also established that migraine medications work only on half of the sufferers.

Yoga shows remarkable improvement in major depressive disorder

Yogic Breathing with focus on ribcageA 2019 study from Boston University identified breathing exercises and yoga if combined improves symptoms of major depressive disorder. This is the first study to specify the optimal dose or duration of the yoga program for this purpose. The specific duration of Iyengar Yoga and breathwork sessions improved positivity, energy, sleep quality with marked reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms within a month and it was even more pronounced after three months.

Helps in lowering blood pressure almost the same achieved from aerobic exercise

physician checking the blood pressure of a patientMayo Clinic in its 2019 meta-analysis of 49 studies states, yoga postures facilitating mental relaxation and breathing can have a positive impact on lowering blood pressure almost equivalent to that gained from aerobic exercise. The reduction in blood pressure observed is 11/6 mm Hg, equal or more than those reported from aerobic exercises. Without yoga intervention in mental relaxation and breathing, blood pressure reduction was only 6/3 mm Hg.

Yoga as a therapy for back pain

Tired business, student woman with waist ache while sitting at workplace

A randomized trial from Boston University in 2017 confirmed 12 weeks of yoga gave the same results in back pain relief in adults with moderate and persistent pain as 12 weeks of physiotherapy. Half of the participants from both the groups (yoga group and physical therapy group) could reduce their pain, disability and medication intake, but those from the yoga group seemed to prefer yoga more and are likely to stick to the regime.

Over time hatha yoga has a significant impact on depression

woman in depression

A study from Brown University in 2017 gives interesting findings of the impact of Hatha yoga against health education session on patients suffering from severe depression on antidepressant medications. In the first 10 weeks, the yoga group didn’t see any notable benefit but after 3 and 6 months, half of them found 50% improvement in their depression symptoms.

Weekly combined yoga and meditation routine could stall old age mental decline

woman practicing Kundalini yoga poseA small UCLA study in 2016 found that weekly yoga and meditation can restrict age related mental decline. Older adults having early memory problems improved more in thinking tests following Kundalini yoga and Kirtan Kriya meditation than the similar other group attending brain training classroom sessions and mental exercise. A 12-week yoga and meditation program showed more benefits in improving cognitive functions.

Hatha Yoga improved walking speed in people with hyperkyphosis

A young man with a severe curvature of the spineA study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles school of Medicine asked more than 21 individuals of over 60 years of age to perform Hatha Yoga once in week in a span of 12 weeks. All the participants suffered from hyperkyphosis, a kind of hunch back problem that creates problems in normal movement. After the yoga sessions, the walking speed of all the people increased by 8% and other movements increased by 18%. It also helps those with improper standing posture to gain the proper balance.

Slows osteoporosis, increases bone density

 Attractive Girl Suffering From Painful FeelingThere are also studies, which show that yoga might save you from breaking a bone. In a study, 18 people suffering from osteoporosis (which made them almost unable to move) were assigned yoga classes for 10 minutes daily. Here they learnt about 10 postures including upward, downward, bridge pose and triangle, which they can maintain for about 20-30 seconds without falling down. After having put them on a regular routine for a certain number of days, it was found that their bone density increased by 85% from what calculated previously mainly in the spine and hip region.

Slows aging

Group of three women sitting on fitness mat and doing side stretches together

Studies show that daily dose of regular yoga can keep the old age away and power yoga, astanga, or bikram or hatha yoga gives the heart a fast and aerobic workout. If you are suffering from any kind of medical condition then the vigorous yoga might not be a good option for you. For the beginners just go slow with less physical pressure on the body. To live long one simple tip is, combine yoga with walking. A convenient 20 minutes walk will do wonders.

Best Hatha Yoga DVDs we thought you should know of

watching yoga on laptop While the seemingly forceful, traditional Hatha Yoga hints at the Iyengar or Ashtanga forms of yoga, the yoga practice, however, has evolved over the years and now, it includes slow-paced stretching poses, relaxation techniques and meditational aspects of yoga. For beginners, the Hatha Yoga is a difficult yoga form that requires absolute dedication and concentration.

Nevertheless, if you can purchase any of the Hatha Yoga DVDs we’ve listed for you, you’ll find that the outwardly stern practice is actually a sublime, interesting ritual.

Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss – Hatha Yoga – Fit for Life Series

Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss – Hatha Yoga – Fit for Life Series dvd

Compiled by Susan Fulton (a professional instructor), the Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss – Hatha Yoga is an easy to follow, superb anthology of Hatha Yoga postures. The DVD includes detailed instructions on mastering Hatha Yoga postures like Sun Salutation, Tree Balance, Half Moon Balance, Boat and Plank. Highly beneficial for both beginners and seasoned yoga practitioners, the DVD offers ways to attain better stance, poise and harmonization.

Inch Loss Yoga – Hatha Yoga for Toning – Healthy Living Series

Inch Loss Yoga – Hatha Yoga for Toning – Healthy Living Series

Directed by David Morgan and enacted by Susan Fulton (a professional Yoga instructor), the Hatha Yoga for Toning DVD promotes techniques and postures to help you attain perfectly toned muscles, enhanced relaxation, improved posture and better control over your entire persona. As you practice various yoga exercises, you’ll notice a decreased stress level. Moreover, the Inch Loss Yoga allows you to choose the level you wish to begin your practice.

Yoga Sanctuary: A Guided Hatha Yoga Practice

Yoga Sanctuary A Guided Hatha Yoga Practice

Avid yoga practitioner and instructor Shiva Rea has compiled a wholesome DVD tutorial that allows Hatha Yoga beginners to create their individualized yoga schedule. After all, we’ve our individual needs when it comes to practicing yoga and reaping its benefits. So, the tailor-made anthology of impressive Hatha Yoga poses is exclusively compiled for those who prefer following their own, self-directed practice routine. The Yoga Sanctuary is a worth buy for sure.

The Power of Hatha Yoga: Beginner Series

The Power of Hatha Yoga Beginner Series

The Power of Hatha Yoga: Beginner Series includes 20 easy-to-follow postures for Hatha Yoga newbies. After following the included steps for a month, the practitioners will feel a sense of composure and better posture adding volumes of grace to their persona. The detailed Hatha Yoga postures series helps you become more flexible and balanced. Moreover, dedicated efforts will help you attain better concentration, balance and willpower.

Power of Hatha Yoga CURATIVE series: Beginner

Power of Hatha Yoga CURATIVE series Beginner

Famous yoga guru Naader Shagagi has created this well-planned series of Classical Hatha Yoga postures that should help beginners being well versed with Hatha Yoga. The 30-minute DVD narrates a yoga class experience and includes detailed instructions of Pranayama breathing, sun salutations, half moon pose and meditation.

Best yoga books you need to know of

Young woman reading a book while in a yoga posturePracticality of scopes always remains incomplete without the perspective of knowledge. In this regard, we have come across some Yoga oriented books which are loved and followed by both teachers and students alike. So, without further ado, let us check some of the gems that inform, influence and inspire us ardent Yoga aficionados.

1. Good Camel, Good Life by Scott Bischke

Good Camel, Good Life by Scott Bischke

A book centered around the challenge of ‘hot yoga’, the narrative is based upon the author’s real life experience in dealing with his wife’s cancer. The ‘protagonist’ thus begins to take his amateur 60 day course on Vikram Yoga, which ultimately results in a wholesome self discovery journey.

2. The Holy Science by Swami Sri Yukteswar

The Holy Science by Swami Sri Yukteswar

A relatively ‘thin’ read, this book is more oriented towards the knowledgeable scheme of things. An interesting comparative study made between various Hindu scriptures and Bible passages, the narrative fascinatingly showcases the parallel and often similar ideals expressed in both religions. Moreover, the author himself was the Guru of the famous Yoga adherent Paramahansa Yogananda.

3. Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by David Coulter

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by David CoulterOften touted as a remarkable and comprehensive work that logically relates Hatha Yoga with our human physiology, this book is certainly a gem for Yoga aficionados. With exceptional attention given to our cardiovascular and nervous systems, this definitive study of anatomy-physiology correlation also comes with full colored detailed postures, and their complementary diagrams.

4. Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scarvelli

Awakening the Spine by Vanda ScarvelliA prose in nigh poetic style, this interesting work intersects various forms of Yoga in relation to breathing exercises, gravity postures and even human anatomy. But more importantly, the narration follows a pretty simplistic flow, which can easily strike a chord with many a reader.

5. The Living Gita by Sri Swami Satchidananda

The Living Gita by Sri Swami SatchidanandaImage Source : kbimages1-a.akamaihd.net

The Bhagwad Gita is considered as one of the ‘holiest’ passages in Hinduism. Basically an excerpt from the epic poem Mahabharata, the passage describes the spiritual awakening of warrior prince Arjuna by virtue of ‘karma’. This in itself leads to the foundation of Karma Yoga, and thus forms the detailed subject matter of the book in question. Dealing more with the philosophical perception of Yoga, this work is a must read for ardent Yoga practitioners who want to delve a little bit deeper in to its theory.

6. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie KaminoffIf you are a fan of detailed illustrations, then this fascinating book is tailored for you. Showing what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ inside your muscles and bones while you indulge yourself in varied Yoga poses, the work provides a visual scientific backing to your workout. Moreover, some of the starting chapters also give us some info on breathing and spinal oriented exercises.

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