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Hatha Vs. Vinyasa: Differences Between Two Styles Of Yoga

15 Dec 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga

Out of many types of Yoga, there are two variations- Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga which is most popular forms of movement. You have probably heard of both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. Which style is right for you, it depends upon your yoga experience, fitness level, and your goals for learning and practicing.

Let`s start with the short description of Hatha yoga and its benefits of this practice. We will do the same for Vinyasa Yoga.

Once you are familiar with these two yoga`s practice, let`s compare and find out similar and their differences.

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha is the umbrella term for movement connecting breath. In this yoga practice, you move your body slowly and continuously into different poses at the same time focusing on relaxation and mindfulness. This practice involves body, mind and breath. Here we balance and focus 2 components of the 8 limbs of yoga. It includes series of movements (twisting, bending and folding) in a slower pace holding asanas for a longer period of time. The name “8 limbs” of yoga are recognized in Patanjali`s Yoga Sutra. They are: Yama (attitude towards our environment), Niyama (attitudes towards ourselves), Asana (Physical postures), Pranayama( breath control), Pratyahara ( withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (deep concentration) and Samadhi ( the state of ectasy). IN the Hatha yoga, we focus on thirs Asanas and the fourth Pranayama.

This practice focuses on developing your strength, flexibility, body relaxation, and mental concentration. The seven chakras system of Hatha yoga are root chakra, Sacral chakra, Solar plexus chakra, Heart chakra, Throat chakra, Third eye Chakra, Crown Chakra. Through this chakra activation, the feminine shakti can rise through the chakras to unite with masculine Shiva in the top chakra.

Each Hatha Yoga generally 45-90 inutes long and start with a gentle warm up and pranayama. You have to focus on your breath throughout the class. After 10-15 minutes subtle warm up, we slowly move into the body postures to improve your balance, flexibility and strength. Lastly, class will end with a short meditation or breathing exercises like pranayama.

Benefits

Hatha yoga enhances flexibility, balance and strength. It stimulates your immune system, reducing inflammation diseases, increases concentration and improves sleep quality.

What is Vinyasa Yoga?

In this Vinyasa Yoga practice, you move from one posture to another posture directly in a quicker pace with the matching breath. It is a sequential movement between postures guided by breath. It is one of the smooth way of presenting the yoga postures. A cat-cow stretch is example of a simple Vinyasa flow in your modern day classes. And sun salutation is a complex Vinyasa practice. Vinyasa also focuses on 3rd limb, asana and the 4th limb, Pranayama. It includes variety of postures including advanced and simple postures with the continuous breath which create a more balanced body. It can be also said as “power yoga”. Vinyasa yoga generates heat , build upper body strength and stretch the legs.

Vinyasa class keeps you moving steadily and linking your breath to your movement. It prevents boredom and keep you mentally alert. This classes includes similar practices as Hatha Yoga with a warm up/ pranayama and continuously moving into more advanced poses and lastly into savasana to cool down.

Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

Just like hatha yoga, Vinyasa Yoga also benefits physically and mentally. This practice improves your balance, strength and flexibility and breathing flow. It also relaxes your body and calms your mind while relieving stress and anxiety. Due to quicker pace of practice, it increases your energy levels.

Comparison Between Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga

Hatha yoga is practiced at a slower pace, with a focus on the breath, controlled movements and stretching. However, Vinyasa focuses on connecting the breath to your movements at a faster pace. Also Vinyasa is al smooth and continuous flow of movements.

Both practices share many of the same poses and also focus on same limbs of yoga.

Vinyasa is practiced in a faster pace flowing continuously from one posture to next. Here you take a 1 breath in each movements which means you breath each time you move into next pose.. It is dynamic practice.

Hatha yoga is slower pace of yoga holding the poses for longer period allowing for deep stretches. Also we take multiple breaths while doing asanas and postures..

Choose as per your interest

Overall both hatha and Vinyasa Yoga helps you to gain strength,flexibility and balance. Both helps you to ease stress and anxiety as it relaxes and calms the mind.

If you are looking for a practice that will challenge you physically, then Vinyasa yoga may be better.

If you are beginner, you may go with Hatha yoga as it is slower paced-style so you can learn easily and create a better relaxed environment to learn

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