Hatha yoga is a generic term that encompasses all styles of physical yoga practice. Strictly speaking, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Restorative, Pre & Post Natal yoga, kids yoga are all forms of Hatha Yoga. However, the common understanding today is that a Hatha Yoga class will be focused on working within the poses themselves, rather than moving from pose to pose. One pose is completed, then another is explored and they are not linked with breath and movement. Some flowing movement may be included at the beginning of the practice solely for the purpose of warming up the major muscle groups prior to the practice of asanas, but flowing through is not integral to the practice style. Often the poses are held for longer periods than flowing styles and this gives a great advantage in exploring alignment, increasing range of movement, building stability into the physical body, and improving your proprioception.
While most Hatha yoga practices will include breath work and meditation – they are often taught and practiced separately from asana. BKS Iyengar, who along with K. Pattabhi Jois, was also a student of T Krishnamacharya preferred to teach yoga in this way.
Hatha classes are suitable for all levels of yogi. If you think a focused, gently kinetic style of practice is for you try our I Heart Hatha or Sunday Best class.