Hatha yoga refers to the physical practice of yoga encompassing asana ( yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) which help bring peace to the mind and body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation. As the classes at Setagaya Yoga studio have a maximum of 5 students we can change the pace of class according to what everyone needs in that particular class. Hatha yoga has a reputation of being a slower practice which means it’s great for everyone, beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. I welcome all levels of student at Setagaya Yoga Studio.

7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF HATHA YOGA

1. Builds immunity – When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph. This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning

2. Relaxes the mind and releases tension in the body – Yoga really encourages you to focus on your breath, which relaxes the mind. Whether you are trying to find ease in a difficult pose or you are practicing yin yoga, the breath will help you calm the mind and release tension in the body.

3. Tones the spine – All of our nerves branch out from the spine, connecting the various organ systems to the brain. It is said that if the spine is rigid, nerve impulses cannot flow freely through the body and internal organs become weakened and subject to disease. If you keep the spine supple, the nerves remain strong and your health is maintained.

4. Strengthens and tones the body – Yoga poses are weight bearing, are held for varying lengths of time, and are repeated multiple times during a practice. It is a great option for functional fitness since it allows your body to be both strengthened and stretched in positions that your body is naturally in on a day-to-day basis.

5. Increases flexibility – There are two major schools of scientific thought on what actually most limits flexibility and what should be done to improve it. The first school focuses not on stretching muscle fiber itself but on increasing the elasticity of connective tissues, the cells that bind muscle fibers together, encapsulate them, and network them with other organs; the second addresses the “stretch reflex” and other functions of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Yoga works on both. That’s why it’s such an effective method for increasing flexibility.

6. Helps with cravings – This is a big one for me! When my body is off balance I have all sorts of cravings (who doesn’t??) Yoga is great for balancing our systems and helping to curb all sorts of wacky things such as oversleeping, overeating, the desire to drink or smoke, eat sugar and more!

7. Good Health –   It is said the practice of yoga will help us achieve real hunger, good digestion, sound sleep, perfect functioning of the various organs of the body, proper pulsation, timely elimination of wastes, interest in doing one’s duties, and happiness of mind.