Hatha is a broad category of yoga that can be used to characterize the majority of the types of yoga practiced in the Western world today. The word “hatha” can be translated either as “willful” or “forceful” or as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha). The first translation conceptualizes Hatha as the yoga of activity, while the second characterizes it as the yoga of balance. Simply put, Hatha Yoga is the practice of physical yoga postures and encompasses Ashtanga, Iyengar, and more. These practices are all intended to align the body and calm the mind and spirit in preparation for a deeper meditation practice.
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