Hatha Yoga

"...there is no distinction between one yoga and another;
they all have the same root and the same purpose"1  -B.K.S.  Iyengar


Hatha Yoga is the most familiar form of yoga to Westerners.  When you hear someone talking about practicing “yoga” they are most likely referring to Hatha Yoga.

Hatha Yoga is the path of yoga that begins with the physical body.  It is a moving meditation involving the practices of asana (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).  These postures and breathing excericises were created to cleanse the body and prepare it to sit in meditation.  

Any yoga class that involves the practice of physical postures no matter what it may be called is a form of Hatha Yoga.

For example:  Iyengar, Astanga, Power yoga,  Vinyasa, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Kundalini are all types of Hatha Yoga.

1. Iyengar, B.K.S.  B.K.S. Iyengar: Yoga Wisdom and Practice. DK Books, 2009. (pg. 47).


The Word “Hatha” means sun and moon.  So Hatha Yoga literally means the “union between the sun and moon”.  The sun represents the  right (warm) side of the body and the moon represents the left (cool) side of the body.