Hatha Yoga | 9 poses for beginners

What is Hatha yoga?

There are many styles of yoga that can be practiced today. One such style is called Hatha Yoga. This is actually a larger category of various yoga styles. It describes a host of other forms and traditions of yoga that one can practice. Hatha Yoga has several meanings. Let's take a look at the understanding of Hatha Yoga, some styles of the Hatha Yoga practice, and how you can integrate the meaning of Hatha Yoga into your fitness and weight loss goals.

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What is Hatha yoga?

One way to describe Hatha Yoga is any style of yoga that involves the combination of breath and movement. This is a common understanding of what we know and do in a yoga class today. You may move through a series of poses accompanied by intentionally breathing.

Hatha es también una palabra del sánscrito (el antiguo idioma del yoga). Cuando se descompone, “ha” significa “sol” mientras que “tha” significa “luna”. Es la idea de crear un sentido de equilibrio entre la mente, el cuerpo y el espíritu mientras se practica yoga.

La palabra completa “Hatha” también puede significar “fuerza”. Esto puede hacer referencia a la realización de alguna actividad física intencionada con tu cuerpo. Generalmente, esto podría implicar moverse intencionalmente a través de varias posturas de yoga bajo ciertas condiciones (Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga), ejercicios de respiración consciente (Pranayama), mantener posiciones corporales para mejorar la alineación y el equilibrio (Anusara Yoga) y más.

These are some examples of different meanings of Hatha Yoga and some of the styles related to this type of practice.

Types of Hatha yoga

Using the definition of Hatha Yoga that refers to moving with breath, here are a few styles that fit under that category.

Ashtanga Yoga

Established by K. Pattabhi Jois in the late 1940's, Ashtanga Yoga is an integration of ancient yoga philosophy and a modern style of movement through yoga poses. What's unique about this practice is that it is a standardized system of movement. When you attend an Ashtanga Yoga class, it will always be the same. The series and sequences of poses does not vary.

The intention of this powerful yoga practice is to improve focus, strength, balance, and coordination in the body.. Comprende secuencias fluidas, así como posturas físicas intensas que ponen a prueba la integridad de tu cuerpo.

Here you can learn more about Ashtanga yoga and try a few of its poses.

Power Vinyasa Yoga

This style of yoga actually stems from the Ashtanga style. Instead of the regimented yoga sequences, a yoga student would encounter variations of flowing movement with a different set of postures. The intention, though, is similar: to build strength, power, endurance, as well as focus, balance, and stability.

Power yoga is very dynamic and physically demanding, which makes it ideal if you're looking for a good workout from your yoga practice. Before starting out with Power Yoga, it's recommended that you have some prior knowledge of yoga and some basic poses..

Here you can learn more about Vinyasa yoga and try out some beginner-friendly poses.

Hot Yoga

One of the more modern interpretations of Hatha Yoga can be found in a Hot Yoga class. Derived from Bikram Yoga, it is practiced in a hot and humid yoga space. On average, the room is heated to approximately 105 F (40 C) with a humidity of about 40%. This will ensure a good sweat while you practice.

Hot yoga

Bikram Yoga, established by Bikram Choudhry, and other styles of Hot Yoga are generally 90-minutes long and often have a standardized sequence of 26 poses performed in the same order each time. Some Hot Yoga classes, though, may incorporate various postures and sequences. With the raised heat, the intention is to bring a challenge to the yoga practice.

It also helps with flexibility, weight loss, cardiovascular boosting, focusing, strength, and endurance.

9 posturas de Hatha Yoga

Here are a few poses that you may encounter in any of the above styles of Hatha Yoga. All have a sense of challenge that can assist you with your health and fitness goals.

1. Plank pose

Plank Pose is a high push-up position. With your hands planted firmly on your yoga mat directly under your shoulders and balancing on your toes, you can build excellent endurance strength in your chest and abs.

As you stabilize your body in this posture, you engage your pectoral muscles as well as your biceps and triceps. Be sure to not allow your hips to sink too low in this pose. Keep your core muscles engaged as you hold the position.

Your glutes, hamstrings, and calves will also feel stronger in this strength-building pose. Hold the posture for at least 10 deep breaths.

Hold this pose for at least 10 deep breaths.

Modifier: Beginners

If you find plank pose too difficult to start, you can bring your knees to the floor. Just remember to keep the tension in your core and your spine in a neutral position.

2. Boat pose

Come to a seated position with you knees bent and heels on the floor. Hold onto your bent knees in order to sit up tall with a straight spine. Slowly lean back maintaining the length in your back. As you lean back, lift your feet off the floor. Flex your feet to keep your legs engaged.

Your shins can be parallel to the floor. Essentially, you are forming a V-shape with your body as you balance on your buttocks.

Hold here for 10 breaths.

Mantén esta postura durante 10 respiraciones.

Modifier: Advanced

In order to challenge yourself in this pose, you can release the hold of the legs and extend them forward. In addition to that, extend your legs and lift them up to maintain the V-shape. As you progress toward this more dynamic version of Boat Pose, you will build more stabilizing strength in your abdominal system.

3. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four limbed staff pose)

When translated, this pose means "Four-Limbed Staff Pose." It is a common posture in the yoga Sun Salutation sequence. It is the bottom portion of the push-up. A nickname for the pose is Crocodile Pose since it resembles the reptilian creature.

Start in Plank Pose, bend your elbows and hug them toward your rib cage as you slowly lower yourself down toward the floor. Do your best to keep the body completely steady, straight, and strong as lower yourself downward. This requires (and will also build) upper body and arm strength.

Hold for at least 5-10 breaths.

4. Chair pose with twist

This posture can assist you with conditioning your core abdominal muscles as well as strengthening your legs.

Start in a standing position. Raise your arms over head then sit back as if you are sitting into an imaginary chair that is behind you. Shift your weight into your heels as you continue to extend your arms above you. Next, bring your hands to your chest in prayer-fashion. Slowly twist your upper body toward the left side of the room.

Make sure your feet stay planted into the mat and your knees and hips remained aligned. You want to be sure that just your torso is rotating.

Hold this posture on this first side for at least 10 breaths.

This will affect your obliques; helping to tone and strengthen your abdominal region. When complete with the first side, return to neutral, then rotate in the other direction.

5. Downward dog

Downward dog is a common yoga posture that is performed during the Sun Salutation sequence. It is an inverted posture that targets the entire body. You can begin this pose on your hands and knees. Lift your knees from the ground while your hips raise into the air. Your body will form an inverted V-shape.

Press your hands firmly into the ground to stabilize your upper body. Your arms will remain straight as they build endurance strength to hold the posture. This will stimulate muscle engagement in your arms, shoulders, and upper back.

With your toes on the ground and heels lifted, keep a bend in your knees. This will allow your spine to fully lengthen. Holding this posture will further stimulate muscle stability in your hips and legs.

Hold Downward dog for at least at least 10 breaths.

6. Warrior 2 pose

Warrior 2 is a lunging posture that helps open the hips and enhances strength in your legs. Start in a wide stance on your yoga mat with your right foot facing forward. Place a bend in your front knee creating a 90 degree angle. (Your knee should be aligned over your heel or ankle in this pose for good posture.) You left Leg will remain straight with your whole foot planted into the ground turned out at a slight angle.

Keep your torso very long and tall while extending your arms out over your legs. They will be parallel to the floor. Hold Warrior Two Pose for at least 10 breaths. As your feet root into the yoga mat, you engage your leg muscles to keep them stable. With the front leg bent at 90 degrees and aligned over your ankle, you may feel a stretch and release to the inner thigh and hip.

You will build endurance strength in your arms as you extend them outward. Be sure to practice this pose on the other side.

Hold Warrior 2 for at least 5 breaths each side.

7. Triangle pose

Triangle pose can be performed after Warrior Two. It is generally the same, accept that you lengthen the front leg to add flexion to your hamstrings. To increase the stretch, reach out over the front leg with your extended arm. Then rotate your arms so that your front arm is along the inside of your front leg. Extend your other arm into the air.

Hold the posture on both sides for at least 10 breaths.

8. Shoulder stand

You will hold this posture for 5 to 10 breaths.

Mantén esta postura This pose involves shoulder and chest stability, engaged core muscles to hold the position, and flexed legs to keep them straight and strong while extending toward the ceiling.

Esta postura requiere la estabilidad de los hombros y el pecho, la participación de los músculos del core para mantener la posición y la flexión de las piernas para mantenerlas rectas y fuertes mientras se extienden hacia el techo.

9. Savasana

It is always a good idea to rest after any sort of workout; that includes yoga. After your dynamic and engaging yoga practice, lie flat on your yoga mat and allow your whole body to completely relax. This is a time for rest and meditation after you have endured the physical work of your yoga poses.

Allow for at least 5 minutes of stillness as you rest in this important yoga position. It is also a time to contemplate the work that you have done and to absorb the positive benefits of the Hatha Yoga practice. mientras descansas en esta importante posición de yoga.

También es un momento para contemplar el trabajo que has realizado y absorber los beneficios positivos de la práctica del Hatha Yoga.



John is a certified yoga teacher (E-RYT 500, 1000 hours), personal trainer and sports nutritionist. Currently, he teaches yoga in the Salt Lake City area.. Actualmente, imparte clases de yoga en el área de Salt Lake City.

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