Ashtanga Yoga vs Hatha Yoga
* The Ashtanga and the Hatha Yoga differs in their focusing elements; Ashtanga is focused more on the balance between the breathing and the physical posture, Hatha focuses more on mediation and physical strength of the body.
Yoga has become an adopted lifestyle by many that came from Indian roots and has tinges of most cultures in it, especially the Hindu Culture and Buddhism. Yoga involves the concept of mind, body and soul where all are aligned. And meditation and a controlled breathing is required to tune out any disruptions in the environment around us. However, a layman may not know, but Yoga has different kinds and all achieve to strengthen a different part of the anatomy. Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga are two such types.
Unlike many other styles of yoga present, Ashtanga yoga focuses more on the time that is spent in a single posture. Controlled breathing in yoga is essential and even more so in Ashtanga yoga since holding a posture for several seconds requires good breathing. The Ashtanga therefore generates heat in a person’s body which results in better blood circulation. Not only does flexibility increase while doing yoga, the Ashtanga method seeks to also strengthen the muscle tissues and the tendons.
Hatha yoga is widely practiced in the world these days and has its roots in 15th Century Hindu culture. Hatha yoga focuses more on the meditative aspect of the exercise, since meditation is required to tune out the world and develop postures that will help strengthen the body. This brings the perfect balance between the mind and body as the person goes into a relaxation mode mentally and physically strengthens their balance which helps with the overall physical health of the person.
Difference between Ashtanga yoga and Hatha yoga
The major difference lies in the focusing elements of both Ashtanga and Hatha. Where Ashtanga seeks to bring a balance between the breathing and the physical posture of a person, the Hatha focuses on mediation and physical strength of the body.
The Ashtanga yoga style is also a more intense form of yoga since it is based on sequential steps that require constant change of posture while breathing in a regular manner. This is difficult since changing postures requires a lot of heavy breathing that increases the heart rate and therefore the circulation of blood in the body. The controlled breathing is therefore essential. Hatha Yoga on the other hand is more slow paced unlike the Ashtanga and therefore controlling breathing in this form is relatively easy and keeping the heart rate constant or slow is also possible. A good mediation will help achieve the desired results in Hatha as postures need to be kept for long and a lot of focus is required.
There are many other forms of yoga such as the power yoga and Iyenger yoga; it is however up to the physical strength and the determination of a person to choose their style. The Ashtanga and the Hatha are the two most popular in the world because of their difference; however, the results achieved by both are similar. For someone just starting out yoga, it is better to try out all options to see where your strength lies.