There are so many yoga practices available in the market. There’s Vinyasa, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Bikram, Iyengar, to name a few. With the overwhelming number of choices, you may often ask the question, which one is made for me?
The honest answer is, I don’t know. You will have to try all of them and let your heart and physical feelings judge for you.
First of all, Yoga literally means “union”. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice part of the practice, so whatever movements you make while focusing on yourself and the present moment is called Hatha Yoga. In the case you take off the spiritual part of Hatha Yoga, you can call it gymnastics. We live in a very busy world nowadays and everything has to go faster and faster while we are paying less and less attention to our own body and mind. I sometimes have the same feeling regarding Hatha Yoga practice. People are asking for exercises that are more complex and challenging and we tend to forget that yoga is mainly an exercise for the mind.
In my opinion, the biggest problem as a yoga teacher nowadays is that we are listening to these increasing requests and are trying to create new styles of yoga to please the demand. Are we drifting away from the strong and important roots of Yoga by doing that?
Focus on Hatha Yoga First
We would need to try different types of Hatha Yoga before practicing the style we feel the most comfortable with. But are we really sincere with ourselves in the decision? Are we really using our full heart looking inside of us during and after the practice? Or are we looking at ourselves using our brain and with the eyes of the “I” and ego? It is impossible to attain long-lasting happiness with only a healthy body. All experiences that we have come from the inside and not from the outside. Therefore, a healthy mind is also necessary. Yoga and meditation can show the way to this long lasting happiness that we are all looking for.
I always tell my students that there are many ways to attain long lasting happiness. You can try as many different paths as you like all your life but the one path you feel comfortable with and in which you put all your faith into is the one that will take you there faster.