How to Design a Hatha Yoga Routine
This article is primarily written for new yoga teachers. However it may also serve as a reminder to those who have taken a break from teaching yoga. And yoga students can benefit by learning what to look for in a HathaYoga class.
A well formatted Hatha Yoga routine includes proper breathing, along with a carefully planned series of backward bends, forward bends and twisting movement. Yoga movements should also be in balance and sequence as follows: bend forward, then backward, then bend left, then bend right, then twist left, then twist right. Generally one inhales when opening, extending or bending backward, and one exhales when closing, contracting or bending forward.
Your routines can be flowing and vigorous, more subtle and still or a combination. They key is to create balance in the routine you design. Also, it’s essential that along with the physical routine, you have in mind a emotional or spiritual state that you are trying to help your students reach. This will help you to better guide the energy of the class.
Proper breathing and one’s intention or state of mind while performing a Hatha Yoga routine is what elevates yoga to something more than just another form of physical exercise. Yoga should be approached with a gentle, non-competitive attitude. A graceful yogi is less concerned about physical perfection, and more focused on self awareness, self acceptance and gentle progress. The successful yoga student works with the body, not against it. This means being patient, honoring the body’s wisdom not the ego’s pride.
Many people mistakenly believe that Hatha Yoga requires a great deal of strength, flexibility and balance. The truth is that a competent Hatha Yoga teacher can design a yoga program that suits the physical and emotional needs and limitations of any yoga student. So whether your students are younger or older, male or female, more flexible or less flexible, high energy or low key, you should be able and willing to design a Hatha Yoga routine that suits their needs.