With ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon,” Hatha Yoga is commonly translated as the yoga that brings union “of the pairs of opposites.” Sometimes Hatha Yoga is also translated as the “forcefull yoga”, because it requires a lot of physical effort. Hatha yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga, which is part of the reason why so many definitions of Hatha Yoga exist.
It is the branch of yoga that concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas ), breathing techniques (pranayama ), and meditation (dyana ) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance and flexibility.