Benefits and dangers of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is a popular form of yoga that is gaining popularity all around the world. However certain poses can be dangerous if not performed under guidance.
Hatha yoga, the third limb of Raja Yoga also popularly understood by mass population as yoga is getting popular as never before in both eastern and western countries. The reasons for Hatha yoga's gain in popularity are numerous; ranging from releasing stress and increased flexibility to helping patients suffering from various diseases. “Although the initial objective of Hatha yoga was different, however the ability of Hatha yoga to help people with various ailments is really commendable. The Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) is one of the most demanding poses of yoga. In this pose the body is folded almost in half, providing an intense stretch to the entire back of the body, from the scalp down to the heels.” explains Subodh Gupta, Celebrity Yoga Trainer.
He adds, “Beginners often struggle in this yoga pose. If you pull yourself forward using your shoulders and arms you will create the tension through your body and you will end up tightening your muscles and this will not allow you to get into the posture any quicker. While doing this yoga pose, give some time for the muscles to stretch and to release the tension.”
Subodh explains that this yoga pose stimulates the kidneys, liver, spleen and pancreas improving digestion in the body. “This yoga pose tones and massages the entire abdominal area and it relieves constipation. It stretches the hamstring muscles, lumbar and sacral regions and increases flexibility in the hip joints. Regular practice of this yoga pose removes excess weight in the abdomen area.” he says.
However, this pose may be dangerous and not recommended in case of the following health conditions:
(a) When suffering from slipped disc and sciatica
(b) When suffering from asthma
(c) In case of pregnancy as this yoga pose puts stress on the womb