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Ask the experts: Hatha yoga or Vinyasa yoga—what’s better for me?

Published on:28 December 2020, 18:35pm IST
If your search for the right yoga practice has brought you here, then let us acquaint you with Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga—both of which come with distinct advantages.
Grand Master Akshar
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All yoga offers mental, physical, and emotional benefits—but is one practice better than the other? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Hatha yoga is an ancient traditional method which is taught under careful observation and in close guidance. Hatha yoga is a confidential art form from the Himalayas with many deep secrets. The methods used in Hatha yoga are extremely safe and are practiced with guided supervision. 

Vinyasa yoga, on the other hand, is a type of practice where you flow from one posture to another posture. Vinyasa means flow or ‘lei athmak’, which means one asana after another. In yoga, each and every asana has many different benefits including strength, flexibility and improving organ functions. When many different asanas come together as a sequence, this forms a dynamic combination of movements that improves health, builds immunity and leads to overall well-being.

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The similarity between the two practices is that both of them come under the purview of a scientific practice which means that they follow certain basic rules of alignment and breathwork techniques. 

What’s the difference between Hatha and Vinyasa yoga?

If you are a spiritual seeker searching for some meaning with regard to life’s answers and are looking at the big picture, then Hatha yoga is the practice for you. 

Hatha yoga vs Vinyasa yoga
Physical benefits are also there with vinyasa. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

Hatha yoga teaches philosophy, helps you find the answers to many spiritual questions, and delves into depths of existence and the mysteries of the universe. If your idea of growth is to build knowledge and then find your success, then Hatha yoga is for you. 

But if you are interested in enjoying the postures and the flow of movement that yoga has to offer then Vinyasa yoga is recommended. Vinyasa yoga is for those who are not searching for truth or answers to any big questions. 

Vinyasa yoga is great for movement-related practice where you can enjoy weight loss and other physical benefits of flexibility and strength. The asanas from Hatha yoga are contained within a Vinayasa. The same postures are strung together in a sequence of movements in Vinyasa yoga. 

Physical versus spiritual 

The difference is that Vinyasa yoga is a purely physical practice while Hatha yoga answers all your questions whether they are related to theory or your practice. 

Hatha yoga can be your foundational learning and this practice of ancient Himalayan science will bring you many benefits. Moreover the practice of Hatha yoga is a strict practice that follows and adheres to codes, rules, and follows a certain sequence of asanas and breathing techniques. 

Hatha yoga vs Vinyasa yoga
Yoga is the natural way to deal with everything. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

There is no flexibility in Hatha yoga but on the other hand you can enjoy the practice of Vinyasa yoga with no limitations on the order of postures breathing exercises in your routine. 

Based on your interest, your lifestyle habits and what you are seeking to learn you can choose either Hatha yoga or Vinyasa yoga. Both give you innumerable benefits whether it is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  

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Grand Master Akshar Grand Master Akshar

Grand Master Akshar is an internationally acclaimed Spiritual yogic master. He is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga and president of World Yoga Organisation. He is also the President of the International Siddha Foundation.