|Hatha or Tantra Yoga?
Class Timetable | Venues | What to Expect and FAQs | Hatha or Tantra
In this section I am aiming to give you a better understanding of the two styles of Yoga that I teach, and how that difference translates into the classes.
In general Tantra classes look more into the spiritual, energetic and meditative aspects of Yoga, therefore holding the asanas for an extended period of time and talking a lot about the cakras, energy flow and sublimation. Whereas Hatha classes are more physical and technical in the postures and there is very little discussion of the energetic aspect of the postures.
Hatha or Tantra Classes?
If you are wondering which of the classes, Hatha or Tantra, is for you, then please read this, and if after reading it, you wish more details please contact me directly and I will be more than willing to discuss this with you.
Hatha - These are general style classes, which focus mainly on the physical positioning of the asanas. There is usually a short period of breathing techniques in a seated position at the beginning of the class, then some warm up exercises which aim to get the body ready for your asana practice. We then concentrate on specific postures, beginning with standing poses and then onto floor postures, the level of the class dictating the difficulty of the positions performed. The technical aspects of the asanas will be considered and each class will focus either on a specific type of asana or a part of the body. Verbal instruction and physical adjustments will be made during the class to assist you in finding the correct body position. In the more advanced levels the asana practice will end with the inverted poses (e.g. sarvangasana - the shoulder stand, or sirsasana - the head stand). The class will then perform a guided relaxation (lying in sivasana - the corpse pose), or may end with a meditation.
Tantra - Tantra is commonly misunderstood as only the Yoga of sexuality. In fact this form of Yoga is where we are using the body, breathing, emotions, energy, etc to reach the spiritual goal of enlightenment (or you could think of it as reaching an inner stillness or peace). Underneath this umbrella comes all the physical types of Yoga that we are familiar with in the West (Iynegar, Ashtanga, Hatha, etc) and also Kriya Yoga, Karma Yoga, Laya Yoga, etc. So in fact, the vast majority of Yoga which is practiced in classes is ultimately Tantra Yoga.
In my classes this is a more esoteric style of Yoga class which correlates more closely to the ancient Yoga performed in India, before the popular Western styles that we see so much of today. From the beginner level the class with contain discussion of the energy flows of the body, chakras, the correct focus of the mind, and extended lengths of time in each asana. There will often be a talk at the beginning of the classes on the different aspects of the Yoga system, and also on specific key asanas, (from 2-15 minutes depending on the topic). The class will begin with specific warming exercises and then lead to a very structured asana program, before meditating or performing pranayama, and then the final relaxation.