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  • Writer's pictureUnwind Yoga Studio

The Hatha Yoga Revival: Back to The Basics Of Yoga

Hatha Yoga is often considered a foundational practice in the world of yoga because it encompasses physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama). Those two are pretty central to many modern yoga styles, and what you will encounter in almost every yoga class around the world.

However, it's important to note that yoga as a whole has roots that extend much deeper, originating thousands of years ago in ancient India. The broader tradition of yoga includes various paths like Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion), Jnana Yoga (the path of knowledge), and Karma Yoga (the path of action), among others.

Hatha Yoga, with its focus on physical and breath practices, became particularly popular because it prepares the body and mind for deeper meditative practices, making it a significant but not the sole root of the diverse yoga tradition.

I have happily noticed a resurgence of interest in traditional Hatha Yoga. Yoga has seen a huge rise in popularity in the last couple of decades, especially in the West - but the focus has often been on the physical side of it, even as an alternative to the gym or other modallities. Many modern and hybrid styles of yoga emerged, such as Vinyasa, Power Yoga, and Hot Yoga, which focus on intense workouts and fast-paced sequences.

These styles attract many new practitioners, but they sometimes overshadow the more traditional forms of yoga.

I love that people are revisiting the traditional roots of yoga, seeking the simplicity and purity of Hatha Yoga to establish a strong foundation for their practice. Our duty as Westerners is Westerners to enjoy Hatha Yoga respectfully by learning about its origins, honouring its traditions, and practicing with cultural sensitivity and awareness.

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha Yoga is considered the foundation of many modern yoga styles. It focuses on physical postures, known as asanas, and breath control, called pranayama. Unlike some yoga styles that emphasise fast-paced movements or intense workouts, Hatha Yoga encourages a slower, more deliberate practice. This approach helps practitioners build strength, flexibility, and balance while also calming the mind.

The Hatha Yoga Revival

Many yoga enthusiasts are turning back to the roots of yoga, seeking the simplicity and purity that Hatha Yoga offers. Modern life is crazily fast, hectic and stressful, so people are looking for ways to slow down and find inner peace. Hatha Yoga provides a perfect balance of physical exercise and mental relaxation, making it an ideal choice for those wanting to establish a strong foundation in their yoga practice.

Benefits Backed by Science

One of the reasons for the resurgence of Hatha Yoga is the growing body of scientific research supporting its benefits. Studies have shown that practicing Hatha Yoga can improve physical health, including increased flexibility, strength, and balance. It also has significant mental health benefits, such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. These findings have contributed to more people embracing Hatha Yoga as part of their daily routine.

Unwind Yoga

Many of the styles we teach at Unwind have their roots in traditional Hatha Yoga. We emphasise mindful movement and breath awareness, helping you connect deeply with your body and mind. By focusing on traditional Hatha principles, we offer a way to experience the full benefits of yoga in a more holistic way.

Appreciating the Origins

While it's exciting to see Hatha Yoga gain popularity again, it's important to appreciate its origins. Yoga is more than just a physical practice, it's a philosophy and a way of life that originated in ancient India. By respecting and understanding the roots of Hatha Yoga, you can deepen your practice and experience its true essence.


The resurgence of Hatha Yoga in speaks to its timeless appeal and profound benefits. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or a beginner, exploring Hatha Yoga can provide a strong foundation for your practice and help you find balance in both body and mind.

So, why not give it a try and experience the simplicity and purity of Hatha Yoga for yourself? You can join us on a Beginners Course, or for one of our popular group classes at our yoga studio in Cookham, Berkshire.


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