What’s the difference between Hatha yoga and Vinyasa?

There are a lot of different styles of yoga, and some are more similar than others. Historically, Hatha has functioned as the umbrella term, while Vinyasa is technically a form of Hatha. Within the world of yoga, there has been a distinction about what a Vinyasa class specifically is.

When you see something labeled as a Vinyasa class, you’ll notice the transition, the flow, and so on. Hatha simply means to put the movement to breathe. There are some similarities between Hatha and Vinyasa, such as: they use the same postures and both require you to spend significant time in standing positions compared to other styles. Its basic structure is also similar, linking movement to breathing.

Although they are similar, there are some key differences.

Over time, the term Hatha has become more synonymous with strong physical practice that encapsulates more stillness, precision, and alignment, while Vinyasa has been used to encapsulate a more physical practice that incorporates flow, rhythm, and breathing. .

Let’s take a look at some of the traits that differentiate Vinyasa from Hatha.

What is Hatha?

As mentioned in Light in Yoga, the name Hatha can be translated from Sanskrit to mean “Sun and Moon”, taken from Ha (sun) and Tha (moon). Hatha’s classical understanding is a little different from today’s interpretation. In modern understanding, Hatha yoga has been further defined as a specific style of yoga practice that includes precision, alignment, stability, foundation, strength, and flexibility. Hatha yoga is considered more accessible to begin with and is a great place for beginners to become familiar with yoga positions.

Some features of Hatha yoga include:

  • Hold several postures at once
  • Focusing on individual postures rather than sequence and linking between postures
  • Practicing at a slower pace
  • Have the time and space to really focus on the correct alignment of each posture

The benefits of Hatha yoga:

  • Strength
  • Stock
  • Flexibility

Practice Hatha yoga positions

What is Vinyasa?

In the book “Health, Healing, and Beyond,” Krishnamacharya’s son Desikachar defined the concept of Vinyasa Krama as follows:

“The concept that guides the execution of an asana and also the course of the practice is called vinyasa. It means step by step, a progression that has a beginning, a middle and an end … The asana is performed concentrating on the flow of movement and the smoothness of inhalation, exhalation and retention, and towards a prescribed completion. Each step is a preparation for the next. And so it is with a sequence of asanas. Each posture is part of an exercise flow; a beginning, a construction towards a position that is the height of the program, and then the progression towards an end “.
– TKV Desikachar, Health, Healing and Beyond

Some features of Vinyasa yoga include:

  • Dynamic body movements
  • Focus on fitness
  • Incorporates jumps and jumps
  • It uses sun salutations as a driving force between the structure
  • It focuses on transitions between postures
  • Relate each posture to an inspiration or exhalation

The benefits of Hatha yoga:

  • Good for cardio exercise (fast movement can help increase your heart rate)
  • Focusing on breathing can help improve lung function with all this activity helping to get the lungs to work.
  • It can help build strength
  • Core strength
  • Upper body strength
  • Flexibility
  • Stretch your muscles safely
  • Increased mobility
  • Full body workout

Practice a little Vinyasa


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