I miss Hatha

I used to do yoga quite a bit before I had a job issue and a jaw issue, had to stop for awhile.

It’s a couple of years later and trying to get back into it, but what has happened to good ol’ fashioned Hatha yoga? Every single studio seems to be all Vinyasa (even when they say it isn’t). To boot, it’s not even relaxing and calm anymore, thumping pop music is played ear blisteringly loud, teachers are screamng their instructions. I left the 5 or 6 yoga classes I’ve tried (all at different studios) with a clenched jaw and a bad frame of mind.

Anybody else noticing the trend to make yoga more like a pop aerobics class, rather than soft and gentle? Seems like it’s everywhere here in Michigan.

Interesting point you bring up. Let me share with you a comment that a visiting teacher said to me about my class. She visited my class hoping to place a student in a suitable class because she is relocating out of state. I teach several different styles of yoga: Yin/Yang, Power and a mixed level class. She came to my mixed level class. I play music in all my classes, but not pop music. I play chants, and music that is appropriate for yoga. I begin with centering and meditation, gentle warm ups, a nice flow, pranayama and shavasana. Interestingly, after class she said that she is more familiar with vinyasa flow than the “traditional style” class I had just taught. I found this comment very interesting coming from a teacher, wondering how she sets up her vinyasa class if she thinks of mine as more traditional. Now I can think of ?'s I should have asked this new teacher like, "don’t you teach meditation or pranayama? What kind of music do you use? etc. etc. Vinyasa flow is just linking the poses with the breath. So I thought to myself, “Is this not what I had just done?” Vinyasa flow can be more fast paced or gentle. There is great flexibility here.

So I guess my point is it is all a matter of perception. Vinyasa flow can be relaxing and while my classes are a good workout, they are very relaxing and balancing. I’m sorry you have had such a bad experience in Michigan. But believe me when I tell you, vinyasa flow can be quite wonderful and calming. Much depends on the teacher and what the yoga community in your area wants. Many teachers brand their own yoga style, again because of what the community wants.

Answering your ? about trend? Yes I do see a trend toward more cardio and hip music and away from the traditions. I think this is very sad indeed.

Where do you live in Michigan?

Thanks for the responses. I guess I shouldn’t have generalized when I said Vinyasa, but all the yoga classes seem to be of the up/down energetic variety, and I miss the good ol’ fashioned ‘hold the pose and explore’ variety.

I live in Southeast Michigan around the Detroit area. I’ve tried the Center for yoga (where they used to have gentle hatha, not anymore), Yoga Shelter and some others.

It’s really crazy, almost all of the classes have teachers that seem fairly new and “bark” instead of instruct. Also, I actually had teachers yell, one lady said “Look at that guy! Don’t do what he’s doing!” How awful! I just want to be relax and chill again.

A good teacher will have a balanced class. Strengthening, lengthening and stamina.

The hold the pose variety is just one way of doing the pose. Exploring the pose by dynamic repetitions, slowly lengthening as you come out is needed just as much as Holding the pose. It’s all about balance.

Perhaps these classes are highlighting your own internal unease? When we don’t feel at peace and calm inside ourselves, we become sensitive to external stimuli and often blame this for our unease. When this happens after a yoga class we think that there must be something wrong with the class/ teacher. But I think that the yoga class has done exactly as it should…bringing things up…

Yesterday after a yoga class I left feeling frustrated and agitated, I was thinking of all the reasons why, and was mostly blaming the music, the new substitute teacher etc…but actually it was my own internal battles popping in to say hi :wink:

Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that focuses on physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama). It's often considered a foundational practice and is widely practiced in the West. Here are some benefits of practicing Hatha yoga:

  1. Physical strength and flexibility: Hatha yoga helps build strength and flexibility in the muscles and joints through various poses and stretches.

  2. Improved balance and coordination: Practicing Hatha yoga poses requires balance and coordination, which can improve over time with consistent practice.

  3. Stress relief: The combination of physical movement and breath control in Hatha yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  4. Better posture: Hatha yoga emphasizes proper alignment and posture, which can help alleviate tension and pain in the body caused by poor posture habits.

  5. Enhanced focus and concentration: The mindfulness required during Hatha yoga practice can improve mental focus and concentration both on and off the mat.

  6. Increased body awareness: Hatha yoga encourages practitioners to tune into their bodies and become more aware of sensations, which can lead to a greater sense of overall well-being.

  7. Regulation of the nervous system: The controlled breathing techniques (pranayama) in Hatha yoga can help regulate the nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

  8. Boosted energy levels: While Hatha yoga can be calming, it can also invigorate the body and mind, leaving practitioners feeling more energized and refreshed.

Overall, Hatha yoga offers a holistic approach to health and well-being, benefiting both the body and the mind.