At Hatha Yoga - which is the bestknown in the western hemisphere - bodily Yoga exercises are the most important. The two syllables of "Hatha" mean Sun ("Ha") and moon ("tha"). The sun is assigned to the right-hand side of the body and its front and the moon to the left-hand side of the body and its back. The side of the sun is being characterized as activating and the side of the moon as obstructing or soothing. Both aspects are to be brought into harmony through bodily exercises - also called Asanas.
The Asanas can be divided into seven directions of movement but other categories are also possible like upright and sitting postures, etc. The directions of movement include bending forward, backwards, to the side, turning, balance, and their antidotes. Every direction of movement will be included in every Yoga lesson. The bodily exercises are trained in correspondence with different bodily principles. The loosening, stretching, and strengthening as well as the change from tension to relaxation play major roles.
The coordination of breathing and movement as well as the training of attention, awareness and inner participation are given priority so that the "coming to rest" can take place and new strengths can be collected. The perception and awareness of one's own body are being trained through the attention on breathing during individual exercises. The intellectual activities are put at ease and concentration improves. Thus, body and mind start to relax, the mind becomes clearer, meditations are easier, and health and vitality are being maintained.
Yoga lessons are good for those who are interested in dynamic bodily movements on the one hand, and in static bodily postures on the other hand which lead body and mind to healthy flexibility and stability.