Yoga & Expats: Hatha yoga

09 November 2012, by
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Chronic fatigue and stress can lead to many different health and emotional problems. Yoga has been proven to be an effective method to reduce stress and anxiety. But how do I get started, you ask? That's what I am here to help you with.

Nostalgia - Missing your social networks
You miss your extended family and friends back in your home country. You do not feel like you are connecting at a deeper level with your Dutch peers, colleagues, etc. Your children are demanding the latest digital toys, your boss wants that report done a week ago, and your partner wants more quality time with you.

Coming from one of the most competitive cities in the world, New York City, it has become very clear to me that stress and anxiety are not only products of major cities - they are everywhere!

It is one of the reasons I began practicing and teaching yoga over 15 years ago and have been in business working with Fortune 500 companies worldwide for over 20 years. With all that I experienced in my education and my global career, I made the choice to not allow fatigue and stress to get the better of me. Hence, I wanted to share that with all who I came in contact with, in both my professional and personal lives.

It was not a fad, it was not temporary. My doctor warned me that I would have to adjust the way I handled things or it was going to affect my health negatively. With that said, before the stress and the anxiety gremlins possess me from inside out, I began my journey to become a yoga teacher whilst still contracting as a sole trader.

Hatha yoga: The benefits
Hatha yoga is an old system that consists of a series of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing) exercises that range from basic to advanced.

The postures are often called by their ancient Sanskrit names to make it easier for international teachers to teach without the worry of translating (for example) "downward facing dog" into many languages.

This ancient system has proven health benefits that have been known for thousands of years. In recent years, many western doctors in the US and UK have started using this system as a popular prescription for stress and anxiety. Some have even prescribed yoga and medication to create a state of relaxation in one's body to help manage all that life throws our way.

Aimee Tanon Pranava Yoga Jivamukti Yoga
Photo by Jean-Philippe Boucicaut 

Where do you start?  
Hatha yoga has millions of ancient yoga asanas and many styles, forms, and levels. Traditional hatha yoga is a great place to start for stress management and is one of the most common styles of yoga, as all of the styles are part of the same system.

What makes them unique from each other is their lineage, the asanas that are used, and how your teacher guides the class and provides the detailed instructions. This practice is steadier and sometimes can be a bit less intense than Bikram Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, which are intense in a different way (i.e. heat at 40C, or Strict Adherence to Inhale / Exhale with each movement).

In traditional hatha yoga, there may be a set of asanas, a breathing exercise, combined in a class that is focused on bringing more awareness to the subtle levels of yoga which are not seen through the naked eye.


Next in this series
 Yoga & Expats: Benefits of yoga + Meditation instructions + Podcast (coming soon)



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About the Author
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Aimée Tañón

My name is Aimée, I am Integrative Yoga Therapist, Certified under Yoga Alliance US+UK and a Holist...

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