The Structure of a Hatha Yoga Class

Yoga Class

In this article, we will discuss the structure of a hatha yoga class. Keep in mind that there are many other ways to structure a hatha yoga class and you can customize as you find necessary.


This is a time for students to bring their full knowledge in the classroom. If you were to compare Hatha Yoga to any other discipline, this is similar to ceremonial bow at the beginning of a martial arts class. Some teachers go into a brief meditation, at this point, while other teachers can focus on breath awareness standing or sitting. The point is that there are many ways to approach this, but this time must be taken for centering because yoga is not an exercise class.


This might consists of circular movements, which are commonly seen in Kundalini Yoga and. The slow circular movements create a flow of energy within your core. At the same time, the joints are heated, creating flexibility in the muscles, and massage your vital organs. Some styles practice Sun Salutations instead of circular movements. This is completely acceptable as long as the initial flows are performed slowly and gradually increasing the speed.


There seems to be a debate about whether to do pranayama during Hatha Yoga class or not. There must be the practice of pranayama in the class, even when you are practicing other techniques. For example, if students were practicing sun salutations, which also should have been practicing Ujjayi breathing at the same time.

Some teachers guide students through pranayama at the beginning, middle or end of class as a separate segment. Pranayama is usually taught as integration through the lesson plan. For example, you can open or close, a kind of pranayama Udgeeth while teaching other yoga breathing techniques throughout the class.


There are many ways to approach asanas. Some teachers begin from a seated position, going to the table, and then standing, and so on. There are many ways to approach the sequence of asanas. If it were a private session for a student with a neurological disorder, the entire lesson plan would have to be customized to meet the needs of the student.


This is a special time during a Hatha yoga class which can be made at the beginning, the end or the beginning and end of a class. In other words, there is no wrong time for meditation.


Some teachers perform guided relaxation at the beginning of the class. Most often, guided relaxations are made at the end of the class, or just before the last meditation session, which is near the end of class.

There is a variety of relaxation methods. The classic method seems to be the stage-by-stage relaxation and it can be important if you are trying to schedule time. There is also the method of relaxation through visualization where the teacher guides the students through a mental exercise with the focus being on a thought or an object.

In summary, Hatha Yoga is much like music, in which creativity can be a good thing. It is a matter of preference as to whether the teacher or the student likes a certain sequence. This does not mean it is good or bad, but any methods taught in other branches of yoga should be carefully studied under the guidance of a competent teacher with proper hatha yoga certification.

Some examples of traditional schools of yoga are Kriya Yoga, Satyananda, Sivananda, Kundalini (formerly known as Laya yoga), The Art of Living, Integral Yoga, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga and Kripalu. They can get you practice various forms of yoga. For yoga schools, it is a way of life, a thought and a series of techniques and spiritual practices. Most schools also have their styles of hatha yoga and asanas but not all asanas are practiced, especially preponderant such as Kriya, a yoga which is based on breathing exercises like the Art of Living.

Yoga styles are versions, adaptations and currents of hatha yoga, that is, grouped under this name all forms of physical yoga. All could be called hatha yoga as they are based on postures and sequences of hatha yoga, though with large variations. There are some which besides being styles are also schools that are part of a broader life and a spiritual tradition system. These I could define as styles of classic or traditional yoga, such as the case of Sivananda, Integral Yoga, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini or Viniyoga. Hatha yoga is a name to define a physical practice of asanas and pranayama with principles of classic yoga.

There are other contemporary styles of yoga that are current versions of practice of physical yoga, especially asanas which are most popular in the West. Here it fits for all the modern versions of hatha yoga, although they are not totally hatha yoga but are currents that come from there such as Vinyasa, Anusara, Jivamukti, Restorative Yoga, Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Acroyoga, Air Yoga, Water yoga, Yin yoga, Forrest yoga, Prenatal yoga, yoga for children, etc. Some are relatively faithful to tradition in its practices and in its essence and others are sincerely away, usually the most physical and intense ones. Some are dynamic, some are therapeutic and some are demanding. Although yoga is an evolving system and adaptations and interpretations are welcome, it is important not to lose sight of the essence of yoga and its teachings.

Yoga practices are held in schools or traditional yoga centers. For the traditional, yoga is everything that unites us with transcendence or make the most serene mind. Yoga practices in an ashram (a spiritual center in India) are a combination between the paths of yoga and other practices that come from traditional branches of yoga like Hatha, Raja and Laya yoga.

Yoga teacher training in Bali is quite famous and you can find a great number of yoga schools with different yoga tradition and practices.