Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Sequencing

Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is a must-read if you want to derive maximum benefits from your yoga practice and master the art of comprehensive sequencing. You will be presented with powerful tools to classify yoga poses and instantly create customized sequences for different levels, themes, and goals.

Starting from the traditional approach to yoga, you will discover how yoga poses affect the internal body and how systematic yoga sequencing can increase your holistic health and wellbeing. You will also understand the medically-proven benefits of yoga and you will learn the ancient principles of sequencing asanas according to their corresponding chakras (energy centres).

Esteemed yoga teachers and trainers of more than 2000 yoga teachers, Ram Jain and Kalyani Hauswirth-Jain describe how to create safe, fulfilling, and holistic Hatha Yoga practices. Ram and Kalyani provide you with practical descriptions of over 200 asanas, with their respective instructions, alignment cues, contraindications, and modifications – which will bring your yoga classes and practice to a whole new level.

Praise for Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners

“Ram and Kalyani have compiled a wonderful and comprehensive presentation honoring ancient principles of classical yoga, while also speaking in a language appropriate to the present day. Ram’s expertise comes from years of being steeped in the original culture of yoga as a way of life and philosophy far transcending a simple form of stretching and exercise. This book is a welcome tool for anyone interested in pursuing a deeper understanding of practicing or teaching yoga in its classical form.” – David Swenson, author of Ashtanga Yoga – The Practice Manual

“As a yoga instructor and editorial director of YogiApproved.com, a leading yoga publication, this is one of the most comprehensive guides to yoga and sequencing that I’ve seen. Hatha Yoga For Teachers and Practitioners breaks down the practice, the science behind it, the chakra system and the asanas in a way that’s incredibly in-depth yet completely approachable. A valuable resource for any yogi, Hatha Yoga should be a requirement in all yoga teacher trainings.” – Ashton August, founder and editorial director of YogiApproved.com

“This must be the most complete overview of Hatha Yoga that I have ever read. It’s about the meaning, the history, the physiology, and the practice of Hatha Yoga. All written very clearly and comprehensively. It’s a real asset for our bookshelf!”- Heleen Peverelli, editor in chief of Yoga Magazine Netherlands

“This is the best book about yoga that I have ever read; it’s practical and to the point. It provides sound knowledge on the physiological effects of practicing yoga, helping the western mind to understand why yoga works. I enjoyed the simplicity and clarity of the writing, making it very easy to read and understand. It also provides a step-by-step guide on asanas and how to create asana sequences that work. The perfect guide to have at hand for teachers as well as self-practitioners.” – Maria Aguirregomozcorta, M.D. Neurology, yoga teacher

“Easy to understand but far more illuminative than other books on yoga, Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is a must-read for yoga teachers of all styles. It’s scientific while still honoring the spirituality of yoga, and offers little-known wisdom that you can only learn in the best yoga teacher training program. When it comes to learning how to actually teach Hatha Yoga, no other book compares.”  – Julie Bernier, yoga teacher and registered ayurvedic practitioner, author of Yoga for Health and Happiness

“A very important book. This approach will give the teacher or ardent practitioner a well-grounded way to format their practice. Chakra-based sequencing provides a yogic understanding of asana that moves beyond the gross, dense or superficial.  I highly recommend it!” – Nathan Anderson, lead yoga teacher trainer at Yoga NOHO, Los Angeles

Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is a comprehensive tool for students as well as teachers. I like to think of it as an encyclopedia to the Hatha Yoga practice.” – Helena Schouenborg, yoga teacher, addiction & health counselor.

Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is a great tool to get a deeper insight on the essence of yoga. The very down-to-earth approach and professional expertise of the authors make it very approachable and easy to apply.” – Alexandre Beauchard, yoga teacher and owner of Buddha Balance.

“It was a pleasure to read this book, as it creates a bridge between the traditional Indian understanding of what yoga is and how this old wisdom can be of great use in our modern lives. Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is built up with great clarity and structure, and each asana is described in detail, including its benefits as well as contraindications. I am convinced that this book will open many minds to the value that a traditional yoga practice can bring to our lives.” – Dagmar Schöndorf, M.D., acupuncturist and medical psychotherapist, yoga teacher

“As a yoga teacher and dedicated yoga practitioner, I find this by far the best and most complete book on Hatha Yoga that I have ever read. Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners is an extremely comprehensive tool for sequencing yoga practices. The book guides you to understand the deeper layers of yoga in such a clear and comprehensive way that it is a pleasure to read. It is a guide and a tool that will serve self-practitioners and yoga teachers alike on their personal and professional yoga path.” – Suzanne Janssens-Kievit, founder and owner of The Yoga Villa

About the authors

Ram Jain

Ram is Founding Director of the Arhanta Yoga Ashrams (India and The Netherlands). Within the last 10  years, the Arhanta Yoga Ashrams have become renowned internationally for their professional yoga teacher training courses, and have up to present trained over 1,500 yoga teachers from all over the world.

Born in New Delhi, India, in a traditional and spiritual family, his yoga and Vedic philosophy education started at the age of eight years as a part of his primary school education. He has in-depth knowledge of classical Hatha Yoga and is also well versed in ancient Indian scriptures. During his 19 years of teaching career, he has worked with various anatomy and physiology experts and has developed unique teaching, adjustment, and modification techniques.

Presently, he is the lead teacher for various teacher training programs, ranging from Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, to Meditation and Yoga Nidra. He teaches for several months a year in India and the rest of the year in the Netherlands, where he also lives with his wife and two children.

 

Kalyani Hauswirth-Jain

Kalyani was born and raised in Switzerland. Since early adolescence she has been fascinated by art, bodywork, the body-mind connection, and alternative therapies. Following her strong inclination for art and physical expression she emigrated to the Netherlands at the age of 19 to study Modern Dance. Soon after she was exposed to the teachings and practice of yoga and was immediately mesmerized. The mother of two children now, she has been teaching yoga for 10 years, training yoga teachers for more than six years at the Arhanta Yoga Ashrams in India and the Netherlands.

Starting off with physical challenges, she transformed her body, mastering many advanced asanas with her regular practice and discipline. By following a diligent self-practice, working with many different teachers, styles, and techniques, she gained a profound understanding of physiology and movement techniques. This, in combination with her extensive teaching experience, gave her an understanding of the importance of structure and sequencing for a holistic yoga asana practice.

 

 

Table of Contents

Introduction 

How to use this book – Goals and limitations

A short note on the role of a teacher

Part I:  The Roots: Background of Hatha Yoga  

Chapter 1 –  The Broad View – Yogic Philosophy  

Chapter 2 –  Hatha Yoga and the Principle of Minimal Action 

Chapter 3 –  The Evolution of Yoga Asanas  

Early references

Light on Hatha Yoga

Pre-modern references

Part II:  Medical Facts: Hatha Yoga for Holistic Health 

Chapter 4 –  Hatha Yoga and Your Body’s Systems 

Hatha Yoga and the autonomic nervous system

Hatha Yoga and your circulatory system

Hatha Yoga and your lymphatic system – Detoxification

Hatha Yoga and your respiratory system – Oxygenation

Hatha Yoga and your metabolism

Hatha Yoga and your spine and joints

Chapter 5 –  Hatha Yoga and Internal Organs & Glands 

The squeeze-and-release effect

Sensory triggers to the brain

Fascial stimulation

Chapter 6 –  Hatha Yoga and The 7 Chakras  

The seven chakras and their physical and mental properties

The seven chakras: Their properties and their corresponding asanas

Part III: Practicing Effectively: Guidelines For A Holistic Hatha Yoga Practice 

Chapter 7 – The Importance of Preparation  

Establishing a conducive environment

Bend but do not break — Avoiding injuries

Chapter 8 – The Five Fundamental Building Blocks 

Step 1: Relaxing

Step 2: Holding the asana, not your breath  60Step 3: Warming up properly

Step 4: True asana – Finding steadiness and ease within the pose

Step 5: Countering poses and maintaining balance within your body

Part IV:  The Basic Structure: The Foundation for Hatha Sequencing 

Chapter 9 – Following the Natural Order

Chapter 10 –  Chakra-Wise: The 17 Primary Asanas  

Asanas for the Sahasrara & Ajna Chakras  (Crown & Third-Eye Chakras

Asanas for the Vishuddha Chakra (Throat Chakra)

Asanas for the Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)

Asanas for the Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra)

Asanas for the Svadhishthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra)

Asanas for the Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra)

Overview I: The Basic Sequence with durations and relaxation poses (90 min.)

Part V:  Mastering Sequencing: Creating Customized Sequences 

Overview II: General Structure for a 90-minute holistic Hatha Yoga class / practice

Chapter 11 – Warming-Up Variations  

Surya Namaskara Variation

Double Leg Raises Variationsa

Dolphin Variations

Chapter 12 –  Variations for the Crown & Third-Eye Chakras 

Shirshasana (Headstand) Variations

Chapter 13 –  Variations for the Throat Chakra  

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) Variations

Chapter 14 – Variations for the Heart Chakra 

Ardha Setu Bandhasana (Half Bridge Pose) Variations

Pawanmukthasana (Air-Releasing Pose) Variations

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) Variations

Sukha Gomukhasana (Easy Cow Face Pose) Variations

Sukha Gomukhasana (Easy Cow Face Pose) – Alternatives

Chapter 15 – Variations for the Solar Plexus Chakra 

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) Variations

Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) Variations

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) Variations

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) Variations

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) Variations

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist) Variations

Chapter 16 – Variations for the Sacral Chakra 

Sukha Kakasana (Crow Pose) Variations

Sukha Kakasana (Crow Pose) – Alternatives

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) Variations

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) – Alternatives

Chapter 17 –  Variations for the Root Chakra 

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose) Variations

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose) – Alternatives

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) Variations

Classical Seated Postures

Chapter 18 – Sample Sequences 

Hip opening (90 minutes)

Chest and Heart Opening (90 minutes)

Intermediary – Working toward a Peak Pose (90 minutes)

Basic Sequence  (75 minutes)

Basic Sequence (60 minutes)

Basic Short Sequence (30 minutes)

Asana Index – Sanskrit

Asana Index – English

Notes

Resources

About the Authors