Hatha Yoga focuses on the third and fourth limb of yoga and therefore is a popular yoga choice in today’s fitness community. It is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures coupled with breathing.
Some who practice Hatha yoga call it a "yoking" yoga as it joins these two opposites together. This main established principle for Hatha yoga leads to specific structured poses and other activities that help with body and mind "purification" through principles like asana (postures), pranayama (subtle energy control) and more.
My guess is, at one point or another some yogis became enamored with this physical practice of asana or poses and started emphasizing it until eventually it became its own practice and lineage called Hatha Yoga.
Classes described as Hatha Yoga would be more basic and gentle with a focus on alignment, and physical and mental benefits of each pose, making Hatha the perfect choice for a novice yogi. In addition to asana practice, Hatha yoga utilises breath in the form of pranayama exercises (controlled breathing techniques) ( 2 ) and meditation which is at the heart of traditional Hatha yoga.
What exactly is yoga? Is it just an exercise form? Is it a religion, a philosophy, an ideology? Sadhguru explains that yoga essentially means "that which brings you to reality." Read more.
"Breathing practice, known as pranayama, is an essential part of yoga, and such exercises have been shown to help ease the symptoms of asthma," McGrath says. 7 Arthritis Fighter
But if you've ever tried telling a newbie about the benefits of yoga, you might find that explanations like "It increases the flow of prana" or "It brings energy up your spine" fall on deaf or skeptical ears.