I get sore from it, anyway.
First, in the big-big picture, it is as we agree -- the yoga of postures is hatha yoga. Therefore astanga, etc are all hatha yoga. For me, the inaccuracy of asserting "hatha" as an alternative to 'astanga" is the peeve (or one of them).Ha I get your drift, but that labelling doesn't bother me. True, Yoga was a whole school of philophy with many branches, and Hatha was the movement component, but when Western people first adopted it there was no yoga "chains" like Ashtanga, Anusara etc. and the label "Hatha yoga" just meant that you were doing the movement aspect of yoga as opposed to the other branches of Yoga like Raja (meditation) etc. This form of yoga was very traditional, and thus slow. As other teachers began to develop their styles, new yoga names were born, and people who wanted to indicate that they were sticking with the traditional form of yoga continued to call it Hatha yoga. Even India teachers in India call it Hatha.
Where I disagree is in the historicity. First, hatha yoga has always been stylistically identified traditionally speaking -- either by lineage or location. And, in some instances, by outcome of technique. This is the traditional cultural behavior of india in the development of it's techniques. It is, of course, likewise true that any teacher of any kind of school of yoga as we understand it today will call it "hatha yoga." Because it is, no matter which lineage, location, or descriptive label applied to it.
Second, vinyasa has as much historicity as "slow" forms. There is nothing more or less traditional about slow vs vinyasa forms. From what we can tell, certain hatha-kriya practices outlined in the pradapika among other texts show that vinyasas have been a part of the tradition for a long time. Likewise, we can look to buddhist forms of hatha yoga and see that many of them include vinyasa forms as part of their processes.
Since all of my teachers have taught hatha yoga, I can't argue. In addition, they can describe very specifically the hatha yoga that they teach -- lineage, location, purpose/outcomes, and also what the class experience may be like. That's really the point of the labels.I've had two really amazing yoga teachers who taught "hatha yoga"! I guess with anything in life, it's more about the teacher than the subject.
The difference is my experience of those people who label their yoga "hatha' and leave it at that in terms of interfacing with potential practitioners (students or clients -- whichever name you would apply to them). It is -- most crassly -- marketing. But it is unclear, vague marketing. It is usually accompanied by a vague description. And this appears to be an alternative "brand" of yoga, rather than being what yoga is (or the yoga of postures anyway).
What is accurate is that it is *all* hatha yoga. What is accurate is that there are ways to describe what we do effectively -- in labeling and describing our classes.
This way, people can get what they actually need. "Take hatha yoga" is vague and it's not the alternative to astanga. Astanga is hatha yoga. Instead, it's easier to assert might mean "Take a gentle yoga class. Or a restorative one. Or one that focuses on slow forms such as Iyengar or Gosh. Or. . .." There are lots of ways of describing these things without having to resort to the most general term which is being inaccurately applied.
And that's the peeve.
I have a general peeve with poor teaching, and honestly, over the many years and locations where I have worked, the teachers who want to use the term "hatha yoga" tend to be the ones who have the least training, the least connection to the tradition, and the least clarity in what they seek to provide for the students. They also tend to be dilettantes when it comes to both the practice and the teaching of yoga -- often giving up after teaching a few classes, or simply not showing up to teach or what have you.
It's not to say that there aren't traditional teachers who can accurately use this label -- and describe clearly. The gurukalam where I practiced for a bit was great in that way.
But when I trot past a gym marketing "hatha yoga!" I get this sinking feeling in my stomach that someone read a book and wanted to start teaching. lol Call me jaded. I've just experienced it too many times since 1997 to not just be reactive. LOL