There are many different styles of women’s yoga that lend themselves well to a female’s body type and understanding which ones are the best, and most importantly, which ones you will enjoy doing, is very important so you keep up and maintain your excitement level for every class. All the styles are based on the same physical postures or poses with each one having a specific emphasis. Here are a few of the more popular styles of yoga that can help you decide which class is right for you.
Hatha Yoga is one of the two branches of Yoga that focuses on physical being. Hatha, Ha and Tha meaning sun and moon, is a general name that includes many types of the physical types of yoga. Hatha style yoga is generally a slow paced and gentle yoga that is a very good form of womens yoga with basic yoga poses. It is a yoga that utilizes a holistic path through spirit affirmation, physical postures, purification poses, yogic breathing, relaxation and meditation. It known as a stress reducing yoga style that attempts to calm the mind. Hatha represents opposing energies following a similar structure as yin-yang such as; Earth and air, fire and water, hot and cold, male and female. As far as yoga for women goes, Hatha is an overall relaxed form of yoga with smooth posing in a relaxed and spiritual mind set.
Bikram / Hot Yoga
Bikram, or Hot Yoga as it is known to many, is becoming one of the most forms of women’s yoga. It was pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, and is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which is how it gets its name. Bikram / Hot Yoga loosens tight muscles and produces profuse sweating. This is thought to have superior cleansing properties by releasing toxins and negative energy through sweating. Bikram yoga generally utilizes 26 poses, however each class is slightly different but has the same general emphasis on sweating and the cleansing process. This type of women’s yoga is perfect for a female fitness routine which is slightly more aggressive. Often a tighter form of female yoga clothes is used to help induce sweating.
Iyengar yoga is based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar and is most concerned with bodily alignment through its use of props such as belts and blocks, as aids in performing postures. Iyengar Yoga emphasizes attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment in its posing and has been known to be very beneficial for things such as back ailments, headaches and body pains. In yoga, the word alignment is used to describe the precise way in which your body should be positioned in each pose in order to obtain the maximum benefits and avoid injury. This style can be an ideal for women’s yoga as it emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next. The use of pops also makes Iyengar a women’s yoga that is appealing as it encourages the use of props, such as yoga blankets, blocks and straps, in order to bring the body into alignment.