The name Power Yoga really says it all. It’s a type of yoga that not only improves mental agility and concentration, but also has the same potential of emulating a rigorous full-body workout
Power Yoga has its roots in the Indian Ashtanga style of yoga, which emphasises the development of physical flexibility while nurturing the desire for self-discipline. Ashtanga yoga was initially popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois in the mid-1900s.
Power Yoga first became popular in the mid-1990s, when several yoga teachers were looking for a way to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students. It had a near simultaneous invention among four people: Larry Schultz, Bryan Kest, Beryl Bender Birch, and Baron Baptiste. What Larry, Bryan, and Beryl Bender share is that they were all students of K. Pattabhi Jois. Baron Baptiste created his own variation, which is only taught by teachers he certifies.
Whereas the order of Ashtanga poses is completely predefined, Power Yoga doesn’t follow a set series of poses, and therefore Power Yoga classes can vary depending on the teacher’s style
So what is it?
Warm-ups are usually done before a session of Power Yoga to relax and stretch your muscles. In addition to that, Power Yoga is usually done in a heated room for a Yogi to achieve optimum muscle flexibility. This is because the moves involved in it can be very painful to successfully pull off to those who are new to Power Yoga. Therefore, it is imperative to condition the body before going through this rough and rigorous type of Yoga. This feature of Power Yoga limits the Yogis to those who are reasonably fit and are not suffering from chronic ailments
In Power Yoga, poses are followed up with strength training while synchronizing your breathing patterns to each Vinyasa (movement), with attention given to Tristhana (posture, breath, and focal point for the gaze). This routine strengthens, while simultaneously stretching your muscles and focusing your mind, thereby improving mind / body connection. This results in actions with perfect unity and grace that can appear to spectators to be smooth and free-flowing. The transitions between asanas in Power Yoga are sometimes held longer than the traditional five breaths. This aides in increasing physical endurance and the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time without breaking concentration
From the perspective of the Power Yoga practitioner, it can be a rigorous workout that’s made more intense by the control required to maintain a strong sense of equanimity
Power Yoga classes are most commonly between 40 and 60 minutes. More intense classes are 90 minutes, while retreat classes can last several hours
What are the benefits?
Here are some benefits that can be drawn out from Power Yoga. It:
– bolsters strength, stamina, and flexibility
– is a great way to release tension and anxiety
– helps you maintain proper posture
– tones your body well
– is a good way to remove bodily toxins through sweat
– helps improve a person’s performance in certain sports like golf, cycling and and swimming.
Despite its vigorous approach, Power Yoga also aims to deliver. th.e same benefits as Classical Yoga, name.ly to unite the body, mind, and spirit. It uses traditional Yoga practices in order to tap in to the inner core of your power and to help you to recognize the different levels of that power which are:
– your physical power which is developed through the poses in Power Yoga resulting in an improvement of your body’s natural strength and health
– your mental power or willpower which is required to execute the class, that clears your mind of unorganized thoughts and helps you to concentrate on a single task
– your spiritual power, the driving force behind your physical and mental power, is nurtured, promoting complete mastery of your thought and actions
Though power yoga classes can vary widely from teacher to teacher, they will most likely appeal to people who are already quite fit, enjoy exercising, and want a minimal amount of chanting and meditation with their yoga. Prepare to work hard and work up a sweat!