Last time, we talked about how yoga can be used to help manage your blood pressure and relieve stress.
Today, we are going to talk about the benefits of power yoga and how it can strengthen your core.
What Is Power Yoga?
This style of yoga is very different from traditional yoga in a sense that it is a modified version of Ashtanga yoga, certain practices of Iyengar yoga, and Bikram yoga.
Even though power yoga has been influenced by various other styles of yoga, it still contains many of the traditional poses and disciplines that are meant to unite the mind, body, and spirit.
Power yoga is a fast-paced, energetic workout and is known for incorporating more cardio than any other style of yoga.
The focus of this practice is less on meditation and instead combines poses with deep breathing to help you connect to your inner power.
There is a lot of physical strength, mental ability, and extreme concentration that is required for this practice too.
This is needed since you are continuously moving through the poses and holding them for an extended period of time.
Power yoga is considered great training for athletes, simply because of the focus and mental concentration that is required.
Power Yoga Class Details
This practice usually takes place in a heated room to help alleviate muscle strain and loosen them up faster.
Classes usually run from 60 to 90 minutes so endurance is key.
With each class you go to, your stamina will begin to grow.
Because of its fast-paced nature, it is an excellent choice for people who are looking to shed a few extra pounds.
It causes your heart rate to increase which allows you to burn up to 400 calories or more during a 60-minute session.
The way power yoga is practiced varies depending on your instructor.
Each instructor interprets the poses and combines them differently.
This yoga practice heals, detoxifies and stimulates the body and mind through balance and intention.
Power yoga is both dynamic and challenging combining strength and spirituality.
How Did Power Yoga Get Its Name?
Power yoga is often referred to as the Western version of the Indian Ashtanga Yoga. 🧘🏾♀️
It was given its name by Beryl Bender Birch.
She is a teacher of Ashtanga Yoga and the author of the book Power Yoga.
This style of yoga was brought over to the west by followers of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is a renowned Sanskrit scholar who inspired Western yogis with his Ashtanga yoga style and philosophies.
He opened up a school at the age of 12 to teach people this style of yoga.
3 Levels of Power Yoga
Power yoga recognizes 3 different levels of power that you will go through during each session:
- The physical power which develops the body’s strength and improves health.
- The mental power or the will to concentrate on the practice.
- The spiritual power which is the power behind the physical and mental power.
Different Forms of Power Yoga
1. Core Power
This form is designed to strengthen abdominal and back muscles.
When you have a strong core, it makes it easier for you to protect your lower and upper back.
Many different power yoga poses and variations of muscle-toning moves are performed.
2. Unlocking Athletic Power
For all those athletes out there, this form of power yoga helps to develop flexibility and strength with an emphasis on abs, back, hips, and pelvis.
And people say yoga isn’t a real form of exercise…😏
3. Soul of Strength
This is a fast-moving power yoga form with a distinct mind-body emphasis and some very challenging moves.
It really gets you to push past your limits so that you can see just how strong you truly are.
The Purpose of Power Yoga
Many power yoga sessions are often composed of different cardiovascular exercises.
All of these exercises are intended to increase stamina, improve focus, release tension, and remove toxins through sweating and a lot of it!
Maybe not as much as Bikram yoga, but definitely a lot.
Power yoga utilizes different yoga poses like warrior 3, tree pose, pigeon pose, half moon pose and so many more.
All of the poses are performed in a fast pace sequence.
Some poses are even held longer than the required five breaths.
This practice increases physical endurance and ability to focus on any task for a long time without breaking your concentration.
Definitely a great form of exercise!
What’s The Difference Between Power Yoga and Other Forms of Exercise?
This yoga practice is a vinyasa style.
It has a unique flow that focuses on core strength and balance to help you build a solid foundation through strengthen your body.
With each pose that is performed during this practice, it lengthens and stretches out your muscles all while building stamina and lean muscle mass.
So if you are looking to slim down a little bit and create some muscle definition, power yoga is the way to go!
It also increases body heat to kill off bacteria and get rid of toxins in the body.
The focus of power yoga is to coordinate your breath with the movement of the poses to the warmest levels thanks to the heated room.
⚠️ Safety Tips Before Starting ⚠️
There are safety tips that you should take into consideration
before you begin the practice of power yoga:
- Beginners should never start the practice of power yoga without checking with their instructor to make sure that they work with beginners.
- Since power yoga is so physically and mentally challenging it’s important that beginners choose a class that is designed to introduce them to the more basic yoga positions first.
- Beginners should make sure they are strong and flexible enough before moving on to advanced poses.
- When first practicing power yoga, it is important to follow your instructor’s step-by-step instructions and concentrate on maintaining correct alignment and proper technique to avoid injury.
- While power yoga is often practiced by athletes during the rehabilitation process after an injury, it is important to be cautious and focus on maintaining good postures to prevent further injury.
- Women who are pregnant should consult their physician👩🏾⚕️ before beginning to practice any type of yoga, especially during their first trimester.
As with any other type of strenuous physical exercise, it is important to consult with your physician before beginning a new yoga routine especially a power yoga one.
To Wrap Things Up…
I love this style of yoga, for the mere fact that it is a great form of exercise that is gentle on your joints and yet gives your body a hardcore workout!
It can help to improve athletic performance as well since it focuses on concentration, coordination, and strength.
Many sports teams use this style of yoga instead of aerobics and I don’t blame them!
This yoga practice can definitely reshape your body and your mind to where you want it to be!
Next time, we will be talking about the benefits and practice of Bikram (hot) yoga!
To another issue of Why Yoga Matters,
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 5-How To Strengthen Your Core With Power Yoga (Why Yoga Matters), remember to like, share, and comment below.
P.S.S.S.- If you want to check out the whole ‘Why Yoga Matters’ series click HERE.