What is Power Yoga?
Power Yoga is dynamic form of yoga. It’s influenced by Ashtanga Yoga and is similar to Vinyasa Yoga, but it’s more fitness-based and physically demanding. It’s an effective yoga practice for gym rats and those looking for a cardiovascular workout.
Power, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa Yoga: Are they the Same Thing?
Power, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga are often used interchangeably even though they’re not the same thing. Read on to find out the differences.
Ashtanga yoga is based on a set of 6 series of asanas (postures) always performed in the exact same order. Each set of series increases in difficulty as you transition from one flow (vinyasa) to the next. By focusing on the breath and flow, you create internal heat or agni (internal fire) and you raise your heart rate. There are no breaks or water breaks because that puts out your internal fire. The only time you rest is at the end your practice during Savasana. No background music in the class allows for a deeper spiritual experience within yourself.
While this style of yoga has been around in the US since the 1970s, it’s not as popular as Vinyasa Flow and Power Yoga classes.
Power Yoga is for Gym rats and for those looking for a workout. Power Yoga’s aim is to build strength and maintain physical shape. While there is no focus on the spiritual and meditation aspects of yoga, there is a focus on breath to create internal heat.
The flows are fast-paced and done in a seamless manner. The pose sequences build over each other to be more challenging. There’s also room for creativity as there are no set of rules to follow so teachers can arrange postures how they want.
Vinyasa classes has elements from both Power and Ashtanga Yoga. Classes are focused on flexibility (rather than building strength) with continuous flows that are synchronized with the breath, lots of sun salutations, and accompanied music. What you can expect from Vinyasa classes is lots of variety as teachers are free to create and develop their own style.
Benefits of Power Yoga
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases your stamina, strength, and flexibility
- Tones the body
- Clears your mind, better focus
- Strengthens bones
- Stress reducer
- Builds upper body and core strength
- Builds lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism
- Improves your mood
- Improves your quality of sleep
- Promotes weight loss
Those who can’t do weightlifting at the gym will find that these dynamic types of yoga are a great alternative.
Power Yoga is a No-No if…
- You are pregnant
- You have a herniated disc, back and neck problems, or osteoporosis
- You had recent surgery
- You have a chronic disease or disorder
Please consult your doctor if you have any of these and if you’re unsure.
Power Yoga for Weight Loss
Power Yoga as cardiovascular exercise is a great way to get into shape and a great alternative to weightlifting. Like weightlifting, power yoga builds lean muscle and boosts your metabolism for fat loss. To get the most out of Power Yoga and to see results, you can do Power Yoga 2-3 times a week in-between your regular cardio workouts. If you’re looking to lose more weight, see my previous article “How to Lose Weight with Yoga” for more tips.
Best Power Yoga Workouts
To learn some Power Yoga poses immediately after you finish reading my post, here is a preview of a power yoga video from YogaDownload.com
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Power Yoga Outfit Ideas
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to power through each and every yoga class, look no further. Manduka has got you covered all the way!
Have you tried Power Yoga? What was your experience like?
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PS: I respond to all comments.
P.S.S. If you want to learn about other types of yoga check out my intro article here.