Yoga has been a very vital part of achieving good health since ancient times. As the name suggests, ‘Power’, Power Yoga is fast paced and a strenuous exercise. It involves not just the physical body, but also the mental and the spiritual part.
Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga Yoga. It focuses basically on the fitness of body, mind and soul. This technique of Power Yoga can be used for a heavy work out. It does not have any fixed poses to be followed. The poses may differ according to the teacher or instructor. Therefore, any power yoga class can vary widely from the next. What they have in common is an emphasis on strength and flexibility. It gives more importance to elasticity of the body.
The term “power yoga” came into common usage in the mid 1990s, when several yoga teachers were looking for a way to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students. As more and more people began to see yoga as a way to work out, the popularity of power yoga started growing by leaps and bounds. Power yoga brought yoga into the gyms of America.
The two Yoga teachers gave a new edge to Yoga by making it a fitness tool. They took lessons of Yoga from an Ashtanga Yoga master from India (Sri K. Pattabhi Jois ) and re-invented Yoga in the form of a technique called Power Yoga. Beryl Bender Birch, based in New York, and Bryan Kest, based in Los Angeles. Using the term power yoga differentiated the intense, flowing style of yoga they were teaching from the gentle stretching and meditation that many Americans associated with yoga. Another name often associated with power yoga is Baron Baptiste. Baptiste has his own method, which is only taught by teachers he certifies.
Benefits of Power Yoga
- Improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
- Increases the calorie burning capacity of body
- Helps coping with asthma, cancer, bronchitis, insomnia and sinus
- Helps getting rid of obesity
- Helps to deal with hypertension and menstrual disorders
- Increases stamina, strength and flexibility of body
- Removes body toxins through sweat
- Improves blood circulation and immune system
- Improves concentration and self-control
Is Power Yoga for You?
Power yoga classes can vary widely from teacher to teacher. However, power yoga 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.
Power Yoga can be practiced by anyone who enjoys exercising. However, pregnant women must consult their doctors to take up any form of exercise. Here are some tips which you should keep in mind while practicing Power Yoga.
- Practice Power Yoga thrice a week for 45 minutes each day
- Avoid over doing it or exerting yourself. Slow but steady must be your Power Yoga mantra
- Select places like building terrace, open ground, garden which will encourage you to practice Power Yoga
- Wear sweat absorbent clothes. Stay comfortable
- Seek guidance of a professional as it involves difficult poses
- Concentrate completely on each pose
- Follow a proper series of exercise while performing it