What is power yoga? What are its benefits? Why is it turning into popular?
In the world of today, people have become acquainted with Yoga and its benefits in a whole new way and also getting attracted towards it as it provides them with inner peace and satisfaction. In today’s article, we’ll be discussing another emerging form of yoga called power yoga, which has also become familiar across the world.
If yoga focuses on meditation and chanting, then what is power yoga? It chiefly focuses on building strength. Whereas yoga consists of fixed sets of asanas, power yoga instructors are way more flexible and versatile in composing postures based on their preferences.
At the end of this article, you’ll have the answer to the question, what is power yoga, its history, benefits, and step by step guide to power yoga.
What is Power Yoga?
Power yoga classes essentially contain numerous varieties of vigorous, frenetic yoga poses. The form derived from a conventional type of yoga practice known as Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga
So What is power yoga in easy and simple words? Power yoga is cardio-driven yoga. It is the most effective kind of yoga that has the utmost health benefits. It is way more intense, energetic, it consists of more frequent yoga sessions, and most significantly, it improves heart, reduces stress, increases stamina, strength, and after all, flexibility.
It consists of continuous, rhythmic, aerobic activities and makes your body capable of fighting against any impurities. Power yoga is associated with an empowering practice. It makes you mentally strong, powerful, centered, and stable.
It will be easier to understand what is Power yoga, if we say that it is a meditation in motion. It not only asks you to remain calm during the classes but also always reminds you to stay calm in every situation and strengthen you to go through all difficulties in life with ease and a balanced mind even outside of the class.
Power yoga permits yoga instructors to conduct yoga classes creatively and uniquely. The instructors can prepare and arrange the yoga sequences by themselves, and the students synchronize their breath with their body movement. A yoga student learns the yoga sequences in the way their instructor teaches them. And then someday, when that particular student will become an instructor, he or she will personalize the yoga sequences which they have learned from their instructor.
Therefore power yoga isn’t followed by a particular system. It’s not consistent, and this is how it is practiced all over the world.
What is Power Yoga and its Foundation?
We know what is Power yoga. Now the question arrives who discovered this innovative form of yoga?
Power yoga was invented by the two American yoga teachers, Bryan Kest from Los Angeles and Beryl Bender Birch from New York, in the mid 90’, students of Ashtanga guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The yoga form which K. Pattabhi conducted is led by another yoga teacher, Larry Schultz, who created Rocket Yoga. Beryl Bender Birch is a teacher of yoga as exercise and the one who started the original power yoga in the year 1995.
Bryan Kest, who learned Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from K. Pattabi Jois, was also the student of Baron Baptise, who was a Bikram yoga enthusiast. Bryan Kest took inspiration from each of them and combined their styles, and branded the new form thence came into existence as “Power yoga.” As a result, there are no such similarities between Power yoga created by Bryan Kest, Bikram yoga of Baron Baptise, and Ashtanga yoga.
But Pattabhi Jois was discomfited at this freshly shaped yoga style related to his Ashtanga yoga. But the reason behind they determined to change the style is that they thought their invention would be more accessible and acceptable to the Western culture than the rigid form of the Ashtanga sequence.
Hence, both the American Ashtanga students became the inventors of Power yoga. Let us see what Beryl and Bryan said that made us perceive the question, “what is power yoga” more clearly, According to Bryan Kest, Power yoga is made to attain the highest level of energy, vitality, and freedom. The only way to fulfil this is by working with one’s own self and not against it.
When Beryl noticed that the runners and athletes are so stiff that nobody could do the postures appropriately, she then and there changed the Ashtanga practice and hence, the name changed to “Yoga for athletes,” and gradually, the final name of the practice came to be known as” Power Yoga.”
Guide to Power Yoga
It is not only enough to understand what is power yoga and its history. Before you start with Power yoga, detain mind that Power yoga isn’t for everybody. Keep in mind the followings:
1) To begin your power yoga classes, you need to have a moderately fit body as Power yoga is an intensive workout and has several asanas, which might be difficult enough. If you are not that fit, it can also end up harming your health.
2) Avoid doing it if you’re stricken by any chronic malady like high blood pressure or diabetes.
3) Some asanas are complicated and should be avoided if you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, you can join prenatal yoga classes instead.
If you have any doubts, please contact your doctor before beginning with Power yoga or any kind of intensive workout.
What is Power Yoga? Can it be done at home? Yes, but however we advise you join Power yoga classes.
And make sure that your teacher is well versed in the yoga philosophy as there are many Power yoga teachers who have expertise solely in “Power yoga,” that is a copy or customized form of the original. They will have considerably fewer words to answer the question, “what is power yoga.” Hence, as a result, every time, one thing or the other gets eliminated.
It would be fantastic if the teacher studied Bhagavad Gita. Consider their teachings and communication skills, of course. Basically, a teacher who is transparent, real, kind and doesn’t follow any copied version of yoga, and has a diverse experience as we tend to see in Beryl, Bryan. They had deep learning of yoga from their teacher, and then only they introduced Power yoga, which they thought to be more helpful, beneficial and exciting.
What to Wear
Now, if you wonder, what to wear before starting with Power yoga, the solution lies below: You must wear what makes you stay comfortable. You don’t need to worry about your clothes if you want to wear a t-shirt or tank top. If you’re going to wear shorts, no problem, just make sure it is at least knee-length to avoid slippage in poses – in the gym wear, that’s normal enough!
Just make sure it should be stretchable enough. Neither a very tight fitting nor an overly loose one. It must be something in which you can move freely, twist, and flex your body in any direction.
As Power yoga is an intense physical practice, you should remember that your clothes do not restrict or distract you, unlike jeans, which resist you to stretch your body, and a baggy shirt that ends up falling on your face while doing downward dog!
Usually, during Power yoga classes, people sweat a lot, which is indeed a good sign! You no need to feel awkward; it’s totally natural. You should wear clothes which are breathable and quickly absorbs sweat. Like cotton clothes, it is the best material as they absorb moisture very fast.
People usually wear Sports bras, long sleeves, tank tops, yoga pants, tights, capris, loose t-shirt and so on. You can do some shopping if you want to. There are many sporting goods available in both offline and online stores.
Ladies Can Wear:
3) Loose t-shirts
4) Long-sleeved shirt
5) Sports bra on top and
1) Yoga pants
2) Gym shorts
3) Capris on the bottom.
Men Can Wear:
1) A muscle t-shirt
2) Sweat-wicking t-shirt
3) Loose t-shirt or no shirt and at the bottom:
2) Yoga pants
Don’t forget to wear your special yoga socks if you are not comfortable going barefoot. It is necessary because yoga classes are done being barefoot as it helps you to develop balance. It provides the ability to have a good grip on your yoga mat, and if you do not want to go barefoot, then yoga socks are mandatory.
Try to avoid wearing accessories that distract you. You can wear accessories like smartwatches, fitness trackers but avoid those which are dangly and get into your hair or clothes or that which make sounds.
Power Yoga Poses
So now that you are entirely aware of what is Power yoga, you can start your class.
Reminder: Don’t forget to do some research works before joining any Power yoga class. If you want to start at home, there are many online courses available. Some of the poses that you will learn are:
1) Surya Namaskar (The Sun Salutation):
This asana is often done at the beginning of the yoga sequence. And even if you have less time, this one yoga pose is sufficient to make you feel energetic!
2) Utkatasana (Chair Pose):
This pose requires your full strength. It tightens your legs, thighs, and abdominal muscles.
3) Adho Mukha Svanasana(Downward-Facing Dog):
It resembles a dog’s stance when it bends forward. It increases lung capacity.
4) Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose):
This pose boosts your stamina and strengthens your arms, legs, back, and wrist.
5) Salabhasana (Locust Pose):
This pose strengthens your upper and lower back muscles. It also makes your arms strong.
6) Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose):
It strengthens your legs, spine. It stretches your hamstrings and opens your hips.
7) Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose): It is a boat-shaped or “V” shaped pose. It strengthens your abdomen and also improves digestion.
There are many Power yoga poses like these. You can watch some of them for free.
You’ll know all of them and can answer the question once you join a Power yoga class.
Benefits of Power yoga
1) Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest from the United States invented the new form of yoga called Power yoga, also known as Power Vinyasa Yoga, hatha yoga, flow yoga, and even Baptiste Power yoga.
2) What is Power yoga? It is a modified form of Ashtanga Yoga practice. In order to make it accessible to more people, it had to change its name.
3) It focuses on serious workouts than stretching. It is basically cardio driven, high-energetic practice.
4) Power yoga increases your stamina as it is a kind of aerobic exercise. It might feel challenging at the beginning, but once you get accustomed, you would love it!
5) It makes you way more flexible. And according to Harvard Health:
“Flexibility exercises help promote a wider range of motion, prevent injuries, ward off the common aches and pains….”
6) Power Yoga enlightens you. It will improve your focus and mental health. It magically reduces stress and tension and boosts your happiness, and we all know that satisfaction is an excellent remedy for your glowing skin! And helps you to stay cool and calm in every situation.
7) It removes all the toxins from your body through sweat. You may feel a little icky but trust me; it has many health benefits. If you don’t trust me, let’s have a look at what Healthline has to say:
“Sweating often means that you have to detoxify your body of heavy metals, eliminating chemicals, and cleansing your system of bacteria.” So bye-bye, toxins!”
8) And lastly it helps improve your general health. It allows you to maintain a balanced weight, improves quality sleep, and also improves your mood!
What is Power Yoga?
I hope now you know what is Power Yoga and have a more comprehensive knowledge of its history, facts, and benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Come on, join Power yoga class now, and let’s become fit and healthy together!
Click here to read more articles like this.
While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.
Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.