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Power Yoga


Power Yoga: A Much Like Ashtanga

Yoga has been practiced in the East for centuries, and has gained a massive following in the West over the last century. People all over the world seek some form of meditation, relaxation and exercise to shake the stress away from their busy lives, and yoga is a way to do it. There are many yoga types and categories, and Power Yoga sits amidst the vigorous and popular types. It is mostly practiced in Western Europe, Australia and the United States.

The Beginnings of Power Yoga

The beginnings of Power Yoga are often attributed to three names - Baron Baptiste, Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest. They established top Power yoga schools, which are found in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. These pioneers have actually studied the older practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa with Master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This explains why Power yoga is deeply rooted and has plenty of similarities with Ashtanga Vinyasa.

How Power Yoga Works

Quick, fast paced and vigorous, power Yoga trains you to synchronize your breathing patterns along with simultaneous stretching. It does not only require strength but also ultimately, focus. Most forms aim to make your mind and your body simultaneously work in harmony in order to strengthen them and make them more resilient to stress. It is safe to say that Power Yoga emphasizes on sharpness of the mind, physical strength and flexibility.

What Makes It Different From Ashtanga Vinyasa?

While Power yoga is deeply rooted in the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice, what makes it different is that the latter has a specific set of asanas (poses) to follow. These asanas are also designed to follow a series of levels. Through repetitive practice, students learn and master the poses before progressing to the next level.

Power yoga on the other hand is more dynamic and does not follow a specific series. The teacher has the freedom to choose the series of asanas for the day. Because of this, the teacher and students can explore a wider range of poses and breathing exercises. This also promotes flexibility and variation, providing an element of surprise during each class.

Some Example of Power Yoga Postures

Here are some common examples of postures or Asanas used for Power yoga.
Standing poses - These postures promote leg flexibility and strength. Tadasana, Tree pose and Extended Triangle pose.
Seated poses - These postures promote flexibility and reduces tension in the throat and diaphragm, making breathing smooth. Some poses are Head to Knee pose and Forward Bends.
Twisted poses - These postures helps relieve back ache, stiff neck and shoulders. One good example would be Sukhasana.
Inverted poses- These revitalize the entire body as it nourishes the Central Nervous System allowing smooth blood flow. Good sample postures would be Lying Down Angle posture, Shoulder Stand and Head Stand.
Supine or Prone poses - These increase flexibility in the spine down to the hips. Examples for this posture would be Bow Pose and Reclining Hero pose.

You may find a Power Yoga class a challenging type of Yoga. For most people, however, that is where the fun begins. If you are up for some physical challenge and variety, then this practice may be for you.

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