This article will give you an overview of what power yoga is, how it is different from other types of exercise, and the many health benefits you will get from doing it.
Let us first define what power yoga is. To start, one of the most common questions I get is: “What is power yoga?”
Power yoga is a high-intensity, low-impact form of yoga with more flexibility and intensity than regular yoga.
This form of yoga focuses on the basic principle of yoga: rapid development from one pose to the next is essential, but you must maintain that speed.
It is a high-intensity aerobic workout that focuses on increasing body strength and flexibility via high-impact yoga postures.
Although the definition of power yoga varies depending on where you practice, most power yoga courses have specific fundamental characteristics:
- Strength-building: You can hold the poses for up to a minute in power yoga courses, which helps to strengthen the targeted muscle area.
- The pace of movement: Power yoga is more of an aerobic workout than a weight-bearing exercise. It also helps develop more of an aerobic “burn” than other forms of yoga.
- Aerobic workout: Power yoga, often known as gym yoga, is a type of yoga that focuses on raising heart rate and burning calories via a full-body workout.
- Poses in the Vinyasa style: Vinyasa yoga sequences, in which you link breath to movement, account for at least half of the asanas (postures) in a power yoga session.
- It’s compatible with Ashtanga yoga: Ashtanga yoga is a highly particular set of poses performed in a specific order. Power yoga courses are taught with the idea that the poses in the class can be modified to accommodate your practice, making it easy to incorporate power yoga into your existing vinyasa yoga routine.
How is it different from other yoga styles?
Even though power yoga is a fusion of several yoga forms with an emphasis on physical training, it has certain distinguishing qualities that set it apart from other traditional yoga styles:
- There is a lesser emphasis on relaxation and recovery: Power yoga sessions are usually accompanied by loud, cheerful music, and the yoga instructor moves about the room, energetically cueing people and raising the energy level.
- Poses with no structure: While certain types of yoga, such as Bikram and Ashtanga, have a defined sequence of poses, power yoga courses vary greatly based on the studio, gym, and teacher.
While this helps keep classes fresh, it can also make it difficult for beginners to find a consistent practice.
- You may combine with other cardio exercises: In contrast to different varieties of yoga, power yoga may integrate other sorts of practice within the class. For example, you can do sit-ups, squats, and even light weights to increase strength in the postures.
- Less emphasis on meditation: While most kinds of yoga emphasize meditation, breath awareness, and mindfulness, power yoga focuses on physical activity.
At the end of the session, yogis would generally lay on their mat for a few minutes to cool off after an hour of exercise.
Power Yoga poses you can do
Power yoga movements are generally more dynamic backbends, forward bends, twists, and some kinds of balancing poses. There are many kinds of power yoga practice, but below are the most common forms.
Chaturanga is a difficult half-press-up in which you hold your triceps, chest, and abdominal muscles low to the ground. It is more of a full-body exercise than a yoga pose.
How to do it:
- Begin in a press-up position, with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Lower yourself halfway down so that your elbows are aligned with your shoulders.
- Keep your buttocks down, your core engaged, and your body in a straight line.
- Hold for 10–15 seconds or longer for an extra burn.
Everyone’s favourite “love to hate” activity. The high plank exercises your core while also activating your entire body.
How to do it:
- Return to the top of a press-up position.
- Push out through your heels and extend your legs behind you.
- Squeeze your buttocks and tuck your belly in to activate your core. It will assist you in keeping your hips raised.
- Keep your neck in line with your back by looking down at the floor.
- Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
A variation of Warrior 1 targets the thigh and calf muscles while keeping the core strong. It’s also an excellent posture for practising balance.
How to do it:
- Straighten your right leg behind you and bend your front knee to 90 degrees.
- Lift onto the ball of your back foot and bend your back knee so it is near to the ground, keeping your hips forward.
- Sweep your arms overhead until your palms come in contact. Then, tilt your head back and look at your thumbs.
- Make sure that your front shin remains upright. Adjust your posture as needed to ensure that your knee does not extend past your ankle.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and engage your core.
- Hold for a maximum of one minute.
- Repeat on the other side
This exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles and develops leg strength while also increasing flexibility.
How to do It:
- Begin in tabletop posture on all fours.
- Keep your legs and arms straight and press your hips up and back.
- Put your head and neck in a straight line.
- Raise your left leg as high as you can.
- Hold for 10–15 seconds.
- Rep on the other side.
It is an assertive floor posture that works the lower back, neck, and buttocks.
How to do it:
- Lie facedown on the floor, hands flat against your shoulders.
- Firmly press the tops of your feet and palms of your hands into the mat.
- Lift your chest off the floor while maintaining your lower body taut and firmly pushed down.
- Stretch your neck and look up while you push your hands up and back.
- Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
It improves the strength of your ankles, calves, knees, and hip flexors. In addition, when you practice this mudra, your chest expands, and your heart’s blood circulation speeds up.
It is one of the most significant advantages of yoga for scoliosis, athletes to improve flexibility, and the ideal pose for better sleep.
How to do it:
- To begin this asana, stretch out a yoga mat and stand on your knees on it.
- Bend backwards from the waist and take both hands back.
- Hold the right foot’s heel with your right hand and the left foot’s heel with your left hand. Look up at the sky with your head tilted back.
The boat posture is beneficial to your health since it stretches your abdominal muscles and tones the essential organs in your belly.
In addition, it aids in losing abdominal fat, improves digestion, and is the best yoga for diabetes.
How to do it:
- Naukasana is performed by lying down straight on the ground.
- Lift your shoulders and head upwards after that.
- Then straighten your legs. Your arms, legs, and shoulders should not change.
Dhanurasana is one of the most popular yoga asanas. It is perfect for our waist and spine, improving flexibility and sending a strong message to our internal organs.
How to do it:
- Lie on your stomach.
- Bend your knees and pull your heels up to your buttocks.
- After that, raise your torso off the ground while supporting your ankle with your hands.
- Then lift the legs even higher.
- Stay in this last stance for a few moments.
Downward Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana is a well-known and straightforward yoga posture that strengthens the arms, legs, and wrists while increasing lung capacity.
Downward Dog is the most excellent yoga posture for Sciatica Pain Relief and nerves around the waist.
How to do it:
- First, you put a yoga mat on your knees, keeping your heels inwards.
- Maintain a table position posture by maintaining both hands and feet straight on the ground and your waist straight.
- After that, take both feet back one at a time, keeping both heels on the ground.
- Remember to keep your knees and feet straight.
- Now, tilt your head back and examine your navel.
It increases blood circulation and muscle strength in the legs, arms, hips, groins, and hamstrings. This asana also aids in weight loss and enhances balance and focus. One of the most OK yoga poses for relieving back pain.
How to do it:
- This asana helps to decrease the fat that has collected around the waist.
- Trikonasana is simple to perform; stand straight with your legs wide apart.
- Bend your spine and keep your hands down after that.
- Then, with your right hand, lift it. After then, take a peek at your right hand’s index finger.
Benefits of power yoga
Now that we have seen the power yoga poses, let us look at the health benefits that power yoga offers us.
In yoga, there is a philosophy that emphasizes achieving the best body. Therefore, regular yoga helps burn fat and reduce excess weight from your body, leading to a healthy lifestyle.
Improves Blood Circulation
Yoga poses such as the Head Stand and Camel pose significantly improve circulation in the body. The increased blood flow results in increased metabolism and more efficient muscle function.
Pranayama, the breathing technique in yoga, has proven to be one of the best ways to help control stress levels. Twenty minutes of pranayama per day is enough to reduce stress.
The immune system is one of the essential factors in the body’s ability to fight diseases and stay healthy.
Yoga can fight diseases on a cellular level by increasing metabolism and improving blood circulation throughout the body.
Yoga is very famous for increasing endurance in athletes, especially in track and field events. The increased endurance also grants athletes more power in their muscle tissue, which is extremely important when running fast paces.
Yoga practices like Sun Salutation strengthen the bones by massaging them regularly, which prevents osteoporosis. In addition, yoga enhances bone strength by improving the circulation of your body’s nutrients in your bones; this includes essential minerals like calcium.
Improves Quality Of Sleep
Did you know that sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body? Getting enough sleep at night benefits your overall health.
People who do not get enough sleep tend to be more stressed and experience decreased performance at work or school. Yoga helps relax the body and mind after a long day, providing fantastic quality of sleep.
Aids In Hormone Regulation
The physical benefits of yoga also include hormonal balance. For example, yoga poses such as the Downward Dog pose and the Cobra pose help balance the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen in males and females.
Improves Capacity Of Lungs
Yoga exercises such as the tree pose, fish pose, and mountain pose help to increase circulation in the lungs. The increased flow of oxygen-rich blood allows the body to work more efficiently and effectively.
Helps In Recovery From Exercise
After a tough gym session or a strenuous day of work, it is common to experience muscle pain and other injuries.
Yoga is part of a recovery plan to help decrease muscle pain and promote better muscle flexibility over time.
You might not realize that your posture could be the reason for your back pain. However, with proper yoga techniques, you can improve your posture and also prevent back pain.
Focused breathing is a technique in the yoga that helps inhale and exhale with a calm mind. A focused mind can help improve your mental health and relieve stress in your life.
It is essential to be flexible to stay active and avoid injury. Many people understand this importance, but they do not take action because they think it is possible to improve their flexibility.
Yoga can help you achieve a high level of flexibility in your life and make you healthier overall.
Improves Conditions of IBS And Indigestion
Yoga also helps people manage acid reflux and heartburn better by increasing their capacity to handle physical and mental stress.
Toxins are naturally occurring chemicals that get into your body when you consume alcohol or carbonated drinks. Yoga helps release the toxins that are stored in your body and help improve your health.
Because power yoga engages so many different muscle groups, it might be an excellent method to enhance your motor control and balance.
Power yoga for beginners
If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to start with some fundamental poses and exercises before diving into a power yoga session.
The following yoga power positions will help you start correctly. They make sure that your body is compatible with this intense form of yoga.
However, if you have ever practised any type of yoga before, these poses can also help you improve your fitness level. Here is a sample power yoga variation that you can practice every day.
- Pranayama (breathing exercise)
- Yoga Salutation (Sun Salutation)
- Cobra Pose on the floor
- Standing Forward Bend on the floor
- Warrior Series (Warm-up)
Who should avoid doing power yoga?
While there are no contraindications for power yoga, it is essential to understand that it differs from regular yoga.
Power yoga is an intense form of yoga in which you do several poses in a row with speed and intensity.
It can be dangerous when doing these poses without proper guidance and instruction from a trained instructor. It can lead to injuries and muscle strain.
Any person who suffers from the following should avoid power yoga-
- Pulled hamstrings
- Carpal tunnel
- Shoulder injuries
- -Recent surgery of the eyes
- Severe heart conditions
- Any other serious medical condition
- Pregnant women
The bottom line
Power yoga is a hybrid yoga activity designed for people with high levels of fitness. It’s ideal if you want to focus on the workout rather than the breathing exercises.
It has physical and mental advantages, but you may need to take a few regular yoga courses to master the positions first if you're starting.
Take a class with an instructor to learn the correct form. And remember, you should always consult your doctor before practising any kind of physical activity.
I hope this article will help you to be able to judge what is right for you and one day become an influential yoga disciple!