If you are looking for a way to kick up your workout and achieve maximum fitness benefits, then perhaps power yoga is worth a try. This new take on an age old discipline has origins in western culture, from Bryan Kest on the west coast to Beryl Bender Birch in the east. Both of these yoga instructors studied with the Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga yoga is the style that most closely resembles today's power yoga, with intensely fluid sessions that emphasize physical fitness and give you a workout that your muscles will not soon forget.
While power yoga is primarily an ancestor of Ashtanga yoga, it also borrows influence from Bikra yoga by requiring basic yoga poses as part of the workout. This helps to energize the session, and can make it challenging enough for even those experienced in the discipline. Power yoga also includes aspects of lyengar yoga, which encourages you to hold a pose as long and accurately as possible to increase flexibility and endurance.
What to Expect
Power yoga sessions generally begin with warm-ups to relax and warm up the body for the rigorous workout ahead. To enhance flexibility and to promote cleansing through the sweat glands of the body, the workouts are often done in a room heated to around 80 degrees. Once warm-ups are complete, your instructor will move through a series of poses that require you to synchronize your breathing to each movement. The physical work is challenging, but it is nothing compared to the amount of concentration and focus that is required to get through an entire workout successfully.
Benefits from Power Yoga
Power yoga is a fantastic way to get physically and mentally fit, but there are other specific benefits to these workouts as well. First, power yoga is an excellent tension reliever as it works your body to its physical limit and forces your mind to focus. This discipline will tone your entire body, which makes it a great training option for athletes of all kinds. Because you work up a pretty good sweat during a power yoga session, this is an effective workout for removing toxins from the body through its largest organ – the skin. It is also good for essential components of good health like strength, flexibility, posture, stamina and mental focus.
Although power yoga differs from traditional yoga in some ways, it still utilizes the basic principles of traditional yoga that include uniting the mind, body and spirit into a single workout session. Yoga can release the energy within the body that will aid in healing and provide for optimum strength and wellness. And by kicking up this discipline through power yoga techniques, you can rest assured that your body is getting a complete, high powered workout at the same time. If you are interested in trying out one of these challenging power yoga sessions, contact a yoga studio near you to see if they offer power yoga classes. Your buff, toned body will thank you.