Among the many styles of yoga, this dynamic practice gives you a challenging mind and body workout. It would be very apt to say that perspiration meets meditation.
Power Yoga has its roots in Hatha Yoga. Combined with pranayama, it is not for the rank beginner or faint hearted. Power Yoga actually helps sculpt the body and also build muscle. Students not only move dynamically through a series of postures but also work on strength and balance by staying in each pose to a breath count or even minutes. Learn more about yoga with our yoga tips by experts
What to expect:
It is possible to work up to a power yoga class over time. The benefits from this style are stamina, flexibility and lower blood pressure to name a few. Keep in mind that each instructor may have developed a slightly different routine with Power Yoga poses. Some of them are universal. Each one is performed to an inhalation and exhalation – this is very important.
Sequence of Power Yoga Poses:
Warrior 1: Standing on the mat, take the right foot back into a lunge. Bring palms together and raise them over your head. Keep the torso facing forward. In the lunge, don’t let knee go over the toes. Repeat on left.
Warrior 2: From Warrior 1, rotate torso to face right and lunge right. Make sure that the heel of the left foot lines up with the arch of the right foot. Stretch arms so that they are parallel to the floor and look past the middle finger. Hold for several breaths and repeat on left.
Warrior 3: Face the narrow end of the mat. Place hands on hips and balance weight on left foot. Hinge forward from hips and make sure that the right foot and torso are in parallel to the floor. Stretch arms in front and lace finger. Hold this for several breaths. Lower arms and right leg. From standing pose, repeat on left side.
Shoulder stand: This power yoga pose requires a lot of practice before one can perform it without props. Lie on your back on the mat with arms loosely at your sides, palms facing down. Raise your legs into the air at a 90 degree angle from the body. Push with your hands and raise hips off the floor and lower the legs over your head. Bring legs slowly back so that they are in line with the back and perpendicular to floor. Hold for 30 seconds – keep adding time till you can sustain the pose for up to 5 minutes.
Sun salutations: This is a series of 12 poses performed dynamically on both the left and right sides. It is repeated 3, 5 or more times to raise heart rate and also circulation. This helps to loosen up all the muscles in the body. The sequence is as follows – mountain, prayer forward bend, backward lunge with right foot, plank, chaturanga (chin to floor), upward facing dog, downward facing dog, forward lunge with right foot, forward bend, prayer and mountain.
Sun salutations are always done at the beginning of a class to make sure that the body is warmed up to do more difficult poses.