With the ability to include cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training into one exercise session, power yoga is increasing in popularity as a reputable form of exercise, regardless of age, gender or fitness level. If you are an experienced yogi and are looking for a way to ramp up your current power yoga session, consider raising the temperature, or increasing the number of vinyasas, strength or flexibility poses.
1. Turn up the Temperature
One of the best ways to gradually enhance power yoga is by increasing the temperature of the room. This can be effective in a number of ways. Raising the temperature allows your muscles to warm faster, resulting in an increased ability to perform challenging power yoga poses. In addition, exercising in a warmer climate will result in a substantial increase in your heart rate. This can result in increased calorie burn, along with an improvement in your cardiovascular system.
2. Increase the Number of Vinyasas
Another great way to enhance power yoga is by increasing the number of vinyasas that are done during the session. Vinyasas are a combination cardiovascular/strength exercise that acts as an intermediate between groups of similar yoga poses. The vinyasas are often used as a break between poses that focus heavily on increased flexibility. Increasing both the speed and the number of times that these vinyasas are used during your routine can greatly help to enhance the cardiovascular aspect of power yoga, and can also help tone accessory muscles that may otherwise be missed by more traditional yoga poses.
3. Increase the Number of Strength Poses
Consider increasing the number of strength poses that are performed. Typically, yoga is thought of only as an exercise for increasing flexibility. However, it is now being used more and more commonly as an alternative to traditional weight lifting. If you are interested in increasing strength and muscle tone when performing power yoga, be sure to select specific poses that focus on this area, and include them in your routine. Great examples of power yoga poses that emphasize strength include Warrior I and II, and Reverse Warrior. Down Dog, which is probably one of the most famous and well-known of all yoga poses, is a great strength pose that can be used to target the muscles of the shoulders and upper back.
4. Increase Flexibility Poses
If increasing strength isn’t your main area of concern, consider instead focusing on increasing flexibility. In order to really enhance your routine, you must take an active role in your flexibility. Try to stretch one inch further each time you perform a specific pose in order to make gradual progress. Consider including a yoga block or rope into your routine if you are new to yoga, or if you have an injury that is limiting current flexibility.