If your only experience with yoga involves a quiet room, humming and holding poses for a long time, you should give power yoga a try. A far cry from the calming, relaxing experience that you typically get from a yoga DVD or class, power yoga is for those who want to get flexible and strong while burning lots of calories.
What's Involved in Power Yoga
Power yoga is a type of vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is a style that involves moving from position to position, rather than taking breaks between yoga poses. The basic idea of power yoga originated with Beryl Bender Birch and Baron Baptiste, two innovative yoga teachers that wanted to create an intense form of yoga that was separate from the slower forms that they were trained in. Power yoga falls on the more extreme or active end of vinyasa yoga, since it involves fairly rapid movements and quick switches between poses.
Although the yoga style of breathing is still used in power yoga, the breaths are not the focus of the class as they are in calmer forms of yoga. Yoga breathing is simply a way to get through the poses as efficiently as possible. There is also very little chanting, humming or mantras; this is because the focus of yoga is not on mental calmness and relaxation. The focus is on athletic, vigorous movements that give physical results.
While going through a power yoga DVD or class, you'll notice that you're getting a heart-pumping cardio workout in addition to the strength and flexibility components. Moving faster increases calorie burn and gives you a better workout than traditional yoga. However, it is also much more demanding than a typical yoga class. Be prepared to work hard and take frequent breaks in the beginning.
Losing Weight with Power Yoga
Losing 20 pounds with power yoga is an easily attainable goal. A woman who weighs 140 pounds will burn about 350 calories during 45 minutes of power yoga; your calorie burn tends to be more if you weigh more, although other factors do come into play. If you do half an hour of power yoga once a week, it's possible to lose 20 pounds in about 2½ months. Power yoga is very intense, which is why it's good to start out with just one session a week. As your fitness level improves and your muscles adjust to the hard work of power yoga, it's safe to add on extra weekly sessions.
Power yoga is a fun type of exercise that can really help you reach your fitness goals and get in the best shape of your life. Not only is it a great way to slim down, but it also helps people get flexible and strong. To work it into your fitness routine, check out local electronics stores for a power yoga DVD or look up power yoga classes at a local gym.