Power yoga is a great type of yoga that is gaining in popularity due to its ability to produce improvements in strength and flexibility, as well as cardiovascular health. No matter if you plan on performing power yoga at home or at a studio, it’s important to have some basic pieces of equipment handy in order to achieve optimal results in your workout.
1. Heart Rate Monitor
One of the best pieces of equipment that you can have if you’re interested in starting a power yoga routine is a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitors will tell you your current heart rate, allowing you to determine exactly how hard you’re working. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to exercise in a specific heart rate zone. If you’re trying to burn fat, you should be exercising in a heart rate zone that is approximately 50 to 60 percent of your maximal heart rate, which is determined by subtracting your current age from 220. For example, this author is 27, so her age-predicted maximal heart rate is 193 with a fat-burning heart rate zone of between 110 and 132 beats per minute. A heart rate zone that will improve your cardiovascular system is typically considered to be between 60 and 80 percent of your maximal heart rate. Knowing your current heart rate during your power yoga session will help if you’re trying to stay inside one of these specific zones.
2. Yoga Block
A yoga block is another great piece of equipment that you should have for a power yoga routine. A yoga block can help you reach poses that may be just out of your reach, thereby preventing injury. Typically, yoga blocks are used during poses that require bending and reaching for the ground. Be sure to find one that is made from hard foam. Plastic yoga blocks do exist, but they are not as effective due to the slippery texture and hard exterior.
3. Yoga Mat
Anyone who is starting a new yoga workout absolutely needs a yoga mat. A yoga mat not only provides a comfortable spot on which to sit at the beginning and end of a yoga session, but also helps protect your feet and hands from the ground during different yoga poses. While yoga mats could once only be found at specialty outdoor stores, they can now be located in nearly all home improvement or home goods shops in a variety of sizes and colors to please any yogi.
Be sure to bring along a towel when starting a power yoga class. Unlike traditional yoga class, which typically focus more on the mind-body and flexibility component, power yoga classes can really get you sweating. Be sure to have a towel handy in order to wipe down your hands and mats between different poses.