Power yoga is a great way to simultaneously give your muscles a workout and relieve your stress. Although power yoga classes tend to differ from teacher to teacher, the basic premise remains the same. Power yoga generally focuses on building flexibility and strength while retaining awareness of the mind-body-spirit connection.
The Goal of Power Yoga
When many people think about yoga, an image of calmness, breathing, meditation and relaxation comes to mind. Power yoga is, in essence, a mixture of the Eastern and Western approaches of fitness and wellness. In a power yoga class, you will give your muscles a strenuous workout, stretch them and tune into the needs of your body all at the same time. This is different from an aggressive gym or aerobics routine where you push yourself as hard as you can and are not tuned into your thoughts, your breathing or your internal state.
Power yoga classes generally vary in format depending on your individual teacher or yoga studio. The intention behind power yoga is to strengthen muscles and improve your flexibility. Some power yoga classes are held in a heated room to help you stretch deeply. Most classes generally start off with a warm-up that prepares your body for the strenuous poses and movements. This helps to ward off any injuries or to ease you into the practice if you are recovering from injury.
Power Yoga vs. Gentler Yoga
You will generally not find the extensive chanting and meditative element in power yoga that you find in gentler forms of yoga. However, many teachers will guide you to tune in to cultivate self-awareness, to breathe deeply and to pay attention to your thoughts. In a power yoga class, you are focused on your own progress. Your goal is not to be stronger or better than anyone else. You tune into your own body and challenge yourself to stay in the present, listen to the needs of your body and push your own limits.
Benefits of Power Yoga
You can expect to gain many benefits from a regular practice of power yoga. Physically, you benefit from developing flexibility, strength and endurance. You will see an improvement in your posture. As with working out in general, you will feel less tension in your body and a greater release of any stress or anxiety after your power yoga workout.
Yoga, in general, is also known for cleansing the organs and releasing toxins through sweating. While cleansing your body, power yoga helps to clear your mind. A regular power yoga practice will improve your focus and concentration. You will find a strengthening in self-discipline as you clear out any mind clutter and focus on the task at hand in each balancing movement, pose and breath.
Power yoga is highly beneficial for both the body and the mind. It gives you a vigorous workout while delivering a meditative element for your mind and spirit.