We’ve all heard of power yoga, but do we really know or understand the exact and correct meaning of it? In a broader sense, power yoga is often called to be “modern yoga” or “gym yoga”- a style of yoga that is popular because of its athleticism.
If we get down to the basic definition of power yoga, it is defined as a general term used to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to ‘vinyasa-style’ yoga and this particular style of yoga was modeled closely based on the Ashtanga method.
Gym yoga is a style of yoga that includes all the athleticism of Ashtanga which further incorporates a number of poses being performed in a sequence ensuring our body to gear up and stay active.
This form of yoga majorly emphasizes on flexibility and body strength and thus, soon it became a way of workout which grew immense popularity over the years.
What is Power Yoga?
When you hear the term ‘Power Yoga’ what are the things that come to your mind which you associate with the term? Well, you too, like most of us must be associating physical amped up classes, loud music, hot environment and lots of movement with the term. And that is absolute what power yoga is all about.
These yoga classes are meant to be super athletic, active and frenetic. It heavily emphasizes on standing postures. Cardio is the basic and the key elements of this form of yoga and that is achieved only when we move our legs frantically- it gets our heart pumping. And that is the sole purpose of power yoga.
What Is the Intent of Power Yoga ?
Yoga is an art and we all know how it isn’t an alien matter to India. After all, yoga has its roots right here in this country thousands and thousands of years ago. Yoga is an art of meditation not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. It has highly gained popularity in recent years, especially in the West.
Born as offshoot of Traditional Yoga
Interestingly, Power or Gym yoga was then born as an offshoot of the traditional yoga methods after the parent style became quite popular globally. What is really great about this form of yoga is that it is fast-paced and it makes you sweat and feel more energized right after even a single session. And this happens only because this style of yoga focuses on strength and flexibility as mentioned earlier while coordinating with our breathing movement.
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More Physical, More Dynamic
This type of yoga attains to be a more dynamic version of traditional yoga- making it faster and more intense while focusing on building bodily strength rather than on meditation and chanting.
The main and probably the basic ground on which power yoga is different from traditional yoga is that while traditional yoga has a fixed set of asanas to be performed, in this yoga the supervisor has the ability to be more flexible in terms of arranging postures and asanas according to their preferences and their clients’ needs.
This form of yoga classes vary widely from teacher to teacher and the asanas comprise of far more intense flowing yoga poses. This ensures that the workout is rigorous and burns calories helping you to stay fit and even lose weight.
Also read our post on Yoga DVDs For Weight Loss.
Power Yoga is What it sounds like 🙂
When you hear the term ‘Power Yoga’ what are the things that come to your mind which you associate with the term? Well, you too, like most of us must be associating physical amped up classes, loud music, hot environment and lots of movement with the term. And that is absolute what this form of yoga is all about.
These classes are meant to be super athletic, active and frenetic. It heavily emphasizes on standing postures. Cardio is the basic and the key elements of power yoga and that is achieved only when we move our legs frantically- it gets our heart pumping. And that is the sole purpose of this yoga.
Also Read our Post on Meaning of The Word Yoga
Here is a great video on Power Yoga for the Interested readers
What Are The Benefits of Power Yoga?
By now we all understand one thing about this yoga- that is it is much more physically demanding than traditional yoga. Power yoga is therefore specifically enjoyed mostly by athletes, sportsmen and people who thrive on staying agile and fit.
However, this Yoga from is beneficial in a number of ways- it provides with a variety of health benefits which we shall discuss in details one at a time.
Also, do not forget to read our post on How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?
Top 4 Benefits of Power Yoga
Power yoga experts and enthusiasts swear by the fact that this particular style of active yoga enhances stamina, improves our body flexibility and helps us to focus better on things.
Apart from this, it also helps to release all our bodily tensions like most heavy exercises and activities. But what power yoga really helps us with is the excessive sweating that happens because of the vigorous movements it helps release the toxins of our body.
This yoga is extremely beneficial for people who have backaches and spine-oriented problems. This is because power yoga focuses on improving our body postures by restructuring our bone structure.
Power yoga helps greatly in weight loss. All the frantic, rigorous and vigorous body movements enhance cardiovascular circulation, stamina and endurance while strengthening and toning our body muscles. There is a number of yoga poses which specifically initiates weight loss.
Conventional Yoga Benefits
On the other hand, conventional yoga practitioners believe that traditional yoga has a more holistic approach towards all of the above mentioned benefits of this yoga and that ‘power yoga’ is just a term of commercialization.
Yoga, in general has been proved to have tremendous advantages. Practicing yoga helps in reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
It has been proved to increase cardiovascular circulation which keeps the heart healthy and hearty. It also benefits us by de-clogging blocked or jammed arteries.
Yoga also benefits menopausal women suffering from insomnia and mood swings. In this case it introduces poses that soothes and calms down the pituitary, hypothalamus and thyroid glands.
There are specific asanas which benefit people in a number of ways suffering from thyroid problems.
Also, do not forget to read our post on Best Fitbit For Yoga, in case you are interested in fitness trackers for yourself.
This brings us to the very pertinent comparison of traditional yoga and power yoga.
Is Power Yoga more Beneficial than Traditional Yoga?
The difference between this form of Yoga and Normal Yoga is nothing and/or everything. In fact, there is no substantial comparison between the two.
Even though this form of yoga stems from the parent traditional style of yoga, in practicality people choose one over the other for different reasons and purposes. While traditional yoga is more about mental, physical and spiritual growth, power yoga is all about flexibility, body strength, body activity and physical prowess.
However, the only two reasons we can call them to be similar are the fact that they both relieve stress and increases flexibility of the body. This similarity between the two majorly lies because of their foundation being similar.
In spite of these similarities, yoga experts claim that traditional yoga comes with a more holistic approach which is absent in this form. This yoga stresses on too much physical exercise which leads the yogi to miss out on the mental and spiritual quotient of yoga.
But we must all remember that no matter what style of yoga one chooses to perform, the basic and primary objective is to bring a harmony between the mind, body and spirit.
So, the style of yoga must be chosen carefully and wisely. Yoga has immense power and that does not come only from power yoga.
Also, read our post on What does Namaste mean in Yoga?
When You Should Avoid Power Yoga?
However, as beneficial as this yoga sounds, it must be avoided under certain specific circumstances. One should avoid doing active power yoga when:
Avoid Power Yoga In the Following Circumstances
One does not feel very fit. Performing this form of yoga requires a minimum amount of fitness. If one does not even fell moderately fit one should not do power yoga. This is because the physically intensive asanas can end up doing more harm to your body on the contrary.
Pregnant women must avoid doing this yoga form. For them, traditional yoga is a better option to go for. Even in traditional yoga, there are certain asanas that one must avoid doing as pregnancy advances.
If you are particularly looking for meditation and calmness of the mind and soul through yoga, then doing this yoga is not a good option. This is because power yoga involves strenuous physical exercise which focuses more on body movements than on chanting or meditation.
However, again it depends on the yoga expert who is supervising how they would like to incorporate meditation along with power yoga.
One should also avoid doing this form of yoga when one is suffering from a chronic physical ailment. And if you still want to do it, go for a doctor’s consultation before you head out to be so physically active.
In case you are suffering from any such or other kinds of physical concerns it is always a better option to consult with your healthcare provider first before plunging into trying power yoga or perform any other kinds of strenuous physical exercise.
Find out more about the Best Power Yoga Dvds on our popular post.
What you bring to your yoga class is what matters most importantly. No matter what yoga you choose to perform, it is always better to start from where you are right now. And then, you may look for more.
All you need to do is to hear yourself from inside. Going deeper, harder and faster is not the solution while practicing yoga or power yoga. On the contrary, find the contentment that your body is offering right now. Moreover, we all know how if we try and overdo things, we end up missing out on the subtleties of life and similarly for yoga too, our ambition should be the practice of doing less.
So, before jumping right into it, take it slow, relax and consider bringing balance and harmony to your body, mind and soul.
As athletes say, “Relaxation is the key to true power”.