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Flex those muscles. Power Yoga was designed to make traditional Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students. It is a vigorous, fitness-based approach that places emphasis on strength, balance and flexibility. Power Yoga is a great way to achieve core physical fitness as well as better mental focus – both of which sound good to us.
A Power Yoga session is usually between 45 minutes and an hour in length. Your workout will resemble an aerobics routine, as unlike other forms of yoga there is little stopping between poses. However, Power Yoga is slightly different to aerobics as it involves being tuned in to your thoughts and remaining fully aware of your breathing and internal state.
Your teacher will help you pay attention to your posture by correcting your poses. Classes are often small to allow the teacher to give everyone plenty of one-on-one attention – great news if you’re a bit of a diva.
Power Yoga can vary widely from teacher to teacher, so it’s possible to find a class to suit most people regardless of age or flexibility. However, generally speaking it’s most likely to appeal to people who are relatively fit and are more interested in the workout aspect of yoga than its spiritual side.
A challenging class can burn calories, increase metabolic rate and even reduce fat content so it’s a good way to lose weight if you’re trying to shape up. It also helps to build stamina and general fitness.
You can practice power yoga during pregnancy, but your teacher will need to help you modify your workout to ensure that you and your baby are safe when exercising. Certain postures that affect the abdominal area are best avoided by mums-to-be.
If you’re injured and looking to ease yourself back in to exercise, make sure to consult with your instructor first – most teachers will be happy to help you devise a lighter workout until your body is ready to be pushed harder.
Power Yoga was first developed in Los Angeles by Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest, two yoga practitioners who had studied under Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.