Power yoga is a term used to describe a vigorous, high-intensity approach to yoga. Originally, this style of yoga was modeled on the Ashtanga method. Many people consider power yoga as ‘gym yoga’. Power Yoga is an intense practice that can be used as a “work-out.” With new power yoga centers coming up in every Indian metro today, it is no longer restricted within the reach of only the rich and famous. Power yoga is now becoming an increasingly budget-friendly fitness option for all of us.
Power yoga incorporates a series of poses done in sequence (Vinyasas). The teacher is given full flexibility to teach the poses in any order, making the class creative and exciting. Proper form and breathing techniques are also emphasized during the practice. Each asana is held for a set amount of time and then the practitioner moves fluidly into the next asana.
The focus is often on a specific part of the body and a group of poses that build up in a gradual sequence, from basic poses to the advanced ones. Since power yoga is high in intensity, the muscles warm up quickly which also increases the oxygen intake. The asanas incorporated in power yoga tone the muscles and strengthen the body causing body stability. Power yoga improves stamina, flexibility, posture, and mental focus. Like all other physical activities, it also relieves stress and releases toxins in the form of sweat.
If you do an intense one-hour long session of cardio, you will lose twice the number of calories as compared to how much you will lose by doing Power Yoga but it doesn’t necessarily mean you burn fat. However, Power Yoga concentrates on the muscles and streamlines your body, building the core muscles. Building lean muscles is effective for weight loss, which increases metabolism, leading to the burning of fat.
Because it is intense, it burns more calories than most traditional forms of yoga and can help with losing weight more easily.
Power yoga is a rigorous workout and you should avoid it in case -
1. You are at least not moderately fit or else the physically intensive poses can end up doing more harm than good.
2. You are pregnant. Certain asanas can potentially cause complications during pregnancy. Instead, there are yoga classes which are especially designed for pregnant women.
3. You suffer from any chronic physical ailment like diabetes/arthritis.
Power yoga does not emphasize meditation and chanting. At times it may include a session at the end where the practitioner is asked to reflect on the changes his body has undergone during the preceding particular session. This form of yogic practice is a highly versatile workout that lets the practitioners focus their workout based on their physical and emotional needs.
You should never start a yoga practice without a teacher, or at least a good pose guide. You can easily injure yourself in yoga due to poor alignment, which a beginner may not recognize at all. Poor alignment can cause injury or strain over time, and it's not only hard to heal but you also get habituated to doing the pose in the wrong manner. A few sessions with a teacher can also prepare you for successful home practice.
Always consult a doctor before beginning an exercise program, including Power Yoga.