Do you find yoga too plain and boring?! Well, not anymore! Here’s everything you need to know about power yoga, a high intensity workout session for the body and mind!
Hey there! Power yoga is so hyped these days. From celebs to Instagrammers, this form has gained the right attention. After writing about Bikram yoga and prana yoga, I was super excited to start with power yoga as it’s a newer version, totally different from the traditional yoga methods. And not to forget the sensation power yoga caused when some celebrities like Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Alba admitted having practiced it. So get fit with power yoga; let’s check out our complete guide to it.!
What is Power Yoga?
Power yoga was first developed by Beryl Bender Birch. Unlike other forms on slow and steady poses, power yoga has quick rapid movements to strengthen the body. It’s an intense workout that combines cardio, stretches and core exercises through various yoga sequences. This form of yoga is a western concept of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga is a series of postures that is synchronized with breathing. It’s the same in power yoga, but it has no particular yogic pose sequence.
Power Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa yoga is composed by breath-synchronized movements, where each pose is matched with the breathing. Basically, vinyasa means flow, and vinyasa yoga detoxifies the muscles allowing for better blood circulation in the body and hence the name. The poses have a smooth transition from one another, unlike traditional Ashtanga yoga.
Benefits of Power Yoga
There are many benefits of power yoga as it’s a high-intensity workout. It’s a full body workout and aims at flexibility, strength building and functional movements. It is almost like an aerobic or a cardio session, so it’ll definitely make you sweat. It’s also beneficial for weight loss as it gives dual benefits of yoga and energetic cardio regime. It also increases stamina, strength and tones the body working on the core. It’s also helpful in reducing stress by improving focus. Inactive muscles are strengthened along with the glutes.
Though the calories burnt are lesser than what they would through running or in a cardio session or aerobic activity, power yoga helps to tone the body, which is an added advantage. If you want to lose weight, then two sessions per week is recommended. In the yoga series, we have listed about the poses, benefits and much more. However, yoga is not only for the body but to soul, too! So, maintaining a well-balanced diet with regular physical activities can help you stay healthy and fit on a long run. Also, stay hydrated and drink loads of water.
But to see visible results, combine it with a cardio activity like running or by playing a sport. So get started with power yoga – here are all your questions answered!
How Many Calories Does Power Yoga Burn?
Ideally, a person will burn around 300 calories in a 60-minute session.
How Long Should a Power Yoga Workout Be?
Ideally, power yoga should be practiced in hourly sessions twice per week.
Power Yoga for Beginners
Any form of fitness is best started slowly, practiced on a regular basis and gradually increased. For a beginner, it’s important to understand your body and also to know that fitness is never a one-time thing. It’s normal to have fluctuations in your weight but consistency is important in workouts. So here are a few points before you get started.
- Keep aside specific times every week to practice yoga.
- Yoga is best practiced during dusk or dawn.
- You can practice yoga anywhere, outdoors or indoors. If you’re practicing indoors, make sure it’s well ventilated and avoid air-conditioned rooms.
- Never practice yoga right after having food. There should be a minimum gap of 2 hours.
- You can drink water before and after the session. Avoid drinking water during your yoga session as it will lose your concentration. However, it’s fine if you take a sip.
- After practicing, it is recommended to have something light like a fruit or yogurt.
- Yoga is done on a mat. Get a yoga mat that provides padding and has a nonslip surface, as power yoga has quick movements.
- Power yoga is an energetic workout session, so you can have music playing around but something melodious that soothes your mind. And don’t play it too loud.
- The core power yoga pricing ranges from $80 to $99 per month, depending on the studio. But if you get the hang of it in a beginners class you can continue at home by yourself.
Power Yoga Poses
There is no particular power yoga sequence, nor are there any unique poses solely for power yoga. It differs from class to class. The main motive is to achieve the poses with fast movements. However, Baron Baptiste of yogajournal has decoded a few poses for an effective workout. These poses are to get a hold of your mood and body. Let’s take a look…
1. Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog’s Pose)
The set starts with balasana (child’s pose) for internal focus, to awaken all the muscles, followed by downward facing dog’s pose. Try to touch your foot to the ground without bending your knees.
2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
This pose helps to integrate your mind, body, and breath. Try to reach your feet with your hands. It’s a stretching pose before starting the power yoga session.
Then you can start the warm-up series, maybe three to five suryanamaskaras, followed by standing balancing postures. Try fast-paced and keep increasing gradually from 5 to 7, 9, 11 and so on.
4. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
In yogic terms, garuda (eagle) is known as the king of birds and it fights the demons. It’s usually performed with straight or round spine. It helps to increase the elasticity of thigh, hips ankles and calf muscles.
5. Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand to Toe Pose)
This balancing pose aims to strengthen the legs and knees. Try to achieve this pose by holding the ends of a towel placed at your feet. This helps to stretch the muscles.
6. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
This pose is great for people with anxiety, backache or indigestion. Use a wall as a prop to achieve the pose. Later add a short sequence of warrior and triangular poses like virabhadrasana and trikonasana.
7. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Back bending poses help in better digestion and provide strength to leg and back muscles. In dhanurasana, the body is twisted like a bow. Try to look up to stretch the muscles to the max.
8. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
This pose helps in lower back problems and is also a great posture for menstrual pains. To achieve the pose, first practice the half locust pose for upper body and lower body 10 counts each. Then try the full locust pose.
9. Urdhva Dhanursana (Upward Bow Position)
Upward bow position is also called as chakrasana, which is a backbend finishing position. Flat lay on the floor and lift your hips and gradually your upper half of the body.
10. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
The camel position is a backward bend performed kneeling. This is yet another pose that helps to strengthen back bone. Apart from balancing yourself, arm strength is also important. So practice arm strengthening exercises, before attempting the pose.
11. Navasana (Boat Pose)
Rebuild heat with some core-strengthening movements like navasana. This pose strengthens abs and hips. Like locust pose, first do a set of upper half lifts and then lower half lifts for ten counts.
12. Veerasana (Hero Pose)
Stretch the hip area with veerasana. While attempting the pose, make sure the thigh is inclined at 90 degrees.
13. Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
This pose cures back pain and diabetes. Try to bend your back first and gradually lie flat on your back.
14. Raja Kapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
This pose helps in the better functioning of pelvic muscles. It’s an advanced level pose. So practice slowly and with guidance. While attempting, make sure you bend your back.
15. Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose)
As you wind down, try series of inversions like viparita karani, sarvangasana and sirsasana. In legs up the wall pose, try to keep the legs relaxed by opening the chest and tucking the chin slightly into the chest.
16. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
It is also referred to as the queen or mother of all the asanas. Make sure your legs are straight.
17. Sirsasana (Headstand)
Headstand is another advanced level pose. Once you ace sarvangasana, try headstand by using a wall as a prop.
18. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
To relax completely, practice savasana. It might seem like taking a nap whereas the practitioner needs to stay conscious to release all the tension from the mind and relax the muscles. Make sure you have your heels spread with your palms facing upwards.
Prana Yoga Clothes
Yoga is practicedbarefoott. Yoga pants or leggings with a tank top or a tee shirt with built in sports bra are perfect for power yoga. Choose something that’s comfortable and stretchy as it’s a high-intensity workout. The clothes should not restrict your poses but they shouldn’t be too loose as they may ride up during some poses. For more information on selecting the right clothes, read 6 Workout Outfits & How to Choose Different Types of Sportswear.
So, this was a complete guide to power yoga. Did you like it? Are you gonna try it? Let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
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