What is Power Yoga?
Yoga, an ancient discipline, has been practised for generations in India. It consists of physical postures combined with exercises (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation. When practised regularly Yoga promotes the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of an individual.
Power yoga is a fast-paced yoga sequence, which has its similarities with aerobic exercises and makes one sweat and feel more energised. It focuses more on strength and flexibility while coordinating the physical movements with breathing. Power yoga is more dynamic than traditional yoga. Most of the asanas in power yoga are based on Ashtanga style of yoga but with a quicker tempo. The poses keep changing regularly and provide a sense of variety in the exercise.
Along with strength and flexibility, power Yoga boosts immunity and aids weight loss as well. It is believed that an hour of power yoga burns up to 200 calories. This amount might seem lesser compared to other aerobic exercises, but the power yoga tones your body without much stress on your muscles or joints.
Benefits of Power Yoga
There are numerous benefits of practising power yoga, both physical and mental.
- Increases the strength, flexibility, and stamina, and also helps in toning the body. It gives all these benefits without causing undue stress or injury to our joints or muscles.
- Power yoga can be practised by all age groups including older adults suffering from a various form of arthritis.
- It improves bone health.
- Provides the same benefit as derived from weight training exercises.
- Power yoga helps boost the immune system by increasing the lymphatic drainage. Hence it fights infections, destroys cancerous cells, etc.
- It helps eliminate toxins from our body through sweat, as we sweat more with power yoga than any other traditional yoga practice.
- Since the asanas in power yoga concentrate mainly on the spine, it helps improve posture, strengthen the back, and improve balance.
- It helps improve blood circulation in our body. It is believed that yoga helps in blood thinning which in turn decreases the risk of heart attack or strokes. It helps in regulating blood pressure and also in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
- Help fight obesity. An hour of power yoga helps you burn up to 200 calories. It also helps build lean muscle mass which increases the basic metabolic rate due to which burning calories becomes much faster with little effort.
- Improves lung capacity. Because of the emphasis on breathing coordinated with the physical movements, the lung function is improved, which improves any breathing related disorders.
- It is also known to help alleviate symptoms during menopause in women.
- It is known to help stimulate the vagus nerve which helps in decreasing the seizure frequency and hence contribute to improving epilepsy, though there is no reliable study documented to substantiate the same.
- Practising yoga helps in increasing the level of brain chemicals (serotonin), which are associated with improved/good mood; hence, power yoga helps in mood enhancement.
- Owing to breathing techniques associated with each asana, which concentrate on each part of the body, power yoga also helps in relieving stress and make you calmer and content.
- If you are an insomniac, then yoga is the best therapy for you. It helps you have a deep and rejuvenating sleep.
- Memory and concentration improve with yoga practice, and it also helps you focus better.
- Yoga, in addition to all the other benefits, helps in improving your confidence and self-image.
When to Avoid Power Yoga?
Avoid power yoga in the following circumstances:
- Power Yoga is a very intense workout, if you are not physically fit, it can do more harm than good. Such individuals should better avoid it.
- Pregnancy: Certain asanas and any form of intense workout should be prevented during pregnancy.
- If you are suffering from any chronic diseases, then it is better to avoid power yoga.
- If you are suffering from chronic back ailments like back pain, slip disc, or any spinal injury, you should not be doing power yoga.
Tips For Effective Practice of Power Yoga
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes while practising power yoga.
- Select the right time; it is always advisable to do power yoga early in the morning. Starting out early in the morning keeps you energetic and in a happy frame of mind throughout the day.
- Start slowly, do not start with rigorous poses at once. Take it slow and easy at the start and slowly build up the tempo. Do not practice more than your body is capable of handling. Watch your breath; it indicates when you have reached your limit.
- Before starting the power yoga regime, set your goals and choose the right class and teacher who can help you achieve your goals.
- Ensure that your breathing is synchronised with your movements. Breathing is most important in all yoga practices.
- Follow a series of postures or asanas and concentrate on each posture, instead of blindly going through the motion.
- It is advisable to do power yoga at least three times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes per session.
- Before starting any exercise regime, your physician must be consulted first, and this goes for power yoga too.
- Do not begin the yoga practice, without a teacher, as this may lead to injuries. It is critical that you perform yoga under an expert guidance, at least for the initial few weeks.
Power Yoga Vs Conventional Yoga!
People choose either form of yoga, depending on their needs and availability. Power yoga is more physical and is enjoyed by people who are interested in physical activities (athletes, sportsman, etc.). The conventional yoga is physically less intense and is intended mainly for relaxation and restoration. However, it also carries the same health benefits as power yoga. The conventional yoga focuses more on the holistic approach incorporating more of the mental and spiritual aspects.
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- Power Yoga and its Benefits – Accessed on September 10, 2016 – http://www.indiatimes.com/health/tips-tricks/power-yoga-and-its-benefits-238529.html
- Benefits of Power Yoga – Accessed on September 10, 2016 – http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/power-yoga-what-you-need-to-know/
- Power Yoga Tips and Benefits – Accessed on September 10, 2016 – http://www.yogawiz.com/types-of-yoga/power-yoga.html
- Power Yoga : Few Ways You Can Benefit From it – Accessed on September 10, 2016 – https://www.lifepositive.com/power-yoga-ways-can-benefit/
- Power Yoga Unplugged – Accessed on September 10, 2016 – http://www.fitnessadvisory.org/2013/07/05/power-yoga-unplugged/