What is Power Yoga? How does it Differ from Conventional Yoga?

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I bet you are wondering what Power Yoga is. When it comes to yoga, there are many styles. Each of them are rooted in their own focuses and set of goals.

How does Power Yoga differ from Other Yoga?

Power Yoga was created essentially to augment the Strength of the Muscles as well as Cardiovascular Endurance.

Each of the postures are very challenging to hold, and the progression from one stance to another is rapid.

The result is that practitioners undergo an effective physical workout. When compared to a few other forms of yoga, which tend to adhere to the same set of postures every time, the classes of power yoga tend to be very different.   

In this article, we will delve deeper into the practice of power yoga, the advantages that it offers, potential disadvantages, as well as how one can start following it.   

What Exactly is Power Yoga?

It is clear from the name that power yoga’s primary goal is to enhance strength, along with physical endurance. It’s also a great tool for those looking to burn some calories.  

A crucial note is that power yoga is not considered to be a certified kind of yoga. However, it is often used synonymously with Vinyasa yoga. Technically, it can be claimed that it’s a style of Vinyasa, which can be traced back to Ashtanga yoga, which was first established in the early 1900’s.

Power yoga’s focus is essentially on the transformations from one posture to another. As opposed to viewing every pose distinctly. In several other types of yoga, each form is separate from the other. That is not the case with this practice.

In a nutshell, power yoga’s pace is fast and intensive. Each transformation occurs rapidly, and your breathing is linked seamlessly to the various motions.

Do note that a power yoga class will not be an experience that is relaxed and mindful. Instead, it would resemble an aerobics class. While mindfulness is a crucial aspect of this process, along with an emphasis on breathing, power yoga tends to be more dynamic in nature.

What are the Primary Differences between Power Yoga and Other Forms?

There are several differentiating factors between power yoga and other kinds of yoga. Let us delve deeper into these differences.  

Speed

As opposed to Hatha yoga, which is among the most commonly practiced forms of yoga in America, the pace of power yoga is much faster.

Hatha yoga primarily emphasizes engaging in postures and breathing at a slow pace.

Hatha yoga, as well as other kinds of yoga that follow a slow pace, are not as beneficial in terms of cardio, which is the main advantage of power yoga.

Postures

Atha Yoga

A lot of the postures used in Power yoga are similar to those practiced under Ashtanga yoga. However, the order is not always the same.  

Ashtanga yoga is especially renowned for its precision, and regardless of who is acting as a guide, the postures are always practiced in the same order.  

The instructor determines the sequence of the postures in Power yoga classes. In contrast, power yoga is not highly structured, and one can enjoy more variation.

Flow

The flow is a crucial difference between Hatha and Power yoga.

In power yoga, the flow from each posture to the next is the main focus. Each change in the pose must be accompanied by exhalation.

On the other hand, Hatha yoga does not focus as much on the posture flow; and instead, it emphasizes the right posture.

What are the Advantages of Power Yoga?

Following are a few key advantages of this practice.  

Cardiovascular Health

As power yoga is practiced at a rapid pace and involves resistance training, it can help increase and maintain your heart rate.

When your heart rate increases while engaged in exercise, your body’s capability to circulate blood and oxygen to your various organs and muscles is increased.

Furthermore, when power yoga is practiced regularly, it can help you in the following ways:

  • Weight loss is facilitated
  • Sleep is improved
  • Energy levels are bolstered
  • Brain function becomes better

Strength

While power yoga is known to be fast-paced, it does not necessarily mean that you will not be required to hold any of the postures over a long period. In fact, certain poses must be maintained for a while.

When your body is held in a specific posture for a bit, the muscles are fired up, and thus, it takes more effort to maintain that pose. The result is that muscle strength is enhanced along with the endurance of many body parts.

Burn Calories and Loose Weight

lose weight

Power yoga helps burns calories. Since it strengthens and tones your muscles, the result is the burning of more calories. The “cheat” or hack is that even when you are not having a workout, you will be burning calories.  

Yoga could help you feel more connected to your body. As a result, you become more aware of the your bodies needs. For instance when your appetite is satisfied. As a result, it could improve weight loss.

Decreases Stress

Yoga is popular for its stress reducing ability as it drives feelings of calmness and relaxation.

While power yoga tends to be more rapid in nature, it was found by a study conducted in 2017 that power yoga can reduce cortisol levels, which is the body’s stress hormone.  

It was suggested in the same study that just one power yoga session can significantly decrease stress.

General health

There are many other benefits associated with Power yoga, including:  

  • Improved sleep
  • Better immune system

What are the Disadvantages?

Each session tends to be fast-paced. A certain degree of fitness and strength is required. If you lack a fundamental understanding of elementary Vinyasa postures, it could be difficult to keep the pace.

Similar to other workout routines, it is crucial to undertake appropriate forms if you wish to avoid placing stress on your body. In case you do not know the postures, you may sustain injuries by engaging in inaccurate forms.

Generally the classes are often an hour or an hour and a half. For busy people, this may not be an attractive option.  

Is it Right for You?

In case you enjoy fast-paced cardio classes, such as CrossFit, you will most likely enjoy power yoga.

Having experience in other forms of yoga and/or cardio style workouts will definitely help.

How can You get Started?

Power yoga classes are generally conducted at some gyms or yoga studios. If you are just starting out, opt for classes meant for beginners and ask for recommendations from people you know.

If you are a beginner to yoga, check out this article for Yoga for Beginners.

Before you sign up, chat with the instructor or someone who works at the studio to find out what the power yoga class is all about. You should also ask about the level of expertise or fitness that is required for the class.

If you are someone who enjoys working out alone, you can find several power yoga videos online that you can follow. You can even look for downloadable yoga apps.

If you have any health ailments, consult your doctor or gp first before beginning on Power Yoga.

Final Words

Power yoga is a form of yoga that is fast-paced and emphasizes endurance and strength. It is also great for those looking to tone.

While mindfulness, as well as breathing, continue to be important, it is crucial to note that power yoga tends to be more dynamic when compared to other types of yoga that are meditative in nature. Therefore, as a workout, it is great for cardiovascular health and muscle strength.

Having some level of fitness and yoga experience will most definitely help make your journey into Power Yoga a smooth one.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting article. I am practicing yoga for a while now, but mostly to relax and clear my mind. To be fair I have never heard before about power yoga, but it seems as a great idea to combine relaxing techniques of yoga with endurance training. It will safe time for separate training, and definitely this is something I will try in practice.

    • Yes, it most definitely isn’t traditional. It is good though and has its benefits, especially if you are trying to lose a few pounds or combine cardio and a certain degree of strength training. And of course… the shaping that comes along with regular exercise is an added bonus 😉

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