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What Is Power Yoga?

4 Things to Know About Power Yoga

The concept of Power Yoga has been getting some buzz, but a lot of people are confused as to what the practice actually entails. The term was first coined in the 1990s, and many consider it to be the beginning of the "gym yoga" trend. But these days, everyone's got their own take on what really constitutes a Power Yoga practice. Some rooms are heated, while others keep it cool. Some teachers follow the same series of poses, while others mix things up every class. The best way to get a feel for any Power Yoga is to talk to a teacher beforehand to see what her class is all about. But with all these things considered, there are some definite underlying themes that are evident in the majority of Power Yoga classes. Here are four you should know before you power through one of these classes for the first time!

  1. It has its roots in Ashtanga: Power Yoga definitely takes its cues from the practice made famous from Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Two of the most recognizable names associated with power yoga, Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest, personally studied under Pattabhi Jois!
  2. It moves quickly: Power Yoga is definitely an intense workout that will make you sweat. A traditional Ashtanga practice follows the same series of poses and makes you hold each for five breaths before moving through a Vinyasa. Power Yoga classes move with an even faster rhythm. There are very few moments of being in a pose and getting the feeling that it's taking forever. Soon enough, you'll be out and moving on to the next Asana.
  3. It's great for strength training: Other forms of yoga may be ideal for flexibility and meditation, but in Power Yoga, you lift and hold your entire body's weight constantly. These classes incorporate a serious number of Vinyasas, and they're definitely going to get your entire body into gear. For one, your arms will definitely feel the burn from all those Chaturangas!
  4. It makes you feel energized: There's a reason that so many people leave Power Yoga classes saying that they're feeling a little "blissed out." While I've left many a relaxing yoga class feeling happy, just wanting to take a bath and get into bed, Power Yoga classes always leave me feeling calm but with an extra little skip in my step! I often come home and tackle a load of chores after I've taken a Power Yoga class.

Power Yoga has become a bit of a collective term for a lot of different classes, so I'm curious about your personal experience. Have you taken Power Yoga? Chime in below!

Source: Flickr user lululemon athletica

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Lizzie-Fuhr Lizzie-Fuhr 4 years
Definitely not a stupid question! When I say moving through a Vinyasa, that refers to the linking poses with a Chaturanga/Up\u00a0dog/Downdog sequence comes from the Ashtanga and Power yoga practices. Some Vinyasa yoga teachers do this and others are not as strict; it really just depends on a teacher's personal pref.\u00a0
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