Power Yoga is an intense Hatha yoga workout style that combines elements from other yoga styles, such as Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Kripalu Yoga. This vigorous yoga style is based primarily on Ashtanga Yoga though. Ashtanga Yoga, which involves incorporating a set of breathing techniques called ujjayii breathing and a progressive series of postures, goes through six series of specific postures or asanas which are always done in a particular sequence. Power Yoga is mostly a shortened version of Ashtanga Yoga. It is an adaptation of the Primary Series of the postures used in Ashtanga Yoga, and incorporates other elements and poses from other yoga styles.
There can be as many different kinds of Power Yoga as there are Power Yoga instructors, but there are similarities among Power Yoga classes that draw these styles together. Ultimately, the backbone of Power Yoga will always be the Primary Series of asanas in Ashtanga Yoga, but it doesn’t strictly conform to these asanas or the sequence. On top of that though, Power Yoga has a particular kind of focus. Firstly, Power Yoga, in whatever form it may come in, emphasizes connection with a person’s own inner core: their own personal, spiritual power. Also, Power Yoga helps develop physical power. The style’s challenging postures not only help build muscle strength, but also allow a person’s body to release tension and toxins, and contribute to their overall physical health. And finally, Power Yoga teaches a person to focus their minds on the postures and concentrate on them, building their mental power and exercising their will.
Power Yoga is quite physically demanding. In fact, Power Yoga’s complex asanas and brisk pace may seem a little overwhelming for yoga beginners and may even feel altogether inaccessible to them. Some instructors even recommend that a Power Yoga first-timer already be physically fit and familiar with yoga basics, such as the Sun Salutation, which is a sequence of asanas meant to stretch and loosen the spine. This style of yoga focuses almost entirely on the physical or exercise aspect of Hatha yoga, and normally doesn’t involve much chanting or meditation.
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