What is Power Yoga
It is a Westernized version of Ashtanga Yoga and varies from teacher to teacher. Power Yoga is best suited for physically fit individuals who are looking for an intense workout and want to push their bodies to the edge and is not recommended for beginners.
Benefits of Power Yoga
Because Power Yoga strengthens and builds muscles it can be a great aid in weight loss and weight gain prevention. If you have never tried Power Yoga before start with this quick Power Yoga Flow Sequence.
Beginning Power Yoga Flow Sequence
- Starting in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) legs together, weight evenly distributed inhale as you circle sweep your arms over head into Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Facing Hand Pose)
- As you exhale step your right foot wider than hip distance, squatting down with your hands at heart center (middle of chest) into Malasana (Garland Pose – or squat).
- Inhale, sweeping arms overhead briefly, stepping the right foot back to center and exhale as you fold forward, weight moves forward into toes, hips over ankles into Uttanasana (Forward Fold).
- Inhale again sweeping arms over head and exhale stepping your left foot wider than hip distance, squatting down as before.
- Inhale circle sweep the arms overhead, stepping the left foot next to the right, exhale fold forward and inhale sweep the arms overhead.
This completes one full pass through the first part of the Power Yoga Flow Sequence. Repeat this sequence several times to warm up the body.
Building up a Power Yoga Flow Sequence
Transitioning and building on this warm up sequence is easy. As you finish your last pass through center from the left side into Forward Fold, hold the fold. Modifications for the next part of this sequence are available and will be discussed in a later article.
- From Forward Fold inhale half way up to Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Fold or Monkey), lengthening the crown (top of the head) away from the sit bones (gluteus), hands on the thighs, chest and back extended equally.
- Exhale fold forward placing hands on either side of the feet, directly below shoulders and step the feet back into Phalankasana (Plank or Pushup Pose). Fingers spread wide, most of the weight in the thumb and first finger ball mounts joints. Draw the abdominal muscles in, bracing them, without rounding the back. Hold for several breaths.
- Exhale, lift the hips, rolling through the shoulders without moving the hands, and push the heels towards the mat into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). Take three breaths here.
- Inhale roll through the shoulders, drawing them directly over the wrists, bringing the hips and body into Plank pose again. This time lift the left foot two inches off of the floor, pressing through both heels. Hold for several breaths, keeping abdominals contracted. Release the left foot and repeat with the right foot. After releasing right foot, on your next exhale push back to Downward Facing Dog. Take three breaths.
- Inhale coming forward into Plank pose. This time lifting right foot first two inches off of the floor, and lifting the left arm shoulder height, make sure to keep the abdominal muscles contracted. Hold for several breaths, then release and move to the left foot and right arm. On the next exhale push back into Downward Facing Dog. Hold for three breaths.
- On an exhale walk the feet forward into Forward Fold. Inhale halfway up into Monkey, exhale fold forward completely and with a deep inhale circle sweep the arms all the way up, rising again into Upward Facing Hand Pose, exhale hands to heart center.
Power Yoga Flow Sequence and Strength Training
The first half of this sequence worked the hip abductors and adductors, the gluteus, shoulders and upper back. The second half worked the upper arms, upper back, shoulders, core and legs. When united with the first half this creates a simple Power Yoga Flow Sequence that helps to build, strengthen and tone muscles. Complete this series multiple times from start to finish for a longer duration Power Yoga workout.