Although it’s not a traditional style of yoga, power yoga is one of the most popular practices in the modern world. Think of this as a fusion between traditional gym exercises and yoga. The focus of power yoga is on strength, flexibility, and endurance. As you move through a sequence of challenging poses at a fast pace, your heart gets a workout too! This practice is definitely not for everyone. It requires a high level of physical fitness before you even start. Additionally, this type of yoga isn’t aimed at people looking for a spiritual practice. Instead, the mental release stems from the body’s ability to move from one pose to another. People practicing power yoga have to maintain control of their movements and focus on their breathing. It takes a lot of willpower to make it through an hour of power yoga. As a result, it can be used as a mental and physical workout.
History of Power Yoga
Compared to other practices; power yoga is a new kid on the block. It was first introduced in San Francisco in the 1990s by two yoga enthusiasts. The first classes essentially utilized the Ashtanga style with longer holds and faster-paced movements. As a result, the practice was more intense, even for advanced yogis. The popularity of power yoga skyrocketed soon after, with many gyms promoting the class as a way to gain muscle and lose weight. However, it gets a certain amount of criticism. Those who practice a more traditional style of yoga frown upon the absence of spirituality. It is not uncommon for a power yoga class to have loud, energetic instructors and upbeat music. It can also feature non-traditional moves such as lunges and squats in the middle of a session. These days you can find this type of class just about anywhere, in different variations.
Benefits of Power Yoga
It is a full-body workout, using resistance and bodyweight to increase strength and flexibility. There is a big emphasis on breaths, which are used to move from one pose to the next one. Being able to control your breaths makes it possible to hold the difficult poses for longer. This practice also has a relaxing effect that comes from the deep focus required to quiet the mind. When you’re able to drown out the unnecessary stimuli, you can practice more efficiently. Its intensity induces sweat production, and sweating aids the body to cool down and detox. Overall, this is a great practice for anyone searching for a challenge. It also leads to better health, endurance, and willpower.