If you've been a yoga practitioner for quite some time, or are already an accomplished athlete, Power Yoga might be the next stage of your fitness regimen. Power Yoga, with its combined focus on strength and aerobic activity, offers a new challenge.
The Benefits of Power Yoga
Yogis promote the increased detoxification and the stimulating cardiovascular benefits of this style. Instructor Bryan Kest features a detailed article about Power Yoga benefits on his website. Immersing yourself in this practice is also said to:
- Develop muscle tone and extended flexibility
- Increase the chances of weight loss
- Greatly improve circulation
- Relieve chronic pain by improving joint mobility and lubrication
- Promote deeper sleep, stress relief and sense of calm well being
Because of these overall physical improvements, proponents of the practice also believe that performing power yoga reduces the symptoms of certain chronic illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, arthritis and circulatory problems.
A Few Notes of Caution
Most people, regardless of age, can perform the poses at different levels of expertise, but this style of yoga does require the practitioner to be in better physical condition and have a high tolerance for heat.
As The Mayo Clinic advises, it's critical to keep the body hydrated before, during and after practice. This does not include caffeinated beverages, only water. Along with the recommended eight-to-ten glasses of water daily, yogis practicing power yoga must consume enough water to replenish the body after detox. This could increase water intake to twelve-to-fourteen glasses on practice days. Power yoga is not advisable for those brand new to yoga or pregnant. Beginners may find concentrating on learning proper form difficult in the excessive heat and expectant mothers experience a rise in the body's core temperature to levels that may compromise the well-being of the baby.
Is Power Yoga for You?
It's hard to determine if a yoga style will be a good fit until you've done it a few times. Even if you've practiced yoga before, each instructor adds unique aspects to a session. Keep an open mind about each style, try more than one session to see how you react, and then evaluate the pros and cons based on your needs and aspirations for practice.
Finding a Class
Many yoga studios, spas and fitness clubs have classes in Power Yoga. To find classes in your area, search these online resources:
At Home Practice
One of the most renowned instructors of this style is Baron Baptiste. His online store carries a variety of DVDs for every fitness level. You'll find other Power DVDs from popular teacher Rodney Yee as well as Beryl Bender Birch, who is considered to be one of the primary instructors responsible for adapting Ashtanga into Power. You may also want to try Bryan Kest, another leading instructor in this style, who offers online classes and workshops.
Practice with Care
It's always best to first perform any yoga path under the guidance of an experienced teacher who will not only teach you about the history and theory of the style, but also instruct and correct your postures and other physical attributes important to the practice and to avoid injury. No matter what form of yoga you choose, you're adding a healthy alternative to your life that should provide another element to enjoy.