What Is Power Yoga?

Yoga and fitness are the two most popular forms of exercise in the West. It’s no wonder we wanted to find a way to merge them into one activity – and that’s how Power Yoga was born.

If you love dynamic types of yoga – like Vinyasa yoga and fitness yoga – this might be just the yoga type for you.

Let’s take a look at what is Power yoga, how to practice it, and why it is a great addition to your weekly exercise routine.

Power Yoga Definition

There are many types of Power yoga classes you’ll come by since it’s not an official style of yoga with a structured sequence like Ashtanga and other systematized yoga styles. With that said…

Power yoga is a hybrid between yoga and fitness.

The first teachers credited for creating the term are Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest, both of whom published books covering the topic. The most popular modern Power yoga teachers are Baron Baptiste and Travis Eliot.

Some consider Power yoga a subtype of Vinyasa yoga since both styles incorporate fast-paced flows. However, Power yoga differs in that it doesn’t only include yoga poses but also some exercises from Pilates and calisthenics.

The emphasis of power yoga is flow – you’ll move through a lot of poses in a class, and they’re not held for a long time. You can also expect some aspects of gym workouts – particularly the repetitions. For example, in classic Vinyasa flows, you flow directly from plank to Chaturanga and the Upward-Facing Dog pose. In Power Yoga, you’d move 5-10 times from plank to Chaturanga, basically performing a variation of push-ups.

Power yoga is also not focused on the spiritual aspect of yoga-like other styles. It still requires you to be mindful and focused on breathing, but it is not a meditative practice like traditional Hatha yoga.

To sum up, if you want to build strength and endurance or burn more calories with yoga, this type would be a great way to achieve it. However, it is a difficult practice and is more suitable for advanced yoga students. If you’re just beginning to practice yoga, it would be better to start with classic Vinyasa and proceed to Power yoga only when you feel ready.

Benefits of Power Yoga

  • It builds strength and endurance in your entire body, particularly the core
  • It is a form of low-impact cardio and builds stamina
  • It may decrease stress and improve your mood
  • It can boost your mental awareness and concentration
  • It aids in detoxification
  • It increases flexibility and mobility
  • It burns calories

Power Yoga Poses

Power yoga incorporates both the poses from traditional yoga and calisthenics. For that reason, there are countless poses – it would be impossible to list them all in a single article.

Still, to help you get started, here are some of the most common poses you can expect to encounter in a power yoga class:

Advanced power yoga classes also frequently incorporate arm balances, such as handstand, Firefly pose, and Crow pose.

How to Practice Power Yoga

Power yoga incorporates a lot of yoga poses, so it would be easiest to start practicing in a teacher-led class, either at home with online videos or in a fitness center/yoga studio.

Before going to your first Power Yoga class, make sure you have a good yoga foundation. You can build your foundation with classic yoga styles, like Vinyasa yoga or Hatha yoga. Some poses you should master before you attempt Power yoga are Downward-Facing Dog pose, Plank pose, Chaturanga, Upward-Facing Dog pose, High Lunge, and Chair pose.

Proper form is crucial to practice this vigorous style safely and efficiently. Make sure you modify poses to suit your specific skills and anatomy. Also, it’s completely normal to take a rest during your practice – you can enter a Child’s pose whenever you need to catch your breath.

Start Power Yoga at Home

If you can’t make it to a Power Yoga studio or simply want to try Power Yoga out at home, check out these follow-along videos.

Related: Ultimate Power Yoga Flow Sequence (5-Minute Video Tutorial)

60 Minute Power Yoga Detox Class

Power Hour Yoga Class

60 Minute Power Yoga With Baron Baptiste

Power Yoga FAQs

Is Power Yoga Good for Beginners?

Yes and no – if you’re going to a beginners’ yoga class, then the teacher will adapt it to new students. However, classic power yoga classes might be too challenging for beginners. They require a tremendous amount of strength and stamina, and it might be a good idea to build those first with other dynamic yoga styles, like Vinyasa yoga.

Is It Ok to Do Power Yoga Every Day?

Yes, power yoga is a full-body, low-impact activity, and you can safely practice it every day. It builds your flexibility, strength, and stamina all at once and is a great routine to do daily if you want to get back or maintain your shape. However, make sure you also have rest days to recover, especially if you feel fatigued.

Is Power Yoga Better Than the Gym?

Power yoga can be better than the gym if you want to build both strength and flexibility in a single class. It tones the muscles and helps you lose weight, especially if paired with a balanced diet. However, if your main goal is to build big muscles, the gym is more appropriate as it allows you to progressively lift more weight, which is necessary for muscle growth. Power yoga is a bodyweight workout, and it doesn’t build muscles in the same way. Therefore, the real answer will depend on your goal – but there’s also no reason why you shouldn’t do both.

What Is the Difference Between Yoga and Power Yoga?

Traditional yoga styles focus on spiritual growth as much as on physical exercise – or even more. Power yoga’s main goal is physical – it’s intended to build strength and endurance. Power yoga also uses some training methods from fitness and Pilates, which is not typical for traditional yoga classes. However, you can still expect to build breath awareness and a mind-to-body connection.

Important: Check with your doctor before trying PowerYoga for the first time if you have any type of injury, illness, pain, or you are pregnant.

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