Preparing for the Rigor of Power Yoga Exercises
Primarily, yoga is typically thought of as a conditioning exercise of the mind. Through it, a person can become more attuned to their body’s needs, their breath awareness, and they are able to develop a deep flexibility. However, since coming to the West and becoming wildly popular in the last thirty years, its focus has shifted. Now, yoga is often touted as an exercise practice with exceptional weight loss abilities. The development of power yoga exercises in the last five to ten years have become especially popular and are widely recognized as a way to exceptional cardiovascular fitness.
Power yoga exercises were adopted from a traditional Ashtanga series, in which synchronized breath pairs with a progressively more difficult series of poses. Power yoga ups it a notch by the addition of frequent Sun Salutations and Vinyasas. Pairing the height of a sun salutation in which the heart is elevated above the head with the constant flow of a Vinyasa class results in a great cardiovascular fitness level.
This type of class is not usually for beginners. The class moves from one pose to the next very quickly. Furthermore, yogis stay in power yoga poses for less time than in a regular routine, giving a beginner less time to be adjusted by his/her instructor. With the rate of the poses and the expertise needed to control breathing, it is best that a person new to yoga start with a slower series similar to Hatha or Iyengar.
If you are a more experienced yogi but have never taken a power series, take a moment to adapt your practice in the following ways: Be sure to bring a towel, preferably one to wipe sweat off the body and another to go atop your mat. Power yoga is fast and develops a high level of tapas (or inner heat, in Sanskrit). Without a towel, you may be overwhelmed by how slippery your mat is or how uncomfortable you become.
Once again, if attaining spirituality and a deeper connection with the self, power yoga exercises may not be the best for you. If losing weight and burning calories is your goal then power yoga exercises are the best. In a 90-minute class, a woman standing 5 foot 5 inches and weighing 150 pounds will burn approximately 450 calories. These are all factors to consider when walking in to your first power yoga class.