By Kimaya Singh
You may have noticed that Aura Wellness Center recently added a Power yoga course. Yet, people considering yoga teacher training courses often wonder what the “power” is all about. To some people the word (power) doesn’t seem yogic. So, what’s all the hype about this particular style? When many of us think of exercising, we think of activities that cause our hearts to beat rapidly, our breath to become short and our bodies to sweat.
Power yoga is essentially the best of both worlds. It lets participants work up a sweat and increase their heart rates while also providing soothing stretches plus meditation and breathing practice. Many people are turning to power style classes to provide a vigorous workout that still focuses on the more calming aspects of yogic practices. A typical power style class consists of some common elements.
Power yoga comes from a style practiced in ancient India referred to as Ashtanga vinyasa. Ashtanga focused on building self-discipline and flexibility. Since then, Ashtanga has made its way to the West and become popular in gyms, clubs, studios and centers across the country. Every power class has a different spin on it, depending on each instructor’s teaching style and goals for the class. However, the common elements of a vigorous, fast-paced class remain consistent among all power style classes.
Routines Maintain a Faster Flow
During a power class, students will follow a fast-paced routine led by the yoga instructor. The ultimate goal is to flow from pose to pose smoothly, quickly and while synchronizing the breath with each movement.
It Encourages Intense Focus
Another difference between power and regular hatha classes involves the length of time each pose is held. During a power yoga class, some of the poses are held longer than in traditional classes. A typical class will call for the students to hold each pose for about three to five breaths. During a power class, the instructor will often ask students to hold poses longer than that. This improves concentration and focus and allows the students to learn to rely on their breath to increase the effectiveness of the pose.
It’s Not for Beginners
Power yoga is generally not recommended for beginners. In order to gain the most benefits from a vigorous class, you should be familiar with each pose so you can transition gracefully from posture to posture. During a power yoga class, the mind should be focused on breathing and stretching deeper rather than on how to perform each pose. Practitioners of power classes are typically well-versed in most of the asanas and are looking to challenge their selves physically and mentally with a more intense workout.
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