By Kimaya Singh
Power yoga combines the traditional yoga practices of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Tristhana. Ashtanga refers to performing a specific series of yoga poses, flowing from one to the next, in a specific order. Vinyasa involves using the breath to flow seamlessly from one pose to the next. Tristhana refers to maintaining focus on your posture, breathing, and a focal point. Since coming to the West from India in the 1960s, Ashtanga morphed into something known as power yoga, and has been gaining popularity over the last several years as an intense workout with multiple benefits. Power classes have found a place in gyms and fitness centers around the world, with a following of fitness buffs, professional athletes, and others who just want to be healthy and strong. Power yoga is a positive addition to any athletic cross training program.
Power yoga helps train and tone the body in ways that help many different types of athletes perform at their peak. Practicing power yoga will increase strength, stamina, and flexibility. The core muscles, in particular, become toned and strong, which improves posture and also keeps the rest of the body stable and strong. In order to succeed as an athlete, whether running, swimming, biking, diving, skating, or another sport, focus is crucial. The practice of power yoga helps athletes increase their focus, making it easier over time to achieve the necessary level of concentration and visualization required by successful athletes.
Adding yogic exercise to a cross training program makes for a well-rounded routine, which can help fill in any gaps missing in a training regime. Power yoga is a rigorous workout providing a release for stress and toxins in the body, allowing athletes to cleanse themselves of negativity while simultaneously achieving a stronger body. Agility and flexibility are important in many sports including football, soccer, and basketball. Athletes in training for these sports will find that a power style class provides increased agility and flexibility through poses designed to lubricate the body’s joints.
When beginning a cross training program that includes power style classes, it is important for athletes to find a trained power yoga instructor for guidance. If the athlete has never done yoga before, he or she will need to learn some basic poses and become fluent before beginning the more intense power style workouts. Power yoga instructors who are well-trained will be able to modify the workout to suit the athlete, and guide them as they advance into a true power style workout.
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