Power yoga is a term used to describe a rather modern and vigorous approach to yoga !
It can also be found under other names such as " Power Vinyasa Yoga ", " Power Flow ", " Hot Power Yoga " or " Baptiste Power Yoga " (especially in the US, in reference to a famous instructor, Baron Baptiste , who creates his own style of Power Yoga).
For many purists, power yoga is a bit 'superficial', the kind designed to meet the demands of a fitness industry in constant search of renewal.
However, this yoga practice more focused on athleticism (strength and flexibility) is originally, closely modeled on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga .
Power yoga thus incorporates many vinyasa (i.e. series of sequenced postures), while giving each instructor the freedom and the ability to teach any posture in any order, which makes each class very different. .
THE HISTORY OF POWER YOGA
The term " power yoga " became popular in the 1990s when two American yoga instructors (Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kes) who had learned their skills from the Ashtanga guru, Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois , wanted to convey this knowledge to Westerners, and in a way that is a little more "accessible".
As they had learned from Pattabhi Jois , the Ashtanga was a little too "strict" for their liking, namely that the sequences were always performed in the same order.
In addition, the series could call for a lot of flexibility, it was then difficult to transmit the Asthanga as is to the greatest number.
The term Power Yoga was quickly used to differentiate this new style of yoga, both intense and fluid .
Note that because the name " Power Yoga " has not been the subject of a trademark registration, today we can find anything and everything.
It is perhaps what makes that even today, the power yoga divides .
Some see it as a violation of the holistic and spiritual foundations of ancestral discipline, others as an evolution of Yoga, more focused on physical exercise.
Funny anecdote, Power Yoga could have been called “ Grandma Yoga ” because Bryan Kes wanted grandmothers to feel good about it… it would have been a big mistake for this very cardio yoga!
A YOGA THAT DIVIDES ...
The initial goal of power was really to introduce yoga with a capital Y by targeting the athlete.
The instructors wanted athletes to enter the world of Yoga from the athletic side, and then they were interested in the philosophy and the spiritual side of yoga.
It was a good idea, but it was without taking into account that the athletes are competitors who always want to improve things, to make them more powerful, faster.
This is how Power Yoga began to change:
the pace has accelerated, to burn more calories
the yogi philosophy has gradually faded from practice (the phases of meditation too)
the focus was no longer on the breath but on the burning muscles
some even added plyometrics and other accessories
It's not that disturbing, Power Yoga aims to achieve a high level of energy, vitality and freedom.
There is nothing wrong with that, but many instructors are disturbed by this form of Yoga which they no longer recognize.
Power yoga remains an excellent way to take a good sweat, improve your endurance, your flexibility, your posture and your mental concentration.
On the other hand, it is so popular that it can be seen as a way for yoga to flourish.
Finally, there are 1001 forms of Power Yoga, and many different ways of teaching it, no doubt some instructors manage to reconcile the essence and the very philosophy of Yoga with the rhythm of Power.
WHERE TO TRY POWER YOGA?
Power yoga classes vary a lot from studio to studio, some may not even advertise it as such, and for example you will sometimes find classes called " Hiit Yoga ".
This is for example the case of Fit N Well, which offers Yoga classes in Strasbourg several times a week. The goal is to reduce stress and boost the strength of their members.
You will also find it on Youtube or on Yoga applications like the excellent Asana Rebel .
Either way, you should expect a crash course with loud music and lots of movement.
The emphasis will generally be on standing postures, to work hard on cardio.
If you didn't like a Power class, don't stop there and go test others, even if it means changing studios.
Before you jump in, keep in mind that power yoga is a tough workout and not for everyone!
If you decide to try a power yoga class, prepare to sweat it out.
Avoid power yoga if:
You are not in good shape, otherwise intense asanas could do you more harm than good.
You are pregnant: some asanas can potentially cause complications during pregnancy. (Instead, try prenatal yoga classes , which are gentle and designed for pregnant women.)
You have a chronic physical illness such as diabetes or arthritis
If you are in any doubt, it is best to consult your doctor before trying power yoga or any form of strenuous exercise like Hiit. At the same time, nothing prevents you from getting information in the yoga studio you visit, going to talk to the instructor and see if he puts you at ease.
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