What Is Power Yoga?

Students practicing power yoga class

There is not just one standard way of doing yoga. When you think of yoga, you could be thinking of deep breathing as you move your body into different relaxing poses that help relax your body, mind, and soul. 

Did you know that there is a faster-paced yoga called power yoga? If you are looking for a fun way to work out rather than using the treadmill or going on the usual jog in your neighborhood, roll out your yoga mat at home or a local gym or studio and jump into power yoga today!

But what is power yoga, you might ask.

We will define power yoga, examine the similarities and differences compared to other types of yoga, and learn the different power yoga poses. We will also discuss the benefits of power yoga and frequently asked questions about power yoga. 

So, What Is Power Yoga?

Power yoga challenges your body to stretch its limits with swift movements. It encourages increased strength, enhanced stamina, and changes in your flexibility. 

You can also refer to power yoga as “gym yoga” because of the cardiovascular benefits of this workout. 

Transitioning poses in power yoga is more fluid and quickly jumps from one to the other. As you get into one pose, you will be jumping into another one as fast as you got into the first one to keep you on your toes. 

Just like regular yoga, you must keep your breath in sync with the particular poses and motions you are practicing. However, despite this similarity between power yoga and mainstream yoga, there are many differences between them. 

How Is Power Yoga Different From Other Types of Yoga?

So, what is power yoga in a nutshell? Basically, it’s a more fitness-based yoga rather than the relaxation type of yoga we are all used to, such as Yin, Hatha, or Vinyasa yoga.

You will feel your stamina increase as you do more power yoga. Flexibility and strength will improve as you stretch your muscles into the different power yoga poses. 

A power yoga class environment is a little different from a relaxing yoga class practicing the Vinyasa. Rather than a cool room, a power yoga class is done in a heated room to encourage further flexibility and to ensure your muscles stay warm during the workout. 

While you may feel sweaty and uncomfortable as you undergo the fast-paced yoga poses in a heated studio, there are ways that you can reset yourself during power yoga with specific poses, which we will highlight later in the article. 

Plus, the sweat your body is secreting during the workout removes toxins from your body to help you feel revitalized during the workout and at the end of it when you catch your breath. 

Even though you are undergoing more of a cardio workout when doing power yoga, there is still an art of meditation involved. 

How Many Calories Can You Burn During a Power Yoga Session?

Since power yoga is a fitness-based yoga, you will burn much more calories in completing the activity. 

LiveStrong reports HealthStatus statistics related to calorie burning when performing different types of yoga.

A person weighing 130-pounds can burn about 304 calories when doing power yoga for one hour. An individual who is 50 pounds heavier and does power yoga for that same period can burn 421 calories instead. 

How Does Power Yoga Compare to Calories Burned During Other Types of Yoga Workouts?

Depending on the speed of the type of yoga in which someone is performing, it will determine the number of calories burned in a one-hour workout. 

For other types of yoga, each of the same two people will burn this estimated amount of calories within a one-hour workout:

Type of Yoga

Calories Burned in a 130-pound Person

Calories Burned in a 180-pound person

Ashtanga

304

421

Hatha

164

227

Vinyasa

515

713

Why is the person who weighs a little more burning extra calories compared to the person that weighs less?

Live Healthy says that people who weigh more need extra energy than a person who weighs less to expedite calorie-burning. Hence, heavier individuals will usually burn more calories than slimmer people. 

The Different Poses of Power Yoga

The different poses that you can try to get started in power yoga include: 

  • Boat Pose
  • Camel Pose 
  • Chair Pose 
  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog Facing Pose
  • Half Moon Pose
  • Locust Pose
  • Plank Pose

You can expect that some of these poses come from different types of yoga. They are meshed together into one powerful and modern-day power yoga workout because of how fast you transition the poses from one to the other. 

The Boat Pose

The Boat Pose requires you to sit on your bottom, raise both your legs and lean your torso forward with your arms out. Use your hands to hold your legs up.

Essentially, your body will look like a “V” in this Ashtanga mid-level yoga asana when you are done. 

Tip: Ensure that your bowels are cleared for a more comfortable experience when doing the Boat Pose. This pose is best done in the morning before you eat or in the evening a few hours after your dinner has digested and you have an empty stomach. Practice this pose for as short as 10 seconds or as long as 60 seconds. 

Camel Pose

Start the Camel Pose by sitting on your knees. Bend your back to touch your heels to resemble a camel-like position in this Vinyasa novice yoga asana. 

Tip: Like the Boat Pose, it’s best to do the Camel Pose while on an empty stomach and with nothing in your bowels. You can practice this pose for half a minute to a full minute.

Chair Pose

Bend your knees down to where your buttocks are still elevated and level. Put both your hands together to maintain balance. In this Vinyasa-style novice position, it will look like you are sitting on an invisible chair. Your knee muscles will be stretched and make it challenging for you to assume this position for long periods. 

Tip: Place all your body’s weight onto your heels to maintain the position. Reassure that your thighs remain parallel to the floor as you bend your knees. 

Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose is a novice yoga pose where you sit on your knees, place your stomach over your legs, and rest your chin in between your legs. Lay your arms pointed backward or lay forward on the floor as you stretch your leg and thigh muscles. 

The Child’s Pose is one of the poses that can help when you would like a reset during a power yoga workout should you be feeling overwhelmed. 

Tip: You can do the Child’s Pose in different ways. Besides resting your chin between your legs, you can also put your chin to the floor above your knees with your arms stretched forward. 

The Downward Dog Facing Pose

The Downward Dog Facing Pose is an Ashtanga novice-level asana you bend over, arch your buttocks upward, and place your arms on a yoga mat to resemble what a dog looks like when it bends forward. 

Like the Child’s Pose, the Downward Dog Facing Pose will also help to relax for a spurt in your power yoga workout. 

Tip: Start this pose by getting down on your knees on all fours. Make sure your hands are apart, based on your shoulders’ width. 

Half Moon Pose

Firstly, stand straight. Then put your body on one foot as you raise the opposite leg into the air. Lean down and touch your foot on the ground as you maintain the raised leg in the air. This position is a Hatha-style novice asana that you can hold for 15 seconds to 30 seconds at a time before moving on to a different pose in your power yoga home routine or formal class. 

Tip: Be sure that you are looking downward so that you can maintain this Half Moon pose. If you look upward while doing this, you can lose your body’s core balance to keep your leg up. 

Plank Pose

It will feel like you are in gym class again when you do the plank pose. Place your hands and feet on the floor as you are about to do a push-up, but instead, hold your body in place as if you are a plank. This pose is a Vinyasa-style novice asana that you can perform for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. 

Tip: Try to maintain this position for at least 60 seconds so that you can stretch your muscles and enhance your strength more quickly.

What Is Power Yoga Good for?

There are many benefits to performing power yoga, such as:

  • Less stress 
  • Stronger cardiovascular system
  • Better body control
  • Improved well-being
  • Muscle memory

Less Stress

Working your heart will make it so that you are less stressed. A good, solid workout will release the toxins from your body through sweat. If you are chronically stressed, power yoga will give you a clean slate and make you feel calmer. 

Stronger Cardiovascular System

The fast-paced movements and poses stretch your limits, get your heart pumping, and your heart rate becomes stabilized as you continue to do regular power yoga workouts throughout the week. 

You will reap many benefits such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Better operating lungs 
  • Better cholesterol levels 
  • Enhanced sleep at night 
  • Increased brain functioning because of your heart working better 
  • Keeps high blood pressure under control

Better Body Control

It can be challenging to do these positions, especially if you are not used to stretching your body in the manner that is required to do the positions. As you challenge yourself and stretch your body based on the positions you need to perform for your power yoga workout routine, you will be able to control your body better to contort into various positions. 

Improves Well-Being

Because of an improvement in your cardiovascular health, you will have overall improved well-being as you continue to do power yoga. You will feel better because of the toxins coming out of your body and how much more energy you will have from keeping a regular workout routine. 

Muscle Memory

As you continue to do the different key poses in power yoga, you will feel the muscle memory involved going into those different paces. 

Just like riding a bike, you never forget how to do so once you learn it. In this case, practice makes perfect as you constantly perform the same yoga poses in a brief sequence during your workout. 

FAQs

While you have just learned about the basics of power yoga, you may have more questions about it. Here are some frequently asked questions about power yoga and the answers to them. 

What is an asana?

An asana is a yoga position. It is a Sanskrit term that refers to how a yogi sits in their pose. 

What is a yogi?

A yogi is a person that devotes themselves to practicing the art of yoga, its poses, and the meditation involved with said poses. 

Why do you move yoga positions so quickly in power yoga?

While other types of yoga maintain a position for a longer period for restful meditation, power yoga works on multiple positions done quickly to get your heart pumping and your body moving, hence why this exercise is also called “gym yoga.” 

So, What Is Power Yoga to You?

Power yoga is another great way to work out and break away from the traditional workouts of going on an exercise bike, using a treadmill, or going on a job in your local neighborhood. You will be challenged and stretched to your limits to place your body in different poses to improve your heart rate, overall well-being, and energy levels. 

Practice power yoga in your home or go to a local class at a workout studio or local gym. No matter where you practice power yoga, you will reap its health benefits and feel like a new you.

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