Try Power Yoga Exercises
for Intensity

With an emphasis on strength and flexibility, power yoga exercises can give you an intense cardio workout that burns fat fast while also toning muscles and boosting energy levels. 

Do you think yoga is all about stretching and meditation? No way! Like aerobics in the 1980s, power yoga has become the new fitness craze. Celebrities, health magazines, and personal trainers promote it as one of the best ways to get fit and lose weight. 

It is one of the most popular classes in almost all gyms because it can combine the benefits of traditional yoga with a vigorous cardio workout. 

What are Power Yoga Exercises?

Basically, power yoga is a North American derivative of Indian Ashtanga yoga. For some reason, traditional yoga could not find a place in the Western culture. When North American's thought about yoga, they pictured cross-legged, chanting gurus who spent an hour in a state of deep-breathing meditation.

So, in the mid-1990s, Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest introduced a new version of yoga that they thought would be more appealing to the Western student. Both these teachers studied with Ashtanga master Sri. K Pattabhi Jois, and understood the many benefits that yoga had to offer.

animated pictures of power yoga exercises

Essentially, Power Yoga Exercises incorporate muscle building and whole body postures in a fast moving sequence. Most traditional yoga styles are slow moving and the focus is on holding a pose for an extended period of time.

However, with power yoga, the emphasis is more on the quick, continuous movement between poses. This fast moving flow is more fitness-based and creates an intense, aerobic workout.

Power yoga will certainly change your pre-conceived ideas. Forget relaxation, gentle stretching, and stress-relief – you will definitely raise your heart rate and work up a sweat!

And, unlike traditional Ashtanga yoga, there is not a set series or sequence of poses, so the combination of exercises can vary from teacher to teacher. The fact that every class can be different will make your workout more interesting...and less boring!

Benefits Of Power Yoga Exercises

  • Fast paced
  • Higher calorie and fat burn than traditional yoga. In fact, some power yoga classes can provide the same calorie burn as jogging or interval training.
  • Tones and increases muscle mass
  • Increases endurance and stamina
  • Improves flexibility
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Energizes and invigorates. While some styles of yoga are used for relaxation, power yoga will actually increase energy levels.
  • More gentle on joints
  • Offers the benefits of yoga exercises without a lot of chanting and meditation. 

Power Yoga Intensity 

There are many different types of yoga, and the style that is right for you will depend on the results you are hoping to achieve. Power yoga appeals to many people because they can burn fat, increase muscle mass, and improve heart health while also enjoying the many benefits of traditional yoga such as increased flexibility, improved circulation, and stretching. Also, the connection between movement and proper breathing is great for body awareness and stress-relief.

Power Yoga Exercises

Power yoga exercises use traditional yoga postures but combines them in a fast-paced, up-tempo sequence. However, there are some exercises that are more likely to be included because of their ability to increase muscle mass and work the entire body.

warrior ll poseTaylor Demonstrating the Warrior ll Pose

Standing Poses

  • Dolphin Pose: Opens shoulders, strengthens core, arms, and legs.
  • Eagle Pose: Works the core, legs, and shoulders; improves flexibility.
  • Crescent Lunge:  Stretches and strengthens legs, groin, hips, shoulders; improves stability and balance; tones thighs, buttocks, and abs
  • Warrior II: works the shoulders, arms, legs, chest; improves balance, stimulates digestion.
  • Pyramid and Standing Splits : Works the entire body including thighs, knees, ankles, abs, and back.                                                
  • Chair Pose: strengthens thighs, ankles, calves, knees; stretches shoulders, opens heart and chest, tones abdominal muscles.

Seated and Core Poses

  • Camel Pose: Strengthens back, hips, expands lungs.
  • Plank and Side Plank: Works abdominal muscles, arms, legs, shoulders.
  • Yoga Twist: Increase spine flexibility, opens  chest, massages organs.
  • Full Boat Pose: Tones abs; stretches hamstrings; strengthens spine and hip muscles.

side plank with leg extensionTaylor Demonstrating the Side Plank with Leg Extension

Inversion Poses

Inversion Poses:

  • Plow Pose: Strengthens neck, shoulders, back; tones abs and legs; improves digestion; soothes nervous system
  • Downward Facing Dog: Stretches and strengthens legs, shoulders, arms.
  • Shoulder Stand: Tones glutes, back, thighs, and abs; improves sleep; soothes the nervous system; increases metabolism, improves digestion.

Power Yoga Exercises

Power Yoga exercises can melt away fat, tone flabby areas and give you a strong fit body. For the best benefits, it is important to perform all poses properly and to keep a smooth continuous flow between postures. If you want a faster-paced, more vigorous form of yoga that can add power and strength, then power yoga may be exactly what you are looking for.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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