There are all sorts of types and styles of yoga. From the hot rooms filled with students doing Bikram yoga to Ashtanga and other forms, yoga is definitely not just one general term for a series of breathing exercises and poses. Another form of yoga that many people enjoy doing is called power yoga. This type of yoga tends to be pretty vigorous and fitness-centered approach to vinyasa-style, or breath-synchronized yoga. It is most similar to the Ashtanga style, but unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not rely on a set series of poses.
The term “power yoga” became common back in the mid 1990s, when a group of yoga teachers were trying to find a way to make Ashtanga yoga more popular with and accessible to their students. The two American teachers who are believed to have come up with this term and style of yoga, pretty much at the same time, are Beryl Bender Birch, who is from New York, and Bryan Kest, who is based in Los Angeles. Both Birch and Kest studied with the Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Both teachers liked the term power yoga because it helped define the more intense form of yoga they were doing from the more gentle style that focuses on breathing.
Although power yoga classes can vary from teacher to teacher and class to class, some things should be pretty consistent. Power yoga traditionally has a lot of emphasis on flexibility and strength. As the name implies, it’s a form of yoga that is more intense than mellow. As people began looking to their yoga classes as a way to get a good workout, power yoga helped answer that call. If you take yoga at a gym, it might be power yoga. People who enjoy power yoga are probably already in pretty good shape, and aren’t looking for an hour of chanting “ohm” on a foam mat. Power yoga enthusiasts like exercising and are happy to get an intense flowing form of yoga rather than stretching, poses, and meditation.
Power yoga, as you probably already guessed, is typically practiced in order to help improve your physical fitness. If you are looking to increase your strength, stamina and flexibility, this might be the style for you.
Power yoga can help your overall well-being and health.