BistroMD Health Library

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Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

What is Power Yoga and How Can You Benefit?

Looking to become a yoga aficionado and wondering, "What is power yoga"? This concept has become increasingly popular but many are confused as to what it actually does and how you can benefit from power yoga. Find out if power yoga is right for you!

What is Power Yoga and How Can You Benefit?

Unless a yogi, or a person proficient in yoga, you may not realize all the various types and forms of yoga classes offered and practiced. Additionally, people assume yoga moves at a slow pace and focuses solely on meditation. And though those styles do exist, a newer, stronger kind came to town and altered yoga as we traditionally know it. So, what is Power Yoga and how can you benefit?

What Is Power Yoga?

Power Yoga is a fitness-based Vinyasa practice - Vinyasa translating to "arranging something in a special way." Specific to yoga, yogis flow through movements from one pose to the next. Power Yoga was based mostly on the Ashtanga method, a repeated series of approximately 75 poses that takes an hour and a half to two hours to complete, repeating itself each class period. However, Power Yoga was reformulated to entice western students, ultimately allowing the flexibility of class reconstruction - teachers having the ability to vary pose sequences each class period and avoiding a repetitive burnout. The emphasis on strength and agility coined itself as a rigorous workout regimen falling in gyms nationwide, also recognizing itself as "gym yoga."

How Can You Benefit?

Though yoga is often attributed to slow and fluid-like motions, let it be known Power Yoga is a rigorous exercise. The benefits of Power Yoga include both mental and physical health:

Mental Health
Yoga has consistently shown to be highly valuable in mental health. Specifically, the practice can help relieve stress and anxiety, sharpen concentration, improve mood, increase mindfulness and boost energy levels. Many psychiatrists and psychologists also offer yoga to be apart of the treatment plan of several mental disorders. Yoga has shown to improve the symptoms of depression, sleep disorders, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more detailed descriptions on the Power of Yoga and mental health, click here.

Physical Health
Yoga within itself promotes stability, flexibility, and strength. Accelerate the intensity with Power Yoga, and the physical benefits are boasting! Followers of Power Yoga advocate that it is much more than "regular" yoga, as it could be considered an aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Often also known as "fitness yoga," the totality of the poses encourages an accelerated heart rate and a more rigorous effort through pose sequences.

Is Power Yoga Right for You?

Though the practice of Power Yoga is welcomed by all, it is important to consider its ultimate purpose and physical health. If desiring a more traditional yoga style with a basis around meditation, Power Yoga may not be the best fit. Although instructors try to offer modified yoga poses for beginners, it is always nice to know what you may be getting yourself into - in this case, a rigorous workout. And as always, it is important to discuss new exercise routines with your healthcare provider to establish its safety, especially if living with a chronic condition. But if seeking out a fitness-based yoga style, Power Yoga may be a perfect fit and all power to you!

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