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 Your Health Benefit?

Though the concept of Power Yoga has become increasingly popular, many are left confused regarding what it actually is and and its anticipated benefits. So if curious about the practice, find out if Power Yoga is right for you!


Unless a yogi, or some proficient and experienced in yoga, you may not realize all the various types and forms of yoga classes offered and practiced. What’s more, people often assume yoga moves flow at slow pace and focuses solely on meditation.

While such flowy and mindful yoga styles do exist, a newer, stronger, and more powerful type kind came to town. And Power Yoga may have altered yoga as we traditionally know it as.

So what is Power Yoga and how can you benefit?

What is Power Yoga?

Whereas yoga is often attributed to slow and fluid-like motions, let it be known Power Yoga is a rigorous exercise.

Power Yoga is a fitness-based Vinyasa practice, in which Vinyasa translates 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.

Power Yoga can also be reformulated to entice western students. There is flexibility of class structures and teachers have the ability to vary pose sequences each class period to avoid a repetitive burnout.

The emphasis on strength and agility invented itself as a rigorous workout regimen falling in gyms nationwide. Power yoga is also recognized as "gym yoga,” which may include CorePower Yoga.

Corepower Yoga Definition

According to Yogapedia, CorePower Yoga is the brand name for a large chain of privately owned yoga studios.

CorePower Yoga is often a combination of elements from Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga and Vinyasa Flow yoga. More defining principles of CorePower Yoga include:

• Playing a modern, fun and accessible soundtrack.
• Welcoming beginners.
• Emphasizing the development of strength, especially core strength.
• Teaching the English before the Sanskrit names for poses.

Comprehensively, CorePower is marketed as yoga with added intensity and may incorporate additional cross-training techniques, including components of boot camp and weight training.

CorePower Yoga may offer Hot Yoga classes as well as non-heated options.

Power Yoga vs Hot Yoga

Also used interchangeably with Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses and techniques in a heated environment. More specifically, the room should be heated to 104°F degrees and with a humidity percentage of 40.

However, Bikram is not designated to Power Yoga nor is Power Yoga always considered to be a form of Hot Yoga. Truly, any yoga session and type can be done in a heated room and acknowledged as Hot Yoga.

Though beginner courses are available, the heat may not be enjoyable to all individuals. For this reason, Bikram yoga is encouraged at the yogi’s own discretion.

Power Yoga Benefits

The benefits of Power Yoga spread physical and mental health, including improving mood and supporting a healthy weight.

Mental Benefits of Power Yoga

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 a part 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).

Physical Benefits of Power Yoga

Yoga within itself promotes stability, flexibility, and strength. So accelerate the intensity with Power Yoga, also coined as "fitness yoga," and the physical benefits of yoga are accelerated.

More specifically, Power Yoga encourages an accelerated heart rate and required rigorous effort through pose sequences, which may designate it as an aerobic exercise.

The followers of Power Yoga advocate that it is much more than "regular" yoga and may be granted the benefits of heart health, weight management, and increased stamina.

So, Which Yoga is Right For You?

Though the practice of Power Yoga is welcomed by all, it is important to consider your ultimate purpose and physical health considering the many health benefits of yoga.

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. And in the case of Power Yoga, 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!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on September 21, 2016. Updated on February 18, 2019.


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