Deriving from Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Power Yoga incorporates more vigorous movements, while still maintaining a steady pace. The popularity of Power Yoga has rapidly gained momentum as more and more people are seeking a fitness-based practice of yoga, instead of the gentler, meditative movements that they were previously accustomed to. Although requiring more sweat and stamina, the goal of Power Yoga remains true to original yoga philosophy – unity of the body, mind, and spirit.
Power Yoga adheres to the Vinyasa style of yoga; therefore, it follows a sequence of movements that are variants of surya namaskara, or Sun Salutation. Power Yoga turns static asanas into an energetic flow. Despite the increased speed of movement, the alignment of one’s breath with each pose is key. Like Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Power Yoga is characterized by the Ujjayi breathing style, which is relaxed diaphragmatic breathing. This steady breathing creates mental focus and concentration. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga follows a predetermined order of movements: an opening sequence, one of the six main series, a backbending sequence, an inverted asanas sequence, and ending with a savasana. However, unlike traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, the progression of the Power Yoga class is flexible; of course, the instructor is free to choose that progression if they wish.
Regardless of the order of the asana flows, Power Yoga emphasizes the development of strength, flexibility, mental stability, and concentration. Daily or regular practice of Power Yoga is highly encouraged to further the focus on improving the self. The numerous benefits of Power Yoga range from improved posture, greater mental focus, body toning, relaxation, toxin removal via sweat, and strength development.