Relaxing and toning with the most westernised yoga
Power Yoga is a kind of westernised version of this ancient Eastern discipline, which focuses much more on dynamism, speed of execution and tone, than the mental component. Born in America with the aim of making approachable Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, the most modern form directly derived from classical yoga, merges with the normal principles of fitness, in order to awaken the energy through a dynamic series of different positions (asanas), connected by transitional movements and executed non-stop with a constant and vigorous pace, ideal for burning fat and calories. While from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga are borrowed several different postures, Pranayama comes from the special breathing, the heart of this technique, which must always be closely associated and coordinated with the various movements. Despite the intensity of the training sessions, during the exercises you are never forced the joints or muscles, thus adapting better to aged people or even those who simply is too strenuous run or do an hour of aerobics.
Why so famous?
The main reason why western world, especially the USA, is so into Power Yoga is that is an amazing way to both reduce stress and tone your body. Fitness became so popular these days, with so many disciplines and different kind of approach that, a discipline like yoga, seems to mean something mysterious, magical and charming. Plus, power yoga gives you a total body workout with no weights, no equipment needed, just you and you yoga mat with poses that remind more a mystical dance than a session at the gym.
The importance of the breath – What is a Vinyasa
Vinyasa means precisely synchronized movement with the breath. Each asana, requires, in fact, one of focusing efforts on particular breathing, called Ujjay. This type of breath is maintained throughout the practice and is achieved through a partial closure of the glottis. The sound that comes from the air that passes through the throat, has the surprising effect of creating a deep mental peace, physical and spiritual. The air that enters and leaves produces, in fact, a sound, like a mantra, allows you to focus the mind, the exclusion of any distraction. Breathing will be complete when the lungs are completely empty during exhalation or completely filled during inspiration that should always be diaphragmatic.
A power yoga session - The structure
The base sequence starts with warm-up exercises, and then continue with nine asanas, typical of traditional yoga, followed by another 17 positions before the end of the workout. The chosen asanas provide both floor exercises, is the most dynamic, very close to modern dance. The first series is therapeutic and corrects the balance of body and mind. The intermediate series continues the work of the first but goes deeper, opening the nerve channels (nadis), conceptually similar to acupuncture meridians. Subsequent series work even deeper, increasing stability, strength and balance of the body. The closure of the lesson, which lasts about one hour, is dedicated to relaxation, a necessary step and an opportunity to get into a semi-meditative.
Benefits of Power Yoga
Of course, Power yoga has a lot to offer when it comes to benefits being a perfect tool to both relax and sculpt your body
Physically improve: strength, strength, lightness, flexibility and joint stability, balance, posture, respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular functions. At the level of the psyche, the mind will learn to reduce its incessant activity, to rest, to not withhold thoughts and emotions, not to pour out more tensions on the body, to empty and then recharge up to get a deep state of physical and mental relaxation and an inner serenity. Another element to be reckoned with, especially by those who also goes to the gym to lose weight, calories are consumed in one hour of lessons, about 450/500, many more than those who attend Pilates classes or classical Yoga.
Power Yoga is one of those disciplines within the fitness that allow you to train the body and at the same time counteract stress and restore the right mental and physical rhythms, without being too demanding compared to the frequency with which it should be practiced.
Evolution of Yoga, is an activity that keeps all the basic principles combining them with those of modern western gymnastics, so it is a dynamic activity that combines the benefits mentally and skeletal muscle offered by the Yoga cardiovascular exercise benefits.
The positions of Yoga - the "asanas" - by themselves are not able to create a high pace of work needed to create a good aerobic workout. In Power Yoga, the "asanas" are edited but never distorted, what is essentially different is the rhythm of the exercises so switching from one to the next position is made more fluid and dynamic. These changes, together with the addition of exercises derived from modern gymnastics, make the Power Yoga a new physical activity, brilliant and complete, able to condition the body under the control of the mind, training the muscles properly, but the same time freeing the joints . Moreover, the dynamism of the movements, they have an effect unmatched under the cardiovascular point of view. For these reasons, the Power Yoga can be considered truly complete physical activity and those who practice it regularly, does not need to integrate it with other sports, to compensate for the shortcomings of traditional Yoga. The Power Yoga alone is able to coach all the gymnastic components; relaxes and soothes the joints, strengthens the skeletal muscles, increases vascular power trains the heart and improves blood flow, increases breathing capacity.
The seat of power Yoga usually lasts 50/60 minutes. To achieve significant benefits, discipline should be practiced regularly, at least 2 or 3 sessions per week. The practice of this exercise is open to all, regardless of age, sex and state of training and knowledge of traditional Yoga is not introductory; in addition, it is suitable both for those who are in optimal physical condition for those who have bone and joint problems, for which it can play a real rehabilitation activities provided supervised by experienced staff.
During the lessons of Power Yoga, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing that allows large movements without forcing the muscles or joints. Check out our yoga apparel collection to find what’s best for you! You’ll find some interesting high quality pieces at very affordable price.
The work environment should be clean, warm and quiet so if the room where it is practiced is in a multipurpose facility, it is necessary that it is acoustically soundproofed. Of course you can build up your own yoga room to practice at home! We have some home décor yoga inspired that will help you creating a wonderful zen area where you can practice as you are in a yoga studio!
The practice provides a high level of concentration, to reach even with the aid of a musical base, at the teacher's discretion and practitioners, provided that it has rhythms and volumes that do not distract from the attention on the movements practitioners.
The lesson of Power Yoga always begins with a series of simple multi-joint movements, simple but useful to heat the whole body. During the heating phase, you begin to prepare the breathing, trying to enter oxygen in the lungs, to train and mobilize diaphragm, abdomen and chest and oxygenate the brain to help him achieve the right level of concentration. After this phase, which usually lasts 5-10 minutes, begins the real work with combinations of Asana, performed in an extremely dynamic, with related positions to each other smoothly. The purpose of asana is to train the muscles, creating joint flexibility and increase the cardiovascular rhythm. An example of a combination of asanas performed in Power Yoga style might be this:
Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskara. This is the main exercise in preparation for the opening of all the lessons, useful to draw all the energy into the body. Standing, legs together, inhale and bring your hands together at chest height, in the position of prayer. Exhale and then inhale, stretch your arms upward, then fold back, arch your back according to your possibilities and push your hips forward slightly. Below, exhaling, bend forward, bringing his hands to the sides of the feet, possibly with your palms resting on the ground. Relax your back as much as possible and, if necessary, help by slightly bending the knees. Breathing in, bring the right leg back, resting the knee and the foot to the ground, looking forward or upward. Hold your breath, bringing the left leg back and supporting your body weight with your hands and toes. Keep body and head in line and speak to gaze on the ground in his hands. Exhale, keeping knees, chest and forehead on the mat, holding the raised area and the toes bent. Inhale and lower your toes and your hips, elongated feet and arch your back backwards. Look upward, keeping your shoulders down and your legs together. Exhaling, put pressure on the hands, stretching his arms, move the upper basin and stretch your legs, bringing the soles of the feet and the heels on the ground. Inhale and bend the right leg forward, bring your hips down, then exhale and bend forward his left leg. Stretch your legs, keeping your hands on the ground and his head down. Inhale, raise your back and gradually bring your arms stretched forward, then upward, with the palms of your hands together. Arch your back, exhale and push your hips forward slightly. Finally, return to the standing position, keeping the palms of your hands together.
Forward fold. This posture allows you to deep stretch your hamstrings. Your back should remain as relaxed as possible. With knees straight, lower your upper body towards the legs, up to her head next to His knees. Place the palms of your hands on the ground. If you can’t totally fold don’t be disappointed by yourself. Flexibility is a journey and you have to embrace that. Use a yoga props to get into the pose with a super useful support and improve everyday your flexibility staying gentle with your body.
Downward-Facing Dog - Adho mukha svanasana. This exercise allows you to stretch the hamstrings of the legs, the chest muscles and back muscles. Furthermore, it reinforces the high part of the body. Flat on the floor with hands and feet, with straight knees, heels that are pressing on the ground and the back muscles of the thighs pointing toward the ceiling, form a 'V' upside down, pushing his hands forward with outstretched fingers. The back is stretched, lowered shoulder blades, your head is firmly in his arms.
Warrior Pose – Virabhadrasana. It strengthens the muscles of the thighs and buttocks, as well as the back and the shoulder girdle and stretches the muscles of the hips and abdomen. Standing upright, you step forward, the legs are spread wide, the back foot is slightly turned outward and the rear leg is stretched. The front leg forms a maximum angle of 90 °. Raise your upper arms straight, without lifting your shoulder blades, his eyes fixing hands.
Tree Pose – Vrikshasana. This exercise strengthens the muscles of the legs and buttocks, stretching the inner leg muscles and stimulate balance and concentration. Standing on one leg stretched, the free leg is resting against the shin or thigh of the other leg, forming a 90 ° angle. Bring your arms up in the palms together. The body is aligned and the eyes are turned to the hands.
Mountain Pose – Tadasana. This exercise is beneficial in three ways: it improves the alignment of the body, improves posture and develops the perception of one's body. The feet are parallel, toes touching, heels are about 2 cm apart. The legs are stretched, thighs slightly turned inwards (imagine shaking a ball with the inside of the thighs). From this position, try to stretch from the ceiling as if there was a wire that is connected to the skull pulls you upwards. The coccyx must be, in the meantime, pushed towards the floor.
Corpse Pose - Savasana. The final relaxation is usually practiced and enjoyed in the most precious of all the pose. Corpse pose. Lied down on the floor, relaxing everything, every inch of your body, eyes closed. Big exhale with the nose exhale from the mouth and sink yourself into a time to enjoy the practice, your status, how do are you feeling. Spend at least 5 times in this pose to have it all.
What Power Yoga does to you
- It helps to fight stress, anxiety and depression;
- Helps breathing;
- Promotes cardiovascular activity;
- Stimulates the deep muscles, creating a strong but slender physique;
- It builds strength, flexibility and endurance;
- It is a complete physical activity that does not require additional training modules (like cardio);
- Increases the energy levels of the body, giving a deep feeling of well-being;
- It detoxifies the body and purifies the internal organs, such as liver and kidneys;
- It helps to increase mental focus, this is extremely useful in daily and work activities;
- It significantly increases self-esteem, helping the practitioner to fortify the character and the way of dealing with problems;
- Lengthens and free joint joints, especially the spinal tract;
- It is a low-impact joint activities, also indicated in the rehabilitation modules resulting from an accident;
- Improves the ability to balance;
- Create the right connection between body and mind, creating the correct psychological and physical balance;
- It helps the practitioner to stay young. About Power Yoga practice, in addition to training on a regular basis tends to lead a healthy life, to eat properly by consuming more fruits and vegetables and less meat and fats. This helps to control the weight, increasing musculoskeletal flexibility and allowing you to add years to your healthy life!
- It is good to improve concentration and balance for athletes where these characteristics is fundamental, tennis, skiing, surfing, snowboarding and so on.
So, Power Yoga seems to be the perfect choice if you want to relax, to focus on yourself without losing the chance of a good sweat to burn calories and building a perfect lean body that is healthy inside out.