We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Power Yoga’ either from friends, family or celebrities. It is the new wave of health and fitness regime that has managed to get our attention and that of the western world. It is the most “in” thing right now when it comes to health, fitness and weight loss. While many may think that this is an altogether different form of yoga, however, it is an offshoot of traditional Yoga. The term came into prominence in the mid 1990’s when Yoga also started gaining great popularity amongst the western audience. This term was coined to make Yoga more understandable to the people in the west.
Like almost all things that we see today, Power Yoga is a fusion of the east and the west. It takes from traditional Yoga that has its roots in India and mixes it with some very flexible and rigorous exercises practiced in the west. All this to keep your body is at its most effective and active best. Power Yoga is credited for making yoga as popular in America as it is today. Many believe that it is due to this that Yoga as a form of exercise and a fitness regime found its place in American gyms.
Beryl Bender Birch from New York and Bryan Kest from Los Angeles are mostly credited for the genesis of Power Yoga. Coincidentally both of them were students of the Ashtanga Guru, Sri K. Pratibha Jois. Baron Baptiste is yet another Yoga guru whose name is associated with Power Yoga.
Power Yoga does not have a fixed set of poses and asanas to be followed and therefore it largely depends on the instructor you go to. Its objective is to make the body flexible, remove excess fats and toxins and hence make the body lighter. It is the focus on fitness that makes Power Yoga different from traditional Yoga. This form of Yoga also mostly appeal to people who are already fit but want to continue to remain that way, enjoy exercising and do not want to stay in the space of fixed postures, asanas and chanting that is prescribed in the traditional form of Yoga.
Power Yoga mostly involves the traditional Surya Namaskar followed by strenuous fitness exercises. This is mostly done in the early mornings on an empty stomach. You should consult a yoga instructor before you take this up or you may also take help from power yoga CD’s and DVD’s that are easily available in the market.