The phrase itself will naturally attract some students looking for a workout, while those seeking a gentle approach may decide that a style called Power Yoga would be too challenging.
Although Power Yoga is indeed popular with gym-goers, athletes and others looking for an intense physical workout, its content and goals are compatible with the classical Yoga tradition.
Yoga has many paths leading to greater wholeness, vitality and inner freedom, and Power Yoga can lead the student from a no-nonsense physical workout to deeper, more satisfying yogic experiences and insights.
Beryl Bender Birch introduced Power Yoga in 1995 as a more accessible adaptation of Ashtanga Yoga that busy, workout-oriented people could relate to.
Unlike highly specific styles such as Ashtanga or Bikram Yoga, Power Yoga has evolved into a more broadly applied label, that includes Beryl Bender Birch and Thom Birch’s style, as well those of Bryan Kest and Baron Baptiste among others.
If you’re contemplating trying a Power Yoga class, make some inquiries beforehand and see what attracts you.
Is the teacher certified and if so, by whom? Or, has the instructor been inspired by a number of different Power Yoga teachers to create a mixed style?
What are the common elements that define all types of Power Yoga?
This is a vigorous, vinyasa-based form of Yoga in which postures are joined in a flowing sequence by breath and by consciously performed transitional movements.
Expect to sweat a lot, a process that may be assisted in some classes by extra heat added to the room. Baron Baptiste classes, for example, take place in rooms heated to around 95 degrees.
Along with the detoxifying effects of heat and perspiration, you’ll develop strength and flexibility in many areas of the body.
Be sure to discuss any physical limitations or medical issues with the instructor ahead of time, and play it safe even as you challenge yourself to master the Power Yoga style.