If you have practised yoga for any amount of time, chances are you would have heard of Power Yoga – one of the more modern forms of yoga. Power Yoga is also known by its many other names, including:
- Power Vinyasa Yoga
- Baptiste Power Yoga
- Power Flow
- Core Power Yoga
- Rocket Yoga
- And many more
It is useful to understand power yoga, even if you do not actively practise it. This is because power yoga is highly popular, athletic, and relatively new compared to traditional types of yoga. It is affecting the way people think about and practise yoga.
Defining Power Yoga
Power yoga is a general term for more vigorous, fitness-based yoga methods that are rooted in Ashtanga Yoga but move much faster and focuses more on strength and cardio. The word “power” is used to differentiate the intense, fitness-focused type of yoga from the typical gentle stretches that many people used to associate with yoga.
Power Yoga became popular in the mid-1990s when two American yoga teachers, Bryan Kest and Beryl Bender Birch who had studied with Ashtanga guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois wanted to move away from the fixed Ashtanga sequence and make yoga more accessible to western students.
Another influencer for popularising Power Yoga is Baron Baptiste, who developed a unique version of this method and named it after himself aka. Baptiste Power Yoga. For those inclined to understand how Baptiste Power Yoga can help with your mind-body-soul goals, you can read Journey Into Power, which Baron Baptiste wrote for those new to the practice.
While power yoga will vary from teacher to teacher, they have one thing in common – it is a cardio workout that burns calories, tones and strengthens muscles and enhance fitness, all the while keeping the movements creative and challenging.
Who is Power Yoga Good For
Some of the more obvious benefits of power yoga include lean muscles (which increases metabolism), stamina, mental clarity and focus, and lower anxiety. It tends to burn more calories than most other forms of yoga and is helpful for both fat loss and weight loss.
Based on first-hand experience, I have seen tremendous changes to the way I look and feel since incorporating Ashtanga and Power Yoga into my home yoga practice. Not only did my physical appearance change from that of a lanky runner to a more toned and fit shape, but my upper body strength has also increased loads (judging from how arm balances are now much easier). Not only that, I find that my productivity and stress levels are much more managed when I do Power / Ashtanga Yoga before heading to work.
I would say that Power Yoga is great for anyone looking at a sweaty workout that can complement or even replace your usual cardio routine. If you are ready to start practising, read on.
Before we jump into the next section, do note that you should avoid Power Yoga if
- You are not in good shape. Power Yoga requires a certain level of fitness for you to reap the maximum benefits of the workout without risking injuries.
- You are pregnant
- You suffer from an injury or chronic physical ailment such as arthritis
How to Start Practising
If you do not already practise power yoga and would like to give it a try, I would recommend trying out at home and start with free online classes. Not only will this help with your home yoga practice, but it also gives you the flexibility to press the ‘Pause’ button in case things get too vigorous and you need to take a break or continue another day.
Many of you would know that I believe in having a self-practice at home for those who would like to progress in your yoga journey. So I’m listing 5 of the best power yoga classes that I’ve come across that’s both free yet effective.
5 Free Power Yoga Workouts for Strength and Toning
Power Vinyasa Class with YogaDownload.com | BEST INTRO TO POWER YOGA
This particular YouTube video is a slower power vinyasa flow focusing on many fundamental yoga poses. Clear cues for poses, breathing and modifications are provided; Especially useful for beginners who are new to more rigorous yoga classes.
As mentioned in my comparison of online yoga classes, YogaDownload.com is one of my favourite programs that I use everywhere I travel or at home, mainly because of its large library of downloadable videos and its flexible pricing (buy by class or by subscription).
If you want to check out the full library of downloadable Power Yoga classes from YogaDownload, you can find them here. Classes are available for download individually from $4.99.
In case you are ready to try YogaDownload on subscription, you can access it at $1 for a 2-week trial here before committing for a longer-term.
Full Body Yoga with SarahBethYoga | BEST FOR GETTING IN SHAPE
If you want to build strength and tone up your full body, opt for a slower power yoga class like this one by SarahBethYoga.
Slow flows help with strength building more than faster yoga flows (which tend to be more cardio than strength building). It allows you to hold various poses for a longer duration, though not as long as a Hatha class, pushing your muscles to work harder so that you create internal heat and trigger your fat-burning mechanism.
Power Yoga Break with Adriene | BEST FOR GROUNDING & MINDFULNESS
One of my favourite yoga channels, Adriene delivers yet another sequence that not only helps to sculpt your full body but also integrates mindful movements and intentions into your practice.
I love that this video is well-paced and not rushed at all. Suitable for anyone who wants a meditative practice that also works your physical body hard.
Power Yoga with Michelle Goldstein | BEST BALANCED SEQUENCE FOR FULL BODY WORKOUT
I first started power yoga at home with Michelle Goldstein’s videos. Her classes tend to be well-balanced, touching on multiple muscle groups and keeping things challenging yet still manageable. There’s quite a lot of vinyasas so be prepared to work your arms hard.
This class is one of my favourites when I want a hard workout that is at the same time meditative. Michelle works on the full body here, especially core, arms and hips and each sequence builds on the previous so that it starts becoming a moving meditation.
Power Yoga with Bryan Kest | BEST FULL-LENGTH, ADVANCED CLASS FOR STAMINA AND STRENGTH
This video class by Bryan Kest is unlike the other four in that it’s live filming of a studio-based class by Bryan Kest.
Because of the setting, this video is not for beginners as there are only alignment cues but no proper demonstrations by Bryan Kest. You may take clues from some of the students in the video but the assumption is that you should know what the form for each pose looks and would be able to follow the whole class solely by verbal cues.
>> Link to Video <<
In case I have missed any good ones, do drop me a message and the link to the workout so that I can review it and add to the list.
- Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste
- Online Yoga Classes Reviewed: 5 Best Yoga Programs to Get Inspiration for Your Home Yoga Practice
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The YogaMad is founded by Mila, an avid yogini who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives while finding mind-body-soul balance. She has a background in business consulting but has left the corporate world in her quest to live out her dreams as a yoga nomad.