Power yoga is brisk and athletic. It is like an aerobics class that’s based on the mat. For athletes who are normally charging up a mountain on foot or bike, or crossing the ocean with a high-speed stroke, this form of stretching will appeal to their dynamic nature.
I recently enjoyed a power yoga class at a boutique gym in Hout Bay, which was a welcome change from the speedrunning I do on the track and the high-energy body conditioning classes I favour at my home gym.
Instructor Lisa Kruger made us all feel right at home by encouraging subtle but accurate corrections as we eased our way through the poses – until she only needed to instruct by voice and no longer to correct actual postures.
Finding its origins in Vinyasa yoga – a popular style of this ancient art in which poses are performed in a continuous, flowing and fast-paced manner – this class is well suited to the ambitious and time-pressured. But, and it’s a big but, class members will emerge with so many more of the postural, strength and balance benefits that yoga can provide over other fitness classes.
Vinyasa’s translation from Sanskrit is “to place in a certain manner”, which surely refers both to the correct way to carry out the poses and also their order. An added benefit of this yoga style is that there is a decided focus on synchronising one’s breathing throughout the class, as you transition through it. While you flow* from one posture into another, you may find you’re more likely to destress and unwind than in a more high-energy form of exercise – such as a traditional aerobics class.
Known benefits of power yoga include:
- journeying through the full range of motion, stronger bones and improved digestion;
- increased circulation and, as you quieten the mind, reduced stress levels;
- reaching a gentle meditative state in which you’ll understand more accurately where your body finds itself in a pose;
- stimulating the lymphatic system, so as to eliminate toxins from your system and to boost immunity; and
- an improved posture, leading to more focus during the day and better sleep at night.
The above points showcase why power yoga is an amazing form of exercise in so many ways, especially if you’ve attended a brief workshop and are familiar with the majority of the poses and how they fit or flow together in sequence.
But, first consult a medical professional if you’ve:
- pulled any muscles in the legs, especially a hamstring;
- have a serious shoulder injury;
- have had recent surgery to the eyes or face;
- suffer from a serious heart condition;
- have been diagnosed with any other chronic medical condition that requires professional advice before you exercise;
- or are pregnant (especially if you’ve been inactive in the past).
Published on behalf of Anaclinical Wellness Studio, where you’ll find this particular class on the timetable as *YogaFlow