Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is the style of yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, and originally established by Sri Krishnamacharya at the Mysore Palace. The asana sequences in Ashtanga Yoga’ are largely based on Krishnamacharya’s book Yoga Makaranda. It is an energetic, aerobic style.The term ashtanga, meaning eight limbs, refers to the eight limbs of yoga. In Raja Yoga, a classical Indian system of Hindu philosophy, these were expounded by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.
The concept of Power Yoga was introduced to the West by devotees of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a renowned Sanskrit scholar who inspired Western Yogis with his Ashtanga Yoga style and philosophies. It’s a small wonder why Power Yoga is considered as the Western version of the Indian Ashtanga Yoga. The term “Power Yoga,” however, was coined by Ashtanga Yoga teacher Beryl Bendere Birch, author of the widely-read book “Power Yoga: the Practice.”
Power Yoga is done by doing a series of Yoga Poses while synchronizing one’s breathing patterns to each movement, or Vinyasa, resulting in actions with perfect unity and grace. In the eyes of a person who does not practice Yoga, the movement may seem soft and free-flowing, comparable to a trancelike dance. But in the perspective of a Power Yogi, the process is like a vigorous exercise, pushing and contorting every limb to its limit while maintaining a strong sense of inner peace and concentration to pull off each move flawlessly and gracefully.
Keep in mind that the transitions of the Yoga Poses are done in a slow yet steady pace. Some poses are even held longer than the required five breaths. This is the aspect of Power Yoga that raises one’s physical endurance and the ability to focus on one task for a long period of time without breaking one’s concentration. The poses involved in Power Yoga are linked on the backbone.
But even though Power Yoga demands certain requirements for a person to fully enjoy it, a lot of enthusiasts are still loyal to the practice. It’s actually attracting more and more people to try it out. Here are some benefits that can be drawn out from Power Yoga:
- It bolsters strength, stamina, and flexibility.
- It improves one’s ability to focus.
- It’s a great way to release tension and anxiety.
- It helps a person maintain proper posture.
- It tones your body well.
- It’s a good way to remove bodily toxins through sweat.
- It serves as a great training for athletes.
- It helps improve a person’s performance in certain sports like Cycling, Golf, football, and swimming.
Power Yoga focuses on the general aim of Classical Yoga, which is to unite the body, mind, and spirit.It uses traditional Yoga practices in order to tap in to the inner core of one’s power and to help this individual to recognize the different levels of power which are:
- The physical power which is developed through the poses in Power Yoga resulting in an improvement of the body’s natural strength and health.
- The mental power or the willpower, which is disciplined during the course of the practice as it clears the mind of unorganized thoughts and helps the self to concentrate on a single task.
- The spiritual power, the driving force behind one’s physical and mental power, is nurtured, allowing complete mastery of one’s thought and actions.