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What is power yoga?

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Quick Answer

Power yoga is a vigorous, physically demanding style of yoga that emphasizes strength and flexibility. It's based on ashtanga yoga, and the name power yoga was created in the late 1980s. Power yoga doesn't have a set series of moves, and classes vary depending on the teacher.

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The three concepts of power yoga are vinyasa, tristhana and internal purification. Vinyasa is proper movement through poses while breathing correctly. Tristhana focuses on posture, gazing at the correct place and breathing. Internal purification is getting rid of negative thoughts and emotions.

Although there are three concepts to power yoga, most classes are based on vinyasa and focus on exercise. Meditating and chanting are kept to a minimum. People who take power yoga should be fit and capable of the basic yoga poses already, although some teachers can modify the routine for beginners. Power yoga moves quickly and strengthens every muscle in the body because the practitioner is constantly holding their body weight in different positions.

Ashtanga yoga is an Indian practice that Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois brought to America in 1964. Two of his students, Beryl Bender Birch in New York and Bryan Kest in Los Angeles, first used the term power yoga. Another well known power yoga teacher is Baron Baptiste.

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