by Nicole Wilkes
Photography courtesy of pranapoweryoga.com
What is it?
Power yoga, often called “gym yoga”, was popularized in the mid-1990s by creater Bryan Kest and derived from the Ashtanga style. Created to be more athletically challenging than its parent style, power yoga incorporates all areas of physical fitness—strength, stamina, balance and cardio.
As it is a heavily sweat-inducing practice, power yoga can help eliminate certain bodily toxins and help kickstart your immune system.
The practice is low-impact, making it ideal for anyone with joint injuries or arthritis. Yet, it is still a highly effective form of exercise.
The combination of cardio and strength work found in power yoga is highly effective for weight loss. In a single session, you’ll burn calories and build lean muscle mass at the same time, effectively improving your metabolism.
Power yoga can help you achieve higher quality sleep (even if you sleep for the same amount of time you otherwise would).
The practice also offers a rare combination of mindful introspectiveness and physical exertion.
What to expect
Be prepared for lots of swift movement from one pose to the next as well as a lot of vinyasas (distinct movements paired with mindful breath). The poses and the transitions between them will be physically demanding, so go in ready to push yourself and bring plenty of water.
The particular movements and postures can vary from session to session. Your instructor can choose to be as flexible or consistent with these moves as they like.
A beginner class will likely have yogis of varying levels of experience and baseline fitness. Remember to focus on yourself and not get caught up in comparing yourself to others.
Where to find classes
Prana Power Yoga—Cambridge, MA
Baptiste Power Yoga—Brookline, MA
CorePower Yoga – Boston, MA