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Power Yoga: What is it?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 206 views

Away from the esoteric track, into the hip studios of New York and Los Angeles: Power Yoga began its triumphal march in the USA in the 1990s – and thus made yoga popular in western countries. The special thing about the yoga form, which is also called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga: It is a dynamic full-body workout. Read more here.

What is power yoga?

Power yoga is one of the most popular workouts for stressed city dwellers. It combines the traditional values ​​of Indian yoga with western people’s need for physical balance. The American Bryan Kest created the high-energy yoga style and gave it the powerful name. It is characteristic of Power Yoga that the exercises flow into each other – without a break. The breathing is adapted to the movements.

The dynamic yoga method met with great enthusiasm in the USA within a very short time. Suddenly people were interested in yoga who were not initially looking for access to spirituality, but primarily wanted to lose kilos or were interested in a physical balance to desk work and hectic family life. Past students of Bryan Kest have included Drew Barrymore and Madonna.

Power Yoga is a combination of body-conscious movements (asanas) and a synchronized breathing technique (pranayama). Since the various exercises flow into one another, a flow effect arises. The yoga form therefore has many overlaps with Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga . This method also focuses on the seamless transition from one posture to the next. Power Yoga is therefore also referred to as the American version of Ashtanga Yoga.

Due to the continuous sequence of exercises, a power yoga unit can be viewed as a self-contained mindfulness exercise.

Who is Power Yoga suitable for?

While Power Yoga is a challenging workout, it doesn’t require a specific fitness level. Even beginners can take part. The important thing is that each student pays attention to their body and only goes as far as is good for them. As a result, the body experiences optimal training and the mind is challenged.

Where is Power Yoga offered?

Power Yoga is offered in fitness studios and yoga studios throughout Germany. There are also various organizers who organize retreats in several European countries. In Hamburg there is also the Power Yoga Institute, which has online courses on its website.

This is how power yoga works

In Power Yoga there is no fixed order, rather different asanas can be combined with each other. A session always begins very calmly, slowly increases to a climax, then flattens out again and ends in deep relaxation. Breathing never stands still, but is always conscious. This allows the mind to rest.

Another characteristic of power yoga is that yogis often stay in one pose for five breaths and then jump straight into the next one. As a result, they are in constant motion and endurance is encouraged. A yoga teacher leads the training and corrects posture errors.

The aim of Power Yoga is to strengthen the fitness of the yogis – and to incorporate the yoga values ​​into the workout through the influences of Ashtanga Yoga . That means: body, mind and soul should come into harmony.

Why Power Yoga is also called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Bryan Kest derived the Power Yoga method from Ashtanga Yoga. This form of yoga combines the individual physical exercises through breathing. The sequence is therefore fluid, there are no breaks between the individual elements. The similarity to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is particularly great. The word “Vinyasa” comes from Sanskrit and means something like “to set, lay or put in a certain way”. The so-called Vinyasa Flow comes about through the flowing connection of the exercises. It is the elementary part of an hour.

Ashtanga Yoga consists of a total of six different series of exercises. Power Yoga is based on the first series of them. The only difference between the two styles: While the processes in Ashtanga Yoga always remain the same, in Power Yoga the processes in the course are specially tailored to the yogis.

This is what Power Yoga does

High-energy movement and coordinated breathing: Power Yoga has several positive effects on the body. This includes:

  • Through the flow effect, yogis gain access to themselves – the mind becomes calmer, more peaceful and clearer.
  • Posture improves through the synchronization of breathing and movement changes.
  • Back pain can be relieved.
  • The cardiovascular system is strengthened.
  • The figure becomes firmer: The stretch exercises shape the stomach, legs and buttocks .

Power yoga exercises

The Power Yoga Institute from Hamburg has put together four different power yoga exercises for mylife.de, which are also suitable for beginners.

mountain pose

Stand up straight. The feet are together, the kneecaps are slightly tightened and the pelvis is erect. The pelvis and chest move apart. Pull the lower abdomen in and up. Lift your breastbone and pull your collarbones apart. The view goes far. Remain in this asana for five breaths.


Bring both hands toward the floor and bend your knees until your hands touch the floor. Stay on tiptoe while doing this. Then, on an exhale, jump into the plank. Straighten your arms, your chest is expanded, your gaze is directed ahead. Keep the abdominal muscles active but not tight. Stay in this position for three to four breaths.

child posture

Bring your lower legs to the floor and your buttocks to your heels. Bend forward and rest your forehead on the floor. The arms can be stretched out in front or beside the body. Alternatively, you can put your hands under your forehead. If it is more comfortable, you can open your knees slightly. Remain in this position for about three minutes.

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