How Power Yoga is Different From Yoga
Although there are many different forms of yoga, power yoga is significantly different in both its practice and its benefits. The yoga that most people are familiar with is a gentle, slow practice that still has the focus on breathing, but in a very slow and calm manner. The poses are held for five breaths or more, developing endurance and flexibility in addition to a calm mind. The practice of yoga is an effective way to not only reduce the effects of stress, but, over the long-term to increase the practitioner's ability to handle stress in day to day life. Power yoga, while using some of the same poses as other forms of yoga, is a much more energetic and fast-paced form of the practice.
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Whereas in other forms of yoga the practitioner moves very slowly from one pose to another and then holds each pose for a period of time, in power yoga the sequence of poses moves much more quickly. With the focus in power yoga on the movement rather than on holding the pose as it is in other forms of yoga, the flow is faster and gett'ng from one pose to another is more demanding on the body. The focus on the audible breathing that accompanies each move is a way of disciplining and controlling the moves as well as the mind, and the moves are designed to develop strength and stamina as well as flexibility.
Power yoga is more flexible in the sequence of moves and poses than other forms of yoga. Ashtanga yoga, along with other forms of yoga, have a specific series of patterns and moves that are followed fairly strictly, while power yoga is more fluid and creative with the practitioners and teachers varying their choice of moves and sequences more widely. The meditative aspects of the other forms of yoga are not a part of power yoga, which is closer to a gym work out than a meditation. In fact, power yoga could be described as an aerobic yoga.