By Heath Jackson
As the practice of yoga expands due to growing popularity, one of the growing interests is to perform power yoga for weight loss. Power yoga is a very strenuous exercise approach that combines a challenging set of yoga poses, typically Ashtanga which is a very physical yoga method, with constant movement that links all of the poses together. The pace is almost aerobic in nature and was designed as a more active exercise method than classical yoga routines.
There is some controversy over power yoga as traditionalists believe the slower and more classic approach provides equal (or better) health benefits, with a focus on mental and spiritual development. Nevertheless, the highly physical nature of power yoga for weight loss cannot be discounted as a legitimate exercise approach. That said, there are some basic things you need to consider when undertaking intensive physical exercise like power yoga.
Pick The Right School for You
Power yoga classes vary widely as it is simply a term that denotes a more physical style of yoga. There is no one way to do power yoga and even instructors vary considerably in how they teach it. However, the key to sustained, long term weight loss is to find a program you like and stick with it. In terms of this style of yoga, your ability to keep interested in this type of work out really comes down to whether or not you like the school's approach and the teachers providing instruction.
Keep in mind that the primary emphasis is on strength and flexibility so doing power yoga for weight loss is an effective exercise method to drop unwanted pounds. However, it pays to check out a few schools or studios that are local and try out a few classes to find the one that is right for your workout goals.
It's Moves Fast So Go Slow
Power yoga seeks to create a constant set of movements between poses so it appears as more of a workout to Western practitioners. From a physical fitness perspective it is critical for those trying it for the first time, and even more experienced students go slowly. Simply by the intense physical nature of the practice your body will warm up quickly, and that is positive.
Just ensure that you don't excessively stretch to keep pace with the rest of a class. If your body is telling you the routine or pace is to aggressive, listen and bring your participation level down. You should work into a heavier and more intense pace over time.
It's definitely not important as to how you look versus others you may be practicing with. It's much more important to focus on how you and your body feel.
Finding a school and routine you like, and starting slowly are an absolute key in succeeding at power yoga for weight loss, as this type of exercise regimen can be very effective if you keep these important points in mind.