Power Yoga

       I recieved a request to do a post on Power Yoga for weight loss. I thought it a marvelous idea

Power Yoga is the basis of what I do most of the time. It is a general term used in the West to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga.* It has a  unique combination of dynamic breathing and strong, flowing movement. Breathe in as you relax, breathe out as you deepen into twist or pose. The poses focus on strength training, using one’s own weight as resistance.

Vinyasa yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath becomes an important component because the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale.*

The focus on breath helps not only in Yoga but in many other ways.  I use breath as a focus technique (if I exhale when I release the bowling ball or hit the cue ball, there is a 90% chance my shot will be better), or to calm myself.  It also helps my running in that my lungs are capable of taking in air deeply, and I know how and when to do it.

The first, or primary, series is described inYoga Mala. The primary series is called Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy. It is intended to realign the spine, detoxify the body, and build strength, flexibility, and stamina. The series of about 75 poses takes an hour and a half to two hours to complete, beginning with sun salutations (surya namaskara A and surya namaskara B) and moving on to standing poses, seated poses, inversions, and backbends before relaxation.*

Now, most of us don’t have an hour and a half to practice. I usually do 30 to 60 minutes on my yoga practice. More towards the 30 minute just because of time crunches.  I looked at a many  Yoga videos online and found this one on youtube. The things I do for you–I am not a youtube user at all 

It is simplistic enough that poses are basic (no eagle poses); and it gives a good workout, plus she is good about giving options of easier ways to do the pose until you can do the full pose. I did it yesterday after my run, and I loved the wandering dog (that’s not a pose, that’s her dog wandering into the shot whenever it felt like it!). She does sneak some ab/core work into the very end. Wasn’t ready for that, but I powered through.

Some tips I have learned from various Yoga teachers, plus  my personal experience:

  • Use a towel or strap around feet, etc if you can’t do a full stretch
  • Make sure your feet won’t slip wherever you decide to do Yoga. IE, socks on tile are not a good combination, you may find yourself doing a split long before you are ready.
  • Breathe!We have a tendency to hold our breath as we focus intently, which a) negates the purpose of Vinyasa and b) may make you blue–literally
  • When doing standing poses like Warrior, the idea is to pull in both directions: push your hips to the floor while stretching ribs and arms up. Terrific for your spine.
  • When bending, make sure you are bending at the hips, not bending your back. Put your hands at your hips to get the feel of  the hips flexing. I once talked to someone who hurt her back because she didn’t understand the difference. She never did Yoga again.
  • Don’t push  yourself, for the reason I just used above. Yoga is an evolving practice for everyone. Don’t expect to be able to do everything the first time, and don’t be depressed or give up. Think about whether you enjoyed what you did and what you could master before deciding whether to try again or not.
  • When you are done, sit a few moments and enjoy your body and breath

I used to hate Sun Salutations. And I have told you about my listing Downward Dog. Not every Yoga pose is fun, but the overall practice is what makes me keep coming back to it. And Sun Salutations don’t seem as evil now–although I still don’t like doing more than one or two.  If you want to learn more about Yoga Mala and how it was developed, check out this website.

And tell me how you did, if you need harder or easier, or just if you liked the dog!

 

*http://yoga.about.com/od/poweryoga/a/power.htm

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8 thoughts on “Power Yoga

    • depends on your effort! if you are sweating, then absolutely. Plus it tones, so your waist, etc get smaller fairly quickly, which is always an encouragment. If you are an avid scale watcher, keep in mind muscle is heavier than fat. Sometimes measurements (thigh, arm, waist, hips, bust) or the way your clothes fit are the best judge 🙂 I always know when I gain wt just on how my clothes feel.

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    • Samantha is right. Power yoga is about building and toning muscles, so if you do an honest power yoga routine, doing all the poses to the fullest rather than half-heartedly, it can be pretty intense and have you soaking a shirt with sweat. Which to me is nice.

      I’m not one of those people to lift weights over and over again. Just not my thing. It drives me crazy when people are like, “Do you even life?”

      No. I don’t. I don’t have to either. Power yoga gives me a way to focus on strength while doing something I actually like. You get the added benefit of working on flexibility at the same time, which is something that most people skimp on. So while yeah, someone may have massive guns on their arms, I bet they can’t touch their toes.

      I do yoga along with running and aikido, so I’m pretty active. I’ve actually lost four pant sizes in the time since I’ve started seriously working out.

      But when people ask how much weight I have lost I have to say, “Haha… funny story… I’ve actually gained ten pounds…”

      That eventually will reverse itself and the numbers will go the direction I want them to, but don’t get discouraged if the scale doesn’t ‘show’ you what you want to see.

      Go with how you feel on the inside, the lines and curves of your body, and how your clothing are fitting.

      I might not have an “I lost 50 lbs in two months” type of success story, but I have an entirely new wardrobe to prove that I’m kicking ass and taking names.

      Also keep in mind you will see changes in yourself before other people do. So again, don’t get discouraged if no one starts saying anything about your changes for a few months. You’re more in tune with yourself that others are, so it’s just going to take them a little longer to catch on. : )

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      • I personally enjoy the class environment more. I don’t know what it is about it, but I like the ‘in person’ experience and the connections I am able to make with other people.

        I go to the YMCAs in my area because it fits into my schedule and I can shower before heading into work. So, for me, personally, classes work.

        You do not have to have equipment, or anything special, to do yoga, which is one of the things that makes it so awesome. All you really need is some space, and maybe a towel or mat so you’re not directly on the floor.

        One website I really like is http://www.yogadownload.com/

        They have TONS of free 20ish minute podcasts that you can put on your phone or leave on your computer. When they say, “Take yoga anywhere,” they seriously mean it.

        They have different types of yoga, different levels of yoga, audio and video files. They even have PDFs of the poses so you can see what they look like, and how the flow is supposed to go.

        If you are interested in yoga you might want to check that site out. They do offer subscriptions, but you don’t have to have one. They offer plenty of awesome, free material.

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      • As Freya said, it really depends on your personality whether you do it at home or at a class. At home you don’t need much more than an area to do it and something to show the video on. In class you need even less! I like the aloness of my yoga and being able to do it anytime I am ready, instead of waiting for a class. Maybe you will want to do some of both!

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  1. Great post, very informative. I take a weekly Pilates class, which I adore, put I should really do some each day. And I just wanted to drop in and see how things were going. I haven’t visited your blog in awhile. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Pingback: Weekly Rundown | runnerwithablog

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