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!