At Yandara we endeavor to include all elements in our yoga practice. So, having connected with the earth through the practice of Yin Yoga, and flowed like water through your Vinyasa sequences, we invite you to ignite your inner fire with Power Yoga!
What is Power yoga?
Power yoga is an intense, dynamic style of Yang (active) yoga, often said to be the “gym yoga” practice, but the fact is that Power yoga derives from the practice of Ashtanga yoga, with the main difference that it doesn’t follow a set series of poses. Power yoga classes can vary widely depending on who is teaching the class, but the emphasis is on concentrating the mind, while building strength and creating flexibility. The two teachers that are credited for the invention of Power yoga, Beryl Bender Birch (New York) and Bryan Kest (Los Angeles), have both studied with the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. According to Beryl Bender Birch, the term Power yoga was a name she came up with to let people know that Ashtanga yoga, unlike the more gentle yoga practiced in the 70s, was a serious, full body workout.
Why do we add Power Yoga to our practice?
Power Yoga is done by moving through a series of yoga poses with each movement guided by the breath. The pace is slow, yet steady, and some poses are held for many breaths in a row. Compared to the faster paced flow of Vinyasa yoga, Power yoga puts more emphasis on the proper form of the pose, and the slower rhythm of this practice will improve muscular endurance as well as strengthen the ability to concentrate the mind. The slower pace also offers space to find the alignment that works for each individual, hence helping the yogi to create a solid foundation for all Yang yoga practices.
At Yandara we include Power yoga to our routine to ignite our inner fire, and, once lit, we aim to keep the flame soft and steady by working hard without losing our body-mind-heart connection. We believe in the importance of staying attentive to the messages given to us by our bodies. Injuries happen when we lose our connection to the body, by staying attentive to the body we minimize the risk of pushing past our edge of safety.
To challenge yourself through a more dynamic practice does not mean pushing past your edge. A powerful practice is a highly personal experience that invites you to explore your body and work with your edge instead of against it. One of the jewels earned through the practice of Power yoga is the respect of yourself and your body. Igniting the inner fire evokes energy, vitality and heat to rise through our being. It lies in our responsibility to stay sensitive to that fire, and to keep the flame steady by proudly working with our edge, rather than comparing or competing with others.
Finding your balance.
From the outside it may look as the yogi is doing nothing but effortlessly moving his/her body in and out of different poses, a graceful dance, not unlike tai chi or qigong. Maintaining inner peace and tranquility while moving the body in unusual and challenging ways will encourage the yogi to find balance between effort and surrender. That balance will stay with the yogi both on and off the mat.
We believe that stepping onto your mat to do a powerful; challenging yoga practice should never feel dreadful, but joyful. We challenge you to get onto your mat and smile as you raise your arms to the sky, inviting your first energizing inhale, and smile even more as you exhale and fold forward, knowing deeply that bending the knees to touch the earth is just as perfect as keeping the legs straight. As long as you stay attentive to your inner voice, growth will happen, and that growth will take you deeper into the earth, as well as higher toward the fierce, glowing, warming, powerful sun.