5 Surprising Benefits of Power Yoga
A lot of people come to yoga with the misconception that it is 'just a bit of stretching.' Those same people get to the end of their first power yoga class dripping in sweat, feeling like they have worked hard and earned the Savasana (relaxation) at the end of the class.
Power Yoga is the most commonly practiced style of yoga in the United States. A vigorous, fitness-based approach to Vinyasa-style yoga, focusing on strength and flexibility. There are many health benefits of this ancient practice. The original Power Yoga founder is Beryl Bender Birch, but Power Yoga is now a term used to describe many vigorous Vinyasa styles.
Benefits of Power Yoga:
1. Calorie burning without stressing your joints and muscles.
Power Yoga isn't just a bunch of stretching—it can torch major calories! It builds muscle, which causes fat to melt, and can also increase your heart rate, which aids in boosting your metabolism. True, power yoga burns fewer calories than aerobics, swimming and jogging, but it doesn't stress your joints and muscles too much, making it a good option for older people or athletes recovering from injuries. Whereas many people come to yoga for the lean body, many more leave with an appreciation of what it means to look after the body as a whole, not just it's ability to influence our external appearance. Yoga is a powerful starting point for creating healthy changes in all areas of our lives.
2. Increases stamina, strength, flexibility and tone.
Yoga is a weight bearing exercise which means it is great for building stamina, strength and muscle. Many poses even require you to lift your entire body's weight – more than what you'd probably choose to lift if you went to the gym! A regular yoga practice also helps you create flexibility in the body, as well as the mind. This means our muscles and joints are able to move as they were designed to, reducing your risk of injury and helping the mind to become more accepting of life as it comes.
3. Promotes blood circulation and boosts the immune system.
Power yoga helps to lower stress hormones that wreak the immune system, while also stimulating the lymphatic system to ensure toxins are removed from the body. This practice also encourages us to be mindful of how and what we are putting into our body which ultimately keeps our immune system happy.
4. Increases bone strength.
Bone density starts to decrease naturally after the age of 30 which means it is very important to practice exercise that helps to maintain bone health to avoid conditions like osteoporosis. As yoga is a weight bearing exercise it stimulates new bone growth by creating mild stress in the body. The unique nature of yoga means that it creates the stress required for bone health without jolting and jarring the body in other ways.
5. Alleviates stress and makes you happy!
Yoga helps to relieve stress and anxiety by encouraging regular exercise, self-care, mindfulness and meditation. It also teaches us how to use our breath to maintain calm throughout the day. The teachings of yoga change our lives in many positive ways. Acceptance and gratitude as key teachings and powerful tools on the journey toward happiness.