Power Yoga is an American adaptation of Ashtanga Yoga and one of the first styles of yoga that was taught widely in gyms and health clubs due to its very physical and challenging practice. Power Yoga utilizes the classic yogic philosophy - the “eight-limbed yoga” (see below) with a very physical practice.
Yama - moral codes
Niyama - self-purification and study
Asana - posture
Pranayama - breath control
Pratyahara - sense control
Dharana - concentration
Dhyana - meditation
Samadhi - contemplation
The most well-known and regarded leader and teacher of Power Yoga is Baron Baptiste.
What is the style/class like?
Some in the yoga community call Baron Baptiste’s Power Yoga “America’s Yoga…” His classes always draw a variety of people and yoga is really demystified in these classes. The biggest takeaway however is the class is TOUGH! So I know a lot of people, especially in American culture and see TOUGH and say YES! I left a Power Yoga class feeling good, but it might be too intense if you’re looking for an everyday practice that will assist you in learning your foundations and fundamentals. The class is a combination of strength, sweat and spirituality. The poses are held for longer durations until every muscle is tingling with activity. This style of yoga also draws in very athletic types who want yoga but don’t want to sacrifice serious strength building.
Personal insight and who might benefit from this style:
Baron Baptiste is a force in the yoga community and comes from a yogi family. I like to call him and his style of yoga, traditional yet accessible. If the thought of a slower pace class drives you mad and you want a forceful class, Power Yoga is worth a try.