You see the adverts around you, hear people talking about it: yoga.
It is mostly associated with pictures of people with their bodies in limbo. Slim, flexible, beautiful people practicing this high-level exercise on a sandy sunny beach or on a rock with the sun rising in the background.
But is this really good for you?
My name is Armanda, I am a ‘Power Yoga’ teacher in Eindhoven and Veldhoven.
I’d like to take you on a journey. A journey to meet your inner self!
It is the journey I made myself to power yoga: it was love at first sight.
My first class was, I’ll spare you the nitty gritty and just say this: comical and torturous. Things like: "What the hell am I doing?" and "I can work at Cirque Du Soleil if I finish this class!" came to my mind.
The teacher was talking about Ujjayi breath and Bandhas, I didn’t understand a word. Despite everything, I felt more awake and more relaxed than ever.
So since my first class, I have been doing power yoga every day and I am feeling great!
I become more aware of myself, my feelings and my thoughts. Aware that I am the director of my life instead of flowing with the forces around me. I am more relaxed, flexible and powerful, not just my body, also my mind. And all that, just by doing power yoga. So simple, but so much effect!
Let me tell you more about power yoga
Baron Baptiste is describing it very well in his book: meditation by moving. Baron Baptiste is a well known yoga teacher who has successfully established his own style of power yoga. Power yoga is a general term used in the West to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to Ashtanga vinyasa yoga (the modern-day form of classical Indian yoga). Though many consider the power yoga to be "gym yoga", this style of practice was originally closely modeled to the Ashtanga method.
The term ‘Power Yoga’ came into common use in the mid-1990s, in an attempt to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to Western students. However, unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses, so classes can vary widely. With its emphasis on strength and flexibility, power yoga brought yoga into the gyms, because people began to see yoga as a way to work out.
Nowadays, power yoga is more than a workout. The exercise consists of 3 basis principles:
1. Ujjayi or victorious breath: This breath enables the yogi (a practitioner of yoga) to maintain a rhythm to his or her practice, to take in enough oxygen, and it helps build energy to maintain practice, while clearing toxins out of the bodily system. This breathing is especially important during the change into and out of asanas (postures), as it helps the yogi to stay present, self-aware and grounded in the practice, which lends it a meditative quality.
2. Bandhas: There are three bandhas: Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Jhalandara Bandha. Each bandha is a lock, meaning a closing off of a part of the interior body. They are intentional muscle contractions, with the aim of redirecting the energy flow within the body. These locks are used in various pranayama (breathing exercises) and asana (body positions) practices to tone, cleanse and energize the interior body and organs.
When all three bandhas are activated at the same time, it is called Maha Bandha, the great lock.
3. Asana: yoga postures. We do not need our body to get in the asana, but we need the asana to get in our body.
Asanas are various postures useful for restoring and maintaining a practitioner’s well-being and improving the body’s flexibility and vitality.
Power yoga is a good physical workout with many positive results as a "bonus":
– Improvement of calorie burning
– Increase of muscles and strengthening of the muscles
– Burning of fat tissue
– Learning to focus
– Increasing the heart beat
– Reducing stress
– Relaxation of the body
– Becoming more aware of Yourself
And most of all: it’s a lot of fun!
So, if you like to have all these advantages by practicing yoga, come and do power yoga with me. It’s not for sissies, try it if you dare! and experience your inner journey to meet yourself. If you have any questions after reading this article, feel free to contact me at www.springconsulting.nl. Have a great day!
Armanda van Bree
Power yoga teacher at Yogatrainer (www.yogatrainer.nl) Eindhoven and at David Lloyd Sports and Heath club (www.davidlloyd.nl) Veldhoven.