Power Yoga for Weight Loss
Power Yoga is a derivative of Ashthanga Yoga to make Yoga more accessible to the Western audience and to make it easier to adapt. Ashthanga Yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
Power Yoga on the other hand is more of a general term to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to Vinyasa- style yoga. Therefore, any power yoga class can vary widely from the next.
Power yoga has gained popularity around the world because it gives you a whole body workout, with flexibility, toning, strength building, and functional movements and also elicits properties of what a good aerobics or cardio session can do. Power yoga is one of the most modern forms of yoga as it has adapted to taking all the learnings of yoga and uniting them with today’s more urgent need of weight loss and fitness, by making yoga upbeat and current. The fast pace of power yoga is what makes it popular, as today most people do not feel they have had a good workout unless they have profusely sweated or had a high heart rate.
Benefits of Power Yoga
1. Burns calories
2. Increases stamina, strength, flexibility and tones our body and core.
3. Increases metabolism
4. Alleviates stress and tension and improves focus.
5. Increases flexibility and strength in glutes and other inactive muscles.
Power Yoga vs. a Good Cardio Session
While an hour of a good all out cardio session may burn twice as many calories, power yoga feeds your muscles as it works on your core and helps tone and streamline your body, and builds lean muscle. Since power yoga not only burns calories, but also builds lean muscle it is very effective for weight loss, as building lean muscle means it increases metabolism thus being more effective in burning fat.
A cardio session may burn more calories but it does not necessarily burn fat, and doing more and more cardio may even deplete your muscle reserves, which is not a good idea for long-term weight loss.
What should you do?
If your aim is weight loss and fat burn, 2 sessions of power yoga a week is a good addition to any routine. If you do more of cardio and haven’t started lifting weights, power yoga will strengthen your body and prepare your muscles to start lifting weights. A good mix of power yoga and cardio is also a good sustainable weight loss plan.
If you are a runner or if you lift very heavy weights, in both cases your muscles get contracted because of these workouts, and power yoga helps lengthen your muscles through stretches, again a welcome addition to your routine if you are already at a place where you do not need to lose weight but just add flexibility and leanness.
Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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