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What to Look for in a Power Yoga DVD

Yoga | Yoga Equipment

As you can gather from the name, Power Yoga is a highly energetic, very challenging type of yoga, although it is derived mostly from Vinyasa-style practices. It involves quick transitions from pose to pose, and is set at a vigorous pace. The poses it contains are often of a more intense nature as well. It focuses less on the meditative and mentally calming aspects of yoga to something that zeroes into muscle groups and building strength. As such, it is recommended that you are at a certain level of fitness before you venture into buying a Power Yoga DVD. Here are some yoga exercises that you can expect to see.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

This is a great Power Yoga pose because it really concentrates on the core area and building strength (and possibly abs). From either a seated or supine position, lift your legs and torso off the floor, so that you look like the letter V. You can modify this pose by bending at the knees so it is no longer a straight line, or by holding your thighs with your hands. But the ideal position is back flat, chest out, and shoulders rolled back, with straight legs and toes at eye level. This pose is held for about five breaths, with five repetitions.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

This pose is a great test of strength and endurance. It strengthens the thighs, core, glutes and arms. From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), lower your hips so that it is practically parallel to the floor. Alignment is critical here, so make sure that your back is flat, your tailbone tucked in, and your knees do not go over your toes. In order to achieve all of this, really engage your core by sucking your stomach in with your abdominal muscles. Now extend your arms above you and try to get your hands to touch while your shoulders are rolled back and away from your ears.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Like its other Warrior Pose counterparts (I and II), Warrior III focuses a lot on strong, powerful alignment and engaged body parts. Unlike Warrior I and II, this pose is done on one leg. Adding to this difficulty level of extra controlled balance, you also need to get the rest of your body that isn't your standing leg in one straight line, preferably parallel to the floor. You need to pull and feel a tension from the tip of your lifted foot to your extended hands over your head. Holding this pose is difficult if you haven't yet cultivated a sense of balance by rooting your standing foot on the ground, the leg engaged as if it were a pillar of cement. This pose is made additionally tricky by trying to keep everything in alignment, so your hips should be square, your shoulders level, and your back flat.

Power Yoga also emphasizes stamina, endurance, focus, and concentration. Thus it can be considered to be a real yoga exercise for your mental and even spiritual capacities as well, as certain poses will have you digging deep to find that extra strength to hold that pose just a little bit longer, just a little bit higher, or just a little bit lower.

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