Power Yoga is a modern day physical and philosophical practice that does not use mystic/ritual teachings, but instead uses a simple holistic approach to physical and mental health that is accessible to everyday people. It is guaranteed to make you sweat and build your strength, endurance and flexibility as well as help you mentally and emotionally to cope with the fast rigorous pace of modern day living.
The style has been inspired by many different traditions of Yoga but it is not contained by any. It does not encourage mystic teachings or unachievable goals but rather aims to deliver the ancient teachings in a way that is accessible to everyday people. The type of strength and flexibility developed by this system of functional training is similar to that of gymnastics and is one of the most sensible and effective ways to exercise.
The physical training is a vehicle to a greater level of self-discovery that comes from observing your reactions, mental chatter and how you react under stress during the challenging physical practice. Developing this level of self awareness then allows one to move beyond body and mind identification to develop and maintain a high level of self esteem, self confidence, mental fortitude and a uplifting appreciation of life. It encourages healthy nutritional and lifestyle habits but is not fanatical or dogmatic about how you need to be. It accepts all people and all philosophies and encourages them to understand that this training shows us how to BE and remain HAPPY!
Some of the qualities developed under the Power Yoga philosophy include, but are not limited to:
The process of self-inquiry that leads us to our true self, beyond our identity with name and form, can be challenging and often brings us to our knees. The ability to stand in the fire, to stay when we want to run, is vastly developed through this process.
If we let go of all our attachments to the physical world then all that is left is for us to be happy. As we grow through the process we begin to allow ourselves to feel more joy and ease with life. We begin to accept things as they are and keep an untroubled life. By doing this we organically become more cheerful as we discover the joy that is inherent within us all.
This means both ways, not just giving, but also graciously receiving so we allow others also the pleasure of giving. Generosity whilst serving others is an ancient principle that is proven to bring much joy and happiness into one’s life as a result. Not only generous with money, but with your time, attention and love. That is something we can all afford.
This doesn’t mean helplessness it means full POWER, without the need to defend yourself against others’ thoughts, words or opinions of you. You will be so comfortable in your own shoes, standing confidently on your own that there simply isn’t anything to defend. Taking what works today for today, without past, without memory or conclusions which only press upon the mind. This helps you to be grounded and centered, true and authentic.
We learn the art of living in the moment, not creating drama in our lives, by dealing with the here and now. You can stop the chattering mind, who are you talking to anyway? There is no one there but you…
Physical qualities developed
Appropriate body weight for your body type
Learn to eat by listening to your body and maintain the shape you were meant to be. This will aid in a much healthier and happy life than if you continue to listen to the ego’s craving for the emotional comfort that it desires.
Loosen up your body. You will reclaim the flexibility you were born with and undo all the stiffness that has accumulated until now.
Great core strength
You will feel a power about yourself that has been missing for many years. Work deep and use the intelligence of your awareness to develop an intuitive understanding of your bodies to unleash the power that lays dormant within you.
High degree of body awareness and control
Become the master of your mind and body. Achieve stillness of mind body and spirit – what more needs to be said.
Joint mobility and suppleness
With no more pain and a greater range of movement and mobility in your joints, all your actions will be smooth and flowing, making you feel free and light.
Improved Immune System
All the body systems are improved, especially the immune and endocrine systems. That means less colds, less sleepless nights and less mood swings. Enough is enough! It’s time to take care of yourself.
Improved cardiovascular endurance
Because Power Yoga uses such dynamic sequences you lift the heart rate to a range between 120bpm and 160bpm. This will keep you fit as a fiddle and make those 3km runs so much easier.
Pain free body
As the body comes back to balance the aches and pains will subside. Besides, any pain will be completely overwhelmed by the abundance of joy!!
What is Yin Yoga? This question is asked a lot by students who have been practicing yoga for a while but have never come across this particular challenging style. Simple answers such as “It is the balancing practice for your yang style of yoga” or “It is yoga for the joints, not the muscles” are not overly satisfying. If students haven’t heard of Yin Yoga, they won’t know what a yang style of yoga is, and isn’t all yoga good for the whole body, including our joints?
Suitable for everyone, yin yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin and yang tissues respond quite differently to being exercised. This passive yet powerful practice is performed by using the bodies own weight to stretch itself, creating deep flexibility and awareness of the body and mind. Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body. You need to experience this to really know what yin yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will likely realise that you have found the missing part of your practise, a part that you didn’t even realise was missing.
Yin yoga targets connective tissue, specifically ligaments and tendons in the joints and spine. Over time, practice of yin yoga can lengthen these tissues, increasing range of motion. To convey the role that connective tissue plays in determining range of motion, muscles account for about forty percent of the resistance against the body’s flexibility, while connective tissue accounts for about fifty percent. The intensity and physical benefits of the practice depend on two variables, duration of the asana and the temperature of the muscle.
Yin asanas are almost entirely passive and do not usually include what would usually be classified as standing asanas or balance poses. During the asana, muscles are relaxed to avoid tetany, or muscle spasming, which can result from engaging muscles for long periods of time. Gravity is used to create stretches using the bodies own weight without activation of muscles.
Duration of Asana
In order to lengthen the connective tissue, the practitioner holds an asana, engaging in static stretching. This applies stress, in the form of tension, to the muscle and connective tissue in the targeted region. The muscle, more elastic than theconnective tissue, responds immediately, lengthening to its limit. When the muscle is fully stretched, the stress reaches the connective tissue, which is not elastic and does not immediately lengthen. In order to affect the connective tissue, stress must be applied for several minutes at a time. In yin yoga, asanas are usually held for three to five minutes, but can be held for as long as twenty minutes. Because of the long duration of asanas, one of the key values cultivated in the practice of yin yoga is patience.
If the muscles are cold, they will be less elastic, and more stress will be transferred to the connective tissue. For this reason, it is recommended that yin yoga be practiced before physical activity that warms the muscles and increases their elasticity. This does not mean you cannot practice yin in a hot environment, or after your muscles are warm, just that it won’t be as effective as when cold.