The practice of Yoga purifies the body and the mind for the purpose of developing concentration.
Concentration leads to a mind where thought has been stilled and to super consciousness. This higher consciousness brings knowledge of reality and peace. With Yoga, we can extend our healthy, productive years far beyond the accepted norm and, at the same time, improve the quality of our lives.
- Increase flexibility of the body and free all the energy blocks.
- Help in losing excess flab and weight.
- Massage the internal organs of the body and the rarely stimulated parts such as the thyroid gland.
- Treat several health disorders–from common ones such as backaches and arthritis to uncommon ones.
All Yoga styles are universal in their communication. The “Namaste” – a symbol of respect and humility, is the hallmark of the ancient Indian yogic philosophy.
Place the palms of your hand at chest level and press them firmly together. This hand position is known as the universal peace mudra. It helps direct attention to your heart space, and cultivates positive emotional energy.
Reverse Namaste (a variation)
This is the same namaste position but practised with hands behind. This helps maintain good posture, keeping the shoulders back and the spine erect. It also improves breathing capacity and lung strength. “Yoga is for all of us. To limit yoga to national or cultural boundaries is the denial of universal consciousness.”
“Yoga is the union of the individual self with the universal self.”
“Classic poses, when practised with discretion and awareness, bring the body, mind and consciousness into a single, harmonious whole.”
“An asana is not a posture you assume mechanically. It involves intelligent thought, at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance.” – B K S Iyengar.
The philosophy of Power Yoga
Power yoga, traditionally known as Ashtanga Yoga is a specific branch of the classical Hatha Yoga. Ashtanga, which means “Eight limbs”, involves movement to develop these “Limbs” or principles. The eight principles we should aspire for are: Yama (social conduct), Niyama (individual conduct), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratihara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (self–realization). Ashtanga Yoga is described in a 2000–year–old Sanskrit text, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjal. K. Pattabhi Jois is the guru who dedicated his life to studying, practising and teaching the techniques to Yoga students all over the world.
The universality of Power Yoga
People from all walks of life–from film stars to city brokers – today, swear about the magical and Zen–like benefits of Power Yoga. The uniqueness of this system is that it teaches you to be hard with yourself as well as gentle. Working hard into a sweat and then relaxing completely calms and refreshes the entire being. It works on the body, mind and the whole self.
Understanding Power Yoga
Power Yoga is a dynamic movement form, designed to achieve total fitness. The structure of Power Yoga involves performing an entire spectrum of postures, some of which are quite challenging. The series work like a combination lock. If you do the right postures in the right order, the mind and body are cleansed of toxins and the channels of energy unlock. Deveeloping a strong and lean body is a positive by–product of this practice, but yoga, which means, “To unite” is interconnectedness, encompassing every aspect of the being– physical, mental and spiritual.
A Yoga with a difference
The method of connecting postures with flowing movement and breathing creates a high–heat, high–energy workout. This is what sets this practice apart from every other form of yoga. Have you ever watched yoga experts practice Power Yoga? It is like viewing a synchronized form of gymnastics. The body glistens with sweat, which is poured off continuously throughout the challenging, non–stop series of postures. And all the movements seem so effortless and completely awesome! Most people think of yoga as soft and relaxing. What most of people don’t realize is that it can also be a powerful, intense and energizing workout.
The primary ingredient of the Power Yoga practice is heat. Think of what a glassblower can do with a piece of glass tubing when it is heated. He can remold it into the desired form. So also, when our body’s connective tissues are heated, they become pliable for reshaping and realignment. Tight, “Dead” spaces begin to open creating less rigidity in our bodies along with increased circulation. This not only improves realignment, but also works to detoxify and revitalize the entire system.
Mastery of the breath
Power Yoga works on synchronizing the breath with a set sequence of postures. Practice of conscious breathing invigorates the body and relaxes the mind. Constant worries and stress result in shallow breathing. Anxiety blocks the breath and deprives our system of a powerful energy source.
The Energy Centers
In yoga tradition there are seven main chakras, or energy centres in the body. Without sufficient prana or life force these centres get blocked and become inefficient. Yogic postures awaken and cleanse these energy channels which help develop harmony and balance of the whole self.
Benefits at a glance
- Improved posture.
- Improved flexibility, strength and stamina.
- Weight loss.
- Improved blood circulation.
- Enhanced emotional well–being.
- Mind–body awareness.
- Therapeutic benefits.