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A Complete Guide to Core Power Yoga

Sep 29, 2020

Core power yoga is a new style of yoga that has its roots in the west. It was designed specially to combine the benefits of power yoga, hot yoga, and core yoga. Core power yoga is also known by other names such as power vinyasa, westernized ashtanga, etc. This new form of yoga is the brainchild of a seasoned ashtanga yoga guru Beryl Bender Birch, who named it as ‘core power yoga’. Core power yoga draws philosophical influence from a famous Sanskrit scholar Sri Pattabhi Jois, who shared his own take on Ashtanga yoga. Since then, western yoga enthusiasts have adopted this new style and enjoyed its many benefits.

Many people often assume that core power yoga concentrates exclusively on physical strengthening and more specifically the core muscles of the abdomen. While it is true that this form of yoga does lay importance on the physical, it also focuses on breathing exercises and other challenging poses that are extremely rewarding for the mental aspect as well. Thus, we can say that it is a rigorous practice that benefits the body, mind, and spirit equally, although through different mediums.

What is core power yoga?

This unique yoga style combines in itself the benefits of core yoga, hot yoga, ashtanga yoga, and also vinyasa yoga. It is slightly different from the traditional yoga as it does not put too much stress on the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga. Let us see the benefits of core power yoga.

Benefits of core power yoga:

  • It effectively stretches and strengthens the back (Yoga For Back pain) and the muscles of the abdominal region.

  • It tones the muscles.

  • It improves the mind-body relationship.

  • It immensely boosts strength, flexibility, and endurance.

  • It is an effective method of losing weight.

  • It helps in detoxifying the body. (yoga for weight loss)

  • It is a great stress-buster. ((yoga exercises for stress relief)

Core power yoga puts together the physically testing poses of power yoga, the breathing exercises of core yoga, and the use of heat in its classes is derived from hot yoga. However, core power yoga classes for beginners may not have a heated setting. Thus, core power yoga aims to achieve athletic strength along with mental clarity with some soul-searching. It is fast-paced which makes it appealing to those who are not very interested in the meditative nature of the practice.

Core power yoga poses

The following are some yoga poses that are usually practiced in a core power yoga class. One can easily practice them at home. And if you want, you may also turn up the radiator in your room and raise the temperature. 

Paripurna navasana or Boat pose

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Also known as naukasana, this pose is a seated one. It is excellent to tone the abdomen and the hips.

Benefits:

How to do:

  • Lie flat on the back on a comfortable surface.

  • Keep both feet together and place the arms beside the body.

  • Inhale deeply.

  • Exhale, and gently lift the chest and feet off the ground.

  • Stretch the arms straight pointing towards the feet.

  • Feel the tension in the abdomen.

  • Breathe normally and hold the pose for a few seconds.

  • Exhale and release the pose.

Marjariasana or Cat Pose

 

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This is an easy pose that helps in improving flexibility in the spine. 

Benefits:

  • Improves strength in the shoulders and the wrists.

  • Tones the abdominal muscles.

  • Improves digestion.

  • Calms the mind. (Yoga for calmer mind)

  • Improves blood circulation.

How to do:

  • Come onto your fours.

  • Keep the arms straight, with the hands flat and directly under the shoulders.

  • Keep the knees hip-width apart.

  • Look straight.

  • Inhale and lift your chin and take the head back.

  • Simultaneously, push the navel down and raise the tail bone.

  • Hold the pose for a few seconds.

  • Exhale and bring the chin down and form an arch with your back as high as you can.

  • Hold the pose for a few seconds.

  • Release the pose by coming to a straight back.

Utkatasana Pose or chair pose

 

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This is a standing pose which has several benefits for the entire body.

Benefits :

  • Strengthens the spine and hips.

  • Strengthens the back muscles.

  • Tones the lower limbs.

  • Helps increase the body.

  • Helps increase focus.

How to do:

  • Stand straight with the feet a little apart.

  • Extend the arms towards the front keeping the elbows straight.

  • Gently bend the knees and push the hips down as if you are sitting in a chair.

  • Make sure that the arms are parallel to the ground. 

  • Keep the spine straight and hold the pose for a few seconds.

  • You may go lower but make sure your knees do not go beyond the toes.

  • You may further go down and sit in sukhasana and release the pose.

Bakasana or crow pose

 

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This pose is an arm balancing pose which is excellent to strengthen the core muscles.

Benefits:

  • Improves balance.

  • Strengthens the abdomen muscles, wrists, and forearms.

  • Lightens the mood.

  • Reduces stress.

How to do:

  • Begin by standing in tadasana.

  • Bend forward and place the hands on the ground firmly.

  • Make sure that the hands are shoulder-width apart.

  • Gently lift the hips by engaging the core muscles.

  • Bring the knees close to the upper triceps.

  • Lift the feet off the ground.

  • Keep the arms straight.

  • Make sure to place the body weight on your arms.

  • Hold the pose for a few seconds.

Chaturanga dandasana

 

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This pose is also known as the four-limbed staff pose or low Plank pose

 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders.

  • Straightens the spine.

  • Increases stamina.

  • Builds abdominal muscles.

How to do:

  • Begin with the vajrasana pose.

  • Walk forward with the hands and come to dandasana pose.

  • Make sure the hands are under the shoulders.

  • Straighten the legs with the toes in so that the legs are above the ground.

  • Keep the legs parallel to the ground.

  • Bend the elbows and bring the shoulders to the height of the elbows.

  • Hold the pose for a few seconds.

Core power yoga is an interesting way to challenge the body and mind. It tests your endurance and adds to it. It boosts self-confidence; helps build a stronger body and mind. If you are someone who want to build your physique but do not enjoy the daily visit to the gym, then you should try core power yoga. 

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