When you think of people doing yoga, you probably imagine a room full of men and women on mats stretching their bodies in seemingly impossible poses for long periods of time. This is called hatha yoga, a form of yoga that focuses on posing and flexibility. Hatha yoga is only one type of yoga: there are many other types, and you can pick and choose depending on the health benefits you are hoping to get out of this form of physical activity.
Power yoga is just one of these various forms. It involves quick, fluid movements between different poses rather than holding them for long periods of time. If you are looking for something that involves more intense cardio and strength training combined, power yoga may be just the thing that will work for you. Here are several benefits to this type of yoga.
1. Relieves stress and improves your mental health
There are some stressors in our lives that are easier to control than others. Sometimes things like job stress are more difficult to avoid because we cannot always simply resign and try to find something better. However, we can still take steps to reduce stress even when the source of that stress cannot be eliminated or changed. Yoga is just one of the ways we can contain our stress.
Power yoga can help you reduce stress and improve your overall health both physically and mentally. Any kind of physical activity can help reduce the production of stress hormones in your body and increase the production of hormones that can improve your mood and make you feel much more relaxed even when your major stressors have not gone away.
2. Improves your blood circulation
Your heart works very hard to pump blood to all the parts of your body, from your head to your toes to your fingers and back again. The reason physical activity is so important is because the more you condition your heart, the easier time it has doing its job. The less hard your heart has to work, the healthier you will be.
Power yoga forces you to move. These movements are often intense and make you sweat, because they force your heart to pump and your lungs to work hard to keep blood circulating through your body. The more efficiently your body can do this, the better blood circulation you will have even when sedentary during the day, such as while you are sitting down at work.
3. Helps you have better posture
Use power yoga to help you to improve your posture. Various traditional yoga poses, the foundation for which all forms of yoga are based off of, require you to keep your spine in complete alignment, even if you are bending forward, backward or to the side. This means you have to put a great deal of focus on the correct positioning of your head, neck, shoulders and hips.
The more you practice power yoga, the more aware you will likely become of how you are standing and sitting even when you are not actively doing yoga. You will over time learn how to sit and stand up straighter, which has its own health benefits.
4. Power yoga helps you lose weight
Power yoga focuses on quick, fluid movements, which requires a lot of endurance, breathing and constant transitioning from one yoga pose into another, almost like a form of dance. Therefore, it is a physical activity heavily focused on cardio as well as building strength. This means that you have a much greater chance of successful weight loss if you participate in power yoga on a consistent basis.
5. Helps to boost the function and efficiency of your immune system
Your immune system is your body’s way of defending your cells against foreign attacks from bacteria and viruses. There is no food or activity that can fully protect you against all infections and diseases, but there are things you can do to increase your body’s chances of fighting off illness when it tries to bring you down.
Power yoga, when performed consistently over a long period of time, has the potential to boost your immunity to common diseases. Physical activity of any kind can do this in several ways. It can help you to ‘flush out’ bacteria from your lungs, and it can also help your body change various antibodies that it creates to fight off diseases and infections. Yoga is not a miracle drug, but it can still help you stay healthy and fight off germs related to illnesses like colds and influenza.
6. Increases your ability to concentrate
Whether you have tried any form of yoga yourself personally or not, you probably already know that performing yoga successfully takes a great deal of focus and concentration. Whether you are holding your body in a specific position or you are performing a more meditative state of yoga, disciplined concentration is essential for success as well as avoiding injury.
Improved concentration has a variety of benefits both in terms of health and otherwise. The better you can concentrate, the better you can learn, successfully complete tasks, become more efficient in your work and avoid unnecessary distractions while doing important things. All these things combined can make you better at school, at your job and even make you a better relationship partner or spouse.
7. Helps you increase your athletic endurance
One of the final but most beneficial ways power yoga can improve your health and your life is by increasing your endurance. Your level of endurance is a good measure of your overall physical fitness, because greater levels of endurance are a sign that you are being continuous enough with your workouts.
You can increase your endurance and overall fitness by committing to power yoga long term. If you have ever noticed that a physical activity becomes easier over time, you have endurance to thank for that. It is your body’s ability to continue exerting the same level of energy for longer periods of time. This makes even activities like walking easier to endure.