What is Power Yoga? 5 Best Power Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss

Power yoga exercises offer great weight loss benefits. (Photo via Unsplash/rishikesh yogpeeth)
Power yoga offers great weight loss benefits. (Photo via Unsplash/rishikesh yogpeeth)

When we think of weight loss, power yoga is something that instantly comes to mind. It's a wonderful practice to reduce weight and improve muscle strength without hitting the gym.

Endorsed by several celebrities around the world, power yoga is basically a dynamic version of traditional yoga and is specifically designed to improve cardiovascular endurance and strength.

It's a much more intense and faster practice, which focuses more on developing strength and less on chanting and meditation. The poses or asanas included in this type of yoga are quite challenging and force you to move from one asana to the next very quickly.

It combines Hatha and Vinyasa yoga and shares some common aspects with Ashtanga yoga that help increase your stamina and develop internal heat.


Power Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Regular practice of power yoga not only helps in weight loss but also enhances muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and muscle tone.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best power yoga exercises that work wonders for weight loss:

1) Plank pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

To do this power yoga pose:

  • Start the pose on your hands and knees, and make sure your body is in a straight line from your head to your toes.
  • Lift your butts so that your shoulders get into a straight line with your palms, and your knees get below your pelvic bone. Stretch both legs back, and tuck in your toes.
  • Keep your gaze down, but keep the back of your head and neck parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and your tailbone tucked in under your abdominal muscles.
  • Maintaining this position, challenge your body, and try to bend your arms at your elbows while keeping your body in a straight line. Slowly push your bodyweight up, and turn your elbows closer to your upper body.
  • Hold this pose for as long as you can, and keep breathing normally.
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2) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

To perform this asana:

  • Lie down flat on your stomach, facing the floor, and position your palms level with your shoulders on the floor.
  • Slowly lift your body, and start to bend backwards. This movement puts pressure on the muscles and helps in weight loss.
  • Move your head back as your body goes backwards, and do not put pressure on your neck.
  • Hold the pose for a few minutes, and keep on breathing naturally.
  • Release, and repeat a few times.
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3) Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

To do this power yoga asana:

  • Take a downward facing dog position, with your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Bend your arms by placing your forearms on the floor, and ensure that your elbows are positioned just below your shoulders.
  • Move your shoulders away from your ears, and keep pushing your chest out and heels down.
  • Hold the posture with normal breathing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Release, and repeat a few times.
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4) Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

To do this pose:

  • Stand tall. and stretch your feet as wide as possible so that they become parallel to each other. Make sure both heels are in a straight line.
  • Lift your arms with your palms facing down so that they get parallel to the floor, and look towards your right.
  • Turn your right foot at 90 degrees, and bend your right leg at your knee. Make sure the knee is positioned above your ankle, and your thigh is fully parallel to the floor.
  • Continue stretching your right knee while shifting your entire bodyweight on your right thigh. Simultaneously, keep your left leg stable and straight.
  • Push your pelvis towards your left, and squeeze your glutes at the same time. Hold the pose for a few minutes, and relax. Repeat on the other side.
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5) One-legged Downward Facing Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

To perform this pose:

  • Take a position on all fours. Once you're stable, push your butts up and back, and bring your neck and head in the same line.
  • Position your palms on the floor, and raise your right leg upward. Lift your right leg as high as you can, and stay in this posture for a few minutes.
  • Lower your leg down, and repeat the same with your other leg.
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Takeaway

Power yoga is typically a modified version of traditional yoga that’s tailored to suit today’s fast-paced lifestyle. It mixes elements of yoga asanas with the benefits of modern and regular workouts that connect the body and mind and offer great physical benefits.

For each of the aforementioned poses, look to hold the posture for at least 40 seconds, and gradually increase your pace. If you experience discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediately.

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Edited by Bhargav