By Kimaya Singh
Is power yoga for beginners? It is an exciting time for yoga students and teachers, with so many different types of yoga classes offered today. However, we must not forget the importance of choosing the right class because not every class is one-size-fits-all. Some classes are geared toward beginners, while others require prior knowledge of poses. Students who attend an advanced class without knowing the associated risks are putting themselves in a position for potential injuries.
Ups and Downs
Power yoga is a rigorous workout involving the entire body, but is power yoga for beginners? There are many different forms of this style, depending on the instructor’s own philosophies. Basically, the common thread among power yoga classes includes performing a series of poses fluidly, while maintaining a focus on breathing and holding poses a little longer that usual. It provides a higher-intensity workout than traditional classes and is often practiced by athletes in training to sharpen important skills including stamina, strength, and agility. Students who are not familiar with poses could find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated, or possibly injured. The benefits of power yoga are similar to other physical yogic practices, and include a stronger, more fit body, an increased ability to concentrate or focus, stronger muscles and joints, increased flexibility and balance, and decreased stress levels.
Beginners can certainly try power yoga, but is power yoga for beginners? It is not going to be for everyone. Some instructors will run though the asanas and speak in Sanskrit. Many beginners would feel more comfortable in a slower-paced class where the instructor can talk through each pose. Beginner’s classes are often beneficial because students learn what each pose is supposed to feel like, how to breathe into each pose, and common mistakes to avoid. Power Yoga instructors will most likely assume students already have this knowledge, and will focus more on providing the “flow” more experienced students are seeking in a power yoga class.
With that being said, if a beginner really wants to try a power yoga class, they should do so with awareness that it might be confusing at first. They should make the instructor aware of their current skill level, so he or she can provide extra support as necessary. Some people catch on quickly and might not have any problems keeping up with the flow of the class. Others will quickly realize that they need a slower pace before venturing into this challenging style.
Where to Start?
Is power yoga for beginners? One of the greatest things about yoga is that it is for everyone, from kids to seniors. Yogic methods encourage self-awareness. If someone is fit, strong, and feeling confident that they can succeed with power yoga, then they should do it. If, however, someone were out of shape and wanting to improve their health starting at square one, then a basic yoga class might be a better fit. Yet, there is a need for power yoga classes that focus on cardiovascular benefits and most of these students are beginners.
One of the many concepts I learned from Dr. Paul Jerard is that the right teacher can teach anything to anyone. Some people look at power yoga the same way they see a tiger. I’m referring to the danger of a tiger walking around a village in southern Asia. A tiger might kill anything in sight or it might just walk through the village, without an incident, as everyone stays in their homes and the domestic animals hide. I see similar fear in the eyes of people who have seen or heard of egotistical teachers who instruct power yoga classes for athletes only. Some of these teachers have no compassion and want to build their reputation by filling a class with elite athletes. Their motto: “The weak will never survive ten minutes in my class.” A power yoga teacher with an inflated ego wants to crush the life out of beginners. Is power yoga for beginners? It really depends on the teacher.
There are many kinds of teachers, but some are extremely different. There are some stereotypes, but there are some big surprises. I have seen “dancer chicks” who want to make people cry in a yoga class. At the same time, I have seen male yoga teachers who hover around their students like mother birds to keep them safe. It’s even more striking, when I see some instructors with deep martial arts backgrounds, who are kind and gentle yoga teachers. To make this short and sweet – When an ego is out of control, anything can be used as a weapon. Anyone who hires power yoga instructors should observe how they teach – It’s really that simple. Yes, power yoga is safe for beginners when a compassionate, competent, and educated teacher is leading the class. Additionally, customized power yoga classes for students who have heart problems, diabetes, or who want to lose weight could exist everywhere, if health clubs and studios really want them.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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