By Sangeetha Saran
Power yoga is a specific practice of yoga, based on India’s Ashtanga yoga. Traditionally, Ashtanga classes flow through a specific series of poses with an emphasis on concentration and breathing. Since its arrival in the United States, the practice has been dubbed “power yoga” as a credit to its vigorous nature and physical results. Depending on the instructor, power yoga classes might take on a slightly different form from a traditional Ashtanga class, but will follow the basic idea behind it. Power yoga classes are not for children, as they require advanced coordination, stamina, and flexibility.
The optimum age for power yoga lies more in the condition of the body, as opposed to the number of years one has existed. It is not recommended for children under twelve, as the body’s core muscles are not fully developed yet. Adults interested in power yoga should first check with their doctor to make sure they are physically fit enough for a power yoga workout. Power yoga is physically demanding, and requires a bit of practice before the full benefits will be realized. Someone interested in beginning power yoga should have a bit of background with some basic yoga poses, they should attend a power yoga class designed for beginners, or make sure the yoga instructor is knowledgeable enough to modify poses for beginners.
Although seniors often consider chair yoga first, there are some people who enjoy power yoga well into their 70s or 80s. As the body ages, so does a person’s knowledge and sense of self. Older people know their limits, and how to listen to their bodies. Each unique person has a different background, level of strength and flexibility, and emotional history. Power yoga can emphasize and improve all of these things, making it a positive practice for adults in the “mature years.” However, it is most important for power yoga instructors to be aware of the physical limitations of their students and help to modify when necessary.
While power yoga is enjoyed by many adults, there are other things to consider besides age. To fully benefit from power yoga classes, adults should practice it every day for at least 15 to 20 minutes. They should eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, and they should also remember never to practice power yoga on a full stomach. Most healthy people can thrive by practicing power yoga if they are willing and dedicated.
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