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A Basic Introduction to Power Yoga

Hayley Ninnis

A student in the leadership development graduate program at Penn State Great Valley, Hayley Ninnis is also working toward certification as a yoga teacher. Hayley Ninnis anticipates receiving her credential in power vinyasa yoga at Malvern, Pennsylvania's Power Yoga Works, where she has learned power yoga’s flow-and-sculpt techniques.

Power yoga, as many people practice it, is a vigorous form of vinyasa yoga. The term vinyasa indicates a category of yoga practices that emphasize smooth transitions from one pose to another, in contrast to the single-pose style of hatha yoga.

Each movement in vinyasa yoga occurs in synchrony with the breath, which serves as the grounding element of the sequence. Each movement begins with an inhalation and closes on an exhalation, so that the breath and the body remain connected throughout the practice.
In a power yoga class, transitions between poses tend to be physically challenging. As a fitness-oriented form of yoga, as opposed to one that focuses on relaxation and meditation, it uses pose sequences as tools for building flexibility and strength. The vinyasa element of the practice, meanwhile, allows participants to maintain the breath-body connection and calm the mind while working the body.

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