Heidi's ~Power Yoga Ideas~

This is a [Other] pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 14106)

Hello, there! I haven't posted any patterns in a year. Email me with any questions. I'd love to help!

To me, Power Yoga means creating lots of body heat (internally, not externally like Bikram style yoga does) by (generally) moving quickly from pose to pose (on either an inhalation or exhalation) and jumping from, say, mountain pose, to feet wide (about 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart) getting ready for the warrior poses (for example). You also jump the feet back together, but cue them to bend the knees first, and land softly as if on a glass floor.

Here's one of my favorite vinyasas that we do during the sun salutation. (BTW, I always do the Sun Salutation at least 4x at the beginning of class to warm up and prepare for the subsequent poses.) It really is just adding the following extra push-up (the dreaded yoga pushup, lol) that makes all the difference:

After the Forward Bend (aka, forward fold), have them jump their feet back into Plank. Not many can do that, so tell them to either jump or step their feet back into plank (some need to comes to the knees, of course). Now lower down ('chaturanga') so you are hovering just an inch or two above the floor (Staff pose), then pull yourself forward and up for Updog. Here's the kicker: instead of just lifting the hips into Downdog, reverse your scooping action of the chest and go back to staff pose (i.e. hovering the chest above the floor). Now push up (ugh!) into plank again, THEN back into downdog.

It moves very smoothly, actually (it's a bit choppy in print). I got this from Bryan Kest's power yoga video. It is very tough and advanced (because it takes lots of upper body strength), and many people will just go straight from updog to downdog and skip this power part, but many will try it. They can also again place the knees on the floor for the planks if they are just not strong enough to remain on their toes/balls of feet. We do this vinyasa several times during one complete Sun Salutation: after the initial Forward Bend, again after the first Warrior I (right foot forward), and AGAIN (they are groaning by now) after the second Warrior I (left foot forward). Finally, from Downdog, we jump (or walk) the feet back up for one final Forward Bend, then come up to stand in Mountain pose. 'Are ya warm yet?' ;o) Yeah, baby.

Another way to incorporate power yoga is to hold the poses for 30 seconds (about 5 breaths) to one minute, like Warrior II. Then you can have them keep the legs in the Warrior II lunge, but arch back for Crescent Moon pose, being careful not to put pressure on the back leg (keeping the palm facing up really helps to avoid that). Hand is either above or below the knee, never on the knee. Go back and forth from Warrior II to Crescent Moon and they'll be working it!

Also, hold Standing Squat (aka, Awkward Chair) for 5 breaths, then rest in forward bend for about 2-3 breaths, then go back to awkward chair for another 5 breaths, again rest in forward bend, and when you do awkward chair the third time, make sure their ankles, calves, knees and inner thighs touch, then have them shift their weight forward into the balls of the feet and lift the heels. Ay chee-wah-wah! Some will be 'wearing low heels'; others will be in 'stilettos'. (I always joke around and say to any male participants, 'Sorry, you guys out there, but it's the best visual I can come up with', and they smile with me.)

I also teach Step and Cardiobox, but love to teach Yoga, as well. I will try to post yoga patterns more often as I have so many ideas and 'cue tips' that I've learned; I can't just keep it all to myself. I hope you can use this and please let me know if it helps you. I'd love to hear from you.

'Heidi' (Trenna)

Added by Trenna (aka 'Heidi' on the TBB) at 10:52 PM on Friday, February 20, 2004 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: trennasue@mindspring.com)
From: Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
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