What is a power yoga class? Across the yoga spectrum, this can mean a lot of different things. Power Yoga originates from the Ashtanga tradition which is a set series of postures connected by Sun Salutations. In that form of yoga, those sun salutations are often called “vinyasas” . “Vinyasa” in the Western word is also used as an adjective meaning to flow, connect, or to place in a certain way. Vinyasa yoga is usually synonymous with flow yoga.
Although the Ashtanga tradition is quite vigorous on its own, some people found that they wanted to vary from the prescribed sequence of positions designated by its founder, Pattabi Jois. Many people credit Bryan Kest with creating “Power Yoga” in the 1980s. Baron Baptiste and others have also influenced the current mainstream attraction to this physical practice.
At Refresh Yoga Center in Alexandria, Virginia we offer a strong, sweaty, power yoga flow. No, it is not heated! You create your own heat by continuously moving your body and syncing your movements with your breath. The challenge is to keep a calm, steady, breath like you would in any yoga class. Experience in flow yoga is recommended, but if you’re a beginner we won’t turn you away! We just ask that you watch and take your time with the advanced positions until you are properly taught. Even the modified versions of some poses are great for building strength and giving you a challenge. Do not feel like you have to do everything your teacher says to do. Try your best, but honor your body and be mindful of what you need your body to do the next day! Rest when you need it. Don’t wait to be told to rest.
You will have opportunities to build strength, improve cardiovascular capacity, gain flexibility, and just have fun! We take your basic yoga sequences and turn up the volume a bit. Jump backs, double chatarangas (yoga push-ups), and handstand hops are highly encouraged. Funky transitions are offered like moving from high lunge to eagle pose into revolved half moon! You might find yourself trying and doing things you never thought you could.
We believe a strong body can support a strong mind. Modifications are always given for those avoiding impact due to injuries or other preferences. Along with the opportunities to move quickly and get the heart rate pumping, there are going to be times where you need to stay in a position for a little extra time. This is where the mental challenge begins. We learn to focus on the breath and stay calm
There will be extra time given to play in those “advance” postures (also called asanas) like head stand, firefly, forearm stand, koundinyasana, and other arm balances. We will deconstruct seemingly complicated stretches and break them down such as tortoise pose or bird of paradise. Expect to enjoy a little extra time working on flexibility in “hip openers” like double pigeon.
Our power yoga classes are offered Monday nights at 6:15 PM plus Tuesdays at 6:15 AM, and Thursdays at 6:15 AM for the early birds! Check our online reservation page for the most current schedule.
We strongly recommend you balance the “yang” of your power yoga class with a “yin” class. While we love to move, move, move, sometimes the most advance posture is the one that requires you to sit still the longest. Don’t forget to take a look at our other class offerings such as Stretch & Refresh, Slow Flow, or Restorative/Yin.