Power yoga exercises: Does power yoga count as exercise?
Power yoga absolutely “counts” as exercise, both for your body and your mind. If you are looking to build strength and break a sweat, and you’re a fan of yoga, then you should try these power yoga exercises.
These power yoga exercises are great for building strength and stamina. Many athletes place their priorities on building explosive power, but power yoga exercises develop a different kind of power: the power of balance, stamina, flexibility, and enduring strength.
Power Yoga Exercises
Chair Pose on Toes
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, extend your arms overhead, and sink down until your thighs make a 45 degree angle with the floor. Lift your heels off the ground and rise onto the balls of your feet, then lower yourself back down. Do 30 of these Chair Pose “calf raises”.
From Chair pose, stay on your toes as your use your leg muscles to bend your knees and lower yourself down in a controlled manner until your buttocks make light contact with your heels, then straighten back up. Make sure to keep your torso upright as you descend and ascend. Do 20 of these half-squats.
Sit in the floor with your legs fully extended in front of you. Bend your knees so that your thighs make a diagonal with the floor, and lift your feet up while leaning back. Find your balance on your sit-bones, and fully straighten your legs. Hold for four sets of 30 seconds.
One Legged Bridge
Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Push your pelvis up, allowing your shoulders to rotate underneath you so you are resting on your shoulder blades, not your neck. Lift one leg towards the ceiling and find your balance. Lower your hips to the ground, the push them up as far as you can. Do 30 one-legged glute bridges on each leg.
Lay with your back on the ground, arms by your sides, and your knees bent. Bring your knees up and inwards towards your face, curling your lower back up and off the floor. Actively press your arms against the floor, palms flat, while you straighten your legs upwards. Use your arms to stabilize this supported shoulder stand, and your core muscles to keep your legs actively pressing upwards. Hold this candlestick pose for four sets of 30 seconds.
Starting in Downward Dog, lower your hips and raise your head until your body is making a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Engage your core muscles and arms, and breathe deeply as you hold plank pose.
Side Plank Hip Lifts
Starting from Plank Pose shift your weight to one arm, and rotate your body to the side. Engage your core and lift your hips upwards, extend your free arm overhead. Use your muscles to lift and drop your hips a few inches, do 30 hip lifts on each side.
Begin with your knees and forearms on the ground. Then extend your legs behind you, bringing your knees off the ground and resting on your toes and forearms. Engage your core so that your body makes a straight line- do not let your back curve down, or your butt stick up- and keep your head in a neutral position. Hold for three sets of 1 minute.
Start in Downward Dog and move through to plank. Lower yourself down from plank to Four-Limbed Staff Pose, where your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, glued to your sides, and your chest is an inch from the ground. From there, push upwards into Upwards Dog. From Upwards Dog, roll over your toes and move your hips back into Downward Dog. One cycle of Downward Dog to Four-Limbed Staff Pose to Upward Dog is one Hindu push up. Do 30.
Similar to the bodyweight exercise “Superman”, lay on your stomach with your arms by your sides. Engage your core muscles and lift your legs, chest, and head off the floor. Your arms should not be on the ground, but off the floor and against your sides. Hold until failure.
Place your heels against the base of a wall and your hands flat on the ground. Slowly walk your feet up the wall until you are making an “L” with your body, and the majority of your weight is held by your arms, not the wall. Hold until failure.