When yoga is new to you, it is obvious to get confused by Sanskrit phrases, unfamiliar asanas, and different style of yoga. Many people find it difficult to figure out the difference between power yoga and Vinyasa yoga. One of the main reasons for confusion is that many studios use them interchangeably. If you are also looking for the difference between power and Vinyasa yoga, here’s a look at the details of both of them:
About Vinyasa Yoga
Also known as flow, Vinyasa yoga began as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga introduced by a yogi named Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya. Ashtanga in Sanskrit means 8 limbs. It is believed that Ashtanga is faced paced and intense style of yoga. Each Ashtanga session is a series of specific poses which are supposed to be performed in the same order. The movement has to be constant with a smooth transition from one pose to another.
Vinyasa means breath-synchronized movement where every pose is in sync with a breath. You work through a series of asanas called sun salutation. Just like Ashtanga you move smoothly from one asana to another. Because of this smooth transition, it is known as Vinyasa flow.’ In Vinyasa, there is no fixed series of poses so each Vinyasa class will be different.
About Power yoga
Power yoga is also inspired by Ashtanga yoga. Power yoga was developed in 1990 with the aim of making Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western countries. It is also referred to as ‘gym yoga’ as it was designed to be intense enough to attract gym-goers and western athletes. Power yoga is not a set series of poses and most of the times power yoga sessions are heated.
Difference between power and Vinyasa flow
– Number of poses and how long are they held
In power yoga, there are fewer asanas which are held for a longer duration while, in Vinyasa yoga, there is number of asanas which are moved through quickly
– Strength of flexibility
Power yoga focuses towards strength building as the poses are held for longer. Vinyasa yoga aims for enhancing flexibility since the focus in on linking the poses together in a continuous movement
– Body and breath awareness
While power yoga focuses on your body, the Vinyasa flow focuses on your breath.
Your experiences in power or Vinyasa yoga are highly influenced by the yoga tutor. While you practice many similar poses in both power and Vinyasa yoga, neither of the styles follows a specific series of poses. The yoga tutor has the freedom to structure the class as per their preference and needs of the students.