Power yoga, a derivative of Ashtanga yoga, is a fitness-oriented practice that can help build endurance, stamina and strength through vigorous sequences of flowing yoga poses that emphasize total-body athleticism. In synchronizing your breath with the movements, it can also help you relieve stress.
What’s more, you don’t need to be an experienced yogi to complete the following power yoga workout. You can graduate to more challenging sequences as you practice and build strength.
In the following power yoga session, we start with easier moves as a warm-up, then go into the workout sequence, which you can repeat two to five times.
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WARM-UP 1: Cat/Cow
Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Breathe in deeply as you arch your back and bring your belly toward your mat with your gaze toward the sky into cow pose. Pause and then breathe out as you bring your belly toward your spine, round your back and drop your head into cat pose. Repeat slowly three times.
WARM-UP 2: Bird Dog
Come back into the original position on all fours. Reach your left arm out in front of your body and your right leg back behind your body. Stabilize your core and hold for three deep breaths. Come back to the original position and then perform the pose on the other side. Repeat two times.
WARM-UP 3: Downward Facing Dog
Come up into plank position and then push your heels into the mat as you straighten your arms and bring your backside toward the sky. Hold for three breaths.
WARM-UP 4: Forward Fold
Walk your hands up to your feet, stand up and then fold forward, bringing your head toward your knees. Hold for three breaths.
WORKOUT SEQUENCE 1: Plank
From forward fold, bring your hands back down to the mat and jump your feet back into plank position. Hold for two breaths, then lift your right leg in the air for two breaths. Bring your right foot back to the mat and repeat on the left side.
WORKOUT SEQUENCE 2: Cobra
From plank position, lower your body down to the mat with your arms. Shift your feet so the tops are pressing down on the ground and slowly push your upper body back up by straightening your arms, pushing your hips down and pressing your chest forward. Hold for three breaths.
WORKOUT SEQUENCE 3: Plank and Downward Facing Dog
Come back into plank position. Push your heels into the mat as you straighten your arms and bring your backside toward the sky. Lift your right foot off the mat and reach it toward the sky as you straighten that leg. Hold for one breath and then shift your body forward as you bend the right leg and bring that knee to your nose. Bring the leg up and repeat three times before switching to the left side.
WORKOUT SEQUENCE 4: Chair Pose
Bring both feet back down to the mat and walk them to your hands. Stand up and bring your feet together. Inhale and bring your arms above your head as you lower your backside down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold for three breaths.
WORKOUT SEQUENCE 5: Warrior I
Come back to mountain pose (a standing, foundational pose) for one to two breaths and then step your feet about 4 feet apart. Turn your left foot out to a 90-degree angle so your toes are pointing forward. Turn your right foot in to a 45-degree angle. As you bend your left knee, bring your weight down through your right heel. Reach your arms up, lift your chest and set your gaze on the sky. Hold for three breaths. Come back to mountain pose and repeat on the other side.