10 Things Your Yoga Instructor Wants You to Know

You see them smiling at you as they walk around the room or demonstrate poses, but do you ever wonder what your yoga teachers are thinking? Here are some things yoga instructors want newbies to know about their classes.

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1. They’re not checking you out to see how flexible you are (or aren’t): If your teacher is looking at you, it’s not to judge whether or not you can straighten your legs in Down Dog (so don’t quickly press your heels to the floor if you catch a glimpse your way!). He or she wants to make sure you’re doing a pose safely and comfortably.

2. They don’t like when you push yourself too hard: You’re always encouraged to try new poses, but not if it means struggling in pain. When working on backbends, trust that you know whether it’s better for you to do a beginner version like Cobra versus an advanced version like Scorpion.

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3. They wish you’d ask questions or for assistance: Yoga classes tend to be pretty quiet with only the instructor’s voice heard, but if you have a question, please ask! Chances are the other students are wondering the same thing. Also, don’t be shy about asking for help — they’d much rather stand next to you and help you lift into headstand than to hear you crash to the floor after trying it on your own.

4. They don’t care if you pass gas: Yoga instructors are human too, and they of all people know that certain poses can make tooting happen. Why? Because it’s probably happened to them! I know it’s a little embarrassing, but if you accidentally have a loud outburst from your tush, just pretend like it didn’t happen.

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5. They aren’t grossed out by your sweat: If an instructor likes to give assists in poses, no need to apologize for your slippery sweatiness. They’re used to touching clothes and bodies drenched in perspiration, and if it bothered them, well then they wouldn’t be yoga instructors.

6. They want you to speak up if an assist hurts or makes you uncomfortable: You have every right to tell the instructor to press more softly or to back off entirely. It’s your body and you know your limits; without your input, a teacher won’t know what you like and what adjustment is about to pull your hamstring.

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7. They wish you didn’t come to class to “sweat out your sick”: If you’re congested with a cold, a little exercise can do you some good. Heat can help loosen mucus, and moving the body relieves body aches. But you want to be careful not to pass along your germs to others, so sweating out your sickness in a packed yoga class with your snotty tissues collecting around your mat is not the best idea. Feeling under the weather is the perfect time to do a home practice, and you can hit the studio once you’re feeling better.

8. They love when you bring your own yoga mat to class: Borrowing a studio mat for your first five or so classes is welcomed, but after that, it’s time to buy your own yoga mat. Using a mat that only you sweat on helps prevent the spread of germs, which we all appreciate, and purchasing your very own mat also shows a deeper devotion than someone who pops into class every once in a while.

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9. They want you to practice at least twice a week: A Sunday afternoon yoga class will offer amazing benefits, but if you really want to improve your practice, you should include another class or two that week. If it’s impossible to get to the studio that many times because of time or money, unroll your yoga mat and do a practice at home, even if it’s for only 20 minutes.

10. They like when you get to class a little early and prefer you stay until class is over: We all have tight schedules and obligations to work and family, so the occasional late entry to class or early skip-out is OK, just don’t make it a habit. Show yourself, your fellow students, and your teacher respect by being physically present for the entire class.

5 Partner Yoga Asanas You Should Try

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Do you hardly get to spend quality time with your spouse? It is no surprise that most of us are running against time. Between hectic schedules and various other commitments, we do not get any quality time to connect on a deeper level. With so much stress being put on health and fitness, the only way that you can get the best of both worlds is partner yoga, or couple yoga. This form of yoga combines the traditional yoga practices into the realm of relationship, allowing you and your spouse to connect on a deeper physical and emotional level. It keeps the chemistry alive in your relationship while also awakening the senses!

1. Boat Pose:

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· Sit facing your partner

· Ensure that a gap of 3 feet is maintained between the two of you.

· Now hold each other’s hand.

· Raise your legs as high as you can and balance for a few minutes before returning to your normal sitting position.

· This pose helps in stretching and strengthening your arms, legs,  abdomen and shoulders.

2. Forward Bend:

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· Start by sitting cross legged in a back to back position

· Reach back and link elbows with your partner.

· Exhale as you lean forward, entering into a forward bend and pulling your partner into a gentle back bend.

· This is an easy technique to master.

3. Bow Pose:

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· Ask your husband to lie flat on his back on the floor mat.

· Ask him to bend his knees while you take position and sit on his soles holding his ankles for support.

· Now your husband must raise his legs up in the air so that his hips are in a straight line with his ankles.

·This pose helps you, sitting on the top, to stretch your torso, and shoulders, while your husband below exercises his lower back as well as legs.

4. Face to Face Twist:

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· This partner yoga pose is performed sitting face to face, as the name suggests, with knees touching each other.

· Place your right arm behind your back with your forearm parallel to the floor.

· Now reach for your left hand and grasp your partner’s right hand.

· Be mindful of your right shoulder while doing this as you pull the left hand of your partner into a twist.

· This posture massages your abdominal organs and improves blood circulation.

5. Child’s Pose:

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This posture helps you re-explore the childlike innocence and calm. It restores peace in the body and relieves muscle tension.

· Ask your partner to lie on your back so that both your spines are aligned and touching.

· Now ask your partner to extend their arms upwards or out to the sides, with legs extended downwards.

· This engages your abs and strengthens your partner’s spine!

Good Morning Yoga Sequence

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This is a 10-15 minute morning sequence designed to wake up the body and target all of the places that might need a little extra space and life breathed into them after a night of sleep. I designed this to be a flowing sequence, allowing one pose to flow into the next. I invite you to try it like this, or if that doesn’t work for you and you prefer to complete one pose at a time, guide yourself through it that way by returning to Downward Facing Dog in between each pose. Otherwise, just flow with it.

1. Malasana – Yogi Squat

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Separate your feet a little bit further apart, maybe even as wide as your mat. Turn your toes out slightly. Bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the earth. Bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart and allow the elbows to gently guide the knees and thighs open, keeping length in the spine. Engage mula bandha to experience a greater sense of lightness. Stay here for at least five full breaths. Repeat everything on the second side.

2. Forearm Plank

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With toes tucked, lower down onto your elbows and forearms. Keeping the hips in line with the shoulders and your knees off of the ground, stack your shoulders over your elbows, which should be no wider than shoulders distance apart. Keep the back of the thighs pressing up towards the sky, while guiding the heels back and the heart forward. Maintain a strong core and hold here for 30 seconds.

3. Triangle Pose

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Tuck the back toes under and spin the left heel down so that the heels are more or less in line with each other. Pressing down through the outer edge of the left foot, begin to straighten your right leg. Engage both legs and consider stacking your left hip over your right. Slide your right hand as far up your right leg as you need to so that you are not collapsing anywhere. Open the left arm up towards the sky, reaching out through the left fingertips.

4.Low Lunge Variation

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With your right toes pointing straight ahead and the outer edge of the right foot parallel to the outer edge of the mat, lower your left knee down to the earth. Place your hands on top of your right thigh or reach them up to the sky. Soften the tailbone down and draw the low belly off of the thigh. Stay here for five breaths allowing the right heel to energetically draw back and the left hip to energetically move down and forward towards the right heel.

5.Easy Lunge Twist

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Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand so that your right foot is closer to the right edge of the mat. Turn your toes out to a 45 degree angle (like 10:00). Keep the left knee lifted and press the thigh up towards the sky. Press down into the earth with the left hand and open the right arm up towards the sky. Stay here for at least five breaths.

6. Open Hip

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From Downward Facing Dog lift your right leg all the way up to the sky behind you. Keeping the arms very strong, bend your right knee and stack your right hip over your left, opening up the hip, groin and thigh. Gently press the left heel down into the earth, being mindful to keep that heel from splaying out to the side.

7. Chest to Thighs with Interlaced Hands

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Stand at the back of your yoga mat with your feet together and carefully bow forward, hinging from your hips and not your low back. Reach your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers, pressing the palms together. Bend your knees and press your chest into and down your thighs, keeping your neck long. Hold for five breaths.

5 Yoga Moves To Practice Daily

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It’s sometimes hard to make room in your busy schedule for fitness, let alone an activity like yoga that require peace and quiet! However, these five quick and easy moves barely take any time at all. Do them right when you wake up to center and prepare yourself for the day, or do them right before bed to reflect on a long day.

1. Cow Stretch: This pose is perfect for stretching out your lumbar muscles.

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2. Cat Stretch: This pose is similar to the Cow Stretch, but this time you get to embrace your inner fierce feline.

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3. Warrior Pose: Don’t forget to breath deeply when performing this pose. You’ll feel it in your entire body.

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4. Downward Facing Dog: For a little mommy-and-me fitness, you can even get your kids to do this one with you!

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5.Child’s Pose: You can definitely get your kids in on this one! Child’s pose is the perfect finishing pose; you can center and prepare yourself for everything coming your way.

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6 Fat-Burning Yoga Poses

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That’s right, yoga isn’t just a bunch of stretching—it can torch major calories! It builds muscle, which causes fat to melt, and can also increase your heart rate, which aids in boosting your metabolism.

These poses are some of the best to burn calories. Do this entire sequence three to five days a week, and any extra padding on your body will turn into sleekly sculpted muscle in no time.

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1. Down Dog Split, Knee-to Nose-Repetitions

From down dog, inhale your right leg high, opening the hip if that feels nice. On an exhale, start to round your right knee to your nose, drawing your navel toward your spine. Inhale your leg back to down dog split. Do 10 reps, then repeat the sequence with your left leg.

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2. Plank with Arm-Leg Lift

From down dog, roll out into plank with your shoulders and wrists lined up, lengthening from the crown of your head through your heels. Reach your right arm forward and lift your left foot off the ground. Take three deep breaths here, then repeat with your left arm and right foot. Do 5 to 10 reps on each side.

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3. Dolphin Push-ups

From all fours, place your forearms on the ground shoulder-distance apart, then tuck your toes and lift your hips. From here, start to lower your chin toward your thumbs on an inhale, coming almost to a forearm plank but not quite since your feet are too close to your elbows for that. Use your exhale to lift back to dolphin, raising your hips back toward the ceiling. Do 20 reps.

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4. Forearm Stand

From dolphin, walk your feet toward your elbows and lift one leg toward the ceiling. Start to rock forward and lift both legs off the ground. (You can also do this against a wall.) Try to stay here for 5 deep breaths.

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5. Wheel

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the ground hip-distance apart. Bend your elbows and place your hands on either side of your head shoulder-distance part, fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Pressing into your feet and hands equally, lift your hips and lengthen your arms. Keep pressing into your feet (especially through the big toe mound) and reaching your chest away from your feet as you stay here for 5 deep breaths. Be sure to tuck your chin to your chest before you slowly come down.

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6. High Lunge Twist Repetitions

From high lunge with your right foot forward, inhale to straighten your legs and lift your arms high. On your exhale, come back down to high lunge, reaching your left arm forward and your right arm back. Inhale back to center. Do 10 to 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Top 6 Morning Meditation Mantras

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Morning is the best time for meditation as it promotes your transition from the passing moments to a complete new state in which you can start your day. And the best way to enter a meditative state is by practicing mantras. Being spiritually-oriented, mantras can work as ‘higher energetic vibrations’ and help you achieve a whole new level of enlightenment. Here, we have compiled a list of 10 best morning meditation mantras for you. Please do have a look.

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1 OM :

‘Om’ is the most common as well as sacred mantra that you can practice in the morning for expressing the ‘original vibration of manifestation’. This word is taken from Sanskrit language. It generates an extremely comforting sound when the vibration is allowed to loiter in the throat. In order to enter the deep meditative state, you have to focus on that ultimate silence which produces and absorbs the sound. It comforts and relaxes the soul irrespective of your spiritual inclinations.

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2 Love :

‘Love’ is the second most popular mantra in this list. It is a very powerful way to create a lovable ambiance around you. When you utter the word ‘love’, you feel great and it reflects on your physical appearance. During meditation, you need to focus on this physical feeling that comes from repeating the word aloud. It simply eliminates all your anger and depression and fills your heart with love.

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3 I Am :

Identifying self-existence, recognizing self-power and acknowledging self-divinity are some important aspects of meditation. This mantra is absolutely perfect for chanting at the start of a day and honoring yourself for who you are. When you add positive affirmations with ‘I am’, you eventually strengthen your inner-self and step towards success.

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4 So-Hum :

Here is a natural mantra, which is known to be universal for morning meditation. The vibration generated during the pronunciation of ‘So-Hum’ is actually a part of your regular breath. As air enters your lungs during inhalation, the ‘soooo…’ sound is produced. On the other hand, ‘hummmm….’ is generated when air goes out of the lungs during exhalation.

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5 Lam :

There are a few morning meditation mantras, which focus on certain parts of the body and improve their functionality. ‘Lam’ is one among them. It is intended for your spinal cord, especially its base region. In order to practice this mantra, you need to position the tip of your tongue on the back of the upper palate by bending it up as well as back.

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6 Vam :

‘Vam’ is another mantra that you can practice in the morning during your meditation to focus on your genitals and improve its functionality. Start with holding the center of your lower lip with your upper set of teeth. Do not press your lip with the teeth. Rather, place them gently on it. Now, create a breathy consonant, which should sound like ‘fvam’.

8 Steps to Prepare for Handstand

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If you’ve been playing around with how to do Headstands and Forearm Stands, Handstands are another fun inversion to try. If you have your heart set on getting upside down, here are eight moves to practice. They’ll help you build strength and stability, so you’ll be standing on your hands in no time!

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Push-Ups

It may seem like Handstands are all about balance, but in order to be able to hold your body straight upside down, you need major upper-body strength. Push-ups are by far the best exercise since they’ll target your arms, shoulders, upper back, and core. Basic push-ups work great, but you can strengthen other areas of your body by throwing some push-up variations into your weekly routine as well.

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Back bend Push-Ups

Here’s another push-up variation that will really target your shoulders and upper back, as well as your quads and core. It’ll also get you used to being upside down. Do three sets of 10 a few times a week, and you’ll really notice a difference in your upper-body strength.

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Headstand

Since the Handstand is a pretty advanced inversion, it’s good to work on the most stable inversion first, Headstand. Try this one known as Bound Headstand to build your strength and balance.

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Forearm Stand

After mastering a Headstand, a Forearm Stand is the next hardest inversion, but not as hard as the Handstand. Since you’re resting on your forearms, there’s more surface area to balance on. Do this move in front of a wall at first to prevent falling, and then move to the middle of the room.

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Crow

Crow pose is a great next step since it requires upper-body strength, balance, and core strength. It’s like a little mini-Handstand and a great way to get your hands and wrists used to holding up your body weight.

 

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Handstand Split

Although the goal of the Handstand in yoga is to be able to hold your body in one straight line, it’s really difficult to find that balance at first. Doing a Handstand with your legs in a split position is much easier. Do it in front of a wall with your toes leaning for support, and eventually move away when you master the balance.

Handstand-Against-Wall

Handstand Against the Wall

Here’s the next step in being able to do Handstands freely. Place you hands six or so inches away from the edge of a wall. Kick your feet up, press the top of your head against the wall, and move your legs away. This will get your body in the correct alignment with your hips and shoulders stacked. Hold this position for as long as you can, and you’ll really feel your core and upper body working hard to keep your body up. When you’re ready, start pulling your head away from the wall, balancing in a full Handstand.

Handstand

Handstand

After mastering Handstand against the wall, you’re ready to move to an open area to work on balancing without any help. Kick up with control into Handstand Split, and slowly scissor your legs together. Concentrate on holding your gaze at one point on the floor below you, keeping the hips stacked over the shoulders, fingers spread wide. Hold for as long as you can.

Jan & Feb Detox On-The-Go

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It’s detox season again, but what works and what doesn’t ? There are several proven ways to achieve the greatest gain with the least pain.

Consider a dry season

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Although taking a “dry Jan & Feb” is now a regular fixture for many drinkers, evidence for its long-term benefits has been thin on the ground. Some hints come from New Scientist magazine, which recently undertook its own experiment to find out if there was any truth in the hype. Teaming up with Rajiv Jalan at University College London Medical School, 10 of the magazine’s journalists abstained for a month. All 10 showed a 15% reduction in liver fat – a cause of liver disease – as well as reduced cholesterol and blood glucose.

Don’t be fooled by superfoods

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For Beyonce, it’s a diet of tree syrup, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. For others, it’s quinoa, dandelion root tea, blueberries and algae. Such superfoods are claimed by proponents to flush out damaging chemicals in the body, leaving you with better skin, better hair and a trimmer waste. In reality, scientific studies are have yet to show convincingly that any of these detox diets can remove pollutants in the human body, according to a comprehensive review published last month. Even the case for anti-oxidants, which were long thought to prevent cancer, is now in doubt. If you are looking to lose weight and live a longer and healthier life, a balanced and moderate diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and unprocessed carbohydrates is still the safest option.

Do bulk up

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While body-building may seem like the domain of gym bunnies only,pumping weights should be part of everyone’s exercise regime, since healthier muscle tissue can help reduce problems like insulin resistance that lead to diabetes and heart disease. That is true whatever your current weight; obese people who do strength training have the same risk of heart disease as those of a healthier build. Strength training also lowers blood pressure, and it is thought to be particularly beneficial to the elderly, who lose muscle mass more rapidly. Mixing aerobic and resistance training is now considered the most efficient way to control your weight and protect your heart.

Don’t sit down

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Even if you regularly exercise, don’t let your post-workout buzz lull you into complacency: one study found that more than half of the female participants who worked out actually put on weight, perhaps because they felt that they were then licensed to be less active later on. The fact is that regular exercise, although good for you, can’t counteract the damage of sedentary activity in the rest of your life. Sitting for long periods – as opposed to pottering around the garden, say – allows the build-up of glucose and fat in the blood, along with spikes in insulin – all of which can contribute to long term problems with the body’s metabolism.

Don’t be a puritan

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Psychologists are finding that feelings of guilt can have an ironic impact on our behavior, leading to further temptation and scuppering our broader goals, while enjoying the occasional indulgence can help recharge your self-control. So amid all your virtuous intentions, make sure you leave room for a little bit of vice, too.

Find The Best Yoga Style For You

If you’re new to yoga, you have a lot of options. There are many types of yoga to choose from. With any style of yoga, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. And all yoga styles release tension in your body, quiet your mind, and  help you relax.

To get the most benefit, you should choose a yoga style that matches your current fitness level, as well as your personality and goals for practicing yoga.Try different classes and types, and see what works for you.

Ashtanga Yoga

ashtanga-yoga-banner

You do a nonstop series of yoga poses. Ashtanga yoga also uses a special breathing technique that’s said to help focus the mind and control the flow of breath through the body.

Bikram Yoga

Benefits-of-Bikram-Yoga

You do a sequence of 26 yoga poses in a very hot room, above 100 degrees. Check with your doctor if you have a medical condition likehypertension or diabetes before starting this “hot” style of yoga.

Hatha Yoga

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“Hatha yoga” originally meant the physical practice of yoga: the poses, more than the breathing exercises, for instance. The term now is often used when a few different yoga styles are combined to create a simple class that’s good for beginners learning to do basic poses.

Iyengar Yoga

iyengar-yoga-pose

Detail-oriented and slow-paced, Iyengar yoga is good for beginners. You may use props — belts, blocks, and pillow-like bolsters — to get into poses with correct alignment. Similar styles include Anusara yoga and viniyoga.

Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu Yoga 4

Kripalu yoga begins with slow movements that barely cause a sweat, and progresses through three levels of deeper mind-body awareness.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga 3

Kundalini yoga is more spiritual and philosophical in approach than other styles of yoga. Kundalini yoga classes includemeditation, breathing techniques, and chanting as well as yoga postures.

Power Yoga

Power Yoga 4

Power yoga is one of the most athletic forms of yoga. Based on the sequence of poses in Ashtanga yoga, power yoga builds upper-body strength as well as flexibility and balance. You flow from one pose to another.

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