Power yoga is a vigorous, fitness-style approach with a focus on flexibility and strength. Power yoga is modeled on Ashtanga but doesn’t follow the same rigid sequence. Instead, it allows the teacher to create a power yoga sequence with the poses in any order to customize the workout.
One Effective Power Yoga Sequence
Since one of the benefits of power yoga is that the poses can be performed in any order, there are really no limits to the sequences you can put together. Here’s one of our favorite power yoga sequences that’s sure to give you an amazing yoga workout. Be prepared to sweat.
1. Child’s Pose
Kneel on your mat with your feet together behind you while keeping your knees hip-width apart. Inhale and lower your torso onto your thighs on exhalation, lengthening the spine. Rest your forehead on the ground and extend your arms. Hold for five breaths.
2. Downward Facing Dog
Sit up on your knees and lift your butt. Spread your fingers and straighten your legs, touching your heels to the ground. Rest your head between your arms so you’re looking out through your legs. Hold for five breaths.
3. Rag Doll
Next, step forward so your feet are a shoulder’s width apart. Straighten your legs, bending your knees as necessary. Allow your upper body to hang, pulling your chin to your chest to lengthen your spine. Relax your shoulders then swing head and arms back and forth. Hold for five breaths.
4. Halfway Lift to Mountain Pose
Stand straight up, feet together, arms stretched overhead. Then, bring your hands together and to your chest. Fold your body forward, bending your knees and lowering your head. Then, straighten your knees, placing your fingertips on the ground. Lift your chest slightly, keeping your head in line with your spine. Place your heels on the ground and stand up straight to return to Mountain Pose. Repeat three times.
5. High Plank
Place your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders, palms pushing against the floor. Extend your legs behind you, pushing through your heels. Squeeze your quads and butt, keeping the hips lifted. Try to form a straight line with your body, looking down to the floor with the head and spine in alignment. Hold for 15 seconds.
6. Chaturanga Push-Ups
Here’s where things are taken up a notch. Chaturanga Push-Ups are difficult. Move your hands a little closer together. Lower your upper body, keeping your elbows close to your body to isolate your triceps. Repeat three times. You can do these from your knees for a modified version.
7. Upward Facing Dog
Drop your legs to the ground, keeping your chest elevated. Push to lift your thighs off the mat, opening your chest and keeping your core tight. Hold for one breath then move back into Downward Facing Dog to recenter. Take a few breaths and prepare for the next part of the workout.
Place your feet at least a hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your hips. You want your thighs to be parallel to the ground or as close as you can get. When you come back up, lift your heels off the ground for an extra challenge. Repeat for a full minute.
9. Lunges with Bicep Curls
Step forward with your right foot, the knee at a 90-degree angle with the back leg straight and hips square with the front of the mat. Hold dumbbells at your shoulders then stand up and straighten your legs. Bend the knees into a lunge, bringing the weights down. Stand and bring the weights back up. Repeat 12 times on each side.
10. Lawnmower Rows
Put your rear foot flat on the mat with toes turned out. Position your feet so the front heel and the middle of the back foot are perpendicular. Bend the front knee 90-degrees. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep the back straight and bend forward at the hips, resting the weight in your right hand on your right thigh with the one in your left hand at the inside of the front knee. Pull the right hand toward your body, twisting your torso as you do. Then, move the weight to the inside of your knee. Do 12 reps on each side.
11. Oblique Twists
Next, move your feet to a wide stance with knees bent positioned over the ankles and feet angled out. With a dumbbell in each hand, press the weights together in the front of your body with your elbows facing out. Twist your torso, keeping our hips still. Repeat 16 times.
12. Glute Bridges
Lie on your back, feet hip-width apart. Keep your heels near your butt and hold dumbbells at your hips. Lift one leg straight up into the air, flexing your toe and raising your hips off the mat. Hold, then lower yourself back down slowly. Repeat eight times with each leg.
13. Chest Fly
Next, remain on your back with your feet still a hip-width apart. Hold the dumbbells in front of your body, elbows bent, palms facing in. Pull the weights down and apart, keeping your arms straight, until your hands are at chest level with palms facing up. Raise your arms back to the starting position. Do 10 reps in total.
14. Crunches with a Twist
Stay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, weight in each hand at your chest. Do a sit-up. When you reach the top, twist to one side, holding the weight in front of you. Return to the center and lower yourself back to the ground. Repeat, alternating sides, for a total of 20 reps.
15. Leg Lifts
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, legs together and extended straight up into the air. Then, lower your legs to the floor in a slow, controlled motion, pausing a few inches above the floor. Hold, then return to the starting position. Try to keep your lower back on the floor. If you can’t, try this exercise using one leg at a time. Do 12 reps, or 12 on each side for a total of 24 if doing one leg at a time.
16. Figure Four
Lie on your back with your right foot crossed over your left quad, knee bent. Pull your left leg to your chest until you feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
17. Reclined Spinal Twist
Stay on your back, bringing your knees to your chest then dropping them to one side. Knees and hips should be inline. Face your chest to the ceiling, shoulders on the mat. Turn your head the opposite directions as your legs and extend that arm in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side.
Finally, lie in Savasana to relax your body after your workout. Lie on your back, extending your arms out by your sides with legs extended. Stay in Corpse Pose for between 30 seconds and two minutes.
Power Yoga: A Workout with a Spiritual Side
A lot of people think of power yoga as superficial or not having the same spiritual connection as traditional yoga but that’s not exactly true. As you can see, this power yoga sequence focuses on both the mind and body.