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Power Yoga: A 45-Minute Session to Strengthen Body and Mind

Monica

Posted on Feb 12, 2021 fitness

Power yoga is the term generally used to describe a high-energy, fitness-based approach to vinyasa. It was modeled on the Ashtanga yoga method and you'll typically see Ashtanga-style features like sun salutations show up in power yoga classes.

Here, I'm going to share a 45-minute power yoga workout that you can do from the comfort of your home. I know you're going to love it and, if you do, be sure to join me in my next live power yoga class on myYogaTeacher.

Power Yoga Workout

Start by sitting comfortably in a cross-legged position. Roll your shoulders back and bring both hands into Gayan mudra with your index fingers to your thumbs. Place the backs of your hands on your knees with your palms turned up. Close your eyes.

Focus on taking long and deep inhalations and exhalations. As you inhale, fill your abdomen, letting it expand. On the exhale, press the air out, your abdomen sinking in.

Minimize any effort from your body. Let go of any thoughts coming into your mind. Just feel the current state of your body and your mind.

Gently join your palms at your heart center. We're going to do one round of chanting om. Inhale deeply, exhale, letting om fill the space in you and around you.

Rub your palms together and make a cup shape with your hands, placing them over your eyes. Blink open your eyes and gaze at your palms. Namaste.

We begin today's practice standing for the Sivananda style of Surya Namaskara.

Sequence One

Stand at the front of your mat, rolling your shoulders back and joining your feet together. Tuck your tailbone in. On the inhale, take your arms from the front, tighten your hips and thighs, and lift your chest up, keeping your elbows straight. On the exhale, fold forward completely.

On your next inhale, step your right foot back, keeping your knee up. Hold for a breath before stepping your left foot back, coming into a high plank. On the exhale, press your knees, chest, and chin down to the ground. Inhale and point your toes, pressing into your palms. Lift your chest up and on the exhale, tuck your toes and bring your hips up.

Inhale, stepping your right foot to the front of your mat in between palms. Sink your right hip down and look front. Exhale bringing your left foot front and fold forward.

Inhale, take your arms from the front, bringing your chest up. Tighten your hips and thighs and arch your back into a slight backbend. Exhale, folding forward. Repeat this sequence on the left side before repeating the entire sequence (both right and left) four more times.

Sequence Two

Take a few breaths in forward fold. Inhale, with your palms just in front of your knees, your fingertips facing down. Lift your chest and lengthen your spine, keeping your back flat. Exhale, folding forward.

Inhale, bending your knees, and take the hips back. Stretch your arms from the side, sitting down into chair pose. Exhale, extending your arms from the side and fold forward completely.

Inhale, placing either your fingertips down on the mat or your palms just below your knees. Lengthen your spine, keeping your spine straight and your neck neutral. Exhale, soften your knees, and place your palms down on the mat, jumping back to Chaturanga.

Inhale, point your toes, roll shoulders, and bring your chest up to up dog. Exhale, tucking your toes, and bringing your hips up into downward dog.

Inhale, bringing your right leg up to the ceiling. Exhale and bring your right foot to the front of your mat, between your palms.

Inhale, sweeping your arms up, and lengthening your spine into Warrior I. Exhale and place your fingertips down on the mat. Walk your fingertips back and sit down, keeping your left knee pointing up to the ceiling.

Inhale your arms up and, on the exhale, fold forward over your right leg. On the next inhale, sweep your arms up again, keeping your left knee facing up to the ceiling. Exhale and press your palms into the mat. Move forward into a lunge position, dragging your right heel to the front of the mat.

Inhale your left arm up to the ceiling and, on the exhale, bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee, pressing your palms together and opening your chest. Settle into the twist. On the exhale, release your palms down to the ground.

Inhale, bringing your right knee to your right armpit. Exhale, bringing your right knee to your left armpit. Inhale, take your right leg up to the ceiling and exhale to Chaturanga. Inhale to Urdhva Mukha, up dog. Exhale to downward dog. On the next inhale, repeat the sequence, starting with the left leg.

Sequence Three

Inhale and bring your elbows down to the mat into dolphin pose. Interlace your fingers, straighten your knees, and walk toes to the front slightly. Move your body forward, taking your chin ahead of your interlaced fingers. Exhale and bring your body back to dolphin pose. Repeat this back and forth 9 more times, taking your chin to the mat in front of your interlaced fingers each time if you're able.

Sequence Four

Inhale, bring your elbows up off of the mat, and exhale into downward dog. Inhale, right leg to the ceiling and exhale, placing your right foot up between your palms. Inhale your arms up to Warrior I. On the exhale, place your fingertips down to the mat.

Inhale, walking your fingertips back, and sitting on your left leg, keeping your right leg stretched out in front of you. Inhale your arms up and exhale, folding forward over your right leg. Inhale, bringing your arms up and, on the exhale, walk your palms forward, dragging your right heel to the front of your mat.

On the inhale, bring your left arm up, and exhale the left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Press your palms together and twist. Inhale, pressing your palms into the mat, and bring your right knee to your right armpit. Exhale, bringing your right knee to your left armpit.

Inhale and take your right leg up to the ceiling. Exhale to Chaturanga, inhale to up dog. Exhale to downward dog. Repeat the sequence starting with your left leg.

Sequence Five

In this sequence, we'll be doing 10 rounds of Hindi pushups. If this is too challenging, use the version from Sequence Three (using dolphin pose). We'll start in downward dog.

Inhale, taking your shoulders and the crown of the head down towards the floor. Lift into up dog, pressing your palms into the ground, and bring your chest down. Come back into downward dog.

The movement should be initiated from the crown of your head. We aren't moving into Chaturanga but are instead doing a pushup with a dip. Repeat 9 more times.

Sequence Six

From downward dog, inhale, raising your right leg up to the ceiling. On the exhale, bring your right foot to the front of your mat, coming into Warrior I. Stay in Warrior I for 5 breaths.

Release your palms down to the ground and walk your hands back to sit on your left leg. Inhale your arms up and, on the exhale, bend forward over your right leg. Hold this position for 5 breaths.

Inhale, bringing your arms back up. On the exhale, walk your hands forward, dragging the right heel to the front and coming into a lunge position. Inhale, lifting your left arm up. On the exhale, place your left elbow to the outside of your right knee, pressing your palms together and twisting. Hold the twist for 5 breaths.

Inhale and place your palms down to the ground. Bring your right knee to your right armpit and hold for 5 breaths. Exhale, bringing your right knee to your left armpit, holding for 5 breaths. Inhale, taking your right leg up to the ceiling, and exhale to Chaturanga. Inhale to up dog, exhale to downward dog. Repeat the sequence starting with your left leg.

Sequence Seven

In this sequence, we'll continue to work on building your shoulder strength with shoulder dips.

From downward dog, walk your feet in slightly, shortening the distance between your feet and hands. Bring the crown of your head toward your hands as though you're coming into a tripod headstand. Then, push back to downward dog. Repeat 9 more times.

Sequence Eight

Walk your feet back to a standard downward dog position. Inhale, bending your knees, and look at the space between your palms. Jump your feet forward to meet your hands, keeping your back flat. Exhale, folding forward completely.

On the inhale, bend your knees, sitting down into chair pose. Sweep the arms up, and stretch the right leg out in front of you for a single-leg chair pose. Hold this position for 10 counts before folding forward on an exhale. Inhale, lifting your chest up and keeping your back flat. Exhale and jump your feet back to Chaturanga. Inhale to up dog. Exhale to downward dog. Inhale, taking your right leg up to the ceiling and, on the exhale, bring your right foot to the front of your mat, in between your hands. Sweep your arms up.

From here, we're going to move into dynamic kicks, a martial arts-inspired move. To do these kicks, you'll bring your right leg forward in a straight line, sweep it as high as it can comfortably go. Don't bend your knee. Instead, keep your leg straight and swing from the hip. Do 10 kicks on the right side, keeping your lunge shallow between kicks if you'd like. After the 10th rep, rest in half-split pose, or Ardha Hanumanasana, before coming back to Warrior I.

Next, we'll work on a combination between dynamic kicks and side lunge pose, or Skandasana. Starting from Warrior I, swing your right leg forward and, as it returns toward the ground, let its momentum pull you into Skandasana, with your palms together at your heart. Use your core to bring your body back to Warrior I. Repeat 9 more times.

Relax in Skandasana for 10 counts.

Inhale to Warrior I. Exhale and place your palms down on the ground. Inhale your right leg to the ceiling. Exhale to Chaturanga. Inhale, coming into up dog. Exhale to downward dog. Inhale, bringing your left leg up to the ceiling. On the exhale, bring your left foot to the front of your mat, between your hands. Inhale your arms up into Warrior I.

Let's repeat the dynamic kicks on the left side for 10 reps, ending in Warrior I before taking a break in spit-lunge pose. After that, we'll once again do 10 reps of our kick-side lunge combination (on the left side this time) before relaxing in Skandasana for 10 counts.

Inhale to Warrior I. Exhale, taking your palms down to the floor. Inhale your right leg up to the ceiling and exhale to Chaturanga. Inhale to up dog. Exhale to downward dog.

On the next inhale, bend your knees, look at the space between your palms, and jump your feet forward to meet your hands, keeping your back flat. Exhale and fold forward completely. Inhale, bending your knees, and sit down into chair pose. We're moving into single-leg chair with the left leg forward this time. Take the arms up, and stretch the left leg out in front of you, hold for 10 counts then exhale and fold forward. Separate your feet and squat down into Malasana. Breathe in and out completely for several breaths.

Sequence Nine

From Malasana, roll yourself back onto your buttocks and come into high boat pose. Hold for 10 counts.

Cross your legs and roll forward until your palms are pressed into your mat. Jump your feet back into a plank. Release your knees to the floor, coming into a tabletop position. From here, tuck your toes and lift your knees an inch or so off the mat.

Keeping your knees off the floor, walk forward for 4 steps, moving your right palm and left knee together and your left palm and right knee together, walk backward for 4 steps. Repeat 9 more times.

Next, bring your right knee underneath you and your left arm back, turning your body so your stomach is facing the ceiling, lifting your hips up for reverse tabletop. Reverse this movement to come back to all-fours and repeat on the other side by bringing the left knee underneath you and your right arm back. Repeat on both sides 9 more times.

Come back to high boat, lifting your legs up, and breathe in high boat for 10 counts.

Cross your legs and roll forward until your palms are pressed into your mat. Jump your feet back into a plank.

Lift your hips up into downward dog. Inhale, raising your right leg to the ceiling. Open your hips, bend your knee, and let your right foot fall back behind you. Follow through with your body to sit down (for more challenge, don't rest your hip on the ground). On the next inhale, bring your right leg back into the air before bringing your right knee towards your left side (moving your leg underneath your body) and kick your foot out in front of you.

Inhale to bring your right leg back up, completing the sequence 10 times. After the last rep, exhale into Chaturanga then inhale to up dog. Exhale to downward dog.

Inhale, bend your knees, and jump your feet forward, sitting back into your last high boat. Hold high boat pose for 10 counts.

Roll forward, pressing your palms into the floor, and jump back into plank. Bring your hips up to downward dog.

Repeat the previous combination starting with your left leg. After returning to downward dog for the last time, relax into child's pose. Breathe in child's pose for several counts.

Sequence Ten

Finish up your power yoga practice working on your inversions. If you're not comfortable with inversions, focus on perfecting your shoulder stand, plow pose, and fish pose.

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