Fitness

Discover the punch in power yoga

Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy

Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy  

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We tried out Power Yoga and found there are many incorrect assumptions the mind makes about the body

Power Yoga. The term seemed intimidating for someone who is so inflexible, even moving my arm anti-clockwise is difficult. But then I thought why not give it a try. It was in my bucket list, and I had nothing to lose, except weight. After a hectic day at work, my back stiff, shoulders aching, I was appalled at how unfit I am. I actually craved for a back massage, but my stern inner voice said I needed to shape up. So I ultimately chose power yoga. As I entered Akshar Power Yoga Academy in Koramangala, I was warmly greeted and told my class would start in half an hour. That gave me enough time to mentally prepare myself for an hour-long session. We were eventually ushered into a spacious room. We picked up our yoga mats and rolled them on the floor. I saw everyone place two bricks on the ends of the mat. So I too proceeded towards the back of the room to haul up bricks. I huffed and panted as I struggled to carry the bricks. That was a workout in itself. Our teacher, Hoshedar Dubash, made us do a couple of warm-ups. “Power Yoga is all about gaining power,” explained Hoshedar, even as I felt confused wondering how I could gain power when my back ached so badly. “Your core gets stronger, especially the arms, shoulders, stomach and back. The tensed areas,” he added. With that we began the session, primarily using the bricks as props. The postures ranged from the simple to the unimaginably difficult. But during the course of the session, I realised how our minds tend to make wrong assumptions about the body. With the gentle guidance by Hoshedar, we were encouraged to stretch our limits. Every time I thought I can’t touch my feet, or lock my legs in my elbows, or lift my legs to its limits, I was proven wrong. In Power Yoga focussing on breath is essential. I had an epiphany that it is about letting go, and achieving a union of the body and mind. One of the most strenuous parts was Chandra namaskar (moon salutation) which includes postures for the left and right sides. Focusing on your breath is of essence. The first few times were easy, but then there were no signs of it ending. We were made to repeat it over and over again. I ultimately lost count, and couldn’t carry on. But during the session, I really worked up a sweat, and felt like Charlie’s Angels.

When it finally ended (phew!) I felt calm, relaxed and realised my back wasn’t aching anymore, proof that it indeed strengthens your back. We continued a few more postures.

We concluded the session with meditation and chanting. As we rolled up our mats and put away the bricks, I didn’t feel like a loose bag of fat. I had expected to feel tired, but instead I felt refreshed. My mind was willing to accept that the item I thought I would tick off from my bucket list, would instead make an entry into my priority list.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:46:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/Discover-the-punch-in-power-yoga/article14295542.ece

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