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Power Yoga Question

WalterJ2010-07-04 23:17:34 +0000 #1
I have been looking around to find out what I can about Power Yoga and what I am reading so far says that Power Yoga is from the West and it is pretty much a Western version of Ashtanga Yoga. It comes from devotees of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and that the name "Power Yoga" comes from an Ashtanga teacher by the name of Beryl Bendere Birch.

Also that Power Yoga is a modified version of Ashtanga (shortened version) and it also has aspects of Bikram and Iyenger in it as well.

Is this pretty much what it is and where it came from?

I have been looking at Power Yoga because my understanding is that is what Rodney Yee is using on his DVDs and that is what I am using for the most part until things calm down in my office so I can have time to get to a teacher.

I tend to get into the history of the stuff I do so my apologies of this is just old hat and a bunch of babble to most. I'm pretty much new to this stuff so I am interested in finding out what I can.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 23:31:38 +0000 #2
In this particular case Walter, I'd try not to get too caught up in the history of "Power Yoga". I think the basics are very close to what you have stated. The asana practice (which is mostly what we are discussing) is hybridized.

Who brought it, started it, or what is mixed into it is both debatable and not too terribly important. If you wanted to study about the background of the teacher you mentioned, I am certain there are web sites for that very thing.
Bridgette2010-07-04 23:47:49 +0000 #3
It's always great to study the linage of yoga and the cool thing about Power Yoga is that it is such a new style you are essentially it's linage.

Pattabhi Jois says it best....

"[Ashtanga] Yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory."
WalterJ2010-07-05 00:09:39 +0000 #4

I won't get to caught up in it, I just like history.

I did not realize it was quite as new as it appears to be by comparison to the other styles. But since it is acombination on Western views with Ashtanga it can't be to old.

Roughly, when did Yoga appear in the West, meaning USA?
Pandara2010-07-05 00:55:27 +0000 #5
Hi Walter,

I think yoga have been in the West since the beginning of yoga in the East more or less, we have just lost many of the records or it was never fully recorded.

I am also very interested in history and here is what I have once researched and found about the emergence of yoga in the West, and we talk here the last 120 years or so.

In 1890 Swami Vivekananda demonstrated a few asanas at the World Fair in Chicago and this date is viewed as the date when interest in yoga in the West was established. This also paved the way for other such as P. Yogananda etc to come to the West and establish yoga. This is seen as the first wave.

The second wave is marked by the sending of Swami Vishnu Devananda by his guru and master Swami Sivananda Saraswati to the West in 1957 with thse words:"...many souls in the East are reincarnating in the West. Go and reawaken their consciousness and bring them back to the path of yoga." Swami Vishnu Devananda then travelled to North America, taught yoga and established a Sivananda Centre in Montreal in 1961.

To my knowledge and my research these two events served as the main catalysts for the early beginnings of yoga in the West as we know it today.

However, it is also important to know that yoga in the West has come a long way and has in many ways developed into interesting styles and has also come into its own right in the West.

But as IA says, lets not get too wrapped up in the history, but like you I love history and has a keen interest in it.
WalterJ2010-07-05 01:35:16 +0000 #6
I had not realized Yoga had been in the West that long. The late 50s does not surprise me so much but the late 1800s that surprised me

And if I understand correctly it broke into different styles here as well. I was pretty sure Power Yoga started here but I did not know others did as well.

Thank you so much for the History
WalterJ2010-07-05 00:52:21 +0000 #7
I really like the Power Yoga I have been doing on my own. Noting against the Kripalu I did years ago but I am so much happier with Power Yoga.

Now is it just my area or am I looking in the wrong places?

But it seems like there are very few Power Yoga schools.. The closets I have been able to find is 4 hours south in NYC and that is just a bit to far.

I do still plan on starting Iyanger as soon as time allows, that is unless I find a Power Yoga teacher.



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