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The term “power yoga” was coined by yoga instructor Bender Birch in 1995 as a way to make ashtanga yoga more accessible to Western tastes and interests. Ashtanga may not mean anything to you, but “power yoga” implies a good workout for the time that you spend at the gym.
The key principle of power yoga is strength. Strength comes first, then flexibility. If you don't have strength in your shoulders, for example, you can't progress to the advanced inversion poses that will hone your flexibility. A power yoga class usually beings with some vigorous vinyasa, such as some variation of a sun salutation series. Although you can be certified in power yoga, there is plenty of room for variation, and you won't get the exact some class two weeks in a row from the same instructor.