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Fast Paced Yoga Styles

Fast Paced Yoga Styles

Fast paced yoga is the most aerobically focused styles of yoga, and is designed to increase the heart rate of the participant to a point where they are strengthening their body's cardiovascular endurance and toning and strengthening muscle tissue in almost all of the major areas.

A major difference between yoga and other forms of strength training is that it is not only designed to use only the body to build its own muscle, but continues to stress a freedom of the mind and relaxation.

Fast paced yoga is ideally designed for individuals that have had experience performing other types and styles of yoga. Individuals who are unfamiliar with the various movements, poses, and series of movements commonly performed in yoga will have difficulty keeping up and may become frustrated trying to do so.

The most common type of fast paced yoga is Power Yoga. While practicing this type of yoga, the participant moves at a rapid pace through a set number of exercises. Emphasizing deep breathing, fast paced yoga will develop stamina, concentration, strength and flexibility.

Equipment needed for fast paced yoga depends on the exact type, or school that the participant attends. In general, you should show up to your first class with comfortable clothes that do not inhibit movement and a yoga mat to cushion your body. Some classes may require additional materials such as yoga straps or a training ball but those can be obtained as you progress through a program. As most fast paced programs progress through a series of six stages, some equipment will not be needed until later.


Exercise Tip

On average, a 180 pound male will burn between 445 to 600 calories an hour while performing fast paced yoga. This rate of caloric expenditure is significant and is ideal for individuals that are looking to lose excess body weight while, at the same time, improving their cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.

Primary Purposes of Fast Paced Yoga

Fast Paced Yoga will test your body. In other words, be prepared to break a sweat. The primary purposes of this style are to build strength, endurance, and flexibility. In fact, most people consider the style to be a standalone form of exercise although it is also a nearly perfect venue for cross training.

Participants that are prepared both mentally and physically for the rigorous requirements of fast paced yoga also report a greater sense of accomplishment and well being. During a study comparing fast paced yoga with other forms of exercise like weight lifting and running, nearly 75% more claimed to have a greater sense of peace and accomplishment than people tested in running and lifting.

The greatest purpose of fast paced yoga is concentration. Running can become second nature and a mechanical process. Fast paced yoga heralds a deep sense of focus that generally disallows the mind to wander. This is accomplished by constantly varying the movements employed and changing the pace.

Types of Movements and Functions Typically Performed Within This Style

Fast Paced Yoga Styles

This style focuses upon strength poses and breathing. Because of this, many of the movements will be intense and involve large muscle groups.

To give you an idea of just one of the sets of movements performed in fast paced yoga, a Sun Salutation Series (Beginner) is provided here. This twelve step series of movements is designed to strengthen make your entire core area and increase the flexibility in your spine.

Part 1: Begin by placing your palms together while standing like you're praying. Let your breath out slowly.

Part 2: While breathing in, lift your arms over your head while keeping your hand held together.

Part 3: Breathe out and bend at the waist, touching your feet with your hands.

Part 4: Breathing back in, place your right leg behind you and make an arch with your back Let the chin lift.

Part 5: Exhale and place the left leg back with the right one. The legs and spine should form a straight line to the floor. You should look like you're about to do a push up.

Part 6: Without breathing, lower your body gradually beginning with the knees and progressing to the head. Keep your hips elevated and curl your toes.

Part 7: Inhale and arch your back once again. Bend your head back and straighten your arms.

Part 8: Exhale. With your feet and hands flat, lift the center portion of your body. You should look like a bridge that is being raised at the center.

Part 9: Inhale and place your left leg behind you once again. Bend your right leg into a squatting position. Allow your chin to lift.

Part 10: Exhaling, repeat part 3.

Part 11: Inhale. Carefully bend your body back at your waist and reach backwards with your arms behind your head. From the side you should look like the letter "C" turned diagonally.

Part 12: Exhale and return to the standing position.

Is Fast Paced Yoga for You?

Fast Paced Yoga Styles

Beginners will not like fast paced yoga and could risk an injury. Start yoga with something a little less intense and you will fully reap the benefits of a more rigorous yoga program eventually. As far as aerobics and strength training, fast paced yoga is the most beneficial style and athletes and experienced "yogi" will be very well suited to the task.

Normally, individuals who have been progressing through a yoga program will be told by their teacher when they are ready to begin a fast paced yoga style. Preparation and patience really do pay off when deciding to make the switch from a traditional style of yoga to one that is quite a bit more physically challenging .