Power Yoga Poses: Warm-Ups and Primary Sequence

power yoga posesAshtanga Viyasa Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga, or power yoga, is a mentally, physically, and spiritually invigorating style of yoga that revolves around constant, dynamic movement over the practice of static poses most beginners are familiar with.

If other forms of yoga have not been doing it for you, or if you’re interested in expanding your knowledge of yoga’s various styles and principles, then this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn the key power yoga poses for warming up, and a list of the power yoga poses required for its primary sequence.

To learn more, check out this introductory course on yoga, or consider this beginners guide to Ashtanga Yoga for a head start.

Primary Yoga Principles

Power yoga is a combination of conventional yoga principles, and modern ideals that embrace physical fitness. To understand where these two forms intersect, you must first understand the primary principles of yoga. Below are three of these principles relevant to your power yoga endeavors. For more, check out Energy, Balance, and Power, a guide to Vinyasa Yoga.

1. Everyone is unique, as are their strengths and weaknesses. Over yoga’s nearly 5,000 year history, there have been various styles developed to address the capabilities of those who practice it, from meditation-based to physically transforming styles. Find the one that best fits you.

2. Yoga is all about self-disciple and commitment, in your fitness practices and personal life. The two are interwoven and require an equal level of effort and discipline to succeed. The key to committing, improving, and succeeding with yoga is focus. Focus brings the power of consciousness, and thus self-control.

3. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that strives for liberation and self-improvement. These two things are attained by replacing toxic habits with healthy patterns. Embrace these patterns and their moral importance, and you will succeed.

Remember: while yoga is a great work out – which you can learn more about in this yoga for weight loss course – it is fundamentally about exercising the mind as well as the body. Find out how you can carry the benefits of physical yoga into your personal life with this yoga course on liberated living.

Now on to the poses!

Power Yoga Poses

Power yoga is called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga after Ashtanga, the Sanskrit word for “eight limbs,” referring to the eight aspects of spiritual yoga – Nama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi – and Vinyasa, a style of yoga based on a flow of movement and synchronized breathing. As such, Ashtanga Vinyasa, or power yoga, focuses on dynamic movements where a change of position occurs on each inhale and exhale.

The primary power yoga series, Yoga Chikitsa, begins with sun salutations called Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B.

Surya Namaskara A

  1. Begin standing straight up in the Samasthiti (Tadasana) position
  2. Inhale. Raise your arms above your head in the Raised Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)
  3. Exhale. Bend down, and fold your arms forward over your legs in the Standing Forward Bend position (Uttanasana)
  4. Inhale. Raise yourself into the Flat Back position with your fingertips on the ground.
  5. Exhale. Lower yourself into the Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), with your palms flat against the ground
  6. Inhale. Lift your chest and hold yourself up with your arms in the Upward Facing Dog position (Udhva Mudka Svanasana)
  7. Exhale. Raise your body into a pyramid in the Downward Facing Dog position (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and take five breaths
  8. Exhale. Return to the Standard Forward Bend position in Step 2
  9. Inhale. Raise your hands above your head
  10. Exhale. Bring your arms back down to your side

Surya Namaskara B

  1. Begin standing straight up in the Samasthiti (Tadasana) position
  2. Inhale. Bend your knees as though doing a squat, and raise your hands in the air for the Awkward Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  3. Exhale. Bend down, and fold your arms forward over your legs in the Standing Forward Bend position (Uttanasana)
  4. Inhale. Raise yourself into the Flat Back position with your fingertips on the ground.
  5. Exhale. Lower yourself into the Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), with your palms flat against the ground
  6. Inhale. Lift your chest and hold yourself up with your arms in the Upward Facing Dog position (Udhva Mudka Svanasana)
  7. Exhale. Raise your body into a pyramid in the Downward Facing Dog position (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and take five breaths
  8. Inhale. Put your right foot forward and put your arms in the air with your palms together, in the Warrior I position (Virabhadrasana I)
  9. Exhale. Return to the Four Limbed Staff Pose
  10. Inhale. Return to the Upward Facing Down Pose

Yoga Chikitsa

This is the primary power yoga series that consists of about 40-75 poses, depending on the variation, after the sun salutations warm-ups. You can learn the entire series on this Ashtanga Yoga website.

The sequence of poses, which you can find a visual guide for on this yoga blog, are as follows:

  1. Padangusthasana
  2. Pada Hastasana
  3. Trikonasana
  4. Parivritta Trikonasana
  5. Utthita Parsvakonasana
  6. Parivritta Parsvakonasana
  7. Prasarita Padottanasana
  8. Parsvottonasana
  9. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
  10. Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana
  11. Utkatasana
  12. Virabhadrasana I
  13. Virabhadrasana II
  14. Dandasana
  15. Paschimottanasana
  16. Purvottasana
  17. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
  18. Trianga Mukaikapada Paschimottanasana
  19. Janu Sirsasana
  20. Marichyasana
  21. Paripurna Navasana
  22. Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  23. Bhujapidasana
  24. Kurmasana
  25. Supta Kurmasana
  26. Garbha Pindasana
  27. Kukkutasana
  28. Baddha Konasana
  29. Upavista Konasana
  30. Supta Konasana
  31. Supta Padangustasana
  32. Ubhaya Padangustasana
  33. Urdvha Mukha Paschimottanasana
  34. Setu Bandhasana
  35. Urdvha Dhanurasana
  36. Paschimottanasana
  37. Savasana
  38. Salamba Sarvangasana
  39. Halasana
  40. Karnapidasana
  41. Urdvha Padmasana
  42. Pindasana in Sarvangasana
  43. Matsyasana
  44. Uttana Padasana
  45. Sirsasana
  46. Balasana
  47. Baddha Padmasana
  48. Yogimudrasana
  49. Padmasana
  50. Tolasana
  51. Savasana

You can look up each pose individually for more information, or check out a guide like this course on yoga poses, decoded, for more information on the correct posture and movements required by each pose.

Remember, the key to power yoga is the ability to change poses swiftly, with each breath. Before you begin, you might want to take a course on good breathing practices to get the most out of your work out.

If you’re a beginner to yoga, and have chosen power yoga for your personal benefit, that’s great. As stated before, every individual has a yoga style most beneficial to them. Still, you should consider taking a beginner’s yoga training course to learn about the strength, stamina, and discipline required to practice and hold yoga poses.