A little information about myself is necessary for this post. When I started doing yoga, I found myself deeply in love and committed to Power Yoga–as in, Baron Baptiste-style Power Yoga; sweaty, 95 degree heated room Power Yoga; 10 Sun Salutations within the first 20 minutes of class Power Yoga.
I was obsessed with this style for a lot of reasons, the most obvious of which was that I was, what my teacher affectionately referred to as, a “Recovering Type A” personality. I needed that POWER, POWER, POWER to make me feel as if I had done something in class. It was necessary for me to do an hour and a half of sweating to wear myself out completely, so that I could find some peace of mind and body in Savasana.
When I moved to Atlanta, however, I learned very quickly that there aren’t studios around here that do this type of yoga, save a couple of classes at Atlanta Hot Yoga. Most “Power yoga” or “Power Flow Yoga,” classes, like those at Agni Power Yoga and Peachtree Yoga Center in Atlanta are much slower, far less intense and certainly not heated like the Power Yoga I started out with.
At first, I was a little put off and snooty about the whole thing–“This isn’t POWER yoga!” I’d say to myself. “Where’s the heat? Where’s the Ohm-ing? Where’s the intensity?”
Well, after spending a couple of months REALLY recovering from my Type A personality at Peachtree Yoga’s Wednesday night Power class, and after an invitation to attend Agni Power Yoga’s Tuesday night class, I’ve experienced a breakthrough in my pretense.
The meditation that I am able to cultivate in a slower-moving class is far superior than the meditation that I experienced in Savasana at the end of my super-intense power yoga class.
When I’m given the opportunity to literally breathe into a pose and examine every sensation that pose offers, I begin a practice of meditation in motion. The ability to clear my mind and not be concerned about what pose comes next because I’m not sure I’m going to make it when the teacher calls it, allows me to experience meditation in motion. The ability to calm my physical body at every point during the practice, and eliminate stress from my practice–that too allows me to experience meditation in motion.
Having this meditative experience through these two power yoga classes recently has opened my eyes to a more true essence of yoga, that extends beyond a work out.
While my sweaty power yoga taught me so much about discipline, body control, and calming my mind after a great workout, these two most recent power yoga classes at Agni and Peachtree have taught me about calming and disciplining my mind during a holistic yoga experience–mind, body and soul.
I am grateful for both!
Today is July 29, I am flying into Atlanta and staying downtown near peachtree metro stop. Any studios you can recommend?
Depending on what you are into… check out Atlanta Hot Yoga, Active Sol, or Balance. They are awesome. Unfortunately, Atlanta is not really a walkable city, so you will have to cab it. Have a fun stay in Atlanta! Thanks for reaching out!
I’ll definitely get around to those soon!! I’m working really hard to get around to as many classes as I can 🙂 Can’t wait to try!
Great post, Leah! Atlanta is a such a fantastic city to explore and experience a variety of yoga styles! Every style has their own tempo, focus and journey. It’s amazing to feel that final Savasana in a different way after embracing a new type of practice.
On the sweaty side: You might already know this, but in addition to your mention of Atlanta Hot Yoga, Active Sol Yoga (owner, Rosalyn Nix is Ashtanga, but Baptiste influenced as well) and Decatur Yoga & Pilates (Hot Core Power, Hot Pranakriya, Hot Vinyasa) have some classes that you might enjoy! They aren’t on the passport to prana list, but ARE worth a try.