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!