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05 Mar 2004

Astanga or Power - what's the difference?
Hi Chris,
We were wondering... what's the difference between Ashtanga and Power yoga - at our studio they offer both, and different people regularly go to either the one or the other.

There are mostly women in Ashtanga and mostly men in Power and can one do one the one day and the other on another day?
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Yoga
yoga

01 Jan 0001

Hi there 3p, As(h)tanga - sometimes spelt with or without the ’h’ as a result of the English/Sanskrit translation, normally refers to the 8 limbs articulated by Patanjali in the collection of aphorisms called the Yoga Sutras - a seminal work on yoga. These 8 limbs cover moral observances and individual behaviour as well as postures, breathing and the steps to meditation and eventually bliss. Ashtanga Yoga is also the name used to describe a specific form of Yoga taught by Pattabhi Jois (and many others), but said to be from a set of texts known as the Yoga Korunta, which was discovered by Krishnamacharya (Jois' teacher). This set of 6 sequences is normally taught sequentially starting with the Primary Series which is said cleanse and tone the body, mind and senses. The term “Power Yoga” is sometimes used interchangeably with Ashtanga since a teacher by the name of Beryl Bender Birch first used the term to describe the Ashtanga Yoga she taught in the USA. She said that people might be put off by the name and sought to "Westernize" it. Other schools use the name to refer to different derivative flow/vinyasas styles that tend to be more asana/physically focused i.e. not the traditional sequence, so I have no idea why the gender split but would see no problem in doing the styles interchangeably - up to 6 days a week. I would suggest at least one rest day a week and extra caution on moon days (full and new moon).
Hope this helps.
Regards
Chris
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