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Power yoga is a general term used to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga. Though many consider it to be "gym yoga," this style of practice was originally closely modeled on the Ashtanga method. Power yoga takes the athleticism of Ashtanga, including lots of vinyasas, but gives each teacher the flexibility to teach any poses in any order, making every class different. With its emphasis on strength and flexibility, power yoga brought yoga into the gyms of America as people began to see yoga as a way to work out.
Although power yoga classes vary widely from teacher to teacher, you can expect to find some intense flowing yoga with a minimal amount of chanting and meditation. Gyms and health clubs, in particular, have taken up the term as a way to let their clientele know that this is exercise. Prepare to work hard and work up a sweat.
Larry Schultz, who studied Ashtanga with Jois beginning in the 1980s, also introduced a form of power yoga at his iconic San Francisco studio, "It's Yoga," in the early 1990s. Schultz broke with Jois's method by mixing together poses from the first three Ashtanga series. Schultz later codified his approach into a style he named rocket yoga.