Beryl Bender Birch

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Beryl Bender Birch
Beryl Bender Birch

October 1942 (age 80–81)
OccupationYoga teacher
Years active1975–present
Known forPower Yoga

Beryl Bender Birch (born October 1942) is a teacher of yoga as exercise and a creator and guru[1] of Power Yoga.[2]


Beryl Bender Birch was educated at Syracuse University, where she read English and Philosophy.[3] In 1974 she spent six months studying yoga in India under Munishree Chitrabhanu. She founded her own school of yoga in Winter Park, Colorado in 1975.[4][3] She learnt Ashtanga Yoga from Norman Allen, one of K. Pattabhi Jois's first western students, who collaborated with Jois on his trips to America.[5] In 1981 she began to teach Ashtanga Yoga at the New York Road Runners Club; she later became Wellness Director there.[6] She is the creator of one of several forms of Power Yoga;[2] she stated that she went on using the Ashtanga Yoga asana sequence in the new brand.[5] Her 1995 book of the same name became a bestseller.[2]

She and her husband, the runner Thom Birch (1954–2006),[7] cofounded New York's "The Hard & the Soft Astanga Yoga Institute".[2][4]


Publishers Weekly writes of Birch's book Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout that "... some readers may find Power Yoga narrowly prescriptive or severe. However, Birch's credibility supports her passionate advocacy. This is an important book for the yoga community as well: a thoughtful exposition of one of several major yoga movements that have developed from the work of Krishnamacharya, one of this century's great yogis."[8]

Kali Om, writing on Yoga Chicago, describes Birch's writing style as never dull, with humour and a cheerful tone, but casual and with "endless anecdotes". She finds the account of the ashtanga primary series in Beyond Power Yoga condensed and "sometimes confusing", but writes that the book provides a non-threatening introduction to the seven other limbs of ashtanga yoga beyond the physical.[9]


  • 1995 Power Yoga, Atria. ISBN 978-0020583516
  • 2000 Beyond Power Yoga: Eight Levels of Practice for Body and Soul, Touchstone. ISBN 978-0684855264
  • 2009 Boomer Yoga, Sellers. ISBN 978-1416205425
  • 2014 Yoga for Warriors, Sounds True. ISBN 978-1622033485


  1. ^ Hatfield, Julie (23 April 1996). [: "Yoga on steroids, or feel the yearn Health: Practitioners say they get sweat and a sense of calm out of Ashtanga, a vigorous series of postures that looks conventional, but a lot faster"]. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 3 September 2021. Beryl Bender Birch, author of the book "Power Yoga" and generally regarded as the ultimate power yoga guru. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Hammond, Holly (5 April 2017). "Meet the Developer of Power Yoga: Beryl Bender Birch". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Sivana Spotlight: Beryl Bender Birch". Sivana East. September 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b "About Us". Power Yoga. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Pizer, Ann (8 January 2019). "Power Yoga History and Health Benefits". Very Well Fit. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Beryl Bender Birch". Better Listen!. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Tribute to Thom Birch". Peacenicked. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout Beryl Bender Birch, Author Fireside Books". Publishers Weekly. 16 January 1995. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  9. ^ Om, Kali (March 2000). "Book Review | Beyond Power Yoga: 8 Levels of Practice for Body and Soul By Beryl Bender Birch". Yoga Chicago. Retrieved 28 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Official website