Over the last month I had the pleasure of trying out some classes at Core Power Yoga in California. The studios offer a number of classes with varying degrees of heat and humidity and rely on a formula and method of teaching. (BTW I won the month-long yoga trial at a local CrossFit 310 event). Basically, I imagine you show up to any location across the country and you get the same class no matter where you go.
During the month I tried out Core Power Yoga 1, Core Power Yoga 1.5, Core Power Yoga 2 and Yoga Sculpt. At my chosen location, the front desk staff was really friendly and helpful. My first time I arrived right as the class was about to start, but the woman ushered me in and told me she would set me up in the system during class. I really enjoyed every single class and took the opportunity to focus on every word the instructor was saying to improve my poses, my alignment and get the most I could out of every practice.
My favorite movements were warrior 3 and standing split – I believe they were especially helpful for my hip stability, core strength, balance in each leg, as well as the very important gluteus maximus.
The one class I didn’t love was the one I was looking forward to the most: Yoga Sculpt. Since I was taking my gym break I was SOOO excited to lift any amount of weight, but I found the exercises were rushed and the yoga poses were forced into the routine. Also, the class was really crowded for jumping jacks and that sort of movement. I felt like you missed the point of both.
Some pro and cons based on my experience.
- Their cues were very good
- There’s a strong focus on core and abs
- You know what to expect
- There are multiple studios
- There are more than 10 classes scheduled on some days
- I liked the consistency of taking yoga at least twice a week for a month
- If you are really into it, they offer training
- Aaaaahhh sweat… It felt so good, even though I was initially kind of grossed out
- You could be in class with up to 40 people – yikes! This was kinda really cool, but at the same time very crowded and sweaty.
- Pretty much the same type of class based on their formula
- Not as much opportunity to try some of the more advanced postures for every move as you would see with smaller, boutique classes
- Sweat, sweat, and more sweat – I was kind of grossed out by it
- A chain, which to me always has a little less personality and personal attention
Fair warning for first timers….. if you don’t bring adequate towels, water and your own mat you will be paying additional for every little thing you need (the shower is free if you are willing to wait!) This, of course, is based on my own experience after my hubby warned me… I went, without extra towels and without a yoga mat towel. I thought there was no way I would sweat as much as he did especially since I intentionally picked the coolest classes available during my time slots. Not so much.
All in all, I really liked the change, but it’s not something I would continue. It was fun to try, but I can accomplish the same thing at my gym, which offers yoga and weights as well as a pool and a variety of other classes and equipment.
This experience has had a positive impact and in the future I will plan to take a month break from weight lifting and focus on the gentler, spiritual yoga strengthening ritual, which I believe will make me stronger overall. One thing I love about focusing on an activity for a month at a time is the awareness of getting stronger in a new and different way. I’m very aware of my body, its’ weaknesses and capabilities, and it’s neat to see different activities strengthening my body more completely.
Curious to know if there are others out there who’ve tried the opposite – those who practice yoga and pilates, but have tried weight lifting or circuit training or another completely different form of exercise/movement instead? How has it changed you?