I was never one of those folks who really understood why people liked yoga so much. Because I am type A, and according to my MBTI assessment I have a preference for Sensing and Judging, I like things to be effective and efficient, including my workouts. Time is something that means a lot to me, and I don’t want to feel like I have wasted time. I do spend time stretching, but I couldn’t fathom doing so for an hour. However, I live in one of the more yogi states in the country (I actually looked this up – there are 0.8943 yoga studios per every 10,000 people in Colorado), so I knew I would eventually give yoga a good ol’ college try (ironically I didn’t do it in college…). I also did realize it is more than just stretching, it’s strengthening, and this has been something I have wanted to work on in 2015.
So last Sunday, I went to my first actual Core Power Yoga class. I did Yoga on the Rocks last August, which is an unreal experience, hosted by Core Power Yoga (CPY), but this class was different. My wonderful friend, Danielle, is getting married in October and I am honored to be a part of her big day. She had been raving about this amazing yoga sculpt class, which combines yoga, calisthenics, core and cardio in one intense 60 minute session. I joined her at Core Power Yoga in the Lower Highlands area of Denver. This studio is the flagship in the Denver area, with company offices aboeve the studio, and a really professional atmosphere. This class did not disappoint. The instructor, Cori, was good at keeping us moving and maintaining the intensity throughout the class.
Many of the moves focus on sun salutations, isometric holds, and the utilization of weights, blocks and your own body with the intent to tone and sculpt muscle. Boy was it effective! I exhibited all the signs of a good workout the next day, and couldn’t wait to try more. One of the great incentives of CPY is that all new students get a week free. Now I don’t know about you, but I love free. It could be just about anything, I love it when it’s free! After signing up for my free membership that day, I decided to make the most of it. After work on Monday I tried the Highlands studio for a Core Power 1 class, so I could work on form and the general movement of yoga. This studio was much smaller, but felt really homey with a great neighborhood presence. I am not a complete novice, having practiced at home intermittently with videos OnDemand, and having participated in Yoga on the Rocks, but the actual classes were still very new. This session was really helpful (oh hey there Chaturanga, I got you now).
The next day I went back to the Highlands studio for Core Power 2 (CP2). This class was definitely more advanced, not to mention heated. The pace was much quicker, so I did my best to keep up and absorb the adjustments from the instructor. Crow and I still aren’t good friends, but I will keep working on it! I realized I had not sweat that much in my life before, and being from the south this is very hard for me to admit. Typically I “glisten and glow,” but not this time – I just plain perspired profusely. It still didn’t quite give me the same sensation as the yoga sculpt class, though, which I later came to realize could just be the instructor and the flow of the class sometimes.
Thursday I returned to the LoHi studio for another CP2 class, which was significantly more of a workout. I was able to more easily flow with the routine, and definitely could tell my breath was more closely aligned. It was just the right intensity, and yet again, a decent amount of sweat to feel like I worked for it. Emilie, the instructor, moved us quickly, but ensured we had time in the movement to make adjustments and deepen the stretch or hold. I joined Danielle again for this class, and although she strongly prefers yoga sculpt, she, too, thought it was a meaningful workout and good class.
Finally, Saturday morning presented the last opportunity for my free classes. I was going on a hike later that morning, so I went early to the Cherry Hills studio for another yoga sculpt class at 7:30am. This one was even more intense than the Sunday prior (I can still feel it today – good pain!). It was fantastic, and the instructor, Stephanie, was phenomenal. She made a lot of corrections throughout the class, thankfully, and really kept us going. We almost didn’t have time for savasana because she worked us so hard. I made sure to use 5 pound weights whenever possible to increase the intensity level.
Do you think Rocco would learn to do this with me?
After all of this, as I am sure CPY hopes, I am hooked! It’s such a great combination of classes, with varying levels and constantly changing routines. Another huge bonus is that you can go to any studio with your membership. When I go back to Maryland in May, I could go to the Bethesda studio. With so many studios around the Denver area, I have a world of options for post-work and weekend classes, all within a reasonable distance. I will be checking out the Broadway studio this evening for another sculpt class. I can definitely see incorporating this into my routine between running, Zumba, and at home workouts!
How late am I to the yogi trend? What type of yoga class do you prefer – hot, vinyasa flow, toning/power, etc? Have you tried CPY – do you like it?