Saturday, May 5, 2012

CorePower Yoga

Remember how I took that free week of yoga classes a month ago at CorePower Yoga?  (They have several locations across the country so if you are interested you should check them out.  New students get a free week of yoga!) I had been eyeing this studio for awhile and lucky for me a Groupon for a month at the studio came along and I made sure to grab one.  I finally took advantage of the deal and started my month about two weeks ago.  I only spent $59 for a unlimited month of classes at any of the twelve Chicagoland locations.  Usually that kind of pass costs $179!  

My first experience with yoga was actually in middle school.  We had an enrichment period where we got to choose what class we wanted to take.  There was everything from theatre to dodgeball.  I am not exactly sure why or how I chose yoga, but I ended up in the class.  For about 45 minutes, twice a week, we were led through basic yoga poses.  I'm not sure it was my favorite thing, but it was relaxing.  

Flash forward to about a year ago when I tried Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown.  Being a fan of The Biggest Loser I had already tried her 30 Day Shred Workout and was interested in trying something new so picked up her yoga DVD.  Her workout is not a traditional yoga workout, but I really like it and it has become one of my go to workouts.  
I finally went to my first real yoga class with Diana and Marisa in October of last year.  Next up was Moksha Yoga with my fellow Chicago bloggers in January.  I enjoyed the free week of yoga I took in February and was excited to go back to CorePower to practice some more yoga.    
The facilities are really nice at CorePower, quite spa-like actually, with locker rooms to change in, a show room with high end yoga gear, and clean studios.  

I am always up for trying new workouts and I love the variety of classes that CorePower offers.  Having a strong core is important, so they take a few minutes with every class to do core strengthening moves.  I really enjoy the Hot Power Fusion class which is a combination of hot and power yoga.  The energy of the class is great and it is definitely a workout that makes you sweat.  The CorePower Ryder class is also a favorite and a good cardio workout.  It is essentially a spin class, but is done on bikes that can turn from side to side.  I haven't attempted the Level Two CPY class yet, but once I feel more comfortable and gain some strength I will.  I am also going to try the Yoga Sculpt class soon which incorporates hand weights into the practice.
You don't have to be a yoga expert to go to the classes.  They offer different levels so you can learn the different poses and flow to the classes.  I was a bit intimidated at first, but the instructors are nice and helpful.  If I wasn't sure about something I just looked to see what other people were doing or asked the instructor for help.   This has been true of the other two studios I have visited as well. 

Even if I go to the same class there are different instructors for certain days which means there is some variety to the classes, from the flow of the poses, to the music they play, and the energy of the class.

I have been going about three times a week and love it!  I like the variety it adds to my workout routine and the classes make me feel good.  Yoga helps me deal with any soreness I have from a long run and either energizes me for the day or helps me relax for the evening.  I haven't decided what I am going to do once the month is over, but the plan now is to keep up the practice!  The classes are bit pricey, but I am considering the different plans they offer.
You don't have to go to a studio to do yoga though.  It can always do yoga at home too.  There are plenty of DVDs to be found and most women's health magazines have introduction to yoga workouts you can try.  There are lots of great free, or relatively cheap, options for yoga.  Many studios offer a community class where you can enjoy a free yoga class.  I know there are several studios that do that here in Chicago.  Yoga is great for increasing flexibility, strength, and balance and in addition to getting a good workout, it is also a great stress reliever.  Good for the mind and the body, which is why it has quickly become something I enjoy doing!  If you haven't tried it before its worth a shot.  You might discover you like it too.

Do you practice yoga?  What is it about yoga that you enjoy?