I woke up at 5:00 am for work yesterday and spent about ten solid hours on my feet. The last thing I wanted to do that evening was take a 5:30 pm yoga class. I’m so glad that I did!
CorePower Yoga, a national yoga studio with 140 locations from coast to coast, opened at West Bend in Fort Worth just a couple of weeks ago. I started last week and was committed enough to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine to force myself out the door when I really just wanted to lay on my couch. (It’s been a long week.)
Let’s get something out of the way straight off: this has nothing to do with a New Year’s Resolution. I sustained substantial injuries to my right leg in 2014: tears in my ACL and meniscus, a fracture in my femur, cartilage damage. I was hardly able to bend my knee for six months. Multiple doctors said I would never be the same again, that I would have to get used to my “new normal.” Thankfully I am as stubborn as an old mule.
I graduated from physical therapy with full range of motion back in my knee but still found it painful to run on a daily basis, even icing my knee before and after. Since November I’ve tried to hit 10,000 steps with my dog every day. I’ve been seeing enormous results just from walking but I jumped at the chance to get back into yoga when I heard CorePower Yoga had opened its door.
I took yoga in various studios for 4-6 years on and off but didn’t know if my body could handle the movements, since even the resting pose involves severely bending your knee. My only goal walking into CorePower Yoga on day one was: just make it through.
If you’re hesitant or embarrassed to go to yoga for the first time, rest assured that people aren’t there to judge you. If they are judging you, that’s really on them, don’t you think? No one knows if you sustained such bad injuries, you never thought you’d be able to fight your way into pigeon pose again but you know. Practice yoga for yourself and assume – or at least hope – that others are doing the same. Here’s my thoughts on CorePower Yoga.
CorePower Yoga Review
CorePower Yoga is different – and better – than any other yoga I’ve tried. Many studios are dedicated to restorative yoga, which is the Swedish Massage of yoga. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly justify taking two hours out of my day to stretch. CorePower Yoga is a powerful, high-intensity style of yoga that combines flexibility, strength and balance to work your entire body, including your cardiovascular system. Most notably to those reading this who have practiced yoga elsewhere, CorePower Yoga includes a whole series of core strengthening exercises, something I’ve never experienced in any other yoga class. It’s much more of a workout than run-of-the-mill restorative yoga.
The teachers are what really set the studio apart. I’ve taken Joy and Kaitlin’s classes twice and Amber’s once. Each has her own style and adds her own flare to the practice. Amber ended with the most delightful neck stretching and massage while in savasana, or corpse pose. Kaitlin rubs her hands together with what I assume are essential oils, taking you on a much-appreciated aromatherapy journey. Joy is so appropriately named, she fills the room with her natural happiness. Each has a unique playlist that sets the tone for the mind and body workout.
CorePower Yoga is about more than stretching and strengthening your body. At the end of each class, the teacher gives a heartfelt speech about seeing the light in yourself and others. (“The light in me sees the light in you”.) It reminds me a bit of Catholic mass! Yesterday when my body was exhausted and my mind was drained, I made it to yoga because my heart needed that hour of deep breathing (ujjayi breath has greatly improved my energy) and the reminder that my body is strong.
In just a week and a half at CorePower Yoga, I can feel and see changes in my body. On day one I thought, nope, there’s no chance I can slowly lower to the mat from a plank position and come up into an upward dog without touching the ground. No chance. By Friday of the same week I was able to do it twice without the knee modification. Last night I was able to do the flow without modification throughout most of the class. If you had told me on Monday I would have improved that much in a week, I don’t know that I would have believed you!
My only complaint is that there is just one non-heated class offered at the West Bend location. I was never a fan of hot yoga – even when I was quite fit – and would love to see more non-heated options made available since 5:30 pm would not be my first choice. Thought there is something so restorative about forcing myself to leave my desk, turn off my phone, and focus on myself for an hour at the end of the workday.
The teachers offer multiple modifications for most of the positions so no matter what your fitness level, you can make it through a class. If you’ve never tried CorePower Yoga before or even if you’ve never tried yoga before, I encourage you to do so for the breathing exercises alone. It’s the most cathartic workout I’ve experienced in a gym setting.
Find a CorePower Yoga studio in a city near you: corepoweryoga.com/locations. New students get a free week of yoga to try it out!
I heartily believe in exercising to hopefully live long and I believe in eating dessert every day because, well, life is short.