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After years of sloth, I am now a mama who runs and practices yoga. I write about exercise; parenting a grownup child as well as two little kids; and whatever is annoying me at the moment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Core Power: A review

For those who have followed this blog for awhile,  I used to regularly review workout DVDs and fitness trends for my former employer, dating back to when Curves started popping up all over the city around 2004. I wonder how those are doing now.

I don't get to review stuff like that any more since I have a real job again. But since I have lots of opinions, I miss it. So when I started occasionally going to what I'm thinking of as the new "Curves", CorePower Yoga, I got twitchy.

CorePower began opening stores like crazy beginning last year. I love, love, love my neighborhood yoga studio Bloom Yoga and that is my top yoga choice for now. But unless they start offering 5 a.m. yoga classes I just can't get there regularly. So I found a CorePower place near work and once in a blue moon I get out at lunch for a 60-minute sweatfest. Sweatfest, because it's hot yoga.

I'm new to hot yoga. And having done it now probably a dozen times, still on the fence. It's just so damn hot. I used to do Ashtanga in a warm room, and loved it. As did Ashtanga, hot yoga really loosens up the muscles and as long as I drink a ton of water afterward, I'm fine.

I think of CorePower as the Starbucks of yoga. The front room is filled with fancy yoga clothes, mats and other extras tempting the wallet. Towels, mat rentals cost extra. But the place, at least the one I go to, is really nice and clean. The locker room has nice showers, blow dryers and spray deodorant and even free tampons! I love free stuff.

The class I always do is Hot Power Fusion. Which is a fancy title for crank-up-the-room-to105-degrees-and-do-yoga. It's pretty good, the same 26 poses. 20 minutes into this class and I even have sweat beading on my shins. It's so weird. But it's great, in a really challenging, cleansing way. I think I would be bored doing this class all the time, but it's good to put into my weekly workout repertoire once in a while.

CorePower has many other classes. I've only tried one other, a Yoga Sculpt class that is a hybrid of yoga and weights. And, in the one class I tried, a highly caffeinated instructor cranked up music and told us to speed up our side lunges with weights. She looked at me and said "faster, faster!" I'm like, are you kidding me? Go too fast and you're not lunging, you're bouncing. And asking for a knee injury. As a runner I need my knees to be strong, not trashed. So no more Yoga Sculpt for me.

My last experience at Hot Power Fusion was interesting. The class was taught by an instructor I had never seen before. And, forgive me for being a turd, she had one of the biggest butts I've ever seen in yoga pants. OK OK, I'm a jerk for saying that. It's just an observation. I'm like, how do you bend with a behind like that? But then, the practice began and I mostly forgot about her butt.

I went to class on a 95-degree day, figuring, what the heck, it's hot anyway. Ugh. I had to pause a few times in child's pose from nausea, and I hate taking breaks. I always just want to power through. But OK, whatever, right?

The final pose, like with any yoga class, is final relaxation, the best-est pose ever. You just lay there on your back and close your eyes. I have dozed off too many times to count, I am not kidding. At CorePower the instructor will offer everyone a cold, scented cloth for their foreheads during this pose, which feels heavenly.

But by this time, my guilt of having taken an hour for lunch kicks in. (I blame this on working at Bloomberg News many years ago, when editors strongly discouraged anyone from taking lunch. They instead pointed to all the free candy and junk food. Not coincidentally, I was the fattest I'd ever been in my life working there).

So I did what I always do. I quietly gathered my mat and belongings and tiptoed out. I'm barefoot anyway, so it's easy to be quiet.

This time the new instructor followed me out to the hallway and said I would need an instructor's note the next time I wanted to leave early. I was like, you're kidding, right? She said no, and I would also need to be in the front of the room so I was closest to the front door so I could leave. I resisted asking her how she found yoga pants to fit her butt.

That was several weeks ago. I will definitely go  back, but am hoping that the instructor turnover will bring in someone who doesn't demand a note from me. Or a big butt. Teehee, just kidding.


  1. This post is lost on me. It feels like you are not in tune with the mentality behind yoga - respecting yourself and others. When you go to a class, you affect those around you, people who want to relax in corpse pose. Also, it just feels like this post would be more effective with cultural commentary around plus-sizish people doing yoga. I don't know you, but this post comes off as shallow and sad

  2. I'm confused.....so do you like CPY or not??