I know what you’re thinking – eight yoga classes in seven days? Why? Is that healthy? Isn’t that a little…obsessive? Yoga is totally healthy to do at least once a day. As for the obsessive part, I’ve been playing a little game of catch up. This past Sunday, I graduated from the CorePower Yoga Hot Power Fusion Teacher Training. We had our last Group Session together along with a fun graduation party. But, in order for me to officially graduate and be able to register with Yoga Alliance for my 200-hour certificate, I have to finish my 60-yoga class requirement. Luckily, I have a 14-day grace period after our last Group Session to finish taking the yoga classes I need to meet the requirement. Since my schedule is completely full to the max with working full-time during the day all week long, I had to schedule and pack in as many classes as I could this week. This meant taking class at least once or sometimes twice a day. Here’s a recap of all of the yoga classes I took this week.
Monday, April 18th – Class #45, Hot Power Fusion with Sunny at CorePower Yoga University District (HPF-24)
I love Mondays. Well, let me rephrase that. I love Monday nights after work. Why? I love getting a double yoga dose of Sunny on Monday nights. First, with her Hot Power Fusion class and then staying for her Yoga Sculpt class right after. Both classes are at the CorePower Yoga University District studio, which is less than ten minutes from my office, as long as I don’t get stuck in any weird traffic.
Disclaimer: It’s not easy practicing hot yoga when it’s warm and sunny outside, especially after living through Seattle’s wettest winter in recorded history. Nice weather aside, I know once I get into the studio and set up for class, I’m always glad I came. I swear getting into studio is the hardest part of taking class. With the combination of the heat outside along with the heat and humidity inside the studio, it didn’t take long for me to start sweating. By the second Sun Salutation, my face was dripping with sweat. Pretty, right? Good thing I don’t wear mascara in a hot yoga class.
To match the weather outside tonight, Sunny played her “sunshine” playlist during class. Most of the songs had lyrics talking about warm weather and sunshine. The music had me smiling all through class. There were only a handful of us taking class tonight, probably because everyone else was out enjoying the sunny weather. Only the hard cores and CPY teacher trainers go to hot yoga on the really nice days in Seattle. A less crowded class was fine by me. At least I didn’t have to fight anyone for my favorite spot in the room – the front corner of class, either on the right or left side. I think tonight I was on the left side, right next to the window.
I used my graduation gift from CorePower Yoga – a Teacher Training Manduka Yogitoes Skidless Mat for the first time in class tonight. Up until this point in my yoga practice, I’ve only been using a mat towel, either a Breathe mat or WAYmat. These mats are a yoga towel and mat wrapped into one. They’re perfect for Bikram Yoga because they’re thick and hold a lot of sweat. They’re also super comfy to lay on during Savasana. With Bikram Yoga, there’s no flowing from one posture to the next. You tend to stay in one spot for most of class. In CorePower Yoga classes, most classes have some sort of flow aspect to them. Yogitoes are perfect for CorePower Yoga classes because they have silicone dots on the bottom, which help keep the mat in place while you flow from one posture to the next. They’re also made of super soft, absorbent material and are considerably thinner than any other mat I’ve ever used. I fell in love with my new Yogitoes mat just after one use. I might have to get another one!
Monday, April 18th – Class #46, Yoga Sculpt with Sunny at CorePower Yoga University District (Other CPY-14)
Round Two of my double yoga dose of Sunny tonight was Yoga Sculpt. This was, by far, the sweatiest Yoga Sculpt class I’ve taken yet. By the second round of Sun Salutation, I had sweat pouring out of my body everywhere. It was most likely a combination of my fat cells crying and the warm weather outside. It’s crazy how the heat from outside can warm up class so quickly.
Despite the nice weather outside, Sunny’s class was pretty full. It wasn’t crazy packed like her Saturday morning class, but there were a fair amount of people in the studio for Sculpt tonight. I can see why Sculpt classes are so popular. It’s a fun workout and Sunny is an awesome and motivating teacher. She makes you work hard, but tricks you into having fun at the same time. There were times when Sunny would call out for us to countdown with her. I had a hard enough time catching my breath in class, especially during the cardio portion. It was damn near impossible for me to count outloud. I wonder if the reason why I was so winded is because I hadn’t taken a Yoga Sculpt class in a week?
My intention for Sculpt tonight was to use the 5lbs hand weights for the whole class. I kept a pair of the 3 lbs hand weights nearby, just incase I needed them. I ended up only having to switch to the lighter weights once, but only for a short period of time. My arm muscles were screaming for a quick break.
I was sore by the end of class. I could feel the burn in my core and arms. Soreness aside, I walked out of the studio feeling a whole lot stronger and more energetic than when I first walked in. The more Yoga Sculpt classes I take, the stronger my body feels in my everyday life, both on and off of my mat. I feel less winded walking up and down the stairs at home and the laundry basket doesn’t feel nearly as daunting. My High Planks are nearly as sad as they used to be when I first started taking Hot Power Fusion classes. It’s these little reminders that keep me wanting to come back to Yoga Sculpt. I want to keep getting stronger.
Tuesday, April 19th – Class #47, Yoga Sculpt with Jadyn at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-15)
This might sound a little crazy, but I took a 6am Yoga Sculpt class this morning. I did it for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to take two yoga classes today, but only had time to take one class after work. The only other time I could fit in a class today would be before work.
The hardest part of class this morning was getting out of bed and driving into the studio. Luckily, I packed my bag the night before so when my alarm went off, I didn’t have any excuses on why I couldn’t get out of bed and go. There was no traffic on my way into the studio and there was plenty of parking. Score! Another reason to practice yoga first thing in the morning!
My body was still a bit sore from Sunny’s Yoga Sculpt class the night before. Doing two Yoga Sculpt classes like this back-to-back isn’t ideal, but I’m on a mission to finish the rest of my classes for teacher training this week. I didn’t do as badly as I thought I’d do though, Even though I had a hard time keeping up with everyone during the cardio portion of class, I still managed to give it all I had. Jadyn’s glutes section of class nearly killed me this morning though. All of my butt muscles felt like they were on fire.
My intention for class this morning was to use the 5 lbs weights for the entire class. I loved all of the weight exercises we did in class this morning. I started off class feeling pretty strong. Towards the end of class though, I had to drop down the lighter set of weights because my arms were shaking. It’s okay. It’s all progress and part of the process. I feel my body getting stronger with each Sculpt class and that’s what counts.
My body is still getting used to all of movement that’s done in a Yoga Sculpt class. I haven’t moved my body like this in years. It’s going to take a few more Sculpt classes before my entire body stops feeling so sore afterwards. I want to get to the point where I can three Yoga Sculpt classes a week, in addition to adding my 6am Bikram Yoga classes and running after work back into my schedule. All of the muscle I’m building in my arms and shoulders will help me have the best hiking season ever. I’m really excited for that!
Tuesday, April 19th – Class #48, Hot Power Fusion with Sunny at CorePower Yoga University District (HPF-25)
Sunny’s Hot Power Fusion class tonight was my second yoga class of the day. For the record, my body was still tired and sore from the Yoga Sculpt class I took this morning. I came into class tonight not expecting much on my part. I would consider myself lucky just making it through the entire class on my own two feet.
Sunny’s music selection was on point. She played her Yacht Rock playlist, one of my all-time faves. It’s so much more fun to sweat and suffer while listening to musical greats like Steely Dan, Hall and Oats, Stevie Nicks and Toto than it is having to listen to monotonous yoga music without lyrics. What can I say? Music inspires me, especially in a hot yoga class.
Even though my body was sore, was surprised at how flexible and strong I felt in class. I felt more flexible in HPF tonight than I have in a long time, probably because of all the yoga classes I’ve been taking lately. Spending eight+ hours in the yoga studio a week is bound to make your body a wee bit more flexible.
I was super proud of my Warrior IIs in class tonight. This is a posture I’ve struggled with from Day One of my Hot Power Fusion days at CorePower Yoga. I really focused on keeping my front knee bent each time I got myself into this posture. I felt strong. When I peeped myself in the front mirror while looking over my fingertips, I even looked strong holding this posture. It feels good to feel and look strong even when part of my body feels a bit tired and weak from the earlier class.
Thursday, April 21st – Class #49, Hot Power Fusion with Jill at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (HPF-26)
Let me just say, hot yoga is always a little bit more fun when I wear cute yoga pants and get to rock a fresh pedicure. I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror and looking down at my toes in a Hot Power Fusion class. Seeing myself in a pair of cute pants and having pretty toes is an extra bonus. If I’m going to make myself suffer, I want to look as cute as possible.
The intention Jill suggested for class tonight was to keep it simple. This was directed towards every aspect of class, including breath, movement and the thoughts running in our head. The intention was to not overthink anything. Just breathe and enjoy the yoga. When I get super stressed out, which seems to be more often than not unfortunately, I always have to remind myself breathe. Its just yoga and its suppose to be fun. Sometimes I take my yoga practice a bit too seriously. Tonight’s intention for class was a great reminder for me to let go, relax and enjoy the process.
Jill’s HPF classes are always super solid. With the weather being so nice outside tonight, there were only four of us in class, myself, my husband and two other people. I love practicing yoga with my hubby!
We all happened to set up in the same corner of the room, the far right-hand corner. It was like we had our own private yoga class with Jill. Less people in class means more hands-on assists for everyone in class. I received two really good ones tonight – both sides of Half Pigeon and one in final Savasana. Both were super awesome!
I’ve been noticing lately how much more strong I feel in HPF classes. I remember when I first started taking classes at CorePower Yoga back in November of last year. My High Planks were very sad. I could barely hold up my own body weight. Nowadays, I feel my strongest holding myself in a High Plank and keeping my front knee bent in Warrior II. I have all of the Yoga Sculpt classes I’ve been taking to thank for the newfound strength.
Friday, April 22nd – Class #50, Hot Power Fusion with Christine at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (HPF-27)
It was a bit muggy, overcast and wet outside tonight. That’s probably why there were quite a few people in Christine’s Hot Power Fusion class. My husband and I set up our mats right next to each other in the front, left corner of the room. I don’t know why, but I felt more hot and sweaty in class tonight than normal. It felt good!
There’s something really amazing about having my back crack in a hot yoga class. Usually it happens within the first few back bends we do in a HPF class. Tonight, by the third back bend we did, my back cracked super loud. It felt incredible, like a huge release. It always feels good when my body breaks up stuff and lets it go during class. Then the rest of class ends up feeling like a breeze.
I noticed the bottoms of my feet felt sore in class tonight. When I first started practicing Bikram Yoga, the bottoms of my feet would always be sore from doing all three parts of Awkward Series. The soreness I felt in class had a huge pay off though. The bottoms of my feet used to always be the first part of my body to get sore from snowboarding. With a regular Bikram Yoga practice, my feet stopped feeling so sore. This enabled me to ride even longer without any pain. Now when I start to feel the soreness in my feet during a Bikram or Hot Power Fusion class, I welcome it instead of dreading it because I know the payoff is well worth the short lived discomfort I might experience in class.
Friday, April 22nd – Class #51, CoreRestore – Restorative Yoga: 75 Minutes with Kristen at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (Other CPY-16)
CoreRestore is the perfect second class to take when you’re taking back-to-back yoga classes. CoreRestore is CorePower Yoga’s version on Yin Yoga. It’s a 75-minute class that features only a handful of extreme stretching postures. You spend most of the time either sitting or laying on your mat. There’s no flow, no sweat and nothing to bring your heartrate up. You literally lie down and relax for the full 75 minutes. There’s no heat in the room and there are no hands-on assists. It’s just you on your mat in the candlelight being guided by the teacher’s verbal cues. It’s pretty awesome. I love taking CoreRestore right before bedtime because it sets me up for a good night’s sleep.
Friday night at the Greenwood studio is the only time CoreRestore is offered at CorePower Yoga in the Seattle area. Since this class only happens once a week, this class tends to fill up. I don’t understand why there aren’t more CoreRestore classes on the schedule. Classes like this feel so good and are great for any yogi level, from beginner to regular practicing yogis. After taking a few CoreRestore and Yin Yoga classes during my Hot Power Fusion Teacher Training, I’m now considering adding a CoreRestore or Yin Yoga teacher training to my schedule next year.
Kristen’s class tonight was probably my favorite CoreRestore class I’ve taken so far for so many reasons. First, it was well paced. Secondly, I loved how we were cued into a resting transition posture in-between each of the “regular” postures in class. That little extra time to recover between each posture made the class even more relaxing than normal. Another reason why I enjoyed Kristen’s CoreRestore class so much tonight was because instead of announcing when each posture was over, she would ring a low-pitched bell. This was such a nice and gentle way to come to after holding a posture and nearly falling asleep. The icing on the cake though was at the end of class for final Savasana, Kristen used a singing bowl instead of letting music play in the background. I had never done a yoga class with a singing bowl before. It was quite an experience. The soothing sound helped me relax even more than usual during Savasana. I loved it. If I ever teach Yin Yoga classes in the future, I want to use a singling bowl in my own classes.
Saturday, April 23rd – Class #52, Yoga Sculpt with Sunny at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-17)
I’ve been loving my CorePower Yoga Teacher Training Yogitoes mat so much, I bought a new one before Sunny’s class this morning for both myself and my husband. Yogitoes are perfect for a class like Yoga Sculpt because they stay in place the whole time. They’re thin enough so you can run and jump around during the cardio portion of class without worrying about it bunching up underneath you. The material does a great job absorbing all of the sweat that comes off my body in a Sculpt class. I think I sweat more in a Sculpt class than I do in a Hot Power Fusion class. Yogitoes are also way gentler on the washing machine. With all of the yoga I’ve been doing over the last couple of months, I’ve also had to do laundry more often. Since the Yogitoes are so thin, they make home washing and drying super easy. I can wash way more Yogitoes mats at once than I can any of my other mats combined.
Enough about Yogitoes, let’s get to the yoga! This morning’s class was another packed house. My intention for class this morning was to only use the 5lb weights, even though I grabbed the 3lbs weight just in case. I figured since this would be my last yoga class for this week, I wanted to really make it count.
My arms were already shaking after the second round of push-ups and that was just twenty minutes into class! We’d go from doing a set of push-ups to a round of bicep exercises using the weights. We did this powerful combo back-to-back, three times! My shoulders and biceps were crying for mercy, or maybe that was just all of the sweat rolling off of my body?
For the cardio portion of class, I felt pretty solid. I didn’t feel nearly as winded as I’ve felt in previous Sculpt classes. Hopefully that’s a sign that my body is starting to get into shape. By the end of class though, I really felt some soreness in my core. Core is my least favorite part of any CorePower Yoga class, which means it’s probably the part of class I need the most. It’s crazy. I always feel so wiped after each Yoga Sculpt class, but once I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and towel off, I’m already thinking about how excited I am to go to the next Sculpt class. I can’t believe there was a time when I was actually too intimidated to take a Sculpt class. Now I can’t take enough of them!
And PS: It might sound like quite a physical challenge taking this many yoga classes in a week, but my body and mind feel amazing. I’m sleeping a lot more sound at night and I’m making healthier food choices during the day. There’s something to be said about practicing yoga every damn day. I’m only eight more classes away from officially graduating for CPY Teacher Training! Only one more week to go!