Yoga on My Yogitoe

My goal for this week was to finish taking the rest of my CorePower Yoga classes to meet my Hot Power Fusion Teacher Training requirement. With some careful planning, lots of preparation and a fair amount of discipline, I reached my goal by Saturday morning. To meet my goal this week, it meant I had to take ten yoga classes throughout the week. Here’s how I did it:

Monday, April 25th – Class #53, Yoga Sculpt with Sunny at CorePower Yoga University District (Other CPY-18)

I would have taken two yoga classes today, Hot Power Fusion with Sunny and her Yoga Sculpt right after. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to work a little later tonight so I missed the Hot Power Fusion class. This meant I’d have to make up the missed class sometime later this week.

Yoga Sculpt with Sunny tonight was awesome as always. Since this was my first yoga class of the week and first class of the day, I figured I’d have a ton of energy to tap into. That was my hope anyway. Sunny started off class with the intention of tapping into our own personal power. What a perfect intention for class, especially because I had already planned on doing this for tonight’s class

My body was still sore from Sunny’s Yoga Sculpt class on Saturday morning. That was two days ago! Then yesterday, I spent all day on the mountain snowboarding. My body didn’t get a chance to really rest in-between classes. Once we got up to start class, I could feel the soreness throughout my entire body. I’d really need to tap into my power if I was going to make it through this Sculpt class on my own two feet.

Twenty minutes into class, the wide-armed push-ups nearly did me in. We did three sets. Halfway through, my arms, biceps and shoulders were shaking. There were a couple of times I had to stop and catch my breath in both a Table Top and Childs pose.

After the push-ups, we moved into a few rounds of squats with a few different variations. Squats, squats and more squats. I tried my very best to squat down as low as I could, but my thighs were on fire! My body was completely winded by the core portion of class. Half-Pigeon and Savasana couldn’t come soon enough.

When things started getting really tough physically, I tried digging deep into my power and pushed myself to my edge. I gave and gave and gave until I had nothing left to give. I was happy about sticking with the 5lbs weights instead of using the lighter set during class. I didn’t feel very energetic after class. I hobbled out of the studio. I could barely put up my own yoga mat and water bottle, but I was proud about not giving up at any point in class and finished. Tough classes like these remind me how much more Yoga Sculpt I need in my life.

Tuesday, April 26th – Class #54, C2 with Jen at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-19)

This morning was my first 6am class at CorePower ever. Normally, I’m a huge fan of taking the 6am Bikram Yoga classes at my home studio, Sealevel Hot Yoga. For some reason, I never scheduled any 6am CPY classes on my calendar during teacher training until this week. Not sure why because the 6am classes turned out being really convenient. I was able to get to work early, didn’t have to sit in traffic and found parking with ease, both at the studio and at work. The 6am classes aren’t packed like the Saturday morning classes. There’s plenty of room to set up and move around. Plus, when you workout so early in the day, you don’t have to worry about trying to fit it in after work. Unless of course you’re someone like me who’s trying to finish the 60-yoga class requirement for teacher training by the weekend. Yes, I’ll be doing a double dose of yoga today, first at 6am and then another class after work.

I had two choices for the 6am timeslot this morning – I could either take Yoga Sculpt or C2. After my exhausting class with Sunny last night, I opted for C2. Besides, I hadn’t checked out a C2 class in awhile. I figured I’d switch things up and give it a go.

After I set up my mat and towel, I took a drink of water and laid down. My body told me to sit in Child’s pose for the entire class, but my mind told me to stand up and move. So I stood up and started listening to Jen’s cues on where to go.

Every C2 class I’ve taken so far has been very different. They all have similar postures, but the flows are very different in each class. With C2, you never really know what you’re going to get. The teachers all have different postures and flows they teach in each of their classes. This was my first C2 class with Jen so I had no idea what she had done in her previous C2 classes. She did mention this morning that we’d be doing something completely different today. For me, C2 is always different anyways so I had no idea what to expect in this morning’s class.

As Jen cued us into our first round of postures, we started off facing the front of the room. We then flowed to face the left side of the room, the backside of the room, the right side of the room and then came back to face the front of the room again. It was pretty cool. Turns out this type of movement and flow in a yoga class is called a “mandala.” Its where you travel on your yoga mat to face all different directions of the room, instead of just facing one side of the room the entire time. It took me a couple of rounds to get the hang of the sequence, but after awhile I started enjoying going in all of the different directions on my mat. It gave me a whole new perspective of C2. Some of the postures and the flow into and out of them were challenging for me, but I still enjoyed myself. The uniqueness of this class kept me from going on autopilot. All of the movement forced me to stay aware and present, not an easy task to do at 6am.

One thing all of the C2 classes I’ve taken so far have in common? Chaturangas. Lots of them! We did so many Chaturangas in class this morning. My already sore arms and shoulders were screaming for me to take a break. By the last couple rounds of Chaturanga, I went straight from High Plank to Upward Facing Dog. My arms couldn’t handle one more Chaturanga. Not after all of the Yoga Sculpt classes I’ve been taking lately.

I did receive one hands-on assist in class. It was during one of my Downward Facing Dogs. Jen’s adjustment gave me just enough extra space for a slightly deeper stretch I both my legs and feet. It felt really good. I’d definitely take another one of Jen’s C2 classes. Her C2 class was fun this morning.

Tuesday, April 26th – Class #55, Hot Power Fusion with Sunny at CorePower Yoga University District (HPF-28)

I showed up for Sunny’s Hot Power Fusion class after work tonight. She started off class sharing with us about how music inspires her and how one of her favorite artists, Prince, has always been a great musical influence to her in her life. Sunny dedicated her Hot Power Fusion class tonight to the purple one by playing her Prince playlist.

This was one of the first and only Hot Power Fusion classes I’ve taken where I wanted to sing and dance the entire time. Listening to Prince while doing the HPF sequence made sweating in the heated room so much more fun. I feel like I can do anything physically when I have good music to listen to it. Sunny’s playlist definitely inspired me to want to start putting together my own playlist for when I teach my own yoga class.

I thought I’d be a lot more tired and sore than I was for class tonight. I ended up being pretty stable in some of the postures I’m normally really shaky in like the flow from Standing Forehead to Knee to Standing Bow pose. I didn’t fall out on either side like I usually do during class. I actually came out of both of these postures on both sides with some grace. I felt really strong in the whole Triangle series. I made sure to focus on the keeping my front knee bent in each of my Warrior IIs, Triangles and Reverse Warriors.

Sunny gave me a really nice hands-on assist during Half Tortoise. With Sunny’s help, I was able to sit all the way back on my calves and get a really nice stretch throughout my quads and calves. Then when she assisted me up, I was able to come up slowly from the posture with a flat back. It felt really good.

By the end of class, I felt pretty good. I felt way more energized than I did after taking Yoga Sculpt last night and that’s after taking two yoga classes today.

Wednesday, April 27th – Class #56, C2 with Libby at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-20)

Whoops! I should have checked the schedule before going to class this morning. I packed my clothes the night before thinking I’d be taking a Yoga Sculpt this morning. Turns out Yoga Sculpt is only offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6am, at the Ballard studio. My two choices this morning were C2 or Cardio Circuit. I opted for the C2 class.

To be honest, if I would have checked the schedule before coming in, I would have probably talked myself out of going to class this morning because I had my heart set on taking Yoga Sculpt. I would just take Sculpt tomorrow morning and check out the C2 class since I was already here at the studio. Besides, it would be nice to have an extra day to recover before having to take another Yoga Sculpt class.

Libby’s intention for her C2 class this morning was , “I am ____” It was up to us to fill in the blank. My intention for class was “I am here” because even though I didn’t get to take the class I wanted to take this morning, at least I was here taking a class. So why not give it my best effort and enjoy it? I’m such a creature of habit. I love feeling comfortable in my daily routine. Lately, I’ve been breaking free of all of my normal routines – checking out different types of classes, visiting different studio locations, taking classes at different times of the day, etc. I may not feel 100% comfortable each time I break up my normal routine, but I do feel myself growing each time I do so. Breaking free of my normal routine opens myself up to discovering something new, something I might actually enjoy.

This morning’s C2 class was another packed class. I had no idea so many people liked taking C2 classes during this timeslot. Libby’s class started off with a few rounds of Sun Salutation, but that was the only part of class that was familiar to me. The rest of class was filled with different postures and different flows. Some of the postures were even new to me so I really had to pay attention and watch a couple people around me to see what was coming next.

At one point in class, we went from Crescent Lunge to Eagle. Flowing into this two different postures was really challenging for me. I’ve always done Eagle from a solid, standing leg position. Moving from Crescent Lunge to Eagle was a hard and difficult transition for me. Certainly tested my balance. Once I got a hang of the flow though, after doing it a couple more times, I wasn’t so wobbly in the transition.

Wednesday, April 27th – Class #57, Hot Power Fusion with Mandy at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (HPF-29)

I missed Mandy’s Hot Power Fusion class last Wednesday because I showed up to the studio three minutes late thanks to traffic. I was super bummed. Instead of going back to sit in more traffic, I decided to make the most of my time and spent the next hour in my car working on my journal writing for teacher training. This week though, traffic wasn’t a nightmare like it was last Wednesday. I was able to show up early for Mandy’s class.

I ran into Maegan from our HPF Teacher Training group who was also taking Mandy’s class tonight. We set up our mats right next to each other. She told me how she was getting ready to teach her first HPPF class tomorrow. How exciting for her, especially since we only graduated a week ago.

I didn’t drink as much water as I should have during the day today at work. On my way to class tonight, I drank a bunch of water at each red light I stopped at. This wasn’t the smartest thing to do because I ended up feeling all of the water I drank sick in my stomach during class. Every time I bent over to do a forward fold pose or laid on my stomach during the Spine Strengthening Series, I could feel all of that water just sitting there. Ugh.

My favorite part of Mandy’s class tonight was when she had is all turn to face the back wall to do Standing Bow pose. I never realized how much I use the mirror to help keep my balance in standing postures like Standing Bow pose. I weeble woobled my way through this posture on each side. Mandy then had us turn back around to face the front of the room for the rest of class.

Thursday, April 28th – Class #58, Yoga Sculpt with Shandra at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-21) 

Even though I took two yoga classes yesterday, I hadn’t taken a Yoga Sculpt class since Monday night. I felt like my body had enough rest in-between Sculpt classes and was ready for Shandra’s 6am class.

Unfortunately, I only had six hours of sleep the night before. I ended up with a headache after work. I think it was a combination f not drinking enough water during the day, not getting enough sleep at night this week and working my body so hard physically with all of the classes I’ve been taking over the last few weeks. I ended up taking a 9pm Yin Yoga class last night before going to bed. I was hoping this class would help me relax and take the edge off of my headache. Since the Yin Yoga class wasn’t a CorePower Yoga class, it wouldn’t count towards my teacher training graduation requirement. It would just be an extra yoga class I slipped into my schedule this week for fun. I’m glad I took it though because even though I only got six hours of sleep, I had really good night’s sleep. Just wish I could have slept a few hours more.

Shandra’s intention for class was home. Home could represent feeling comfortable in our own yoga practice or being home on our mat in a resting position. For Shandra, being home meant coming back from a vacation to San Diego last week. Her entire playlist for class this morning had a “home” theme and/or lyrics.

Thankfully the Yoga Sculpt class wasn’t crowded this morning. There was plenty of space for all of us to spread out and have enough room. As soon as I walked into the room, I started sweating. Ugh. I wondered if I could get away with laying on my mat for the whole class. Then I started thinking about how good I feel after taking a Sculpt class. I forced myself to get up and give what energy I could during class.

Everything felt a little extra challenging this morning because I was so tired. High Planks and push ups felt extra special this morning. All through class, I forced myself to keep going. I refused to let myself sit out any of the exercises. The pace for class felt faster than normal, but that could have been because I felt so much more tired and slower than normal. In the end, I was glad I showed up for Sculpt instead of sleeping through it. It might not feel like it now, but I know my body will thank me later.

Thursday, April 28th – Class #59, Hot Power Fusion with Jill at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (HPF-30)

Surprisingly, I felt really strong in Jill’s Hot Power Fusion class tonight. I thought for sure I’d feel sluggish and tired because I’ve only been averaging six hours of sleep each night this week and have been doing double doses of yoga each day this week. I’ve been working my butt off over the last couple of weeks trying to get all of these yoga classes taken in time to meet my teacher training graduation requirement. After grunting my way through Yoga Sculpt this morning, I wondered if I’d have energy left after work for an HPF class. Somehow I managed to have a strong class. I was pleasantly surprised.

It seemed like there were quite a few people in class tonight. I think there were a few beginners because Jill demoed both the handgrip for Standing Bow pose and Rabbit pose in the middle of the room during class. It isn’t often I’ve seen Jill demo these two hand postions in class so I figured there were some newbies in the house.

My Standing Bow pose felt pretty solid in class tonight. Not only was I able to come out of this posture somewhat gracefully on both sides, I could also feel my torso come down lower and my back leg coming up higher as I kicked back into my hand. I love it when I can feel and see my physical progress in these postures.

I managed to work up a good sweat in class tonight. In postures like Standing Separate Leg Forehead to Knee and Rabbit, I felt like I was drowning in my own sweat. That doesn’t happen very often for me, but when it does, it sure is uncomfortable. It’s one of the reasons why I always bring a hand towel with me to class.

After class, I treated myself to a brand new pair of yoga pants I’ve had my eye on over the last month. They finally went on sale! I figured with all of the extra time I’ve been putting in on my mat lately, I deserved a new pair of cute pants. It might sound silly, but rocking a cute pair of yoga pants makes any tough class way more fun.

Friday, April 29th – Class #60, Hot Power Fusion with Christine at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (HPF-31)

So of course I wore the new pants I bought last night in Christine’s class tonight. I can’t believe I’m now only a couple more classes away from getting my 200-Hour Yoga Teaching Certificate!

The studio felt like a full house for class tonight. As Christine was in the middle of giving people the option to opt-out of receiving hands-on assists in class, a guy walked in to set up his mat and towel. I’ve never been a fan of people coming into class late. It’s disruptive for the people already taking the class and the teacher. Depending on how late the student is, it can also be unsafe for them. If the late student misses the warm up portion of class, they risk injuring themselves doing postures their body isn’t warmed up and ready for.

I don’t think the latecomer was at risk for injury. He came in before we started our first official posture of class. He was just really disruptive. He proceeded to breathe quite loudly and dramatically throughout all of class, even when we were cued to breathe in and out of our nose.

I should have been able to tune this guy out, but I couldn’t stop looking over at him during class. Not only was he loud, but also he’d push himself in every posture to the point where he’d fall out of it in an uncontrollable way. He was all over the place. It didn’t look like he was enjoying himself. It just looked like one big, loud, sufferfest on his mat.

The funny thing is, I used to be that guy. I used to think yoga was all about perfecting every posture. I’d constantly push myself over my edge, even if it didn’t feel comfortable in my body. I used to think that if I wasn’t suffering, I wasn’t doing it right. Nowadays, especially after completing the Hot Power Fusion yoga teacher training, I’ve learned to relax, listen to my body and enjoy the yoga more.

Friday, April 29th – Class #61, CoreRestore – Restorative Yoga: 75 Minutes with Elisa at CorePower Yoga Greenwood (Other CPY-22)

My second and final yoga class of the day was Elisa’s CoreRestore class. I still can’t believe this class is only offered once a week. CoreRestore is CorePower Yoga’s version of Yin Yoga. Need a way to unwind and relax from a busy workweek? CoreRestore will take you through 75 minutes of relaxing and stretching in a dimly lit, unheated room. It’s so relaxing, you just might drift off into a light nap during class. There’s a cycle of teachers that lead the CoreRestore class each week at the Greenwood studio. This week was Elisa.

Elisa introduced class tonight by telling is she’d be taking us on a journey through the chakras. I first started learning about the chakras during Jill’s “Chakra Balancing” Hot Power Fusion class back in February. Then we learned about the seven chakras in detail during our 10th Group Session during yoga teacher training. I was pretty happy to have some background knowledge on the chakras. This way, I could just sit back and relax instead of trying to pay attention while soaking up all of this information for the first time. Starting at the bottom with the root chakra, Muladhara, we worked our way up the body through each of the seven chakras, posture by posture.

All of us students were instructed to set up our mats against the walls in the room. Instead of teaching class from the front of the room, Elisa set up her mat on the left side of the room. Whenever Elisa would demo a posture and all of the options for each posture, she’d move to the mat that was set up in the middle of the room so we could all see her. I liked taking class from this perspective. Everyone in class was in one big circle. The set up made the class feel more united as a whole. It definitely gave it a more intimate vibe.

With each chakra, Elisa would share a personal story of how the chakra has showed up in some form in her own personal life. I’ve never had a yoga teacher share so much of her own personal story in class before. It was really special how Elisa used her own personal stories to help make each of the chakras more relatable to those of us taking her class. I didn’t expect the intimate vibe in class tonight, but I really enjoyed it. CoreRestore classes are restorative and relaxing by nature. I don’t think any other CorePower Yoga class could get away with having such an intimate setting like a CoreRestore class can without it being kind of uncomfortable and weird.

We ended final Savasana with Legs up The Wall, with options to either leave our legs up straight or to splay them open in a V. I chose to splay my legs, but only because it felt like a natural range of motion for my body. It felt really good. I was really surprised at how wide I was able to open up my legs against the wall. My flexibility has improved quite a bit since I first started my yoga teacher training journey at CorePower Yoga over two months ago.

Elisa brought in a bolster that she would use to prop herself up in during some of the postures we did in class tonight. It looked really comfortable. I want to get one of those eventually. With every CoreRestore and Yin Yoga class I take, I’m becoming more and more convinced on why I should add a Yin Yoga teacher training to my schedule next year.

Saturday, April 30th – Class #62, Yoga Sculpt with Sunny at CorePower Yoga Ballard (Other CPY-23)

This is it! The final class I have to take for Hot Power Fusion Yoga Teacher Training. This morning’s Yoga Sculpt class with Sunny would be class #60! My class count above says 62 classes, but this is because I took a couple extra outside CorePower Yoga classes during my training. This morning’s class would be my last and official class I’d have to take and journal about in order to satisfy my graduation requirement.

This morning’s class was a tough one!

Class was packed but that’s because it was Sunny’s Saturday morning Yoga Sculpt class. Her Sculpt classes on Saturday are always quite popular. And for good reason, they’re a ton of fun and you work really hard. I didn’t even bother grabbing a set of the 3lbs weights. I only brought a set of the 5lbs weights to my mat. I didn’t care how tired I got in class this morning. I was only going to use the 5lbs weights.

As we were setting up before class, I glanced over and saw a familiar face. It was Mary Margaret, one of the Bikram Yoga teachers from Sealevel Hot Yoga. With my husband set up on the mat next to me, Sunny teaching the class and Mary Margaret taking the class with me, I knew this was going to be a great class.

Even with all of the Yoga Sculpt classes I’ve been taking lately, my arms still started shaking half way through the first round of push ups. As soon as they started to shake, I imagined my hands holding on to a wakeboarding handle while wakeboarding. I’m going to need all of the upper body muscle I can get before summer starts. With that visualization in my head, I continued with all of the push-ups and bicep work with the hand weights. Needless to say, my biceps were screaming for mercy by the end of class.

During final Savasana, Sunny played a piano version of Purple Rain. At first, I didn’t know what the song was. I knew it sounded familiar and it was driving me crazy trying to figure it out. I spent half of my Savasana playing, “Guess That Song.” Finally it hit me, Purple Rain!! Then I was able to relax.

After class, I went up to the front counter and purchased the Manduka Black Pro Mat. I’ve spent numerous hours and taken countless yoga classes, including all of the classes I had to take for the CorePower Yoga Hot Power Fusion teacher training on my little thin yoga mat. I decided after I had completed my final class for the HPF teacher training, I’d treat myself to a fancy, thicker yoga mat. Why not? I had definitely earned it!

I didn’t realize how heavy those mats were. Holy cow! I could barely lift it after class. Or maybe that was just because my biceps had just been exhausted from Sunny’s Yoga Sculpt class? Can’t wait to use my new mat, in a class as a newly certified yoga teacher!

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