Let me just start out by saying yoga is totally out of my comfort zone.
I’ve always been more of a fast-paced, weights and cardio kind of girl. When I heard that CorePower Yoga was introducing a high intensity interval training class, I had to find out more about it. It turns out, not only will the class totally whip you into shape, but I also found myself taking advantage of the other incredible classes offered at CorePower and actually liking it!
CorePower goes out of its way to create a wide array of classes that not only creates a schedule that has something for everyone, but also encourages them to step out of that oh-so-safe comfort zone and try something from which they might otherwise run. Now, I don’t see myself doing head stands or getting an “Om” tattoo anytime soon, but I can safely say that I will be back for more classes at CorePower, and my guess is when you hear about all they have to offer, you’ll be enrolling in a class or two, too.
Marie Spada: How does CorePower set itself apart from other yoga studios?
Kelsey Sorensen: CorePower Yoga’s brand is to give a student not just a really physically demanding workout, but a workout that’s foundational in an internal practice. So, the mindfulness aspect that’s brought to the experience and our facilities are really high quality, spa like experiences, so students can really come and experience a facility that is conducive to getting that relaxation, destress element, while also getting the physical exertion that they crave so much. The connection from student to teacher is really the foundation of the student’s experience. Getting to build that relationship to the teacher has them coming back to their mat over and over, and having that experience of connection to the community, their teacher, and learning about themselves on their mat at the same time.
MS: What are some of the benefits of attending CorePower classes?
Stephanie Solovy: A lot of our students first come to CorePower for the physical workout, to get a good sweat, to detox their body, and work join their physical fitness first. As they continue to come to CorePower, they develop into so much more. It goes from a physical practice to a mental release. It becomes mindfulness. It becomes healthier living. CorePower has created a great way for students to provide feedback to us on what they would like to have, whether it’s fitness, nutrition, more yoga, more classes, more workshops, and our studios are able to facilitate that for them in their growth as they dig deeper into their practice. We have programs they can attend and really take it from just a physical practice to a more emotional practice and mindfulness within their life.
MS: That’s so cool, so it’s all about incorporating what you learn in the studio, into your day to day life?
MS: Does CorePower welcome people of all fitness and yoga levels?
SS: Absolutely. CorePower has a great mantra and intention of offering classes from the very beginner level student to the advanced yogi who has been practicing for many years, or maybe even their entire life. We have many classes on the schedule where you can come take a non-heated class, or a heated class, and cater your practice to what you need that day. We love new students. It’s super fun when we get to see a fresh face and get to watch them grow and progress within their practice!
KS: Students that are looking to build strength and exert energy can find a class, and students that are looking to decompress and increase mobility in their joints through releasing connective tissue and finding stillness can find a class, so you really get both sides of the coin.
MS: I had never done yoga before, in fact, I think I had tried everything but yoga, and I feel like when I came in for my yoga class, a C1, it really seemed like there were people of all levels in there, and I’m assuming they all had their own reasons, like you were saying.
SS: Absolutely! I think we really do a really good job of offering so many options, so students can find a balance within their schedules so they’re not just taking seven Sculpts in a week, or seven HPFs. They’re able to find a balance with building that strength in a Sculpt class, and then finding the strength in their spine in a Hot Power Fusion Class, and they’re able to get the flow within their Vinyasa classes. All of our “C” classes are Vinyasa flow.
MS: Speaking of your other classes, tell me about your CoreCardio Circuit Class!
SS: CoreCardio Circuit is so cool, and I’m so excited to have it at the studio! As someone that’s been involved in our bootcamp programs for the last few years, and Sculpt, it’s been really great to help launch this program and roll it out in Orange County, and now around the country! It is our first class that is a high intensity interval training class. It’s a circuit of 12 exercises with 45 seconds for each exercise. Then we do a really cool group cardio, so it could be Tabata one day, or interval training. So, based on what we are doing in our circuits that day, we will cater our cardio to that. It’s 50 minutes, so it’s a little shorter than our typical 1-hour class, so it allows our students to get in, get out, and get their full workout. We cater it so that every day is focused on a different muscle group, so you don’t suffer from any sort of muscle fatigue or any type of boredom. We have four different sections that we rotate through: power, full body, glutes and abs, and arms and abs.
MS: So is there yoga involved in CoreCardio Circuit?
SS: There’s yoga involved in our warm-up and cool down. All of our classes focus on really warming up the body to start. We have a group integrated warm-up with yoga and stretching before we prep the body for a full cardio circuit. All of our circuits still start with that mindful intention, so we set a theme for all of our classes. Our students are encouraged to focus on an affirmation or mantra throughout the class as well. All of our cool downs for the yoga poses are catered specifically to what muscles they just worked throughout the circuit, so they are able to restore and rejuvenate their muscles for the next day when they come to their mat.
MS: Can any fitness level start in these classes?
SS: Yes; absolutely. So, the way we’ve set up our CoreCardio Circuit is we take all of our advanced Sculpt instructors who have been teaching for at least a year in the Sculpt format and Bootcamp coaches. So they’ve all been trained to allow for a customization of the practice to a very beginner student who has never done a cardio circuit, all the way to an advanced student who is ready to progress and up-level within their classes. They’re getting that coaching throughout their circuit classes.
MS: Do you recommend that they take any other CorePower classes before they start that class, or can you just come in fresh?
SS: You can just come in fresh, but the one thing that is required that’s different from our other classes is that you do need to wear sneakers to be able to participate, but that’s the only requirement. Oh, and it’s not heated! Which is probably for the best…
MS: I would think so! How many calories can you expect to burn per class?
SS: For CoreCardio Circuit, since it’s high intensity interval training, I would say the average would between 500 to 600 calories in the class. It depends on the type of cardio work that the coach is incorporating.
MS: Tell me about the other classes you offer, like Hot Power Fusion, CoreRestore, and Yoga Sculpt.
KS: So, Hot Power Fusion is a set sequence that is based on strengthening and finding mobility in the spine, and stimulating internal organs. So it’s a lot of standing balancing postures that strengthen all of the joints from the ankles up, and is a beneficial class for students with shoulder injuries, or athletes that overuse their shoulder joints. Bearing weight on the shoulders in this class is minimal, and students can adjust so that they aren’t bearing any weight on their shoulders. It is our hottest class, around 100 degrees, with upwards of 40 percent humidity. The heat not only challenges the heart to work harder to cool the body, and therefore a lot of sweat and detoxifying is involved, but the heat also adds an additional mental component of focus and pushing through to hold the posture despite the rising temperature. It’s also open to all levels, so every posture has layers, or ways to customize for the student’s practice that day. CoreRestore is an unheated format that’s open to all levels, and is great for beginners. You hold each posture for three to five minutes. It is seated and lying down. It is a cooling practice where the intention is, when you hold the body in a position for over 90 seconds, you can stretch past the muscles and into the connective tissue. Your entire body is covered in fascia, which is sort of a sticky, spider-webby kind of connective tissue, and when you hold the posture for over 90 seconds, you can stretch into the fascia and it starts to break apart and become finer, and you can experience more mobility. It helps to lubricate the joints and get synovial fluid moving. Holding the postures for that length of time allows students to sink into a more meditative state during the hold time. The intention is not only physical stillness, but also cultivating mental stillness. Many of the postures are aimed at activating the parasympathetic nervous system, so that’s the rest, digest state of the body. So people have actually found themselves losing weight from taking this format, even though they’re not sweating or exerting energy. What happens is, when the body is able to get into that rest and digest state, the parasympathetic nervous system is kicked on, and that’s how the body actually digests. That’s when your body can do its work to absorb nutrients, rid waste, and all of that.
MS: So then, this would be a good class for people with digestion issues?
KS: Absolutely! Absolutely! A lot of times what’s happening when someone has trouble with digestion, it tends to be a stress response. So because their sympathetic nervous system is active almost all the time, their body doesn’t get a chance to do the work of digestion. Also, your organs need space to just operate optimally, and a lot of times, just poor posture from a weak spine, tight muscles, or a combination of both, and slumping forward and not breathing and creating space where our organs need it [causes digestion issues]. Your yoga practice helps to lengthen your posture upright, so then you can breathe into your belly and create space, and that stimulates the digestive system to do the work that it needs. And when we chest breathe, it’s sympathetic nervous system, so that fight or flight response. Breathing into the belly also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and that’s the rest and digest state. But, the yoga practice as a whole is a waste removal practice. A lot of twisting postures and the mind/body connection you build allows you to become much more familiar with your body, and you start to pick up on things that maybe were going under the radar, because you’re so much more aware of how you’re feeling, what you consume, and how it makes your body feel.
MS: I had no idea! That’s so cool! So then what’s Yoga Sculpt?
SS: Yoga Sculpt is a music driven class, so all of our instructors cue to the beat, so that way we all have the same energy and reps as we flow through the class. It’s literally the coolest feeling in the world when you’re teaching and all of your students are moving together. It’s so awesome. It’s such a unique class because it incorporates our Vinyasa flow with free weights. So while we warm up and build heat and energy through the body, after we flow through our yoga poses, we start to incorporate strength training and cardiovascular strength training as well in the class. We start to incorporate muscles that we don’t tend to as often in our other yoga classes. We really focus on the biceps and frontline of the body, and get into squats, lunges, and pushups. It’s a great way to find a well-rounded practice. The class also helps to boost the metabolism and build lean muscle mass within the body. It is a heated class, so the room is about 92 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with zero added humidity in the space. It’s so much fun.
MS: It sounds fun! Is it open to beginners?
SS: Absolutely, yes. When beginners come in, we always recommend 3 to 5 pound weights to start, and the weights are really just an added bonus. They always have the option to release the weights at any time and flow without the weights as well.
MS: What’s your favorite thing about CorePower?
KS: I just think it’s a really awesome opportunity to find a community with like-minded individuals that are creating lifestyle practices that give them the optimum experience of life. When your body feels good, and your mind is at ease, then your relationships improve, you can succeed at your job, and just have more fulfilling experiences. I always encourage people to step out of their comfort zone, which can be intimidating to try something new, whether it’s the yogi that’s trying Sculpt or if it’s someone who is familiar with high intensity interval training, and they are trying CoreRestore. We have something to offer everyone to branch out and increase their overall wellness and peace of mind through taking care of themselves, body, mind, and spirit. And making friends while they do it!
2646 Dupont Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612
www.corepoweryoga.com | 949.851.9642