Medically Reviewed by Lynn Grieger, RN
People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years. Some of the poses have remained the same, and some parts of the yoga we practice today have changed — like the mats, the music, the heat, the goats, and the several new styles people practice around the world.
One of those styles that certainly isn’t thousands of years old is the yoga taught at CorePower Yoga studios across the United States (it's one of the largest chains of yoga studios in the country, with locations in 23 states and the District of Columbia).
“[CorePower Yoga] combines an incredible physical workout with the mindfulness of yoga,” says Heather Peterson, CorePower Yoga’s chief yoga officer. It’s meant to incorporate the general flow and feel-good vibes of a more traditional yoga class with the popular music and modern setting of your typical franchise workout class, Peterson says.
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As a lover of high-intensity workouts, I started dropping into hot yoga classes about five years ago after learning about their potential benefits for cardiovascular health, flexibility, mobility, and mental well-being. (There’s some research that hot-style yoga classes can help with mindfulness, perceived stress levels, cardiovascular health markers, and strength, according to a review published in 2015 the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.)
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But I hadn’t tried a CorePower Yoga class yet — I love the character and feel of my local yoga studio.
My impression of the CorePower chain before I tried it: like SoulCycle, but yoga.
And after trying it out, I’d say the rhythm is more “pop remix” than “traditional chanting.” You can expect an athletic flow of poses, but there’s still the positive, encouraging atmosphere and emphasis on taking care of yourself (it’s still yoga, not boot camp, after all).
7 Tips to Know About Trying CorePower Yoga
What else should you know before heading to the class? Here’s what I wish I had known.
1. Know What Class You’re Signing Up For
I tried the CorePower Yoga 2 class, a more-intense version of their standard yoga class, CorePower Yoga 1. The standard class is not heated. The more advanced class that I took is held in a heated studio. CorePower Yoga also offers a Yoga Sculpt class and Hot Power Fusion class, both of which are heated.
In the CorePower Yoga 2 class, we moved through a fairly fast-paced flow that included some trickier poses (like Crow and Bird of Paradise) with some extra core work thrown in — definitely comparable to other “power” or vinyasa yoga classes I’ve taken.
Note that if you want a class that combines yoga with light weight training and some cardio, though, you’ll get all of that in the Yoga Sculpt class. And for something slower that still helps you stretch and strengthen, try the Hot Power Fusion class.
2. Wear Fitted Clothing
A lot of the poses we moved through involved being upside-down (or at least bent-over), so unless you want to constantly have to pull your shirt or shorts down, wear fitted clothing. Trust me, you want your clothing to move with you, so you can focus on your movement and your breath.
Most of the ladies in the class I took wore fitted tanks (or just sports bras) with leggings. For guys, shirtless with slimmer-cut shorts seemed to be the go-to.
3. Be Prepared to Get Up Close and Personal With Other Class-Goers
Disclaimer: I went to an evening class in New York City (after-work workout classes can be notoriously crowded here). But the room was packed (imagine about three inches of personal space around your mat).
This was not necessarily a negative (for me). The instructor happily helped everyone make room, and no one accidentally kicked someone in the head during class. But the crowded room may certainly be intimidating for newbies.
My advice: Get to the studio 10 or 15 minutes before class starts to claim a spot.
4. Get Ready to WORK
CorePower Yoga describes its yoga style as “high-intensity” — and they mean it.
The class I took involved lots of yoga push-ups and moved quickly from pose to pose. It also challenged my balance with a series of single-leg standing poses. By the end of class, I could barely get through those yoga push-ups.
Though, I’ll add: I did appreciate that the instructor always provided the opportunity to up the intensity of poses without pressuring anyone to push their body beyond their comfort level.
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5. You’re Going to Sweat
Many of CorePower Yoga’s classes are heated. This means two things: First, the class automatically feels more challenging as your body works to deal with the heat. And, second, you’re going to sweat — quite a bit, if you’re like me and not a light sweater. Rest-assured, though: You’re in good company. Literally everyone in my class walked out looking like they just got out of the shower. Embrace it!
6. Bring a Full-Size Towel to Heated Classes, and Use It
All that glorious sweat can make your yoga mat pretty darn slippery, so bring a full-size towel to cover your yoga mat if your class is a heated one. (Major perk alert: The studio will provide you with a towel for your first class.)
Pro tip: Don’t wait until your feet start slipping during Downward Dog (like I did) to put that towel to use. Not only will it help you stay stable as you move from pose to pose, but it’ll help minimize the mess created by the sweat that will inevitably stream off you.
7. Load Up on H20
Another must-have for heated CorePower Yoga classes is water — and lots of it. Peterson recommends hydrating well the day before, the day of, and the day after your class. After all, you need to replace all the fluids you'll lose in all that sweet, sweet perspiration you’ve shed.
I tend to get overly focused during workouts and forget to pause and sip some water. So I appreciated that my CorePower Yoga instructor prompted us to do so a few times throughout class.