I have a friend, Kate, who defines Super Woman. She is a wife, a mother to two boys and teachers, mentors and guides middle schoolers for a living. Yes, she willingly spends time with young adolescents and actually ENJOYS every minute of it! But beyond all of this, she is a bad ass in the gym. She bench presses amounts that I did not know were humanly possible and makes chin ups look like a walk in the park. The woman is STRONG. So when she asked me if I wanted to go to Core Power Yoga with her, I wasn't sure what to expect.
Her friend, Rachel, teaches at Core Power Yoga in Ballard and Kate tries to go as much as possible. Rachel teaches Yoga Sculpt which is a combo of Yoga, Cardio and Strength. It sounded pretty amazing and you all know how I love to try new workouts so I was in!
Core Power Yoga in Ballard is in a building with a parking garage so parking was surprisingly easy. The studio is on the same floor as the garage so no need to deal with elevators or stairs. When you walk in, the space is open, bright and inviting. The front desk area sits to the side of a large retail space that is well stocked with everything you can imagine from clothes to water bottles to books and journals.
Rachel happened to be at the desk when I arrived and was super friendly and welcoming. She gave me a quick overview of the studio and also handed me a card that can be scanned for a full week of free yoga! The card works at any Core Power Yoga studio which is a huge benefit for anyone that wants to get a feel for any of the Seattle studios or who may have to travel that week.
Once Rachel checked me in, I popped into the Locker Room to lock up my gear, fill up my water bottle and head to the studio. Kate set me up with weights and a block which were all available in the back of the room. The studio is spacious, has mirrors on all 4 walls and has a great open feel to it. The one minor snafu was that I did not expect the studio to be hot. For some reason, given the cardio and strength portion, I assumed it would not be a heated studio. BAD assumption. Yoga Sculpt is done in a studio that is set to about 95 degrees. This made me laugh since Kate will tell you I was adamant it had to be at least 110 degrees given the amount I was sweating! There are a range of weights to choose from - 2 lbs, 3 lbs, 5 lbs, 8 lbs and even 10 lbs. I followed Kate's lead and went with 5 lbs and 8 lbs.
The class starts in more of a traditional yoga format - dimmer lights, slower music and all yoga poses. This went on for about 20 minutes and then the class shifts into the Cardio and Strength portion. Rachel started with a round of strength moves. They were fast paced and set to energetic music. It wasn't as energetic as a Tabata class but I wouldn't expect that given we were transitioning out of the yoga portion. The exercises lasted about 5-8 minutes and incorporated a set of squats and lunges. Each set always ends with a Chaturanga to Downward Facing Dog. It was a nice way to keep your body connected through all the different movements.
Then we moved into the cardio portion of class. As a cardio junkie, I was excited for this part. Until I remembered that it as 95 degrees in the studio. It was exhausting. Mentally I wanted to get to the point of breathless that I feel in Tabata but couldn't given the temperature and the length of the cardio sets. The set included straightforward exercises such as plank jacks to burpees to squat jumps. But at the end, I was grateful that it would be the only cardio set of the workout. It was tough.
This was then followed up by two additional rounds of strength and core. It was definitely a full body workout. Rachel did a great job of cuing us on the different movements and providing constant encouragement throughout the workout. The music was great (think Mary J Blige and Outkast) and the energy of the class definitely picked up for the cardio and strength portions.
Rachel ended the class with about 5-8 minutes of stretching followed by a 5 minute Savasana. A great way to end the class. The only thing I would have liked is to start the class with the Cardio and Strength portion and ended with the Yoga portion but all in all it was a great workout. I plan to go again and check out one of their other Cardio/Yoga classes.
I'd recommend this for anyone who needs more yoga in their life but feels they still need the cardio and strength to get a complete workout. Similarly, I would recommend this to anyone who is a traditional yoga lover but interested in getting more of a cardio/strength workout.
Definitely checkout the Ballard studio if you can. It's gorgeous and the staff is amazing!! But the best part of the visit was the Alo leggings I got on sale for 40% off!!!