A yoga skeptic gets hooked.
I’ve dabbled in yoga for 12 years, but never consistently or happily. As a runner, I crave heavy cardio workouts. Yoga—although not easy—was quiet and slow. But I had heard the buzz about CorePower, an allegedly addicting heated yoga, and in an effort to reenergize my routine and help my constantly aching back, I gave yoga one more shot.
After my first class, Intro to Power Yoga, I was confused. What was all the fuss about? It felt like the first time I tried a cigarette, when I was unconvinced people could look forward to lighting up, let alone be hooked. It was basically just yoga—something I’ve taken dozens of times in dozens of places. The only differences were the slightly elevated temperature and the slightly better soundtrack, skipping instrumental tribal music for up-to-date tunes.
The second class was better, but I still wasn’t sold. After four ho-hum classes of varying levels at the Roscoe Village location, a CorePower disciple recommended a specific class—CorePower Yoga Sculpt—at the Lakeview studio.
Sculpt, a conditioning class combining yoga and weights, was one of the best workouts I’ve ever had. The studio was packed and last-minute participants begged other yogis to scoot over, allowing them to squeeze into spaces that didn’t seem to exist. Gathering weights pre-class was reminiscent of stocking up before a snowstorm. Within minutes, the racks were bare.
Forty scantily clad women plus a few buff men eagerly began a sun salutation in the 95-degree room, feeding off each other’s energy. The instructor proclaimed our bodies were a moving prayer, something I tried desperately to remember as my hands slipped on my own sweat during downward dog, my arms trembling from the tricep extensions. I sat twice within the hour to prevent fainting. Every time the instructor opened the door to let in cool air, I contemplated escaping. By the end, I was drenched in sweat, all the way down to my skivvies, and ravenously hungry, but also highly energized. On the walk home, I mentally rearranged my schedule to fit next week’s class in. CorePower, looks like you got me after all. Locations citywide (corepoweryoga.com). Drop-in $20; memberships and class packs available.