Workouts. Staying in shape. Wouldn't it be great if our bodies just did it for us, kept the right muscle tone, kept the correct weight for our size, and got rid of anything excess that we might take in? Unfortunately, that will never happen unless science produces a synthetic gene that will do so. One can dream, I guess.
I have to say, I don't really enjoy working out, and I will tell you that my opinion is, that anyone who says they really do, or that they "love it" is lying. I may be wrong, but I don't think so. Just kidding, as I'm sure there are people who love the torture.
But for those of us who don't "love" it, but still work out to stay fit and be healthy, there is yoga. A practice that can still seem torturous, yet relaxing at the same time. I have done yoga for many years, mainly Ashtanga, or power yoga. I used a tape and did it in the convenience of my own home.
Back in January, I discovered Corepower Yoga, a chain that has studios all over the country, and they practice a lot of hot yoga in their classes. Hot yoga is a little different than Bikram yoga, as in Bikram the room is always heated to 105 degrees, consists of 26 postures, and goes on for 90 minutes.
Corepower Yoga Studios have several different types of hot yoga classes, and a couple that are not. Almost all the classes run for 60 minutes. I have to say my favorite is Corepower 1 or C1. It is a Vinyasa flow in a warm, not hot, room (even thought you get incredibly hot and sweaty) that focuses on upper body strength, core, proper alignment and breathing. It goes at a nice steady pace, really warms up the muscle tissue, and improves flexibility. This is the class I take most often, because I actually like it, and I love the teacher, Elissa. All of the teachers at Corepower are good, as they have all been expertly trained in their practice. But Elissa stands out because she always gives clear, concise instruction, her class flows; you aren't bored, and she has a soothing voice that guides you through every posture, and is never judgemental. Plus, she's excellent at her yoga practice. I love that! However, she only teaches at the Oak Park/River Forest location, so you will have to venture out there to experience her classes. I highly recommend her!
Hot Power Fusion is a class taught in a room that has been heated to 105 degrees, and entails 26 of the hot yoga postures with some Hatha yoga mixed in. You will work your core, hips, and upper body.
Core Restore is more of a relaxing class inspired by yin yoga. It involves holding a series of postures for three to five minutes, to build strength all over and repair connective tissues.
Core Power 2 or C2 is for the more advanced yoga student, with a much quicker flow, and in a heated room.
Yoga Sculpt is a total body workout which uses body bars and dumbbells as you do your yoga poses.
Corepower 1.5 or C1.5 is an instructional class to demonstrate proper posture, alignment and safety for C1 and the more difficult poses of C2, and is done in a room heated to 90 degrees.
For me, the 60 minute classes will work just fine, as I might collapse if I had to practice for 90. I get a total body workout, and the best part? When you are done, they come by and lay cold lemon-lavender cloths on your head. It's the perfect end to relax after the hard part is done.
Corepower Yoga studios have several locations in the Chicagoland area. They are in Bucktown, the Gold Coast, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village, and the South Loop.
They offer one week free to new members, and sometimes offer monthly specials. A one month membership is $135, or they have class packs you can get for a set price. Students, seniors and yoga instructors can purchase at a discount. See studio for details.
Check out the schedule at your desired location, and pick a class. You won't be sorry, I promise. Remember, I'm the girl who doesn't love to work out!