Recently, a Loop location for the popular workout chain, CorePower Yoga, was installed on the second floor of my office building. They offered a pretty compelling deal that included a weeklong free trial. My very first class was a 45-minute iteration of Yoga Sculpt, which I believe is unique to the Loop location so that downtown professionals can work out over lunch. This was almost a week after having been diagnosed with strep throat. I was still on antibiotics. I told myself to take it easy, but I managed to get through fairly well despite not being fully well. Yoga Sculpt is a fast-paced hot yoga class that infuses weights and cardio. Typically, it’s 60 minutes, though they also have 75-minute classes on the weekends. I’ll be working my way up to the latter soon, hopefully! It’s incredibly challenging in terms of strength and stamina, but I have never regretted a single class. It makes you feel glorious.

Andrea and I before a 45-minute Yoga Sculpt class at the Loop location.

Since my start in mid-December, I’ve taken Yoga Sculpt classes at four different locations. Luckily, they seem to be everywhere in Chicagoland and I was even able to attend class on Christmas Eve near my mom’s home at Old Orchard. There was only one YS class that I had to leave after 30 minutes, but this was because I rushed to get there right when I woke up. I didn’t eat breakfast and wasn’t hydrated enough. I went home, relaxed, ate, hydrated, and returned to try again for a later class, which I finished successfully.

In the past, I assumed that CorePower Yoga was elitist, overly priced, and not a diverse community. I was wrong. I’m glad the convenience of the Loop location prompted me to try it. Now I go regularly to the Lakeview location as well. Sculpt seems to draw a predominately female audience, but I’ve seen men in there too. When I took their Hot Power Fusion class this past Saturday, which reminded me much more of the Bikram style, the class appeared to be an equal mix of females and males. I have also noticed more racial and age diversity than I expected. While all of the teachers are different, they foster a welcoming, non-judgmental, and inspiring practice. I don’t think about my weight, the brand of my workout clothes, or how flexible I am compared to my neighbor. It just doesn’t even cross my mind.

I walk away from each class CorePower class feeling lighter, more relaxed, and centered. I won’t lie; my body has been pretty sore and fatigued at times, but I’ve been sleeping better and have noticed my clothing fitting better. I do think it’s important to do things on the side to come to the mat fully prepared, whether that’s foam rolling, slugging water, eating well, and getting a monthly deep tissue massage. At least for now, I realized that doing Yoga Sculpt every other day is best for me, otherwise, I might get injured. I plan to take a C2 class soon, which I believe is a more classic vinyasa flow, to make sure that I’m also prioritizing flexibility and mobility, besides just strength and toning.

I canceled my gym membership with Chicago Athletic Clubs and so far, I don’t miss it. I like the community and extra push that comes with group fitness and guidance. Plus, the gym I used to go to had yoga classes right beneath the treadmills so it was not a peaceful environment. I also believe the heated rooms have helped me with being looser, which is especially helpful considering my neck and back pain. I also signed up for CorePower’s Power Up Challenge this month: 20 classes in a month. If you succeed, you can be entered to win prizes, but for me, I’m just wanting to challenge myself physically and mentally (it would be cool if I won something though!). What’s also helped is having a dry January so far. I’ll be posting about that experience after the end of the month. 

In health, Megan,

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