Sweaty Yoga: CorePower Yoga Studio Review

February 11, 2013 · 7 comments

On my list of studios to visit was CorePower Yoga. I first heard about this mega studio on the Oakley Women’s Summit from Lacey Calvert. She is an instructor and also helps train new teachers too! It was fate that her 8:30 AM CorePower Yoga Sculpt: Heated Power Yoga with Weights in Costa Mesa fit my schedule perfectly. I saw online that new members get a free week of classes. With a studio up by my brother as well, it was a perfect opportunity to test a number of classes from the same studio.

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Lacey has one of the most warm and welcoming personalities. She knew everyone in our class and immediately made me feel at ease despite being my first heated yoga class (not to mention with weights!). She helped me get set up with a pair of 3 and 5 lb dumbbells. The room was heated to a very warm 91F. We began with some traditional yoga sun salutations to get the body warm. The sweat began to pour from my skin right away. The music was a chill mix of popular songs, like Bieber and alternative rock. We picked up our light weights to “flow.” We did pushups, tricep dips, bicep curls, core work and more sun salutations with the weights. Lacey gave us breaks when we needed to wipe off the sweat and grab a drink of water but kept us moving the entire hour.

I have never sweat so much during an exercise class in my life. The hour went by really quick and felt amazing. I knew I was going to be sore the next day but felt energized the rest of the day! Here is what the websites describes the class as well, for your own FYI:

A total body workout, CorePower Yoga Sculpt classes are set to energizing music and designed to tone and sculpt every major muscle group. This class complements your regular yoga practice while boosting your metabolism and pushing your strength and flexibility to new heights. Free weights are added to the CorePower Yoga 2 (C2) sequence, creating resistance and intensifying each pose. Strength-training exercises such as squats, lunges, bicep and tricep curls are incorporated to build lean muscle mass.

The boutique also sells super cute yoga clothes and accessories.

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You can’t see it but the water bottle below has text along the outer edge of the heart that says, “I just hearted.” So cute and funny.

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I always take pictures of the labels of clothes I like at boutiques to go and look them up online later. I assume if I like one piece at a studio, there is a good chance I will like more of their designs (and perhaps snag a deal). This way I can also remember the smaller brands. I had never heard of teeki or soybu so I’m excited to check out their other designs. I also realized how much I really like Beyond Yoga clothing.

CorePower Boutique

The next day when I got back to my Brother’s house, I checked the CorePower schedule at the nearby studio for a class I could take. I decided upon the CorePower Yoga Pilates after my friend Maria recommended it on my blog from Friday. Taught by Marxel, it was one of the hardest classes I have ever taken. The heat was unbearable at times and breaks were rare. I appreciate a teacher who can push your limits, but when 85% of your students are not following the flow, you should probably give them a rest especially when the classroom feels hotter than 100F. I feel like some teachers take pride in challenging their classes but there is a balance that needs to be recognized. I felt this way a few times when I noticed over half the room was either just standing or sitting ignoring his cues.

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I had to take a minute in child’s pose half way through because I was getting nauseous. That being said, it was good and it was hard. I was a sweaty mess and the class was packed. We did Pilates abs in the beginning and then transitioned to a few yoga flow salutations but also incorporated lunges with knee lifts and core twists. We ended using props for more core work. I spoke to Marxel afterwards and he informed me that at CorePower, all of classes are corporately structured except for the Yoga Pilates so he does his own thing. That means, the class depends 100% on the instructor. If you want a challenge, try his class! I feel like I need to take another instructor before I form a solid opinion on this one.

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Also, it was confusing to always know what was going on during the class since it was so packed. I kept trying to find Marxel to see what he was doing but because he was moving around the room, it was hard to spot him. The instructors don’t wear mics so it was hard to hear sometimes his instructions too. I wish we were given a few more child’s pose breaks as well.

Today, I tried the Hot Power Fusion which is the most traditional yoga class available at CorePower Yoga. The 60-minute class went by really quick and felt more like a hot stretch than an actual yoga flow practice. I still was drenched (the obvious side effect from working out in a heated room) and felt like I had a nice little workout.

My final thoughts: I loved Lacey’s class and know that I need to try the CorePower Yoga 2 (the favorite among my blog readers). I feel like my experience at Costa Mesa was very different than at the Sherman Oaks location so I’m curious how the other studios are as well. If you are into traditional yoga however, I would not recommend CorePower. They don’t play traditional music and classes are only 60 minutes. If you want to sweat, stretch, and tone up, give CorePower a chance. They have studios all over and are opening one up in Boston in 2013! I am excited for their arrival!

Must Try Class - CorePower Yoga Sculpt: Heated Power Yoga with Weights preferably with Lacey :)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marxel February 11, 2013 at 5:39 am

Biased much ? Disappointing especially coming from a friend of Lacey’s . Next time if you really disagree w a class and instructor style don’t sugar coat it grow a pair and say it how it is to ones face .Namaste .

- The one who handed you your ass

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2 Andie February 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

I love Marxel! I’ve realized the key to his classes are just sticking through it. I started going to Marxel on a regular basis in June, and finally by August after about 20 classes I was able to stick through the class. On those days when I couldn’t getting back into the flow after falling out was near impossible… hence more than half the class just sitting around.

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3 Becky @ Olives n Wine February 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

I go to a CorePower Yoga studio in Minneapolis and love the Sculpt class! It is a great workout. The only issue I have with the chain is that they CRAM their classes so full it is borderline dangerous, especially when it is so hot and you are moving weights around! One time, a student fainted in a Sculpt class I was in and I was disappointed to see that the teacher did not stop the class.

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4 Caitlin February 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I’ve taken Marxel’s class on Wilshire and it is definitely the hardest class I’ve ever taken. I can’t even imagine what someone’s body would look like if they took that class 3x a week, I can barely make it through once a week. I haven’t tried his sculpt class though, only the Pilates. Congrats on making it through it is tough!

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5 Brynn April 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

good to know – I’ve been looking into Yoga Sculpt but was worried it wasn’t going to be enough cardio. Sounds like I’m wrong!

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6 Colorado Yogi October 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I think you weren’t hard enough on Core Power. Marxel’s class is a symptom of a bigger problem at Core Power– It is really aerobics pretending to be yoga. That’s what some people are looking for, as you say. But then to place Hindi symbols and terminology throughout the studio is too much, I’d say even disrespectful. They also push their teacher trainings really hard, but they aren’t Yoga Aliance RYT certified, or recognized by any outside organization for that matter, and they aren’t the standard 200 hours. I not only did the free week, but did an introductory month, just to be sure of my doubts. I have to admit I loved the showers and amenities. But I suspect like most gyms, they make money by alienating a lot of people who stop showing up because it is too strenuous. I would guess Marxel’s technique is actually part of a strategy to git rid of less fit customers while keeping their money. That is how most gyms remain profitable; if they served all their customers, they would go out of business. I think it is the dirty secret of Core Power, also.

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7 Tammy October 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I found that practicing yoga at home is also really helpful when it comes to commitment for weight loss when you can’t make it to a studio. I found some good reviews of home yoga courses here: http://www.homeyogareviews.com

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