When I first transferred to Cal Poly I was so excited about all the different types of yoga classes offered at the Rec. Fast-forward a quarter, and I found that I was still only ever attending the same couple classes. I am a creature of habit, and I liked sticking to classes that I knew what to expect. Then I resolved to try every yoga class at least once. In the process I found a couple classes that I totally plan to add to my regular rotation, and a couple that I was never really missing out on. But since not knowing what to expect was the main thing holding me back from the quirkier classes, I decided to share my experience with all y’all!
I included the name of the class, the description for the class as listed on the Rec Center’s website, and my personal thoughts on the class. Find a class schedule under “Fitness” here.
Class Description: This quickly paced class is accompanied by Vinyasa in order to flow from one pose to another. Power Yoga provides a vigorous workout plus strength and flexibility.
My Review: So I’ll be honest, as much as I like yoga I had been avoiding Power Yoga because I don’t like exercise, and as you can imagine this class is meant to be more of a workout than typical yoga classes. Also, in my experience “Power Yoga” can sometimes devolve into a pilates class which, you know, pilates is cool and all, but when I go to a yoga class I expect to be doing yoga. But I was pleasantly surprised by this class! The teacher Alix is really cool, and this class is great for simultaneously working on your yoga practice but also getting in a bit of a work out, because Alix incorporates some poses and reps that more rigorously target certain muscle groups. Great for yogis and gym rats alike!
Electro Flow Yoga
Description: This fun-filled, high-energy Vinyasa flow class is set to an eclectic blend of various styles of electronic music. The word “vinyasa” simply means “to link in a special way.” In this class we will focus on linking breath with movement. As a result, you will get a great workout while creating a stronger mind-body connection. Expect to be a sweaty as you are stretchy when class is over.
Review: I think the description is pretty apt in saying “expect to be as sweaty as you are stretchy,” (I think that’s true of most good Vinyasa classes). Although the poses and flows you go through are typical Vinyasa yoga movements, they’re reasonably rigorous and Trevor’s soundtrack is what distinguishes this class from the rest. I like the overall loose vibe of the class. And really, I expected the music to be off-putting or distracting, but it wasn’t; I wouldn’t choose this as my only yoga practice, but it’s definitely a fun way to mix things up. This could also be a great class for people who want to try yoga, but think they’d get too bored in a normal class—the upbeat music keeps you energized.
Rock ‘n’ Reggae Flow
Description: This class blends the Hatha and Vinyasa styles of yoga, and focuses on building strength while having fun. Be ready to sweat while rocking out to a blend of classic and contemporary rock and reggae. The pace of the class is relatively slow, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you won’t work hard. Expect longer holds during standing poses and a lot of core work.
Review: This felt pretty similar to the Electro Flow Class, but with reggae music—understandable given this is also taught by Trevor. Like any good flow yoga class, slow controlled movements and balancing poses look lax, but are pretty challenging (in a good way) in practice. This class is good for all levels of yogis. I was digging the reggae music, and Trevor is a pretty chill teacher (I hear he also teaches at Spark Hot Yoga studio).
Description: Borrowing from the styles of Shadow, Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga, this class uses awareness of the breath combined with movement and postures to form the basis of the discipline of Hatha Yoga. This flow style class provides balance and power.
Review: If you go to Hatha yoga at the Rec, you’re likely to take a class with Richard. (A gal named Kristy also teaches Hatha, and sometimes subs for Trevor, and she’s pretty good). I think the best word for Richard is unconventional. He is obviously passionate and knowledgeable about yoga, and the cool thing about his class is that he always uses and teaches lesser-known poses. So if you’re someone for whom yoga can feel monotonous, Hatha Yoga with Richard would be a great way to mix things up. But I don’t think I would recommend it for a first-time yogi—just because the poses and flows Richard teaches are not necessarily representative of your typical yoga class. (I would, however, call Kristy very beginner-friendly).
Description: This class connects movement with breath. As you tone, strengthen and stretch your muscles, the focus on your breath allows you to practice “staying present” in the moment. By creating a strong, healthy and limber body while cultivating a peaceful mindset, this class offers an opportunity for you to establish a more harmonious self—“Namaste.”
Review: I think Hatha and Vinyasa are what most people would probably consider “standard” yoga, with Hatha erring a bit more on the “stretchy” side and Vinyasa being a smidge more “muscly.” Basically, in my experience, the main difference between Hatha and Vinyasa is that Vinyasa involves a lot of chaturangas (the plank + elbows-in-pushup + upward dog + down dog sequence), which can be quite exerting. But you’ll still sweat in Hatha, and you’ll still stretch in Vinyasa.
My favorite yoga class at Cal Poly by far is Vinyasa taught by Amy. Amy is truly all-levels friendly—she explains everything thoroughly enough for a Vinyasa virgin, but includes advancements suitable for more experienced yogis. Amy always includes a brief time for everyone to try a more challenging inversion (aka, funky balancing or upside-down poses) like Cradle Headstand…
…or Crow Pose…
…which can be really fun! And the music she plays for end of class savasana—“corpse pose”—is invigorating yet soothing. I always feel strong but stretched out at the end of a good Vinyasa class.
Description: Blends moving meditations and bliss producing restorative poses, typically done on the floor with lots of supportive props coupled with soothing music to help the body release. Restorative poses are an important part of any long-term yoga practice: they recharge our energy reserves, heal the effects of stress, and bring our nervous systems into a more balanced state. This class will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed.
Review: You know how a lot of people—myself included—say they like yoga because “it’s good for your body and your mind”? Well, Restorative Yoga will benefit your mind more than anything else. Sure, the class has some nice gentle twists and a few recognizable yoga moves, but I would almost venture to call this a Meditation Class instead of a Yoga Class. Don’t expect to get a workout in this class, but do expect to get super relaxed. This is a great class to decompress and de-stress. But if you show up pumped for some chaturangas, you may get a bit bored.
Human Being Training Yoga
Description: Human Being Training classes are yoga- based, music-infused adventures into realizing your genius, the reason you’re here. Rediscover an ancient message in a refreshing, unorthodox way, through a powerful blend of humor, raw physicality, intellect, and heart.
Review: I had avoided this class as well as the Restorative Yoga class because they both sounded a bit too hippie-dippie for my liking. True, the teacher Amanda spent the first several minutes philosophizing, but when we got down to it it was a solid, challenging yoga practice. From what others have told me, this class varies greatly week to week, but from what I saw this class allows freedom of expression in the simpler sequences and the chance to challenge yourself in harder poses. Amanda is also very receptive to the suggestions of the students and had a sociable presence. But be prepared to work—the teacher is very strong, and the prevalence of Plank in her class shows it. I would’ve like to have done a bit more stretching, personally, but overall it was a decent class.
There are many different variations of yoga offered at the Cal Poly Rec Center, and the thing I’ve learned from taking the time to try them all out is that there is truly a yoga class for everyone. So next time you want to go to yoga at the Rec, I hope rather than be overwhelmed by the different options you’ll refer to these reviews to help you decipher the classes.