Core Power Yoga for College Students

Let's face it, for some of us, working out in college seems to slide down on the to-do list every time we get back to school --especially once you're over the hype of freshman year when you forever said goodbye to your high school adolescent body. Despite the numerous responsibilities we have to attend to and trying to cram in some time to let loose here and there, it's important to maintain some form of healthy exercise not just for your body, but for your mental health. 

One year ago, I joined a Core Power Yoga studio near my campus on a whim because all of my friends were doing their free week trial (which you should totally take advantage of). I noticed the difference in my outlook, productivity, and overall wellness almost immediately, and while it does have to take a back seat at times, yoga has become a huge motivator and healer for me as I finish my last year in college. 

After trying out every class multiple times, I thought I would break them down a little more to give you an idea of what its really like for students and young adults who are trying to balance work, play, and a healthy lifestyle. These are not all of the classes offered at every Core Power Yoga studio, but these are the ones offered at the one I go to. 

Grab a mat, and let's get started...

C1

This class is perfect for beginners or those just looking to brush up on their long-retired yoga “skills.” Instructors go through the postures slowly, explaining every movement of every muscle, while at times walking around to assist. In an unheated with no added humidity, this class will still heat up your core and have you breaking a nice sweat.

Hangover approval: good. As long as you can keep down a couple sips of water, you’re golden.

 

Still drunk? Definitely take this class… or perhaps consider staying home and giving it a go tomorrow. After all, if you’re trying yoga for the first time after a night out, you’re probably not as good as you think you are...

 

C1.5

A step above the C1, this class much more quickly through the movements, only stopping here and there to tweak the postures and center the focus on the breath. It builds on most of the moves you’ve tried in the first class, but this time with the room heated to 85-90 degrees and added humidity.

Hangover approval: fair. It’s good to sweat out the toxins, just make sure to stay very hydrated throughout the practice, as you may feel lightheadedness or weaker than usual. But hey, kudos to you for getting out of bed.

Caffeine got you edgy? Or maybe you’re a bit restless at night? The added heat in this class does wonders for your stiff, tense muscles and will give you the release you need to let your body sink into bed at 10 pm on a Wednesday.

C2

A significant step up from the intro class, the room is heated to 95-98 degrees and the humidity creates droplets on my forearms before I’ve even gotten out of child’s pose. Not gonna lie, this class is intimidating at first. The instructors are speaking yoga like its a second language and you’ll be surrounded by people in color-coordinated outfits testing out their handstands against the foggy front mirror before the warm-up. Not to mention the half-inch distance between you and your neighbor’s mat when you go after 5 pm during the week. Don’t panic (like I did).

Embrace the sudden sweaty touch of your partner's leg. Embrace the droplets dripping from your fingers over your partner's mat, or creating a slippery surface for your toes in downward dog. Embrace the heat, the intensity, the challenge. Once you do, you’ll realize a lot of the intimidation is built up in your head. *Pinky swear* everyone is worrying more about themselves than you.

Hangover approval: better not, unless it is dissipating at the end of the day. It is imperative you are hydrated for this class because you will be losing a lot of water. Even on a normal day, I find if I am not hydrated well enough, I have problems getting through all of the postures without an internal debate over leaving the class entirely or taking one-too-many shivasanas (that’s basically just laying down on your mat, in case you’re new to the lingo).

If you do decide to take an afternoon class, be sure to get there at least 15 minutes early because these are very popular and do fill up! Bring a towel, or they offer towels for you to rent at the studio... you will need one!

 

HPF: Hot Power Fusion

Just when you thought it couldn’t get hotter, the instructors turn up the heat to 98-100 degrees with added humidity to create an environment reminiscent of the Underworld. Believe it or not, this class is actually beginner friendly and a great way to incorporate heat into your practice, without moving too fast through the postures. This is great for cleansing the body, focusing more on balance rather than speed to target those deep tissue muscles and improve flexibility. The heat is intense, there’s no way around it.

Hangover approval: fair. For some, being in a humid, 100-degree room would sound like actual Hell. I can’t imagine it would feel much better when you can still taste last night’s margarita(s) in the back of your throat. But, if you can muster, it is the best way to be sure you sweat out all those questionable decisions and cringe-worthy texts to your ex.

Already thinking about the next party tonight? This class will shed that water weight right off and will do you favors when it comes to squeezing into that wishful outfit that you kept from freshman year in hopes you’ll be able to relive your glory days.

Heed warning about hydration in the aforementioned class description!! If you are dehydrated in the morning from the night before, it’s best to skip out on this one.

 

Yoga Sculpt

If you’re looking to step up your game, or perhaps you’re an experienced yogi, Sculpt is here to make you feel small again. Not gonna lie, this class is intimidating. The people in this class are the definition of athletes and have some of the most toned bodies I’ve seen since going there. And even they’re red hot and sweating when they come out!

Adding free weights to the C2 practice, it combines strength, cardio, and yoga flow to create a full body workout certain to leave your arms feeling like noodles when you’re washing your hair in the shower. Weights are provided in the studio, so no need to show off and bring your equipment from home.

I spent an entire year avoiding this class due to gym-timidation. Don’t make the same mistake that I did. The only way to be the best is to train with the best. You heard it here folks.

THERE IS NO HANGOVER APPROVAL...JUST DON’T!!!

This is not because I’m encouraging you to wimp out. Studies show alcohol has a negative effect on muscle growth by inhibiting protein synthesis necessary to do so. With so many other options of classes to choose from, maybe choose another route.

On the plus side, there is no added humidity so your lungs don’t feel like you’re breathing underwater...just your body does.

That being said, this class is one that I’ve heard time and time again is a favorite among members due to its challenging reps and the fact that it incorporates other exercise routines other than strictly yoga. Personally, I love to do this class once or twice a week to shake up my routine and keep me on my toes. Caution aside, if you’re feeling well, give it a try. The instructors and community surrounding you are very non-judgmental and encouraging. Once I ripped the band-aid, I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable I felt trying something new.

 

Core Restore

Last, but certainly not least is this comfy cozy class that is all based around finding that deep deep stretch. Completely unheated, no humidity and the lights turned low, this 60-minute session is all about “me time”. Slowly, you move through stretches to peaceful music, encouraging to meditate through your practice and reflect on your inner self.

Sound zen enough for ya? Instructors encourage you to come comfy (we’re talking sweats and an oversized t-shirt or sweater).

Hangover approval: absolutely, yes. Even if it’s the kind of hangover that shoots daggers behind your eyes (probably don’t drive yourself), make this class the one reason you get out of bed today. You’ll be ready to sleep like a baby afterward and feel like you did something productive rather than binge eat and finish a show on Netflix.

If there’s one class you should incorporate into your regular weekly routine, this is the one. Perfect after a long seven days of ass-kicking in the studio, or post-finals cramming. Core Restore will slow you down, open your heart, and remind you to take a breath here and there.

 

All images via Giphy