When I began my first month of Core Fusion back in January 2010, I avoided Exhale’s Core Fusion Yoga class. “I am not a yoga person,” I often told people. After two bad experiences in my attempts to try yoga, I had all but given up.
Eventually, as I fell in love with Core Fusion, my curiosity got the best of me and I found myself signing up for Core Fusion Yoga. Since I was still feeling nervous, I brought a friend with me.
I get scared of the unknown in group exercise classes, too.
Of course, I had nothing to be worried about. Core Fusion Yoga is a mix of traditional Core Fusion exercises combined with a yoga flow, set to some really awesome music. After starting the class with some basic yoga stretches, barre-class regulars will feel right at home with a nice, long plank sequence.
The first half of the class is similar to a Vinyasa flow yoga class. The sequences are easy to pick up on and basically stay the same from class to class. Before each chatarunga (a low plank hover for those not familiar with yoga), we do four yoga push-ups (keeping your elbows close to your sides) – giving this class an intense upper-body aspect.
Also shifting this class from traditional yoga to a strengthening fitness class is the long-held poses. We hold chair pose for what feels like forever, as our thighs shake and burn. Warriors I, II and III are also intense on the thighs, and I find myself focusing hard to maintain the side-angle holds and balances.
The second half of class incorporates Qi Gong circular arm movements – meant to bring feelings of peace and energy to the experience -- while working the thighs and glutes in a wide second position. The teachers guide you through this section with inspirational words. You will feel simultaneously worked and at peace.
From there, we might do some more butt-toning exercises or go right into the abdominal section. In addition to the traditional Core Fusion curl, we use yoga blocks on our sides to try and press down with our hands to try and lift our bodies from the core.
Because I learned so much about yoga through Core Fusion Yoga, I became interested in regular yoga classes and once I started attending, I found that I had enough knowledge to get through classes filled with experienced yogis. Core Fusion Yoga is not only a great workout in itself – it is the perfect bridge from a fitness class to a yoga class for people who might be intimidated.
Because of Core Fusion Yoga, I feel comfortable trying new yoga studios and I can hold my own in any class. I never expected the class to turn me into a yogi, but it did. I enjoy this class even more than traditional yoga because I love the toning aspect combined with the much-needed stretching.
And the sweating. You will sweat in this non-stop cardio class. Certain Core Fusion teachers are also certified yoga instructors, and I find the class even better when they teach.
If you’re not near an Exhale Spa location, you can do the same workout at home with the Core Fusion Energy Flow Yoga DVD or Core Fusion Yoga streaming on YogaVibes.
And if you were wary of yoga like I was, you might soon find yourself starting to say, “Yes, I am a yoga person.”
Dori Manela is a writer, content manager and social media consultant. Raised in Queens, Dori now lives in Manhattan, taking as many exercise classes in NYC as possible in search of the perfect workout. She started Dori's Shiny Blog in November 2007. As her passion for fitness grew, DSB turned into a health & fitness blog. With the help of her favorite social networking site Twitter, Dori has connected with other bloggers, boutique fitness studios, companies and readers to share her love of working out.