One month ago I participated in a CPY Triathlon at CorePower Yoga Highland Park in celebration of their 7th birthday. This workout challenged me in so many ways (it was 3 hours long) and was so much more than your typical “go to a studio and sweat.” I couldn’t just finish the Tri and move on without mentioning it on the blog, so I present you with CPY Highland Park’s well-deserved Yoga Tri ~Review~.
I’ll start by prefacing with the fact that even though I’m very into fitness, I’m not your typical yogi and I don’t frequently do yoga at a studio. My experience with yoga is limited to my personal practice in the privacy of my own apartment, usually led by the instruction of a YouTube video. There are two reasons for this:
- Being a gymnast, I was raised on intense conditioning and cardio, so I’ve been a creature of habit and have always modeled my workouts after that. It hasn’t crossed my mind to incorporate yoga until the last few years, and I’ll be honest, I hadn’t had the most open mind about yoga until recently. That new found view has come with more fitness education, and experiencing muscle tightness that would be alleviated from incorporating a little yoga.
- More importantly though, I have some very real physical limitations from a gymnastics accident that make certain aspects of yoga difficult, uncomfortable, and sometimes impossible for me. The injury left me with decreased mobility of my right foot, major loss of muscle and strength in my lower right leg, and therefore a large lack of balance on the right side of my body (a necessary story to tell on the blog another time). SO, that in itself is the main reason why my routine hasn’t included practicing yoga in a studio with others.
I 100% value the benefits of all types of yoga classes and have always wished it was easier for me to participate. When one of my best friends sent me the link to the CPY Tri on July 8th and suggested we do it together, I was hesitant at first. Although my personal workouts I’ve been doing for years are very similar to a Yoga Sculpt workout, I’ve never actually taken a Sculpt class. My physical limitations obviously made me hesitate at first too. The unknown of what the instructors had planned for us, and the possibility of not being able to do or modify the moves (along with potential judgement from others) was honestly a fear.
But one thing I’ve adopted since my injury 8.5 years ago is that I will absolutely not let it hold me down, especially when it comes to working out. I love trying new things and participating in events like these, so I decided to give it a go.
The Triathlon consisted of 3 CPY classes in a row. Below was the agenda for the day:
11am-12pm: Yoga Sculpt
12pm-1pm: Ryder Class OR a 3-Mile Run (we chose Ryder)
1pm-2pm: Hot Power Fusion
$35 for CPY members
$45 for non-members
- Your spot in the Tri
- Custom Lululemon tank
- Some snacks at the end
- Opportunities for some product discounts in the studio
Two of my best friends, Nikki and Maddie, signed up for the class with me. They have been two of my go-to girls to do fitness classes and events with since we were in middle school. None of us are members of CorePower, but Nikki and Maddie had taken a few more classes than I had there. I had previously only taken some CorePower Ryder classes because, as you probably know already, I love indoor spin classes.
Class 1. Yoga Sculpt
Thoughts: Nerves and motivation for what’s to come, “HERE WE GO”
We set up our mats in the back right corner of the studio for this first class, not by choice but because it was literally the only area left to claim. There were probably 50+ people signed up for the Yoga Tri and we were all packed in to the room like sardines. I don’t think we could have fit another small person in the class, but that was the cool part about this Tri. All of these people were coming out to sweat together for 3 hours. That fact alone made me excited to be a part of this community of amazingly motivated people. Sweaty bodies all in it together.
It was a standard Sculpt class: yoga mixed with light weight training, some cardio in place on your mat, very hot room, etc. I loved it because it targeted certain areas of my body I tend to not work as hard on my own. My legs were shaking by the end of it and the light cardio incorporated in it was a good warm-up for the Ryder class to come.
Class 2. Ryder
Thoughts: Now I got this, excited for a familiar workout, so ready to sweat even more
Next was the cardio sector of the Triathlon. When we signed up, we had the option of choosing a Ryder class (depending on spots available) or a 3-mile group run outside. We chose Ryder. Ryder is CorePower’s indoor spin class. Only a select amount of CPY studios in the country offer the Ryder classes, and we are lucky to have one of those in St. Paul. The RealRyder bikes used in the Ryder classes are unique in that the seat and handle bars actually tilt, allowing you to lean and steer, and forcing you to stabilize your body more than you would need to on a completely stationary bike. The studio is also heated like a hot yoga class. Here’s a link to a video demonstrating what the RealRyder bikes can do: RealRyder bikes (enjoy the intensity of the Europe RealRyder team haha)
Being a frequent rider at CycleBar (and previously at Cyc Fitness in Madison, WI), I have my own cycling shoes that I wanted to use for the Ryder class. For anyone interested in taking this class, the Ryder bike pedals take SPD clips on one side, and have a foot holder on the other side if you want to just wear tennis shoes.
I had a hard time researching what type of clips the bikes take, so here is an answer on the Internet for anyone in my same situation: The bikes in CorePower Ryder classes take SPD clips! You’re welcome Internet 🙂
The class was intense and took longer than the 3-mile run that others did because it’s a solid 45-minute class. No doubt, Ryder gave us a better cardio session and calorie-burn than the run would have. Since our class was longer, we also didn’t have the extra time to sit around and let our heart rates come down before our 3rd class like the runners did.
CPY Ryder is a killer workout and a great “spin” on spin classes (pun intended) because of the tilting RealRyder bike. However, I’m still an advocate for indoor cycling studios like CycleBar and Cyc Fitness, where you ride to the beat of the music, get an arm and ab workout with incorporated weight sectors, and have specific RPMs and resistant levels to follow.
3. Hot Power Fusion
Thoughts: Last one best one, I can’t wait to eat after this
The Triathlon originally had a CP2 class scheduled as the 3rd leg of our workout, but a change in instructors available switched our 3rd class to Hot Power Fusion instead. I honestly had no idea what the difference of the two were (and I still don’t because I’m a yoga newb), but I ABSOLUTELY loved this class.
This is huge for me because I was most worried about this type of class, and how I would do with the lack of balance and mobility on the right side of my body. It was a true test of my mental strength and open-mindedness, along with physical strength.
The room was set to a temperature and humidity higher than the other two classes (which I also loved). As corny as it sounds, I feel like I literally sweat out all of my preconceived worries. The class was fast-paced, and we moved quickly through the movements and poses. I found myself succeeding at some, and challenged by others, but it didn’t bother me.
As I looked around the room at the 50 others that joined me in this Yoga Tri, I saw people flowing with all different ability levels.
I had this previous notion of yoga classes being filled with yoga enthusiasts and people of advanced skill levels, which can be intimidating for a newcomer who’s unfamiliar with the moves and format of the classes. Maybe it was just the class I was in, but I quickly learned that that is not the case.
As Nikki and Maddie put it, some people seriously go to yoga to just lay in final savasana and rest, and that is acceptable. That is so awesome. I laughed when they told me that, but it put a lot of things in perspective for me. I was in the midst of a very accepting community of people at this Highland Park studio. People of all ability levels, balance, flexibility, and strength were together in this hot and sticky room, taking this class to improve themselves—not there to judge anyone else in there—all aware of the energy of others but solely focusing on themselves.
*I was actually pretty good at the class too. (I’m allowed to brag a little here because dang guys it’s valid for me to have worries). I may not have the great balance on my feet that others have, but I sure do have the balance upside down, and I definitely have the flexibility going for me. I also found that it’s completely acceptable to modify certain moves for your body’s benefit and that there are so many ways to do it. Like I said, you could just lay there on your mat if you really wanted.
It was the best feeling ever to complete 3 intense, heated classes in a row, giving both my body and my mind the ultimate workout. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment! The only feeling better than the pride and relief was peeling off those sweaty leggings and changing into breathable shorts (lol).
As a wrap up to the Tri, CorePower had a masseuse in the lobby of the studio giving complementary massages for the participants, along with some snacks provided by Whole Foods. All hail the complementary La Croix!! They also had a few giveaways and in-studio discounts going on. All in all, it was such a well thought out event.
So, A+ to you CorePower Highland Park!
I 100% recommend a CPY Tri to anyone looking for an amazing workout and challenge! The triathlons vary from studio to studio, so keep an eye out for the next one in your area. In fact, there’s already another Tri coming up this month in the Twin Cities:
Mark your calendars! CorePower Yoga Uptown, Minneapolis is hosting a CPY Tri on August 27th from 10:30am-1:00pm. (Here’s the Facebook link to the event)
- Yoga Sculpt
- Run to Lake Calhoun
- Paddle Board races on Calhoun
If this is something you’re interested in trying, go for it! Unfortunately, I will be on a family vacation so I won’t be able to go, otherwise I would definitely be reserving my spot for this.
Thanks again to CorePower Yoga Highland Park for a great experience and workout! You may see me back in the studio flowing with all you ‘Omies’ in the near future : )
With healthy intent,