Trying CorePower Yoga For the First Time? Here's What Every Beginner Needs to Know

Mar 25 2020 - 8:25am

With more than 200 locations nationwide, CorePower Yoga [1] is the largest yoga studio chain in the country. Trying anything for the first time [2] can be intimidating, especially an exercise class with a cult-like following and an Instagram-worthy studio. But not to worry: unlike some swanky fitness studios, CorePower is very beginner-friendly.

Still, if you've never done yoga (let alone hot yoga [3]), or you're just new to CorePower, there are some specifics you should know before arriving at the studio. At the time of my first class, I'd been a dancer for seven years and practiced yoga regularly, so on a whim, I grabbed my mat and water bottle and headed over, wildly unprepared. Learn from my mistakes and make the most of your CorePower Yoga experience using these tips.

Bring Towels (Yes, Plural)

I showed up to a C1.5 class, the level between the introductory C1 and experienced C2, without a towel to cover my mat and was quite literally a hot mess. I had read that the C1 classes were unheated and that C2 classes were very hot — up to 100 degrees and with added humidity [4]. For some reason, I assumed C1.5 would also be unheated (a ridiculous oversight on my part) and spent the entire class sweating and sliding around on my mat [5]. Always bring a yoga or bath towel to lay over your mat, no matter what level or style of class you're going to. The rooms remain hot after each class even if it's unheated, and the classes are almost always packed, making it even hotter.

Bringing a hand towel to keep by your water bottle is also a good idea. I did not do that for my first class and during downward dog, gravity pushed a bead of sweat into my eye and, let me tell you, that stings. As the class went on, I noticed some people had small towels with them and would periodically wipe their hands or face with them. Next time, I made sure I brought one, too. If you're planning on hitting the showers afterwards, bring a third towel and leave it in your locker.

Be Sure to Grab a Lock

This one might not seem important, but not bringing a lock to my first class — and then not realizing that they were apparently available to rent — did change my experience. Instead of getting excited while waiting for the instructor, I sat there stretching, worrying about my valuables in the locker room. It's not that I actually expected anyone to steal anything, but being in a new place and watching everyone around me lock up their stuff made me nervous. That's not the headspace you want to be in for your first class, especially if you're totally new to yoga and already on edge.

Be 15 Minutes Early and Not 1 Minute Late

Most CorePower Yoga studios don't offer online reservations, so you should arrive early to snag a spot, drop your stuff off in the locker room, and set up your mat. Like I mentioned before, CorePower is very popular and very packed. If you have crazy-long limbs like me, you'll be miserable if you're too close to the wall or you'll make other people miserable by grazing their ponytail with your foot. Trust me.

It's not worthwhile, or usually even possible, to show up earlier than that. Oftentimes, the person checking you in is also your instructor, which means that when they switch gears from the desk to the studio, they lock the front door. Depending on how the classes in other rooms match up schedule-wise, you could be waiting outside for a while. The biggest thing to worry about is being locked out, though (who knew locks would play such a critical role in preparedness?). While locking the front doors is great from a safety perspective, it also means that you cannot be late. Not even one minute. I showed up one minute late for a class during my first week and learned this the hard way.

Make the Most Out of Your First Week

The best things in life are free, right? Well, at CorePower Yoga your first week is better than the best: it's free and unlimited. I immediately fell in love with the candlelight classes my studio offered at the end of the day, and once I discovered them, that's all I did the rest of the week. If I could go back, I would've used my first week as an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.

Admittedly, I've never tried Yoga Sculpt, the popular bootcamp-style class that combines C2 sequencing with cardio and free weights, because I'm not sure I would enjoy yoga with less emphasis on flow. In retrospect, I wish I would've tested it out at the beginning. That's the beauty of a free and unlimited week, if you go to a class and it isn't a good fit, it's no loss to you. There's a class for every skill level and fitness goal [6], so take advantage of your first week and try a little bit of everything. Without a doubt, you'll find the right fit for you.

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