Admittedly, as someone who enjoys yoga I’m not sure why it took me so long to try our CorePower Yoga.  They have been open in Brewer’s Hill for more than a few months and I haven’t made time to check them out.  Now I’m a little bit mad that I missed out for so long.  Granted I have been trying out a lot of other studios and working on my spin playlists. {not to mention my day job which has the tendency to suck up more hours of my life than I would like to admit} However, after putting in all the work to audition for a position as a spin instructor and not making the final cut, I needed a bit of a change.  My ideal workout schedule in the past always included at least one day of Yoga a week.  Sure it’s great because it’s a much different workout than I am used to, but what it does for your mind is just as important as the physical body.

I’m about to go full yogi here, but my favorite part of yoga is the message that you are enough just as you are.  No one is asking that you give anything other than the best you have right now.  No one is asking you to be the most flexible or the strongest in the room.  The only thing you work towards is being better than you were yesterday or last week and continuing to grow.  I love that yoga is a practice, an always evolving journey to improve.

Overall impressions
LOVE.  Friendly front desk staff, locker rooms with great amenities including locks and keys for lockers and super spacious studios had me planning C2 classes as part of my regular workout schedule from day one.

Location – 5/5
I am certainly guilty of picking studios that are insanely close to me but can you blame a girl?  If you’re wondering what workout you will stick to the most it’s the one that is easy to keep consistent with.  When you pick a studio that is literally on your way home you don’t have much of an excuse for not going.

Price – $$
A single drop in class is going to cost you $22, while a 5, 10, or 20 pack which will run you $21/$19.50/$17  respectively.  CorePower Yoga does have a membership program called Black Tag Membership which is $139/month for unlimited classes at ANY studio {extra charge for studios in New York} and a good deal if you plan on going twice a week or more.

If you are unsure of what class type or teacher you might like they offer one week free for new members.  This is an AMAZING deal if you live in Baltimore as there are four different locations to choose from.  Brewer’s Hill, Federal Hill, Harbor Point, and Hamden.

Ease of signing up/scheduling – 5/5
This gets a 5/5 because really, there isn’t any signing up required.  Just visit their website, look up the studio you want to go to for their schedule and pick a class.  And then show up.  That’s all there is to it.

I’ve said this before but not being able to sign up online for a class gives me a smidge of anxiety.  {We can’t all be perfect…} What if the class is too full by the time I get there or I don’t get a spot or, honestly I’m not even sure what else I worry about.  Just the unknown.  I’m working on it.

That being said once I showed up for my first class I realized that there wasn’t that much to worry about.  The studios are plenty spacious and I was always able to get a good spot in the room.

Variety of classes / class times that fit my schedule – 4/5
I had originally been frustrated at the limited schedule for specifically the Brewer’s Hill location.  They offer the same rotation of classes at the same time every day and most of them do not work for someone with a regular 9-5.  For example if you are more of a beginner C1 is only offered at 4pm. However then I realized I could go to any of the studios in the city I found more options that worked for my schedule.  All of the locations also offer some form of free parking also {HUGE plus} which made me not mind having to go to another location to try a different type of class.

So let’s get into the classes.

Spent a week checking out @corepoweryoga in #baltimore - Check out my thoughts on their unique take on yoga. Click To Tweet

C2 -Core Power Yoga with Sybil at Brewer’s Hill

Now usually at a new studio I will take a level one class to start, because I don’t do a lot of yoga and you never know how hard a level two class is going to be.  Or how challenging a level one class can be for that matter.  However because there weren’t great options for after work classes at the Brewer’s Hill studio {already discussed above} I went ahead and just picked a C2 class.  Hopefully it wouldn’t be too hard.

If a yoga class can be considered “fire” than this would be it.  I knew within the first five minutes that I would love everything about it and that it would quickly make the list of classes I want to do every week.  Number one, I love any class that starts out in child’s pose, with the instructor helping to set an intention for the class via a little personal story.  Not every studio and/or instructor does this but the ones that do always resonate really strongly with me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a “learn by example” type of person.  I loved everything about the class from the instructor, to her intention, to her flow, to her playlist.

I left that class feeling strong, both physically and mentally, but also energized, excited, self assured.  It was exactly what I needed

Yoga Sculpt with Sybil at Federal Hill
“This is like Yoga on crack” -Sybil

While I would only associate this class with Yoga in that it is done in a studio, on a mat and with some yoga like poses it was a heck of a lot of fun and definitely a challenge.  Defintely let the instructor know if this is your first time and ask what to expect.  You will pulse and sweat and leave with arms and booty on fire in such a good way.

I wasn’t specifically looking to take a class with the same instructor, but I wanted to try Sculpt and I loved the C2 class that Sybil had taught so I knew it was a pretty good choice.  Her energy is off the charts in a good way, it makes you want to work harder.

Yoga sculpt is a mix of yoga poses/postures and light weight resistance training for a full body burn.  Think chair pose while doing tricep kickbacks with 3lb weights, then a transition into warrior 2 and then doing a shoulder press.  Except to old school hip hip beats and moving non stop.  It’s yoga meets dance meets barre meets cardio in just the right way.  It’s one of those combos that just work.

Hot Power Fusion with Jenna at Brewer’s Hill

After taking both C2 and Yoga Sculpt Sybil suggested I take a Hot Power Fusion Class as a good contrast.  I was originally planning on doing a class the next day on Thursday, but in all honestly my body needed a little bit more rest.  I picked a mid morning Saturday class instead.

Right away I could tell it was different, but in an unexpected good way.  HPF was slower and more gentle, while also being a challenge in it’s own right.  A total 180 from C2 you start standing and work on standing balances for the first half of the class.  The flow is more relaxed, the music more gentle and the instructor a little more soft spoken.  In was, the perfect end to a rough week and the perfect compliment to the higher intensity classes I had taken earlier in the week.  Though the class is listed as being the hottest temperature out of the 3, it didn’t feel that much different.  Overall the room was less crowded than the Sculpt class {which was completely full} and the slower pace meant I didn’t feel as hot.

Of the 3 very different types of classes I would pick c2 as my favorite with HPF coming in a close second.  Sculpt, while certainly fun and interesting isn’t something I see myself going to regularly.   It IS worth checking out if you are looking for a fun and energizing way to get a full body workout while having a lot of fun though.

CorePower Yoga – Thank you for being exactly what I needed in my life last week.  

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Taking Big Risks and Failing Hard

by Sara on July 24, 2017

I don’t have a great history with being a risk taker.  I’m sure there are people in my life that would disagree, but I have a terrible habit of measuring my life based on other people’s accomplishments.  Sure maybe something was risky for me, but it’s pretty tame for most people so does it even count?

Last weekend I did something that was risky for me.  I got up on a bike in front of people I didn’t know and auditioned for a spot as a spin instructor at a local studio.  It was undoubtedly one of the scariest {for me} and nerve wracking things I have done in a long time.  I wanted to back out so many times but I had committed.  I had told everyone I knew.  I couldn’t quit before I even tried.  If I’m being honest, I told everyone I knew on purpose.   If I backed out I would have to tell everyone I was too scared to go through with it.  At the end of the day I would rather try and fail than not try at all.

And if I was going to try I was going to give it my all.  The moment I decided I was going to audition I signed up for classes with different instructors at the studio.  I got a membership to my work gym so I could use their spin bikes for practice.  I made Ralph come with me to the gym so I could practice with him.  I made playlist after playlist after playlist.  The week before the audition I was at the gym almost every day, even the morning of the audition I was practicing.  I practiced my routine in the car driving to work.  I practiced in my living room while my dog gave me weird head-tilted looks.

I practiced and prepared and I was STILL a ball of nerves walking into that studio.  But let me tell you, getting up on that podium and feeling like I knocked it out of the park because I was so prepared?  That felt amazing.  It felt beyond words amazing like nothing I had ever felt.

Here’s the thing with taking a risk.  It’s scary as hell.  It’s so uncomfortable.  But it won’t {usually} kill you.  And you you will {usually} come out the other end stronger no matter what the outcome.

I ended up getting a callback to audition again the next day, but overall between the short notice {I didn’t get the email until 8 or 9pm to come in again the next day at 1pm} and the somewhat vague instructions {“Come back tomorrow, same thing as today”} I was not as nearly as prepared.  If I thought the first round was intimidating the second was terrifying.  I knew the second I walked in I wasn’t as ready as the day before.  And the fear set in because hello, I was already there standing in the middle of the studio.  What was I going to do? Leave?  It was at that moment that I said to myself, “So what if you are the least prepared or least talented person in this room right now.  Even if you don’t get any further you are going to learn something.”

In the end I didn’t make the final cut.  I could feel it when I walked out of the studio though, I just knew it in my gut it didn’t go as well.  In that moment it’s hard to be proud of yourself for trying.  Those are the moments where fear creeps in and says, “See I knew you shouldn’t have tried.”

Why do we let fear hold us back?  Um, Hello.  It’s fear.  It’s things that are really SCARY.  So how do you overcome that fear?

I was scared to be the least experienced person in the room.  So what.  Maybe I was the least experienced person in the room.  But you know what else?  I have never taught spin before.  I have never been trained before.  I did my best with the tools I had access to and I shouldn’t feel bad that there might be other people out there with more experience/knowledge/training.  All I can do is keep moving forward from the exact spot I am right now, but I cannot expect to be in the same place as someone else.  It’s literally impossible.

I was scared that people would judge me.  People are going to judge you.  They will judge you if you do well.  They will judge you if you fail.  They will judge you if you think you did an amazing job and are really proud of yourself.  Someone will find a flaw in what you did, and if you let them pick out one tiny little thing and let it negate all the work you put in you’re not going to make it.

It’s only a failure if you chose not to grow from it.  I’ll be honest though, that takes A LOT of maturity, self awareness and reflection that I am still learning to deal with and process.  I am not good at taking feedback.  I am learning to get better.  It’s always easy to blame other people, it’s much MUCH harder to look at yourself and ask, “could I have given more” or “I could have been more polished.”  Not getting chosen in the final round, guys, it hurt.  It hurt more than anything because there wasn’t much of an explanation and there wasn’t any feedback so it makes it harder to process.  It’s hard to realize that even though you worked hard sometimes that’s just not enough and someone else is just more skilled.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

I know now that I’m not scared to audition.  I know now that I can lead a group fitness class if that’s the route I choose to take.  I know that I need to practice a lot before I get comfortable but I can do it, I can be motivating and I do have the energy.  I know I can practice and get better and that I have people in my corner supporting me and wanting to help me improve.

Bottom line, it’s ok to do things that are scary.  They might not work out and that’s freaking ok. Comfort zones are great but nothing grows there.  Growing is painful, and all those other completely cliche things that are completely 110% true.  So whatever it is you’ve been too scared to take the leap and do, stop making excuses and just go do it.  Maybe it will work out, and maybe it won’t.

Either way at least you can say you tried.

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5 Tips for Beginner Indoor Cyclists {& a REV Cycle Giveaway}

May 16, 2017

Ever since REV Cycle Brewers Hill has opened it has become one of my favorite regular workouts.  While now I am super comfortable in the saddle, there was a time I was actually really scared of even setting foot in a studio.  Here’s hoping that these tips will help you get you on a bike in […]

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5 Tips for Better Meal Prep

April 5, 2017
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Does the idea of “meal prep” conjure up images of endless Tupperware containers filled with chicken and rice and broccoli?  If so let me be the first to say, I’m sorry.  And second, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Meal prep is not just reserved for those trying to loose weight.  Meal prep does […]

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Megaformer Fitness Comes to Baltimore – MEGAfit

March 22, 2017
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I have had my eyes on Megaformer fitness studios for a while now.  Although the massive piece of equipment with all it’s springs and handles might look a little intimidating, it’s supposed to be an insanely effective workout.  Also known as the Lagree Method {after Sebastian Lagree who invented this fantasical piece of equipment} think of a pilates […]

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Hungry Harvest – Get Creative & Fight Food Waste

March 20, 2017
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I first learned about Hungry Harvest through a work volunteer event.  Giving back to the community is a huge piece of what it means to work for Under Armour.  This past summer my team was able to participate in a week long giveback event at one of the cities schools. We helped fix it up, host […]

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9Round Baltimore – Kickboxing Fitness

March 15, 2017
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“Be stubborn about your goals.  Be flexible with how you achieve them” People who achieve goals have a unique trait that sets them apart from people who easily give up.  When things don’t go as planned they reevaluate the plan and change the course if necessary.  When I laid this plan out three weeks ago […]

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Embrace Your Flaws and Learn to Love Yourself

March 13, 2017
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A few moths ago I reconnected with an old college friend over lunch.  Actually we reconnected when I read a recent blog post of hers {check her out here!} about balance.  Yea I know, my favorite subject. {more here, here and here} Despite having great jobs, home lives, supportive families and relationships we both admitted something felt… off. […]

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