What Is It: CorePower Yoga’s Yoga Sculpt is a 60-minute hot yoga class that incorporates cardio and weight training into a traditional yoga flow session
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10). While I wouldn’t recommend the class to someone who has never taken yoga before, it’s definitely doable – but still challenging! – for people who have some yoga experience.
The class began with stretching and setting an intention, followed by a traditional yoga flow (think chaturangas and warrior poses) without the weights, followed by the same movements using weights. (I opted for 3-lb. ones, the lightest offered!)
Because the room is kept between 92 and 95 degrees for the Yoga Sculpt class, I was already sweating by the time we finished the flow section. The standing flow series were followed by bicep work with the weights and a challenging squat series that had us place a yoga block under one foot to work one leg at a time.
This was followed by a three-minute cardio section – by far the most difficult three minutes of the class! You’re already sweaty, and having to do jumping jacks and high knees in a heated room was not my favorite experience, but it definitely succeeded in getting my heart rate up!
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After the cardio, we moved onto more arm work, this time using the weights to work our arms while holding yoga poses. We did tricep curls while holding chair pose, rows while in a crescent lunge to work the back, and a high row in warrior pose to work the obliques, all while the heart rate is still up from the cardio section.
Next we did another set of squats, and then repeated the weight work/yoga pose section on the other side.
The last section was mat work to tone the glutes and abs. We got down on all fours and did leg lifts, single-leg crunches and fire hydrants to really get a burn in the booty! We also did leg circles and bicycles to tone the abs.
The class ended with more stretching and a much-needed savasana.
“Yoga Sculpt improves muscular endurance and also helps to tone, balance and define all the muscles in the body,” Amy Opielowski, CorePower Yoga s senior manager of quality and innovation, tells PEOPLE. “Each sculpt class is a full-body workout. The cardio exercises keep your heart healthy and increase cardiovascular endurance, and of course, there’s always a challenging core workout mixed in!”
The Verdict: I was amazed at how many different exercises were incorporated into a 60-minute class. I definitely felt like I good a full-body workout! There’s also something really invigorating about hot yoga classes – I left feeling energized and ready to take on the day. One class wasn’t enough to emerge with Kaley Cuoco’s abs, so I’ll definitely be back!