Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sore to the Core: My Experience with Exhale's Core Fusion Retreat at Kripalu

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Core Fusion, Core Fusion Retreat, work out, workout, working out, yoga, strength training, Pilates, Lotte Berk Method, Fred DeVito, Elisabeth Halfpapp, Exhale, Exhale SpaOver the weekend, I attended Exhale's Core Fusion Retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Kripalu is, for lack of a better term, a yoga compound in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I went with my friend Keri for a weekend of relaxation, restoration and intense workout sessions -- because Core Fusion is no joke! Over the course of 2.5 days, we did a whopping NINE HOURS of Core Fusion with its founders, the fabulous and amazing Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp.

For those who aren't familiar with Core Fusion, it's a mixture of many different workout regimens -- yoga, Pilates, strength training, barre work, orthopedic stretching and core conditioning. Each class also ends with Savasana, a yoga relaxation practice. Keri and I weren't really sure what we were in for, so it comes as no surprise that we jumped right into a class literally the second we stepped out of the car! The program went as follows:

Friday: 2-hour Core Fusion class
Saturday morning: 3-hour Core Fusion class
Saturday afternoon: 3-hour Core Fusion Yoga class
Sunday morning: 2-hour Core Fusion Cardio class

These classes included tons of weight exercises (picture yourself holding weights and punching the air for 15 minutes), yoga poses (I did more downward dog than I ever thought possible), pushups, situps, mountain climbers (the bane of my existence!) and more.

Are you tired yet? Trust me, this was one of the most intense workouts I have ever put myself through. But Fred and Elisabeth are such nurturing, caring individuals who really try to get the best out of you without ever raising their voices like some personal trainers might! (Side note: They've known each other since high school and they're married. So cute, right?) They encouraged us to work within our limitations and to stretch them as far as we could within the program, and I left feeling really great about myself and my working out.

I will say that the normal Core Fusion classes were not as difficult for me as the yoga and cardio ones. During those two, I was pouring sweat and panting pretty hard! But Fred and Elisabeth would continue to motivate and encourage me -- and the rest of the class, who was having just as hard of a time! -- and I made it through.

As for the rest of the weekend, Kripalu is an amazing place to visit. All the meals are included in the cost of your stay -- everything is vegan or vegetarian, organic and completely delicious. Each morning begins with Silent Breakfast, a chance to reflect and prepare yourself for the day ahead. There's even an in-house spa so you can take advantage of massages, body treatments and facials in between your class schedule. (I definitely had a deep tissue massage -- after 5 hours of Core Fusion on Saturday, my body was screaming!)

I left the Core Fusion retreat feeling restored, rejuvenated and ready for more. I can't wait to take advantage of all the Core Fusion offerings at the various Exhale spas in New York.

For more information about Core Fusion, visit exhalespa.com. For more information about Kripalu, visit kripalu.org.

Disclosure: The Core Fusion retreat at Kripalu cost $459. I paid for this retreat myself.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! Amazing review! I am actually obsessed with all things Core Fusion and I take class regularly. I can't imagine what you do to make class be 2 hours long though! In CF Yoga I can picture it, but I can't imagine in Cardio and especially in regular Core Fusion.

    This review just confirmed that I need to save up for one of these retreats!