My Yoga Trio: Power of Your Om, CorePower, and Sol Seek

Three Approaches to Yoga for Self-Care in Santa Barbara

My Yoga Trio: Power of Your Om, Core Power, and Sol Seek

Three Approaches to Yoga for Self-Care in Santa Barbara

By Charles Donelan | January 27, 2022

CorePower State Street fosters a down-to-earth and supportive teaching style. | Credit: Courtesy of Cara Ferrick

Yoga in Santa Barbara today is a Technicolor umbrella under which all kinds of things can happen. Here are three distinctly different experiences. 

“Chill” with Lisa Jo Burke @ The Power of Your Om: Entering this cozy space in Victoria Court on a cold Monday night was like coming home to a crackling fire in the fireplace. “Chill” class instructor Lisa Jo Burke delivers a soothing hour of yin stretches, most of which you perform on the floor. The class opens and soothes connective tissues, ligaments, joints, and fascia. Many of the postures benefit from bolsters, blocks, and straps.

I came in wondering if I could last in the lotus position for five minutes and left relaxed, fortified, and pain-free. When PoYO owner Adrienne Smith is not teaching hot yoga, she dispenses self-care wisdom that works. She said that with COVID, everyone needs to focus on how they want to come out of this. It’s never too late to become the person you want to be. Meditative classes like “Chill” help let that person emerge.

Credit: Tai Kerbs

“Yoga Sculpt” with Gabby Escamilla @ CorePower Yoga: It’s easy to see why this class is so popular and to feel why people keep coming back. The poses are challenging, the free weights add intensity, and enthusiastic regulars supercharge the space with positive energy. Thanks to the down-to-earth and supportive teaching style of CorePower State Street studio manager Gabby Escamilla, I nevertheless felt safe throughout and left energized, already craving more of the same.

This up-tempo workout urges you to attempt a level of effort you might not reach on your own. The reward comes in the form of a powerful post-class endorphin surge that lasts for hours. If you haven’t been working out lately or are sensitive to heat, “Sculpt” will likely kick your butt. Stick with it, though, and soon you’ll be whooping with joy along with everyone else in the class.

“Sound + Sleep” with Mitsuko Conner Newlan @ Sol Seek Yoga: Sol Seek Yoga (formerly Divinitree) occupies one of the most beautiful studio spaces in town. The wide, curved proscenium at the front of this high-ceilinged room provides an ideal setting for “Sound + Sleep,” the most distinctive of the three classes I attended. Instructor Mitsuko Conner Newlan sits between two gongs while participants lie on their backs, covered by blankets. Using a sophisticated combination of gong playing and guided meditation, Conner Newlan induces a feeling of deep restfulness that floats between waking and sleeping.

Over the course of an hour on the mat, three incremental gong crescendos draw out the tension in your body. This warm sound bath offers a mid-week reset for busy people. Anyone looking for stress relief and grounding will find that “Sound + Sleep” delivers an optimal combination of meditation and relaxation.

Read all of the stories in this year’s Self-Care issue here.


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