Whether you’re a just-hooked newbie or seasoned yogi, your reasons for turning to yoga are personal. Physical strength? Balance in your day-to-day? Serious vibes? There’s no wrong answer—and CorePower Yoga gets that. On the eve of the national megabrand’s arrival in New York City (look out for its Upper West Side debut in late spring!), we’re teaming up to highlight the inspiring stories behind its star instructors. Because every #WhyIYoga moment = goals.
If you’ve ever wondered what yoga could do for you, CorePower Yoga assistant studio manager Chelsea Scott has a concrete example: “It turned me into a good person.”
Sound like an exaggeration? Spend a minute talking to the uber-positive Orange Country native (who, unsurprisingly, has a background in musical theater and dance), and you’ll soon see it’s anything but.
“I was this sarcastic, jaded, critical, negative Nelly,” she says. “Yoga taught me to be aware of my body, and that transferred off the mat. I was aware of my thoughts and words—and they weren’t uplifting. I was like, ‘That doesn’t make me feel good in the long run. It’s funny to be sarcastic and rude, but that’s not helping anyone. That’s not bringing light into the world.'” Preach!
“I was aware of my thoughts and words—and they weren’t uplifting. I was like, ‘That doesn’t make me feel good in the long run.'”
But her attitude wasn’t the only thing that changed. CorePower Yoga’s signature Yoga Sculpt class, which uses weights and cardio bursts for an added workout boost, has been a major builder of strength—both on the inside and outside—for the star instructor.
“What yoga has done is let me take off the labels of who I should be or shouldn’t be, and just be who I want to be,” she says. “On the flip side, it actually strengthened my muscles. I was never a gym rat. Tap dancing doesn’t give you muscles to support your posture. But Yoga Sculpt and yoga—isometrically holding the poses—that makes you physically strong.”
Scroll down for more motivational tips, strength-building poses, and yoga-life essentials for creating a more toned—and spiritually uplifted—self.
Her signature approach
It’s not a shock that Scott’s favorite method to teach is high-energy Yoga Sculpt. And with her theater background, she treats every class like a performance.
“When you come and take my Yoga Sculpt class, it’s kind of a show,” she says. “Being in front of people, being energetic, reading the room and getting everyone to feel something and do something—it’s the same thing [as performing].”
And that all-in attitude has helped her reap the physical rewards, too. “I was always super skinny, and kind of boney and lanky,” she says. “But once I started doing Yoga Sculpt, it actually started putting muscle on my body to support my posture.”
Her favorite pose
One of Scott’s best yoga poses is also one that suits her personality perfectly: Wild Thing. To achieve it, you start in a one-legged downward dog, then rest your weight on your right hand. With your right arm supporting your body, curl your back, raise your hips, and bring your left arm and leg out and over (needless to say, this is not exactly a beginner’s pose).
“That one is fun, but it also opens your heart,” she says. “It opens your chest, your arms, and your shoulders, which is a lot of the time a space I keep closed off. So it’s good for yoga to force your body into poses where your heart has to physically open, and then symbolically [open].”
Scott is more charged up than ever to bring CorePower Yoga to New York City. “There has been nothing in my life where I have gone so full-force,” she says. “I have focused everything on getting here and being a part of the team. Because of yoga, I’ve been able to get rid of any self-doubt, like ‘I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough.'”
So how does she maintain that focus? With a solid mat—and leggings—to fuel her practice, plus a steady stream of energy-boosting acai bowls, restorative massage, and calming lavender to stay connected to her purpose. AKA, here’s your new formula for total domination.
Stay tuned for CorePower Yoga’s first NYC studio in late spring. To learn more, go to corepoweryoga.com
Top photo: Tim Gibson for Well+Good