Yoga students often ask, “What yoga poses work your core?” and the Breathing Room’s answer is simple: all of them.

“On a physical level, connecting to your core in yoga helps provide the student with an integrated form of movement; a container, if you will, to explore movement form,” said Melissa Ferrigno, the studio manager. “It brings more awareness to your breath, creating a quality of calm and freedom in the body and mind.”

Because of this, the Breathing Room, located in South Portland, Maine, wanted a class that was specifically designed to target the core. Since October 1 they have been offering Core Flow, a class with classic Pilates mat work woven into flow. It’s a vinyasa style class appropriate for all levels. Students can expect to connect to their core through breath work, yoga asana, Pilates and attention.

The Breathing Room studio.

“A Core Flow class looks pretty similar to a regular flow class,” said Ferrigno. “There’s a warm-up in the beginning, a juicy part in the middle, and some seated and inversion work toward the end, leaving enough room for a generous savasana.”

The class uses movements that stimulate the energetic and physical connections of the spine. Ferrigno explained connecting to your core not only strengthens your spine, but it builds foundational support in your pelvic floor and awakens your energetic centers of the body. She went on to say it also increases your sense of confidence, will power and well-being. 

Sarah Jane Whitridge is the instructor of the newly added class.

“Sara loves teaching this class as a way of bringing integration of the whole body,” said Ferrigno. “It creates a container for strength by using the Pilates method, but also brings in the ease of yoga. After one class you can see the overall change in a student’s energy and a deeper connection to their center. This is joy.”

 Whitridge isn’t the only one who loves Core Flow. “Students are loving the class because it offers a way to connect to themselves and their yoga practice in a way they may have not tried before,” said Ferrigno. “They are feeling strong and balanced.” 

In order to have a successful class, the Breathing Room recommends having an easy-going atmosphere with a fun playlist. This helps to make the class approachable and fun. Ferrigno said the work in the class is challenging and repetitive throughout, but with a ‘not too tight, not too loose’ type of mentality. Their students find themselves able to tap into their center more deeply without any attachment to outcome. 

Overall, the class has been a great addition to the studio. Ferrigno highly recommends other studios offer a class that builds on core foundation. But she said it’s important to be skilled in anatomy, both physical and energetic, so that the class is well balanced.