The Haight hosts UnWINEd Wednesday once a month. It is a one-hour yoga session followed by 30 minutes of relaxing with a glass of wine. The class is led by Alisa Kostelny, a core power yoga instructor who has a special connection to The Haight. Last November, she and her husband, Kyle, got married here. We had the chance to talk with Alisa about her love for practicing and teaching yoga.
Alisa’s yoga practice began six years ago in her living room with a DVD called ELLE: Workout YOGA starring Brooklyn Decker as the instructor (currently available on Amazon).
I learned how to do Crow Pose/Kakasana from that video. It took me six months in my living room, no yoga mat, just me and my body.
Alisa’s reasoning for purchasing the DVD seemed pretty simple—she wanted to be healthy and needed a way to practice that. Though she points out that looking back, especially through the depths of teacher training, the reasons run deeper.
There were a lot of being changes in my life and I was truly seeking an escape. A healthy escape. It was just my body, my breath, and a clear mind free of changes. Those moments in my living room moved into group yoga at LA Fitness, and then with enough courage and a Groupon, to Bikram Yoga.
Alisa was hooked and claims it was like a runners high after and during every run. The way that it cleared her mind, cleansed her body, and re-energized her soul. Each time she went to her mat to practice, it would be a different experience and the results were always the same.
There were no judgments, no thoughts; other than my goal (and the goal was to make it to my mat), and a complete sense of freedom that no one could take away.
To know I was achieving this all on my own is what kept and keeps me coming back.
Another big change in Alisa’s life happened when she moved and because of that, she knew she needed to find the right space to practice. After checking out a few yoga studios near her new home, she took a class at Corepower (with another Groupon)—“and I walked, or should I say floated, out of that yoga class.”
From the charming instructor at the front desk, to the perfect playlist of my liking, and the cool lemon lavender cloth for my forehead. I was in love. I emailed the manager of the studio and told her how completely in AWE I was of my experience and that I knew that studio would be my yoga sanctuary.
Within the year Alisa learned that Corepower offered Yoga Alliance 200hr-RYT (registered yoga teacher) trainings. She figured that when she reached a certain level within her practice she would sign up, but would give it some time.
I am not quite sure what that level was, but luckily an instructor had made mention that I should just sign up for it. If she hadn’t, I would probably still be reaching for that level!
Alisa began teacher training with Yoga Sculpt, which is yoga with weights, in the fall of 2015. In spring of 2016 she began 200hr-RYT for Hot Power Fusion and then in the summer of 2017 she started teacher training for Power Yoga!
All through and possible with Corepower.
Alisa explains that Corepower Yoga (CPY) is a community where all ages, genders, and backgrounds connect and share an incredible physical, emotional, and transforming journey. She has practiced at many different CPY studios and has taught at many as well. Each of them are they same—consistency being the key—whether you are in the suburbs of Chicago, downtown, or across the US, you know exactly what to expect.
You are greeted by sunshine at the front desk who usually shouts out your name during class sharing the greatness you are exuding, a structured/balanced sequence accessible for all levels, music that you may have never heard of but enjoy thoroughly, intentions that speak right to your heart, and encouragement that fills you up till your next practice.
Alisa says that finding your studio is like choosing your best friend.
You just have to try them out to see who you mesh with best. CPY I bet has a best friend for everyone though. With the amount of yoga offerings, classes, workshops, sequences, trainings, and instructors you are bound to find something that fits like a glove. It surely did for me. I always say try something three times before you make your final decision.
I just read this great article and I must share it. Written so truthfully. If you have a few minutes, start your yoga practice right here, by reading this.
Alisa says she has so many favorite poses that she cannot choose just one! Her body feels different every day and the same postures feel different every time.
I do have a love/hate relationship with Half Pigeon/Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, it feels and hurts so good! I do love Malasana/Garland pose probably because it is my go to position whenever I am close to the ground. It always feels good for my hips.
We always love to see new faces joining us for yoga at The Haight and Alisa does too!
The atmosphere and energy in the room is like a GIANT HUG waiting for you! There is so much love and positivity within the walls, the brick, the wood that you cannot walk out of there not feeling better than before you came. And if you don’t feel that right away, let me entice you through my experience and teachings. Just an hour dedicated SOLEY for YOU, an escape, a journey, an experience you surely will want to feel again and again.
Alisa says if you don’t believe her, try it for yourself and provide her with feedback on how she can make you feel that way!
I hope that the women and men that come to The Haight can walk away feeling a little more open, a lot more comfortable, a ton more happy, and the thought that they will come back. Because thoughts turn into things, the things become intentional, all intentions create awareness, and awareness will always create change.