Format(s) Taken: Yoga
Additional Formats Available: Functional Fitness
When I first heard of Bulldog Yoga, a yoga studio in Boulder, I was instantly intrigued. The Bulldog Yoga website reads: “Fitness fueled yoga with a musical heart. We are yoga, rebooted.” I consider myself a fitness yogi. I love the meditation of holding powerful, foundational yoga poses while I maintain an intentional, even breath and dristhi (point of focus or soft gaze). I also like breaking the “rules”, like adding in athletic and yoga HIIT moments into my yoga practice, such as plank pulses, army crawls, mountain climbers, frog squats, jump squats and countless others. I realize these movements color outside the lines of traditional yoga and may turn the noses of some yoga purists, but doses of amped up power movements help me find the present moment, maintain focus, strengthen my physical yoga practice, and, I just feel damn good afterwards.
Bulldog Yoga is the Top Dog of Yoga HIIT
In the end whether I’m at the gym or in the studio, I just plain and simply like to sweat and challenge my physical capabilities. To me, yoga is about the freedom to honor and do what your mind, body and soul crave. You want to add in a jump lunge? Make it a jump lunge. You want to revel in your runners lunge as you gently sway to the beat of the music while experiencing the sweet surrender of a juicy stretch? You go and get some. Do you like to yoga flow to dance party music? Let’s do it, party people. This is why I feel connected with Bulldog Yoga. Wait for it… They are the top dog of the yoga HIIT hybrid experience.
HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is an interval approach to fitness training that involves short bursts of energy, like as many burpees as you can in 30 seconds, followed by a timed rest period before going into another 30 second exercise like burpees or high knees. This approach is popular in group fitness classes as well as a strategy for sport-specific training. Elements of HIIT have been making their way into fitness-oriented yoga classes, such as yoga sculpt classes. We could go on and debate the specifics of what HIIT actually entails and feels like, but we’ll save that for another time.
How Bulldog Yoga Started
Bulldog Yoga was created by Katy Conicella in partnership with Co-Owner, Jon Cummins. Throughout her life, Katy has been an athlete. She started yoga to get relief from the tightness she experienced from tennis, running and field hockey. She fell in love with heated power yoga when she found how a regular yoga practice provided her access to mobility she never thought possible. Beyond the physical benefits, she found the emotional effects to be just as powerful. Taking yoga classes became a special space to heal from the inside out through the power connection of mind, body and soul. It didn’t take long before she completed two, 200 hour yoga teacher trainings and got connected with entrepreneur and investor, Jon Cummins. Jon approached Katy with the concept to create a yoga format that stripped away the formalities of yoga. “Let’s make yoga more fun and with cool music,” suggested Jon. Katy was 100% down(dog) for the challenge. They opened the first studio in Villanova, Pennsylvania and the second location recently opened in Boulder in February 2018.
The Bulldog Way
At Bulldog Yoga, there is no Sanskrit or Om-ing. No one is a guru at Bulldog Yoga. All are welcome without judgement or expectations. The reception wall is covered in messages of love, kindness and inspiration. The foundation of Bulldog Yoga classes is a heated power yoga flow practice. A mindful meditation is cultivated throughout the practice by connecting the breath with movement, and the consistent reminder to indulge in this time of self-care so you can more fully be present for others and act with peace, love and kindness. There is also a plentiful side of spunk and spontaneity that kicks in with fun party music and the yoga hiit sequencing. The movements aren’t complicated, but they are physically challenging. Of course, it is always your choice to add in the fitness bursts and to the level you want to kick it at. There is no pressure. You do you. This is what it means to be #bulldogstrong.
Bulldog Yoga Classes
There are three Bulldog Yoga class formats: Activate, Invigorate and Exhilarate. Invigorate is the primary Bulldog Yoga format that integrates cardio and elements of yoga HIIT, however, you can get a more grounding and meditative experience with Activate or up the fitness experience with Exhilarate. Watch video examples of Bulldog Yoga classes here
Activate: A heated power yoga flow class. This class reminds me of a more “classic” vinyasa-syle class. It is heated, however, not over-the-top, puddle-of-sweat hot. The pace is strong and steady throughout the practice and very accessible to those fond of yoga flow.
Invigorate: Taking power yoga flow to the next level. Invigorate moves fast with intention to get your heart rate up. Expect the Yoga HIIT experience. This is a full body, stimulating yoga workout.
Exhilarate: This class is most like a yoga sculpt you may have taken at other studios, although, instead of weights, resistance bands are used. This class is primarily a fitness class on your mat with elements of yoga woven in. You’ll experience yoga HIIT, cardio and targeted exercises intended to “tone and sculpt”.
Basics: There is also a Bulldog Basics Yoga class. If you are new to yoga, ask about the basics class and take it. Bulldog Yoga classes move fast and I recommend having some foundational yoga experience before jumping in. I’m not saying perfect poses, balance or flexibility, I’m saying just having a familiarity with some of the basic yoga flow poses. From my perspective, here are a few poses you should be familiar with:
- Downward Facing dog/Adho Mukha Shvanasana
- High Plank (on your toes or knees)
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
- Warrior 2/Virabhadrasana II
- Child’s Pose/Balasana (Knowing when it is time for a break, and allowing yourself to take it.)
Experience Bulldog Yoga with FitLo
Join us for the FitLo Passport Event at Bulldog Yoga Boulder on Saturday, July 14. We can’t wait to meet and connect with you! We will be joined with partners, Boulder Running Company, Empact Bars, Pindrop Coffee, RX Bar and Vita Coco to provide prizes and goodies. All are welcome! Free for FitLo Passport Members | $19 for Guests. REGISTER HERE
What are FitLo Passport Events?
FitLo Passport Events are small batch fitness studio events we co-host with studios throughout Denver, Metro Denver and Boulder. These events are designed to be small to make your studio visit a VIP experience that is fun and inclusive. Our mission is to help you connect with like-minded fitness and yoga enthusiasts and find a studio to call home. Already have a studio or gym membership that is your fitness home? Congrats! That is key to achieving your goals. We invite you to still join the party to explore fitness and yoga studios for fun and to cross-train with the VIP treatment. The Passport Events are free for FitLo Passport Members | $15 for Nonmember Guests. All are welcome to join. We love making new connections and friends. Become a FitLo Passport Member (only $19/month).