Caponyasa: What Happens When Yoga Meets Capoeira
Let's face it, yoga has come a long way. It's not just about breathe, stretch, pose anymore. Want to shake your Chakras to Shakira? There’s Pop Yoga. Prefer burpees with your breathing? Try a boot camp-based yoga class. No matter what your style, I’m almost positive you’ll find your flow.
For me, I prefer a little Vinyasa every now and then. I’m a big runner, so practicing yoga helps keep my muscles nice and loose. The other day, though, when I got an invite from the folks over at Equinox to test out the fusion yoga class Caponyasa with it’s creator Carlos Rodriguez, who teaches his signature style at both Equinox and Pure Yoga, I headed straight to the mat.
This full-body workout is basically a mash-up of yoga, modern dance, and the Brazilian martial art form capoeira, so I did a lot of moves that were agility, balance, and cardio based.
“There’s a 360-element to this class which, like capoeira, has a circular movement designed to rapture you in it,” says Rodriguez. “The constant motion is great cardio and keeps the heart rate up, and for at least an hour, you’re out of your mind–just moving to the beat of your heart and breath.” Not to mention you are burning tons of calories—Rodriguez estimates upwards of 800 per one-hour session!
I had tons of fun, but I have to admit, the class was challenging and very fast-paced. For a solid hour, I was jumping, kicking, squatting (actually squats are a key element of the sequence, so be prepared to feel the burn in your butt and thighs!), down-dogging and even doing the ginga (a traditional capoeira move)! I was like a mix-martial arts master—OK, not really, but that’s how the class made me feel despite the fact that I couldn’t pull off every move as gracefully as some of the other yogis in the room.
Next up, a real capoeira class…maybe.