Cora Wo & Elaine Ko

founders, X˙CORE Studio 


Oakland, CA


"it's all about community"

starting a business: some people do it for the money. some people do it for the glory. and some, like Cora Wo and Elaine Ko of X˙CORE Studio, do it for the people. (and the endorphins.) (and the killer glutes.) which is why their high-intensity Pilates studio is so much more than a high-intensity Pilates studio: it’s a bonafide community of like-minded, kind, determined humans. “our clients and team pour their heart and soul into X˙CORE,” says Cora, “and, along the way, we get to be a part of their lives, learning about their families, babies, friends, dogs and all the moments that make life.” 

here’s how (and why) the two friends do it.


where do you call home?

Cora: “i live in Daly City with my husband, daughter and lots of plants. we've been here nine months. first time in this city, and we're here because of my husband's job. it's been fun being on this side of the bridge, and exploring all that it has to offer. visiting Pacifica and walking along the beach has been one of my favorite things to do on a random afternoon.”

Elaine: “Montclair, Oakland with my husband, Paul. we bought our home during the pandemic and targeted Montclair for its neighborhood vibes and proximity to nature. having access to endless paths and journeys in our backyard has been a game changer!”

click here to follow X Core on instagram @xcorestudioand and click here to book a class.


what do you do — professionally, personally, passionately? 

Cora: “i’m a small business owner of X˙CORE studio (where we offer Pilates-inspired workouts and cardio climbing classes), a mother, a wife, a friend and a passionate wannabe chef!”

Elaine: “professionally, i work in the fintech industry and co-own X˙CORE. personally, i love continued education in all aspects of life, independently and together with my partner. passionately, i cherish my friends and family, and i love to dance, eat, laugh and work out with my X˙CORE fit fam.”

(click here to follow X Core on instagram @xcorestudioand and click here to book a class!)


what path led you here? 

Cora: “it all started with my passion for this high intensity style of Pilates, which led to me becoming an instructor at another studio. finally, i decided to take a huge risk and start a studio with Elaine in Oakland.”

Elaine: “a desire to share my love for modern Pilates and the VersaClimber, and above all, make a positive impact on every smile that walks in the door.”


what inspires you? drives you? 

Cora: “so many things inspire me, but one thing that sticks out is meeting kind people. there's so much negativity that can easily bring us down, but when i come across someone with a kind heart, bright smile and giving nature, i can't help but be inspired. what drives me is an eternal flame to see hard work actualize into success.”

Elaine: “my mom, memories of my dad’s relentless ambition, my husband’s constant cheerleading, and our X˙CORE family’s, instructors’ and clients’ ongoing journey in health and wellness.”



Cora: "where there's a will, there's a way.”

Elaine: “in this very moment, i am grateful for…”


the best part of what you do?

Cora: “seeing the best in others. we've met so many wonderful people on our journey with X˙CORE, and i am so touched by the generosity of our team and community.”

Elaine: “being part of the change and success in our community’s health and wellness.”


tell us about X˙CORE, in your own words. what makes it different?

Cora: “i will say this till i’m blue in the face, but our community is what makes it SO special. without the people that come to workout with us day in/out and our amazing crew of instructors, we would not be who we are. our clients/team pour their heart and soul into X˙CORE and, along the way, we get to be a part of their lives learning about their families, babies, friends, dogs and all the moments that make life.”

Elaine: “no doubt it’s the community that separates us from other studios. our community embodies incredible strength (physical and mental), dedication, and support to one another. with regard to the workout, X˙CORE is one of the few studios that offers low impact, high intensity training in both strength/resistance training and cardio.”


best song to work out to?

Cora: “changes often, but at this very moment, "Climax by Usher (Kaskade remix)””

Elaine: “impossible question.”


any tips for sticking with it (whether “it” is a daily workout routine, or a very hard workout, or any other aspect of fitness you might find hard to see through)?

Cora: “the hardest part is starting. so if i can give any piece of advice, it's to start putting 30 minutes in your calendar and set it aside for yourself. dedicate this time you've set aside to start. start walking, start jogging, start lifting those five pound weights you've told yourself you'd always lift, start going to the fitness studio you'd always tell yourself you'd try.”

Elaine: “become a master in your [fitness] craft; never stop getting better at what you love to do. but, don’t forget to cross train.”


piece of époque on current rotation?

Cora: “in LOVE with the mainstay shirt. it's the perfect top for everything — whether you slip it on post-workout or headed to a work event, it's the classic piece that will never go out of style.”

Elaine: “the easy jumpsuit because it’s easy! wear it by itself or layer it... and it works for every single season!”


shop CORA & ELAINE'S picks

we are living in crazy times. what is life like right now for you?

Cora: “busy! as a small business owner and mom, my life is always on the go and the word "pivot" has become a staple in my vocabulary.”

Elaine: “f**ckin crazy, but always a good time!”


your fall / winter plans, summed up in three words?

Cora: “exciting, chaotic, Christmas-y. (yes, i said Christmas-y, lol.)”

Elaine: “family, feasts, fitness.”


not-so guilty pleasure?

Cora: “spicy margarita. a little sweet, most mostly spicy.”

Elaine: “dark chocolate.”


the takeaway from the past year and a half that you’ll keep with you? 

Cora: “one of my favorite words is resilient, and that's the best way to describe this past year. you truly don't know what you're capable of until your back is against the wall and you must find a way for your small business to survive. also, surviving in a small San Francisco apartment (while pregnant) with my husband for nine months is another achievement.”

Elaine: “embrace change. pivot hard. cherish your loved ones.”


2021 is flying by. what’s the single best thing you bought, read, did, listened to, saw, cooked and /or dreamed up so far this year?

Cora: “technically this was 2020, but she was born in December: my daughter has been the single best thing that's happened to me these past nine months.”

Elaine: “i became a plant mom, fell in love with my InstantPot, and started reading again. (currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara).”