When I first started my yoga journey several years ago, I fell in love with the slow and low-impact postures that were linked breath to movement. I found that I was able to truly deepen my mind & body connection through breath and moving meditation. The more I practiced, the more my body started to change. However, my endurance and core strength were not yet strong enough to hold some of the postures as well as I wanted to.
A friend told me about a class called “Yoga Sculpt” which is a combination of yoga, cardio, and weight training. I was intrigued and figured I’d give it a try. Twenty minutes into my first class, I straight up thought I was going to die. It was the hardest workout I had ever done in my entire life. Don’t let the yoga part fool you – Yoga Sculpt is a beast and will challenge every part of your body, as well as your mind. After even just a few weeks of sculpt classes, I noticed that my yoga practice started to transform. I was able to hold postures longer, I wasn’t as tired halfway through class, and I could do movements such as chaturangas, that were near impossible for me before.
Yoga sculpt quickly became part of my weekly routine and honestly changed my life – not only physically but mentally as well. I’ve gained strength and muscles that I never thought were possible, and I’ve proved to myself that I can handle any challenge that comes my way. In fact, I loved Sculpt so much that I went through teacher training and am now a certified Yoga Sculpt instructor! I love helping others find their inner power, even if they don’t know it’s there yet.
So, what exactly is Yoga Sculpt and why should you add it to your practice?
Yoga Sculpt is a class that incorporates handheld weights and high-intensity cardio sequences to create full-body workout. It combines yoga postures, mindfulness, and a focus on breath to movement, and is usually taught in a heated room with upbeat music and challenging sequences. Still not convinced to give it a try? Here are 5 reasons why you should add Sculpt to your practice:
Strengthen Muscles Used in Vinyasa
One of the biggest benefits of Sculpt is that it creates an opportunity to strengthen muscles that are not typically strengthened in a traditional vinyasa or hot yoga class. Most advanced yoga postures require a lot of core strength, and Sculpt will help you build those muscles! Also, students who just focus on flexibility in their practice can often hyper extend their joints – Sculpt helps strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting the joints to help reduce injury!
Most fitness professionals will acknowledge how important it is to cross-train – meaning doing activities that develop muscular fitness, as well as aerobic conditioning. A traditional vinyasa flow can be an incredibly difficult workout, however adding sculpt to your practice can increase your endurance, allowing you to flow longer without fatigue. I’ve also noticed I can climb stairs without getting winded, go on longer walks without breaks, etc. You will notice the effects of strength training far outside the studio walls.
Challenge Yourself Mentally and Physically
Sculpt is not just a physically challenging class, but a mentally challenging one too! It takes a lot of work to keep your body moving when its exhausted – that’s where the mental toughness comes in. Your body’s natural response is to want to stop, but you have to push your own limits and keep working, no matter how tired you get. The challenges we face in the studio also translate to what we face in the real world. When things get difficult in our lives, we have the option to give up, or to keep pushing until we succeed. Sculpt will help you realize you are so much stronger than you think you are. You’ll be surprised how much a yoga class can transform your life (shocking – I know!)
Create Mind Body Connection
It’s pretty hard to focus on how stressful work is or what’s going on in your life while you’re dripping in sweat 20 minutes into class. One of my favorite things about Yoga Sculpt is that as soon as you start moving, all your focus is internal and only concentrated on the current moment. Yoga is truly one of the only times in my day where I’m not distracted by my phone, emails, social media, etc. Sculpt is my time for moving meditation – where nothing matters except me and my breath. Everything else can wait.
Have A BLAST!
When is the last time you went to work out, had a dance party with 20 other strangers in a room – and left with 20 new friends? Yoga Sculpt is a completely different kind of workout. You listen to upbeat music, move, dance, and have a blast the entire time. I have met the most incredible people who have become lifelong friends through sculpt. I’ve been in classes where I want to give up, and my neighbor (who I had never met before) encouraged me to keep going and push until the end. Sculpt is a community of people who love to work hard, sweat and have fun doing it. Plus, you feel amazing afterward – it’s a win-win!
Interested in learning more about sculpt or deepening your practice? I’m leading Sculpt Teacher Training at Corepower Yoga Chicago Loop this spring! Message me for more info!
I’m obsessed with the new Nike Yoga Collection! I’m wearing the Nike Yoga Luxe Long Sleeve Bodysuit in Limelight, with the Yoga Luxe Metallic Tights and Tank in Black/Dark Smoke Grey. This set is SO comfortable, and the fabric feels light, breathable, and barely there. The material dries fast and holds me in for even my toughest sculpt workouts. I love the idea of practicing in a bodysuit, so nothing moves when I’m doing inversions or jumping jacks! This look even translates from street to studio – you all know how much I love my athleisure streetwear?
Check out the new Women’s Nike Yoga Collection HERE
Thank you, Nike, for sponsoring this post! Photos by Shanti Knight