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Student teaches yoga sculpt class at SMC

Jillian Barwick | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

While yoga is commonly known as a relaxing type of exercise, one Saint Mary’s senior is bringing a more intense, cardio-based form of yoga to the College campus.

Sophomore Grace Harvey brought her love of yoga sculpt to South Bend and now teaches two classes each week to other students.

“Yoga sculpt is intended to tone and sculpt the major muscle groups,” Harvey said. “With the use of weights, it allows you to get deeper into poses and have an added challenge. There are also a couple of cardio series to get the heart rate up and burn more. It is an intense hour-long class, but very easy to follow.”

Harvey first tried yoga sculpt during her sophomore year of high school and was instantly hooked on the workout.

“I loved everything about it – the people, music, and an awesome workout,” she said. “I continued to do sculpt for the rest of high school and when I came to college I missed it so much. So, over this past summer I got certified through CorePower Yoga in Minnesota to be able to teach. I have insurance [for it] as well.”

Yoga sculpt, which is typically practiced in a heated room of about 90 degrees, improves the flexibility and strength of those who train with it, Harvey said.

“Instead of the stereotypical yoga practice, this is very upbeat and high energy,” she said. “With the use of weights and various Pilates moves, it makes sculpt attractive for the younger crowd. I always describe it to friends who haven’t done it as a Pilates [or] cardio class with yoga moves.”

In addition to the great workout, Harvey said she enjoys being part of the yoga sculpt community.

“It is truly a bonding experience as we all go through the hard workout together,” she said. “I think with all of the craziness in our college lives it is awesome when we can take an hour break to completely unwind, have fun together and get a good workout.”

Harvey began teaching the workouts to her roommate in their dorm rooms last fall.

“Well dorm rooms are small, so I decided to expand it and make a Facebook group of girls who I thought would be interested,” Harvey said. “I included friends I went to high school with and are familiar with sculpt. I am working on trying to make a yoga club at Saint Mary’s so we can be official and reserve space when I teach classes.”

Harvey said she was initially surprised at the amount of feedback she received from students about yoga sculpt classes on campus.

“I am in absolute shock over how fast sculpt has spread over both campuses,” Harvey said. “There is a clear demand for another good workout class. My first class, I had about 20 people or so. Now my classes are between 25 to 30 people. The more, the merrier.”

The feedback was so immense that Harvey added an additional class per week to her original one. She teaches yoga sculpt at noon on Fridays in the Angela Athletic Facility, and sometimes on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights.

For more information about Harvey’s yoga sculpt sessions, follow @SMCSculpt on Twitter.