Out of all the yoga teacher trainings I’ve done over the last couple of years, Yoga Sculpt teacher training at Corepower Yoga has been my favorite teacher training so far. This is quite a statement for me because when I started my first yoga teacher training, I was obsessed with Bikram Yoga. After my initial teacher training, I thought I was going to teach Bikram Yoga exclusively, all the time. Even though I completed a 200-hour Bikram Yoga teacher training, I still don’t teach Bikram Yoga.

There was also a time, less than two years ago, when I was afraid to take a Yoga Sculpt class. I think what intimidated me the most was when anyone would talk about Sculpt, they’d always talk about how hard the class was. It wasn’t until one of my Hot Power Fusion teacher training coaches (who also taught Sculpt) invited me to take one of her Sculpt classes that I finally got the courage to come try a Sculpt class. By the end of her class, I was in love with the format, the energy, the music and how good the class made me feel afterwards. I had so much fun, I decided to add Sculpt teacher training to my yoga teaching To-Do list.

I completed the Yoga Sculpt teacher training and the Extensions Program through Corepower Yoga in May 2017. I auditioned to become a Sculpt teacher at CPY on May 22nd. By June 2nd, I was teaching my first Yoga Sculpt class. Six months later, I’ve taught over 50 classes and now love teaching the format more than ever.

What is Yoga Sculpt? Yoga Sculpt is a combination of Vinyasa Yoga and strength training in a one hour-long class. Think of Yoga Sculpt as yoga with weights. You’re using yoga postures to set up the exercises in class. There’s lots of repetition, weights, sweat and really fun music. Sculpt is an intense and well-rounded, full body workout from head-to-toe.

What appealed to me the most about teaching Sculpt was the music. I’m such a music-motivated person when I do anything in my daily life, especially when I work out, hike and drive. It’s one of the reasons why I put so much time and energy into building playlists for my Hot Power Fusion classes. While HPF tends to be more on the slow and calming yoga spectrum, Sculpt is the exact opposite. It’s loud. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s a party. I loved the idea of creating challenging workouts for students and building super fun soundtracks for them to have fun working hard to.

While I’ve enjoyed every single yoga teacher training I’ve completed so far over the last two years, there are eight specific reasons why Yoga Sculpt teacher training at Corepower Yoga has been my absolute favorite.

1 – Realistic Training Schedule
You won’t have to quit your day job in order to complete this teacher training. You won’t even have to take a single day off from work. The 50-hour, five-week program consisted of a weekend intensive during the first week of the program, Friday night and all-day Saturday and Sunday. Then for the remaining four weeks, we met for classes and lectures twice a week, for three hours at a time on Monday and Friday nights, 7-10pm. It made getting up for work early on Tuesday morning a little challenging, but it was worth it. Those five weeks flew by so fast. My biggest piece of feedback is that I wish the training had been one more week longer, giving me a little more time to absorb all the material that was coming my way.

Since I wanted to continue on the track to become a CPY Yoga Sculpt teacher, I signed up for the Extension Program, after completing the five weeks of Sculpt TT. The Extensions Program was an additional four weeks where we met twice a week, Monday and Friday nights, 7-10pm for interactive lectures and practice teaching to real students. By the end of the Extensions Program, I was ready to audition and start teaching my own Yoga Sculpt class.

2 – Affordable
Yoga teacher training can be expensive. My first yoga teacher training was the Hot Power Fusion teacher training with CPY, an eight-week, 200-hour program that cost me well over $2,000 in addition to the Black Tag membership I needed to pay for to cover all of the additional yoga classes I had to complete during my training. Then there was the three-day SUP yoga teacher training that cost me a little under $500. After that, I completed an eight-week, 200-hour Bikram Yoga teacher training that was over $3,000.

Both the five-week Sculpt TT and four-week Extensions Program ended up costing me under a $1,000. Granted, I did get a bit of a discount because I was already a teacher at CPY – one of the perks for teaching at CPY! Even if I wasn’t a teacher at CPY, the program is still quite affordable. There’s no plane ticket or hotel lodging to pay for as long as there’s a CPY studio close enough for you to commute to. There’s no need to take any time off from work while completing the program because you’ll meet after work hours and on weekends.

For specific rates on training programs, you’re best off contacting CPY directly. There are discounts available if you’re a current CPY member and if you sign up for the training program in advance.

3 – Experienced Coaches
I loved getting to know my coaches outside of taking their Sculpt classes. The support system at CPY is amazing. The coaches are seasoned CPY Sculpt teachers and have been a huge asset to my own Yoga Sculpt teaching journey.

If I ever had a question or concern regarding Sculpt, I knew I could always count on any of my coaches to give me solid advice. My coaches were always open to sharing with me their own career path and gave me lots of ideas to consider when deciding on where I wanted to take my own Yoga Sculpt teaching journey.

During Sculpt TT, I was required to take additional yoga classes outside of the two, weekly trainings meetings each week. The additional, required classes were 7 Yoga Sculpt classes, 6 C1 classes and observe 3 Sculpt classes. I purposely chose to take my required classes with my Yoga Sculpt coaches. I found this to be a huge benefit because I discovered many different teaching styles, multiple ways to cue postures and exercises and observed how each of them interacted with students before, during and after class.

4 – Learned All The Fun Things
“Move through heart center” was the motto for our Sculpt TT session. In Yoga Sculpt, the teacher always gives a quick, safety weight demo when first introducing weights into the class. To move weights safely, teachers encourage students to move weights through heart center when moving their weights up or down. That motto became the tagline for the t-shirts we had made for our group to wear during our final class together during our training. This was just one of the many fun things we did in Yoga Sculpt TT.

Another fun thing we did throughout the Sculpt TT was create a safe and positive learning environment for each other. We spent a considerable amount of time getting to know each other through powerful team building exercises and ice breakers. We also did a considerable amount of cheering each other on over the several weeks we were all together. Teacher training is hard. You’re learning new skills and having to practice them in a room full of people you may or may not know very well. Public speaking is no easy feat, especially when you’re trying to teach a room full of people how to move their body safely and effectively. The positive learning environment was one of my most favorite parts about Sculpt TT. There’s nothing like being nervous about having to get up in front of a room full of people only to have them all whooing, clapping and cheering you on the whole way. That fun and supportive feeling was contagious and made me look forward to every TT session we had together.

In addition to the powerful team building exercises and ice breakers we did as a group each week, we also covered a number of different fun and interesting topics. Over the first five weeks of training, we learned how to teach and cue the skeleton Yoga Sculpt sequence. We also covered music, building playlists, teaching to the beat, cueing countdowns, using vocal tone and volume, anatomy, learned how to teach to the mid-line of a class, hands-on adjustments specifically for Sculpt, the business of yoga and lots and lots of practice teaching.

Over the following four weeks in the Extensions Program, we expanded on a lot of the topics we covered during the first five weeks of training including the power of voice and music, teaching to the beat, choosing music for class playlists, advanced hands-on adjustments, advanced sequencing and building off of the skeleton Yoga Sculpt sequence, class themes, yoga ethics and practice teaching to real students.

5 – Practice Teaching
By the second day of Sculpt TT, we were already practice teaching part of the sequence to each other. I learned back in Hot Power Fusion that the only way I could learn to teach a sequence is to practice teaching it, over and over and over again. Memorizing flashcards was helpful, but the only way I’d learn to teach would be to teach. Practice teaching was the most effective way for me to learn how to teach Sculpt. It doesn’t matter how many teacher trainings I had done previously. Sculpt was a whole new format and a whole new way of teaching. There were many times when I would get frustrated with myself because I would cue breath just like I’d cue in one of my Hot Power Fusion classes. Only with Sculpt, it’s the exact opposite way of cueing. It took me awhile to wrap my head around the new way of cueing postures and breath for Sculpt, but all of the practice teaching in TT helped me with this significantly.

Teaching Sculpt is also considerably more active than teaching an HPF class. In Sculpt, I’m doing a lot of the exercises with the class. Not only am I demoing most of the postures and exercises, but I’m also running around the room, doing exercises on each side of the room so students have a chance to watch what I’m doing. Even though there’s a teacher mat set up at the front of the room, I’m rarely on it. Instead, I’m trying to work my way around the room so I can interact with students during class and give them a better chance to hear what I say over the music during class. All of the practice teaching we did during TT helped physically train my body and voice to be able to teach Sculpt classes successfully.

6 – Hands-On Adjustments
During Hot Power Fusion, we were introduced to a variety of hands-on adjustments for postures in the set sequence. In Sculpt TT, we learned about a variety of hands-on adjustments specific for the Sculpt skeleton sequence. We also learned how to read alignment in the room and make individual hands-on adjustments for students as needed. Since a Sculpt class moves so fast, we learned a lot of quick and easy ways to offer hands-on adjustments to students without disrupting their energetic practice. One effective way of adjusting we learned was how to verbally assist students. I use verbal cues all the time in the classes I teach. Even if it’s coming up next to a student and doing the exercise with them as I’m cueing it for the whole class.

Honestly, there’s so much going on in my head when I teach a Sculpt class. If I’m not running around the room, demonstrating a posture or doing the exercises myself with the class, I’m in my head thinking about what section of the class I have coming up next, the exercises I want to cue and adjusting the volume of my music. I don’t spend a lot of time physically adjusting students during class unless it’s in at the beginning of class during Sun A or at the end of class during Final Savasana. I had a hard time getting comfortable with giving hands-on adjustments during my Hot Power Fusion TT. The idea of physically touching student used to scare me. Hands-on adjustments don’t scare me anymore. As I’ve spent more time in the studio as a teacher, I’ve realized how important it is to give hands-on adjustments to students when they need them. And let’s face it, some hands-on adjustments just feel really good, even in a Sculpt class.

7 – Opportunities Beyond Graduation
For those who want to teach at CPY after training, there is an easy-to-follow career path. If you want to be a Yoga Sculpt teacher at CPY, start with completing the Sculpt TT. Upon graduation, sign up for the four-week Extensions Program. After completing the Extensions Program, audition for a paid internship at CPY. During the internship, you either teach 30 classes or up to six months (whichever comes first), with a minimum of teaching two classes per week. Once the internship has been completed, the studio manager will decide if you become a permanent addition to the studio’s schedule, based on how well you did during the internship and the studio’s schedule availability.

Since I completed my paid internship with CPY after finishing my Hot Power Fusion TT, I didn’t have to do another internship for Yoga Sculpt because I was already considered a CPY instructor. I did have to audition with the rest of my fellow Yoga Sculpt graduates for my chance to get on the Yoga Sculpt teaching and substitute list at CPY. The audition was fun and pretty painless. All of us Sculpt TT graduates took turns teaching the Sculpt sequence in a Round Robin style to each other and the two studio managers sitting in the back of the room. Within a week after the audition, we were notified individually of any classes CPY would be offering us to teach on the schedule. I was able to pick up two regular, weekly Sculpt classes in addition to the three HPF classes I was already teaching each week. I loved that I got to start teaching Sculpt right away after finishing teacher training, while everything was still fresh in my mind and body. It took me six months to start teaching HPF after I had completed my original teacher training.

If you’re not interested in teaching for CPY, there are still plenty of teaching opportunities after graduation. Yoga Sculpt teaching opportunities are endless and really up to you and where you want to take your Yoga Sculpt teaching journey.

Keep in mind, upon completing the Yoga Sculpt TT, you won’t be certified to teach a “yoga” class. Yoga teachers need to complete a 200-hour certified program with Yoga Alliance. With the Sculpt TT certificate you receive after graduation, you can go into any gym or fitness center and will be certified to teach a “Yoga Sculpt” class. Completing additional teacher trainings including a 200-hour certified program with Yoga Alliance will only help develop your skills and make you more marketable as a yoga teacher in a highly, competitive market.

8 – Made My Yoga Sculpt Practice Stronger
I knew from the moment I signed up for Yoga Sculpt TT, I wanted to teach the format. It was seriously love after taking my first Yoga Sculpt class. Even if I had never taught a single Sculpt class after graduating, the Sculpt TT has made my own Sculpt practice much stronger. Going through the Sculpt TT, you’ll learn every aspect of the Sculpt skeleton sequence. You’ll expand your own knowledge of each posture and exercise in detail through numerous posture clinics throughout the training. You’ll also practice moving in and out of the postures and exercises in your own body. Sculpt TT takes the Sculpt sequence and dives deep into all of the “how’s” and “whys” of every aspect of the class, something you’d never learn with just taking a Sculpt class.

Sculpt TT gave me the confidence I never had when I first started practicing Yoga Sculpt. I’m no longer the lost girl in the back of the room, looking around at other yogis to see what comes next. I’m not afraid to set up and practice in the front row. I’m physically stronger and able to do all of the exercises in class. I used to HATE push-ups and now they’re my favorite part of class!

As a yoga teacher, my confidence has soared since I started teaching Sculpt over six months ago. When I first started teaching Sculpt, I questioned my abilities to become a good Yoga Sculpt teacher. Once I started teaching Sculpt, I thought about quitting because it made me so nervous to teach it. Sure, I had the skeleton sequence memorized, but would I ever be able to build off of that sequence and teach different variations of the class? Would students like the playlists I put together? Would they resonate with my class themes and intentions? Could I sustain the physical energy needed to teach multiple Sculpt classes each week?

It’s taken me teaching over 50 Sculpt classes and lots of practice during my own time, but I continue to stick with it. I face my fears with each Sculpt class I teach. Not every class is perfect. I stumble over my cues. I’ve forgotten to cue a whole side of Sun B. I’ve messed up my playlist during class. I’ve mixed up different sections of class and cued them out of order before. I’ve blanked out on what posture/exercise comes next.

One thing I continue to do is show up to teach multiple Sculpt classes each week. The nervous jitters are starting to become less frequent now. Instead of being nervous about teaching a Sculpt class, I’m finding myself being more excited about it. Teaching Sculpt is challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun. The more classes I teach, the more chances I take with changing up my sequence. I’m also able to connect with my students before, during and after class. Nowadays, I have much more confidence both as a practitioner and a yoga teacher thanks to my Yoga Sculpt teacher training experience at Corepower Yoga. Hands down, this was my favorite teacher training ever!

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