In high school, I did yoga at an awesome studio (Shoutout to Bonnie Phillips at Village Yoga) as a supplement to intense field hockey workouts. Working out twice a day for a high-impact sport meant that my body was aching all the time. Yoga provided a mental and physical outlet to relax and stretch my body on a regular basis.
But I don’t enjoy yoga as a stand-alone workout, only because when I work out I want to be sweating… profusely. And while you can definitely get a sweat with yoga, you really have to fight for it and challenge yourself in every move. As someone who is not very flexible and who doesn’t know the practice very well, I’m not able to challenge myself as much as I’d like to and therefore I don’t sweat much.
Sooooooo I’ve shied away from yoga studios in DC.
But after going to Sculpt 360, I regret that I haven’t tried other yoga studios. Sculpt 360 takes yoga to a new level—incorporating weights and cardio into every move. Halfway through, I was sweating and my legs and arms were exhausted. We probably did fourteen planks throughout the hour-long class, in addition to about 15 minutes of cardio (mountain climbers and jump squats), all using 10-15 pound weights. We completed six vinyasa flows, then did a few individual yoga poses varying our weights and stances, ending each flow or move with cardio. We began and ended class with a full-body stretch, aspects of fitness studios in DC that I believe are lacking. Most DC fitness studios only end class with a two-minute stretch, with no stretching at the beginning. This is is not sufficient or healthy for high-intensity workouts, and can lead to injuries down the road. I appreciated the thorough stretching at Sculpt 360 and felt it didn’t detract from the workout. The class was just over an hour.
The Australian instructor distracted me a few times because her accent was too incredible 😉 Every time she explained a move I would get slightly distracted by her cadence… But she was encouraging, enthusiastic, professional and had years of experience working at multiple yoga studios.
I have two complaints with the class:
First, you must remove your shoes to participate (like all yoga classes). I found it rather uncomfortable to do jump squats and mountain climbers with my shoes off, and at one point I almost went outside the room to get my shoes because I was afraid I would injure myself otherwise. If you have knee or joint problems, think twice and talk to the instructor before participating.
Second, you must pay for a mat and for a shower towel. I wasn’t aware of either payment, and the extra $6 bothered me, as the class was already $15-20 (depending on your payment package).
If you want to participate in a yoga class with thorough stretching, full-body strength training, and even cardio, this is your class. But if you’re looking for a chill, low-impact yoga class that’s cheap, this is not your class.