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What is Yoga Sculpt? Benefits And 5 Signature Moves To Try

7 min read
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Natasha Caleel post Reviewer Natasha Caleel post Reviewer
Verified by Natasha Caleel
MS in Occupational Therapy, BS in Kinesiology, Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Table of Contents

Found yourself wondering — what is yoga sculpt? We have you covered. Below, we drill down on what yoga sculpt involves, the benefits of yoga sculpt, and five signature yoga sculpt moves you should try first.

Yoga burn, power yoga, yoga sculpt — the class goes by many names but with the same premise. Unlike more traditional forms of yoga, yoga sculpt increases the burn by incorporating strength, cardio, and high-intensity training techniques designed to increase your heart rate, burn calories, sculpt leaner muscle and improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.

So, What is Yoga Sculpt?

Yoga Sculpt looks like a regular yoga class with yoga mats in a large open room, but it is far from traditional yoga. It incorporates yoga postures with a strength, core, and cardio focus and can be done with or without equipment. 

Classes usually run for 45-60 minutes in a heated room, and you can expect to roll out your yoga mat alongside light hand weights like dumbbells. 

Yoga sculpt classes jumped in popularity in recent years, providing people with a well-rounded, full-body workout to increase fitness. Fear not yogis, although a sculpt class leans toward a calorie-burning HIIT workout at times, you’ll also come back to traditional yoga poses and deep stretches to help you rediscover your inner calm amongst the sweat, moving from dumbbell rows to Savasana soon after. 

Perfect for those who enjoy yoga as a workout. Although it is best for those who are already at an intermediate level, as adding resistance and speed to yoga poses that challenge your balance and core strength may be difficult for beginners

Yoga Sculpt vs. Traditional Yoga

Unlike traditional yoga, yoga body sculpt classes are yoga-inspired. 

There’s a stronger focus on strength training and cardio unique to yoga sculpt but with familiar poses like Downward-Facing Dog and the mental health benefits of the mind-body practice. 

Sculpt classes mirror a fitness class rather than a slow-paced Yin or dynamic Vinyasa — expect higher energy, faster pace, and high-tempo music, perfect for sculpting muscle, burning calories, and sweating.

Key Principles of Yoga Sculpt

As mentioned, a yoga sculpt class combines traditional yoga postures with strength training (think, weighted hip thrusts) and cardio exercises like squat jumps. 

Classes focus on full-body muscle engagement using compound movements — meaning multi-joint, multi-muscle group exercises — to tap into big and small muscles.

The idea is to strengthen, lengthen and sculpt muscles while focusing on alignment, mindfulness, and breath awareness. That means connecting each movement with intentional breath as you move.

You’ll also use light weights, yoga blocks, and sometimes resistance bands to increase the intensity and challenge of each workout.

Benefits of Yoga Sculpt

The benefits of yoga sculpt classes include stronger, leaner muscles, better flexibility and range of motion, and improved cardio fitness. [1] [2]

Moving through poses mindfully and using your breath properly helps regulate the nervous system, which carries mental health benefits like reduced anxiety and more calmness. 

Because yoga sculpt classes are higher tempo, there’s more potential for sweat, calorie burn, and weight loss. But remember that weight loss is complex, and other factors that influence weight loss include regular exercise, diet, stress, and sleep quality. Find out how often you should do yoga for weight loss here.

We recommend using two sets of weights — one lighter set for smaller muscle groups like your biceps and a heavier set for powerful muscles like the glutes and quads.

5 Beginner Yoga Sculpt Moves to Try

Fancy giving it a go? Try these 5 yoga sculpt exercises we swear by.

Remember to always warm up before starting any exercise regime — we recommend trying this 7-minute yoga warm-up to start your practice right. So, let’s get started.

#1 Push-Up To Downward Dog

a woman is doing push up to downward dog_yoga sculpt

Push-ups build strength and muscle in the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, and core. Downward dog stretches muscles across the entire body, particularly the shoulders, arms, upper back, hamstrings, and calves. 

  • Start in a push-up position with shoulders over wrists and hips in line with your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor, keeping the core braced.
  • Push the ground away and straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position.
  • Lift your hips upward and back into Downward Dog.
  • Maintain a soft bend in your knees, and push the ground away with both hands, lowering your heels toward the mat.
  • Return to the push-up position without moving your feet.

#2 High Plank Jacks

a woman is doing high plank jacks_yoga sculpt

High planks engage every muscle group, including your shoulders, arms, chest, core, lower back, glutes, hips, and quads. Plank jacks increase core engagement and add cardiovascular benefits, engaging the legs even more than in a regular plank.

  • Start in a high plank position with shoulders stacked over your wrists and hips in line with your shoulders.
  • Jump both feet outward to the edges of your exercise mat, then back into the plank.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout, and avoid dropping your hips down or lifting your bum high toward the ceiling.

#3 Weighted Glute Bridge

a woman is doing dumbbell glute bridge_yoga sculpt

This move activates and strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back and targets the hip extensor muscles — all muscles responsible for good posture.

  • Start on your back with both feet planted down and knees bent.
  • Place your dumbbell over your hips.
  • Engage your core, press through your heels, then drive your hips toward the ceiling and squeeze your glutes.
  • Pause, then slowly lower back down from the top of your spine to the bottom, pressing the lower back into the mat.
  • Move feet further away from the bum to increase hamstring engagement.

#4 Plank Frog Walk

a woman is doing plank frog walk_yoga sculpt

The full-body exercise improves lower body strength and shoulder stability and builds flexibility in the lower back, hips and hamstrings. Speed it up for a cardio boost.

  • Start in a high plank position with your core engaged, shoulders stacked over wrists, and bum in line with your shoulders.
  • Step your left foot to the outside of your left hand, place your heel down, then do the same on your right side.
  • Keep your hands flat on the mat, back straight and chest lifted.
  • Step your right foot back, then your left, into the starting position. Switch the leading leg for each rep and move with control.

#5 Squat Jumps

a woman is doing squat jumps_yoga sculpt

Squat jumps are a bodyweight exercise that boosts cardiovascular fitness and builds leg power, stamina, and muscle endurance in your core, hips, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. 

  • Stand feet hip or shoulder-width apart with toes pointed forwards and heels planted down.
  • Brace your stomach, bend your knees, then lower your hips into a squat with a straight back and your chest lifted.
  • When your thighs reach parallel to the floor, explosively jump into the air so that your feet leave the ground.
  • Land into the bottom of the squat position with both heels down, chest up, and knees bent.

Wrapping Up

So, let’s wrap it up with what we covered on yoga sculpt.

  • Yoga sculpt classes combine traditional yoga principles with strength, cardio, and high-intensity interval training.
  • Classes last 45-60 minutes in a heated room using light weights, resistance bands and bodyweight moves.
  • Classes aim to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and stamina, boost cardio fitness, and burn calories.
  • If you are aiming to lose weight, you may need to practice yoga sculpt classes several times a week as part of an overall wellness regime. 
  • Classes can be modified for all fitness levels, abilities, and body types
  • Remember to stretch and warm muscles before and after classes — why not try this 10-minute cool-down yoga routine to get you started?
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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