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Sculpere Blends Yoga And Dance

By Mike Abelson

At first glance yoga and dance seem like polar opposites. The former is about relaxation and peace while the latter is about energy and athleticism. However, Cristina Espaillat has worked to blend the two together at her facility in Philadelphia, Sculpere, to create a modern, contemporary workout. She took some time to answer questions about Sculpere, her motivations, and more.

What ​first inspired you to open Sculpere? How long have you been in business?

The idea of Sculpere came to life in my mind initially. I was inspired to work with former dancers like myself, gymnasts, figure skaters and other artistic athletes. [I was] seeking to provide a new type of workout method that is in alignment with the needs of those bodies and those training methods, a workout that feels better than a traditional fitness class at the gym and that simultaneously offers great mental rewards. Through my own dedicated yoga and meditation practice, I [created] a workout program that blends the serenity of yoga with the more physical challenge of dance. Over the past seven years, it has been my mission to deliver balanced results in both body and mind to all of our members.

How would you describe the atmosphere and culture that your classes and studio offer to students?

Sculpere studio is a quaint, intimate space in the hip Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Our class sizes are small so individualized attention is easily given. Unlike the harsh and strict culture of the ballet world, when you step into Sculpere the atmosphere is relaxing and zen. Clients love the aromatherapy and spa retreat lighting. The classes are diverse, ranging from Gentle yoga, to Ballet Boot Camp, and everything in between so you can take your pick depending on how you feel that day. All of our instructors are certified in yoga and/or Pilates, and are former dancers. They truly create a cohesiveness between all of the classes, so our clients are experiencing growth with each class and getting super sculpted bodies.

I read on your site that your not only want to help clients transform physically, but also mentally. How do you feel you help cultivate the "mental growth" at Sculpere?

Meditation is like exercise for your mind. In our yoga classes and meditation workshops, we teach our members how to slow down their breathing and quiet down their minds. This allows for a sort of mental detoxification and the benefits are vast. Improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, improving mental focus, increasing energy, and performing better at work. We also teach student to recognize negative thinking patterns and how to reverse them through positive mantras. Meditation exercises are just as important as physical exercises to stay balanced in this fast paced urban environment.

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