Comm major Jade Gullery in the news
June 13, 2020

Planted in front of their computer screens, more than 20 students stretched into the downward-facing dog pose as their yoga sculpt instructor shouted words of encouragement from her apartment in Westwood.

“You guys are doing amazing!” Jade Gullery said, crouching down to make her face visible.

Gullery, a third-year communication student and member of the UCLA Campus Events Commission, uses the videoconferencing tool Zoom to lead virtual yoga sculpt classes on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Yoga sculpt combines yoga with strength training and cardio exercises to achieve a higher-intensity workout. It typically requires a yoga mat and weights, but Gullery encourages attendees to find substitutes for traditional equipment, such as soup cans.

A number of the Zoom class attendees are familiar with yoga sculpt classes from CorePower, a yoga studio company, and find the CEC’s version an inexpensive alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gullery said.

At the beginning of each class, Gullery introduces an intention for the day, such as gratitude or self-love and asks attendees to keep it in mind as they go through the workout.

Movements often complement the day’s intention. For example, Gullery might add extra air punching and cardio sets to emphasize empowerment, she said.

Gullery guides attendees through the positions and exercises and suggests people keep their cameras on so she can give feedback and enhance the feeling of community.

“I was nervous about a lack of community,” Gullery said. “Although it’s not the same (as an in-person workout class), … seeing a group of people together and moving, even if it’s in tiny little rectangles on my screen, … I think you can still cultivate that feeling.”

The class is a great way to switch things up under the circumstances, said Maya Ebrahimpour, a third-year communication and international development studies student.

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