Emily Tyson has a fierce teaching method, and one I observed through her online videos. I thought taking a virtual class would lose its appeal without the physical presence of others in the room. But, throughout her hour-long session, my motivation never wavered. It was a mix of dance, yoga, and Pilates, all tying into a perfectly SCULPTed class. Hence, Tyson’s creation. The Hampton Bays native and owner of SCULPT brings her own special techniques to the East End.
How did SCULPT take shape?
My first child was born four years ago and after her birth I hit a rock bottom that I had never experienced in my life before. I was struggling and suffering from postpartum depression and I felt super alone in that.
I remember this one day around 4:30 PM and the sun was setting and I was sitting on the edge of my bed holding her just watching the minutes tick by and I turned on a Pandora station that had super uplifting music. I stood up holding her and started dancing. I needed to reconnect to my body. I felt good for the first time since she was born — like myself. So, I committed to doing that little routine every day.
I designed the class that I personally craved but never could find. I added weights in the form of three-pound and five-pound dumbbells and ankle weights. After about a year of my private bathroom sweat sessions, I got the courage to post little videos on Instagram, which people started following and commenting on. I went on for about two years, just perfecting my routines for myself.
I got pregnant with my son in 2017 and did my SCULPT workouts every day of that pregnancy. I credit SCULPT with a really easy pregnancy and uncomplicated birth.
What are your fitness certifications?
I got my Pilates mat and apparatus certification in 2004. I also have a general fitness and group training certification. I was a dancer growing up through college, so my background is heavy in dance. I love learning about the body and how it moves and how small micromovements and adjustments can fire up specific muscle groups that are often ignored.
You celebrated your first anniversary of teaching in August 2019. How have you developed as an instructor?
The first class I taught I thought I was going to actually throw up because I was so nervous. It was a Friday, and the room was packed with friends and total strangers. My subconscious took over and no matter how nervous I was, I had to do it. I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life.
Over time, I have really used the cues I learned in my Pilates training to super fine-tune my own cuing and style. My confidence has skyrocketed because I see that I am making a real difference in people’s lives. I am no longer nervous to teach. I really am meticulous when it comes to how people hold their bodies when doing my movements, so I am always watching and giving feedback. No two classes are ever the same. I make it my personal mission to give the people in that room an experience unlike any other.
Fitness tribes are formed around a common exercise, but bond through the instructor. What is signature ‘Emily’?
I would say moving with intention. Moving in a way that makes sense. I try to embody the idea that if you change your mind set in the face of something challenging, you can accomplish whatever it is that you want. It’s a way of connecting with ourselves and each other. The method itself has brought together a super special community of people.
SCULPT is current taught at Feeling O2 Good in Riverhead and Hamptons Hot Yoga in Southampton. Videos are also available on YouTube, and there’s an upcoming summer 2020 Costa Rica retreat. More information can be found on Tyson’s website at www.sculptbyemily.com.