Meet Erica Steigauf, a RecSports Yoga Sculpt Instructor!

Name: Erica Steigauf

Dorm: Welsh Family Hall

Class: 2021

Major: Business (Undecided) and Economics

Hometown: Oakdale, Minnesota

Zodiac Sign: Leo

Fun Fact: Physically incapable of doing a pull-up.

Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby




Best Pickup Line?

Are you sure you’re not a parking ticket? Because you’ve got “fine” written all over you.


Any Pets?

I have a Labradoodle named Rudy.


Dream Job?

To teach yoga on the beach.


If you could have anyone play you in a movie who would it be?

Rebel Wilson.


Who is someone that motivates you?

My older sister Gretta because she has more drive than anyone I’ve ever met in every single aspect of life.


Why did you choose Notre Dame?

I chose Notre Dame because it has a great community and it’s an amazing school academically that offers every aspect of college from sports to faith life to academics to fun--everything.


What was one of your happiest moments?

Tubing at the cabin--I love that!


What’s the best thing about your hometown?

All of the lakes.


What are you involved in on campus?

I am an Innovation Fellow and a Yoga Sculpt Instructor, I play Women’s Club Ice Hockey and Flag Football, and I’m a part of the Marketing Club!  

Describe Yoga Sculpt.

Yoga Sculpt is a total body workout that encompasses the mind/body. So, it’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s challenging--you see results. To me, it’s the epitome of excitement in a workout in the sense that it exemplifies everything that group fitness should be and it’s an amazing, energetic way to workout surrounded by an amazing support system.


When did you start doing Yoga Sculpt?

I started Yoga Sculpt when I was twelve. I started it as cross and strength training for hockey. I fell in love with it and stuck with it--it was the only workout that I did consistently throughout all of high school through to this day without walking away at any point. There’s just something about it that’s kept me coming back all this time.


When did you know you wanted to teach?

I knew I wanted to teach when I was coming to college and I realized that this incredible journey that I’d been on all of high school was going to come to an end. Not to say that RecSports doesn’t offer great classes but Yoga Sculpt is such a particular workout--it’s so specific to what I love. I almost felt like I was being a little selfish with it, because I knew so many kids here either didn’t have the opportunity to do it or didn’t even know about it and I wanted to bring it with me and share this passion I’d found. I’d had so many amazing teachers that inspired me and I wanted to be able to do that for others and teach them that workouts can be more than just going through the motions--they can be meaningful if you let them be. It took five years of learning for me to realize what Yoga Sculpt meant to me and I wanted to share that with people here at Notre Dame.


What’s the training process like for becoming an instructor?

My specific process was fifty hours of training through my program at home. So it’s fifty hours of intensive weekends--three hours Friday and Saturday for a few weeks. Then you have to observe a certain amount of classes, you have to take a certain amount of classes, you have to write a paper, and there’s an extension program that’s another sixteen hours of teaching community classes. So overall I’ve probably put sixty-six hours into my training to become an instructor. It’s the most incredible journey; I definitely want to further my learning because of it. It’s something that you can’t really describe to people but it completely changes your Yoga practice--it changes the way you view every kind of Yoga (especially Sculpt).


How do you design your lessons?

I plan my lessons kind of on the fly. I create a playlist of all the songs that I want to be a part of it, with proper beats--the right vibe for that portion of class--and then I pick some of my favorite movements. When I first started I had to plan really religiously, but now I can kind of just go with the flow and decide that day. I like to take requests, so if someone wants to work a certain muscle then I’ll incorporate that.


You’re known to heavily implement music into your workouts, why?

Music is my favorite part about working out. I think part of why I love is Sculpt is because it’s a music-driven class--everything goes to a certain beat and a certain pace, and each part of class has a different vibe that goes with it. I think, depending on what song comes on, the class can change from a workout to a dance party; and people don’t really take that seriously when I say it but I mean it. It should be fun, and music-based workouts are exciting and motivating. I also take song requests so if my students want to hear a certain song I’ll try to make that work. I just think music is such a powerful tool and it can give so much momentum to a class so I really try to take advantage of that. I don’t plan moves and then find music to go with those moves, I plan music and then I find moves to go with that music.



What’s your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is simply helping people--helping people find their way with their body and their mind. It is so rewarding to find that people notice a difference in their lives because of my class. Fitness is about finding your thing and doing what works for you and it’s amazing for me as a teacher to know that the majority of the time, I have an effect on my students’ strength physically, spiritually, and mentally.


What role do you want Yoga Sculpt to play in your life after college?

After college I want Yoga Sculpt to be something that I always have. I’m aware that I’ll go on and have a certain career, but I believe it’s always going to be the perfect complement to whatever I’m doing. So I always want it to be that part of my life that’s my escape from everything else. I want it to continue to be my space, and I want people to continue to find their own spaces within it.


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All images courtesy of the interviewee