Yoga instructors turn up the heat

Students by day, teachers by night


Lucy Nelson and Abbie Nelson

Many students do not know that Blake has two employed yoga instructors. Maxine Whitely ’16 and Olivia Priedeman ’15 have gone through a rigorous training process in order to obtain their jobs at CorePower Yoga in Minnetonka. Sydney Krelitz 16 is currently training to be a yoga instructor as well. Whitely teaches on Fridays at 4:30 PM and Saturdays at 4:00 PM while Olivia teaches on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. Although the jobs pays, they title the activity as a hobby that they love to partake in.

Spectrum: How did you get involved with yoga?

Whitely: I have been practicing forever. My mom would like drag me to yoga when I was little and then I decided I actually really liked it so then I just kept going and that’s how I got into it.

Priedeman: I’d been practicing for around 2 years and a friend brought me first to CorePower.


Spectrum: What types of classes do you teach?

Whitely: I teach three types of classes. I teach C1, which is a like a basic beginner class– it’s a vinyasa flow. (A vinyasa flow is like a basic form of yoga where you link your breath and movement.) I teach C2 which is like a more advanced vinyasa flow. And then I also teach sculpt, which is like a yoga workout combination.

Priedeman: I teach a C1 beginner class every Wednesday night at 7pm.


Spectrum: What do you love about the activity?

Whitely: I absolutely love the connection I have made with my students. It can be a super personal experience. Something I dislike about is when the energy in the room is off.

Priedeman: I have always loved practicing yoga… I get to work with people that are way older than me and get to see them transform from beginners. And they keep coming back, so it is nice to make a connection with them.


Spectrum: Any words to people to inspire them to start yoga?

Whitely: I thinks it definitely something to try if you are looking for new exercise or if you’re looking for something more spiritual because I think there is a different facet of yoga for every person to do it. CorePower offers a free first week to start.

Priedeman: Don’t let it scare you! It’s not intimidating, you just have to keep going and get into it. Also, try different kinds because if you try a certain one and you don’t like it there could be a couple of different variations out there that you might really like.


Spectrum: What type of people, would you say, are in the “yoga community”?

Whitely: I get a huge mix. I have a woman who comes every week who is fifty plus and she comes to my sculpt classes. I also have really young people, like teenagers and such… It also depends on the teacher you go to.

Priedeman: I would say CorePower is a super energetic place. It is super vibrant and young, but there is also mix of different people. Everyone I meet is super nice, I get hugs when I leave classes… It is just overall super fun and welcoming.


Spectrum: Do you do this for the experience or the money? Do you consider it work?

Whitely: I do it more for the experience rather than money because I mean we don’t get paid super well, but it is still nice to have an income as a high school student. Mostly I do it for the experience because I love it and I love teaching and doing yoga, plus I get free yoga which is a bonus.

Priedeman: It is definitely a hobby. I make minimum wage basically, but I don’t do it that often – I have a standing class once a week and then I sub occasionally. It is definitely just a hobby that I really enjoy and could potentially keep for the rest of my life as well.



Spectrum: How did you get involved with yoga?

Krelitz: Well my mom has been doing yoga for as long as I can remember so one day I wanted to kind of change up my workout routine because I hated going to the gym and lifting weights so my mom took me with her to a sculpt class and I loved it so that’s kind of how I got involved.


Spectrum: Can you describe what the training process is like?

Krelitz: So there were two separate trainings– the first training was six weeks long and that was in the beginning of the school year and basically we each day kind of learned how to teach a different section of the class; so one day we did core and the next day we did squats or whatever and then we talked about music and then we would practice every day with a partner and then go back through and we had a book we would read by this yogi named Baron Baptiste so we would do reading assignments and write journals about them.


Spectrum: What do you love about the activity?

Krelitz: I love yoga sculpt in particular because obviously it’s a great workout but also it’s a really awesome community class and you get to know such cool people and it’s a really good environment that you feel like you can push yourself to a place that you didn’t think you could go before and you see an act of progression in yourself– not just like physically, but it changed a lot of how I felt and my confidence level and just being in a class with people who, like even the countdown from eight when we all do them together it’s just like such a cool feeling to be there– especially when you’re teaching to like be in control of what’s going on.


Spectrum: What type of people, would you say, are in the “yoga community” you are in?

Krelitz: So I think there’s a lot of like, I know when I first started going to yoga I had a lot of stereotypes about like who yogis were– like, tattooed people with like lots of piercing and like sat around in a circle and said ohm all the time, but that’s not really what it’s like. They’re all just super genuine, cool people and they’re doing really cool things in their lives and they’re just always really happy, in a good mood and always interested in what you’re doing. I think that’s a really cool environment to be a part of.


Spectrum: Did you start to do this for the experience or the potential money if you work at CorePower? Do you consider it work?

Krelitz: I did it mostly for the experience. For sure in the beginning because I didn’t even think I wanted to teach; I just kind of wanted to kind of expand my knowledge of it. Obviously it would be nice to make money, but it’s really not enough to make a difference; you make like very minimum wage, which I would because I would be teaching the fewest amount of classes. Yeah, I think it’s just mostly for the experience.


Spectrum: What are you planning to do with your teaching license?

Krelitz: Right now I’m hoping I can get a job at CorePower. We’ll see if it works out and if they have availability. Otherwise, I’m trying to talk to the athletic department to see if possibly next year we can work some kind of like yoga sculpt into the athletic training programs for sports so I’m kind of collaborating on that and don’t know if it will happen but we’ll see.