For some the gym is an oasis, a place where they can go to escape the stress of their daily lives and unplug completely—even if only for an hour. For others, the gym is as much a social atmosphere as it is a personal one, providing the perfect combination of friendship and motivation. Then there are those who see the gym as just another building they pass on the way to class. However you feel about the gym, it’s never too late to try a new class or change up your routine.
At Her Campus South Carolina we’re always looking for new workout classes, so we started a weekly series featuring local, must-try classes. The first studio we found provides the perfect Instagram opportunity while still ensuring participants get a great workout. Instructors find taking pictures is crucial to the experience, “We build in extra time in between moves so that people can get a photo op,” says Heather Cooper, one of the certified personal trainers at Fit Columbia (located at 2002 Blossom Street). But, the ‘grammable #content isn’t the only reason you need to stop into this Five Points fitness location.
Fit Columbia owner and certified personal trainer, Angela Yong Sellers, has been training for 16 years and has had her yoga certification for four. “In those four years, I’ve taken a different approach to it,” said Sellers. Having noticed a hole in the market, Sellers set out to bring a new type of studio to the area, “What we wanted to do was to create situations where people who didn’t think they could do yoga have an opportunity to be able to do it.” That’s where classes like “Yoga with Puppies and Goats” and aerial yoga came in.
While yoga with cute animals may not seem daunting, some of their other classes, like aerial yoga, might. Before trying this class, I was terrified to hang from a ceiling solely supported by silk. I had imagined every possible terrible outcome, like me falling on my face, or even breaking the silk wrap itself while suspended in the air. However, after trying a few moves, I can assure you, it’s so much less scary than it seems! Of course it doesn’t hurt knowing that Sellers spent a lot of time finding the right silks and riggings to ensure the safest experience possible so that people of all fitness levels and sizes can experience the class. As I shared my fears with Sellers for the millionth time before I leaped onto the hanging silk, she turned to me and reminded me, “These riggings will hold over 800 pounds!”
All fears aside, this particular style of yoga offers benefits that one might not get from the classic-mat option. For starters, it’s an easy introduction to yoga, “The silks add an element of fun to yoga, so it makes it okay to try new postures without so much concern of doing things right or sequentially correct,” says Sellers with a contagious grin, “You kind of feel like a circus performer without having to be one and you get the chance to feel like a ballet dancer without having to be one.” After finishing an aerial yoga class, you’ll notice that your body feels lengthened. The actual act itself creates spinal decompression, relieves spinal pain and improves blood circulation.
If you’d rather opt for a high-intensity cardio class, or personal training sessions, they’ve got you covered there too. In addition to teaching TRX classes, Heather Cooper is also a personal trainer at Fit Columbia. True to the studio’s vibe, she’s all about personalizing workouts and placing clients first. “If they’re sick, I offer to bring them soup. Or, if they’re feeling sore I give them suggestions. If they can’t make it in that day, I give them a workout that they can do at home,” says Cooper.
It’s that extra attention that sets this group apart from other studios nearby. As soon as you walk into Fit Columbia, you’re greeted by the team as if you were walking into your friend’s apartment. That’s just the feeling Sellers wants clients to feel when they walk into Fit Columbia, “What I hope that they expect is to feel super included. From the get they should feel like oh my gosh I can kick my shoes off and hang out in here all day.”
Find out more about Fit Columbia by watching the video below: