Seya Wellness - CrossFit, Yoga & More
What do CrossFit, yoga, cryo therapy, and massage all have in common? They're all things you can do to take care of your body. But they're are also ALL located inside a one-stop-wellness-shop right here in Baltimore — otherwise known as Seya Wellness.
Seya popped up on my radar a few months ago when I was writing about this yoga event featuring two of their instructors. I was so intrigued about this concept — blending the rough and tough with the gentle and flow-y all while offering food drink and other health services — that I jumped at the chance to feature them on Fitt Baltimore. [which you can find here]
After talking to co-owner Mimi Washington about Seya — I was so jazzed about the concept she created I had to pop in and try it out for myself.
Community is Key.
It's no coincidence that this super unique wellness concept chose to open doors in recently revitalized Highlandtown. Community is not just the people you work out with — it's being an integral part of the city and helping it thrive. So while other new fitness concepts pop up in overcrowded and more touristy areas, Seya has this space all to themselves. Not only are they invested in the location and building up a neighborhood, but once you step through the studio doors you'll feel like part of their family. This is not a pretentious only-certain-people-fit-our-brand type of place. Everyone is welcome and everyone can find something that fits their style inside Seya.
Perks and other notables
In addition to offering a wide variety of classes — Seya has other aspects of wellness taken care of too. Everything from Cryo therapy to dry needling, physical therapy, body composition analysis, nutrition counseling and massage can be found under one roof. Whether you need to loosen up tight muscles or get help with an injury — you'll be able to find a solution that works for you.
If that's not enough to draw you in, the coffee and juice bar in their eclectically decorated lobby is the perfect place to hang with friends post class or just meet up for a cup of coffee. You'll feel like you're in a swanky hotel lobby or not a fitness studio. You'll also find them supporting other local small business such as Waxing kara lip balms and lotions as well as acai bowls and fresh juices from EarthShake.
A methodology to the movement.
Whether you are a CrossFit regular or a Yoga guru you won't take a class here that puts reps, weight or postures before GOOD form. Everything is programed with intention - from the WOD [Workout of the Day] to the yoga flow - meeting members at their fitness levels and building it up at their own rate. Although the variety of classes they offer couldn't be more different, they are perfect compliments to each other. While CrossFit focuses on functional strength at a scaleable level [meaning there is a modification for every person no matter your experience], yoga offers the stretching and flexibility side of the body. The once weekly Yoga for Athletes class is even programmed with the current weeks CrossFit workouts in mind allowing members to get max recovery and therefore maximum results and growth.
Memberships are available for CrossFit [$195/ month] or Yoga [$89/month] specifically - although each has crossover benefits i.e. CrossFit membership includes one weekly yoga class – encouraging members to stay well balanced within their fitness routines. Class packs of 10 are also available - CrossFit for $150 and Yoga for $135 - and bonus they never expire.
So let's get down to it shall we? I was able to pop in for one CrossFit and one Yoga experience but I already know I want to come back for more. The location is easy for me to walk to [super bonus] offers a lot of classes early in the day or later at night that accommodate my full-time working schedule, and honestly it's such a welcoming and friendly environment how can you stay away?
CrossFit with Chris
I have tried a lot of workouts and fitness classes in my day but none have been quite as intimidating as CrossFit. There I said it. However once I got to know co-owner Mimi and her outlook and vision for the studio I felt like I could handle at least once class.
This is not the place you show up in your matching crop top and leggings combo with your super cute sneakers. I had to take my mind out of "boutique fitness studio" mode and get into "serious athlete" mode.
I ended up being the only one who signed up for the 7:30 time slot that night, which in all honesty was probably good so I could get a taste of how CrossFit works and not get thrown to the sharks my first day. How it works - the same workout is programmed for one day and all time slots that day perform the same workout. Whether you show up at 6am or 6pm you will do the same workout, scaled to your personal fitness level. Everyone's results are recorded on a board for the entire day. This is common practice for all CrossFit gyms - but Seya takes it a step further and inputs the data into an online system not only to track your results but progress as you get stronger. The coaches dedicate a lot of time to analyzing the results as well to make sure they are programming workouts that make sense for their athletes.
Chris had me do a quick cardio warm up before jumping into the dynamic warm up to prep for the real workout. Because the workouts themselves are usually focused on time, reps, or rounds it's important to get the body warmed up and primed before just diving in. We did walking lunges with a hip opening twist, shoulder openers, good mornings, and a quick round of squats and push ups. Once we warmed up with functional movements, he walked me through the harder parts of the workout.
Handstand pushups. Woof. I excelled at the actual handstand part of this movement. I bombed the push up part of the movement. However it was incredible how many steps you can break this down into - not only so the movement can be done correctly - but so you can see each person's weak point and find out just where they need to get better. For me since I did not have enough strength to do a handstand pushup, my workout was modified to do regular push ups.
5 deadlifts [20lbs + Bar]
5 Handstand pushups [ modified to regular push ups]
5 box jumps [up & over to the other side]
2 minutes as many reps as possible - 2 minutes rest - 7 rounds
I am happy to report I survived all 7 rounds, managed to increase my number of reps for the first 4 rounds but started to get fatigued a little bit at the last 3. I did not throw up [always a solid goal of mine] and only half tripped off the box during one of the jumps but managed to catch myself before I fell on my face.
What I loved about this workout. It made me feel like a total bad ass. Was I only deadlifting 20lbs? Yes. Was I doing pushups on my knees? Also Yes. But while I was in the middle of each round I knew I was working my hardest, focusing on form and executing each move correctly while also moving as fast as I could. At the end of each round I was completely spent and cherished that 2 minutes of rest before the next round. I left that night completely understanding the addiction that is CrossFit and also feeling increadibly empowered.
Aerial Yoga with Katie
My only experience with Aerial Yoga was at Movement Lab and while it was a great experience it was for the most part a photoshoot and not a great representation of a "class". At least I wasn't scared of letting myself go upside down this time. I was surprised when Katie handed me a mat [I did not think to bring one with me - oops!] and told me to roll it out under a silk hammock.
What I initially thought would be flips and tricks and flying in the air actually ended up being some amazing stretching and strength that used the silk as a prop. You start on your mat, as any standard yoga practice would start, but then gradually begin to incorporate the silk into some of the movements. I was able to go deeper into certain postures than I normally would, using the silk to assist my balance. At other times, the silk allows you to move through a posture in a different way than a standard practice. In warrior, the silk is tucked under your front knee and your inner thighs and hamstrings have to work extra hard to fight the pull of gravity. On the ground you may normally feel this posture more in the quads and glutes but just a small change allows you to feel the posture in a totally different way.
Don't worry there were still flips and tricks - but my entire view of what aerial yoga is changed by the end of class. Katie also is a phenomenal teacher - soft spoken but also super strong. As a CrossFit regular, she understands the challenges of being an athlete with tight muscles.
I walked away from Seya with a new appreciation and understanding for CrossFit but also aerial yoga. A new appreciation for my body and the different things it can achieve over the course of the week. It was crazy to go from one end of the spectrum to the other in one week and feel strong and powerful in both. Which just goes to show you no matter which aspect of Seya you chose you're I dare you to walk away not feeling empowered.
There is nothing I love more than a small business that supports health and wellness, co-run by pretty bad ass women, that is also taking a stand in improving our community and revitalizing a neighborhood. Do yourself a favor schedule your first yoga or CrossFit class with them today - maybe I'll see you in a class! And don't forget to check them out on social — Facebook & Instagram — give them a follow to stay up to date on all the latest events!