Review: B Well Health & Fitness
So, I started January with the full intention of doing a thorough review of a multitude of health and fitness opportunities we have available to us here in Boerne. My goal list for the month included: First Friday Yoga at the Patrick Heath Public Library, B Well Health & Fitness, Elegance and Life Barre Studio, The Boerne Family YMCA, and Fit4Mom Boerne. I had it all scheduled out in my planner you guys; if you know me at ALL, you know that means I’m serious. However, winter had other plans for myself and our family and we’ve all been sick since before Christmas! So, I only made it to two of the places on my list: First Friday Yoga (which you can read about here) and B Well Health & Fitness. I still hope to make it to the others, but for now, let’s talk about B Well.
***PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL PHOTOS (except the sauna photos) ARE COURTESY OF B WELL. I did not feel comfortable taking photos inside the studio, as I fully understand that working out is seen by some as private; this is their sacred space!***
First, the basics: B Well Health & Fitness is a membership-based studio that offers a variety of group classes such as Yoga, Barre, Pilates, TRX, Spin, Boot Camp, and Cardio Kickboxing, as well as an Infrared Sauna. After signing up, you schedule yourself for classes via the website or the app. Classes begin at 6:00am and usually run through 6:15-6:30pm and the last sauna session ends at 7:00pm. You can purchase monthly unlimited memberships or credits for classes, and the Shoppe also offers massage therapy, Reformer Pilates private sessions, personal training, and nutrition plans. Childcare is available for a limited timeframe during the day (usually somewhere between 8:30-10:30am and 5:30-6:30pm) and you purchase those childcare sessions either individually or in packages of ten.
In looking at class offerings, I decided that going first thing in the morning is what would work best for our family’s schedule. I am SO not an early morning person, but at that time of day though, there really is no traffic in Boerne and parking was super easy. As for the Shoppe, the place is really cute! The dark paint colors and modern industrial vibe are totally on point. There are a few cute workout tanks for sale and there’s a refrigerated case full of raw juices, Happy Gut Foods, and meals to go from Powerhouse Bakery.
On my first day, I checked in at the front desk and was led around the corner for Spin class. I walked in, picked a bike, got adjusted and started peddling. Then the lights went down, the black lights and music came on, and we were on our way with Katie, the Shoppe’s owner, as our fearless leader. This was my first time to a Spin class EVER, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t to be peddling in near-darkness…this was awesome! I am not one for group fitness classes at all; I’m way too anxious of a person for that and I’m always worried about what people are thinking when they watch me work out (“Her form is horrible!”… “Can she really not go faster?”… “I’ve never seen anyone sweat so much!”) Seriously, it’s bad. But this was amazing because nobody can really see you and you can’t see them. You’re focused totally and completely on your own self; ahhhhhh, what a relief!
Now, the class? Wowza, you guys…this class kicked my a**. I haven’t really worked out on a regular basis since before I was pregnant with Baby and yeah, he’s 17 months old. It started off okay, but about half-way through it, I was wondering if it was ever going to end! There was quite a bit of moving up and down (and all around, it seemed) and near the end, I was afraid that if I tried to stand up again I would just simply fall.off.the.bike. The great thing about this class though (I took the SPIN45), is that it’s self-paced. You have Katie leading you and telling you when to dial your resistance up or down, when to speed up or take a minute to catch your breath, but you are in control. You don’t have to crank up the resistance or peddle any faster if you really can’t do it or (like me) you just don’t think it’s a good idea. This means that each time you take the class, your goal is to set a new personal best for yourself, without any pressure. That’s the kind of workout I like! Also, I think I’ll add here that I did try the Spin class again and fared much better the second time around. 😊
The next 6:00am class offering was for Vinyasa Flow Yoga, so I gave it a whirl. Ariel was our instructor for the day and she, of course, was very sweet and easy to chat with prior to class. She kept a good eye on all of us as we were following her through the movements, pointed out corrections to a pose when necessary and offered blocks, straps, and modified versions of poses for those of us who were definitely beginners (ahem, me). The lighting in the room was dim (and it was still dark outside so there was no light coming in through the windows either), there was a small row of candles up front next to her, and the music was a surprising mix of very light r&b, hip-hop, and a slightly more modern version of what you usually think of when you imagine “yoga music”. There was a nice cool down/relaxation period at the end, which is always my favorite part, and the gentle encouragement to think about what you dedicated your practice to and how you can go about seeing that through in the rest of your day. This was a great yoga class with plenty of challenges for those who are a bit more advanced, but still easy enough for beginners looking to try something new.
Next, I tried the infrared sauna. I had never been in a sauna before, much less, one of these new-fangled infrared thingamajigs, so before trying it out, I headed over to the B Well website to see what it was all about. Here’s what I found:
Infrared’s deep penetrating heat effectively stimulates metabolic activity, which in turn triggers the release of stored toxins through sweat, as well as through the liver and kidneys. Infrared saunas help recreate your body’s fever-like response condition by raising your core body temperature, to make you feel even better inside and out. During a 30-45-minute session your body can burn over 400-600 calories, not to mention feel all of these amazing benefits:
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Sounds awesome, right? It was! On the evening that I had my session, I was shown to a private room with a sauna, table with towels and magazines, and a bench and hooks for belongings. I wore warm pants and a hoody (because it was chilly outside) over shorts and a workout tank. When I was ready to get in, I just removed the outer layer and hopped inside with just the shorts and tank (and my water bottle).
There’s a control panel on the inside: just hit “power” and “start” and you’re on your way! I’ll admit that I was a bit anxious about what to expect as a first-timer. I had all kinds of questions running through my head like, “Just how hot is it going to get? How much will I sweat? Will I feel my heart racing or have trouble breathing?”…all of which were unnecessary fears. Yes, it got warm, but it wasn’t unbearable or even uncomfortable at all. I noticed that at about 126 degrees (with 16 minutes left in my session), my muscles seemed to relax completely which was a crazy, cool feeling. It was then that I began to really enjoy the experience, and even dozed off for a bit!
After the session, I left feeling nice and energized. I don’t know if I burned that 400-600 calories that I’ve read is possible, or if I sweated out all that many toxins, but I will be trying it again. And I'm sure that I will probably enjoy it even more, now that I know I’m not going to melt into a pile of goo. 😉
The last class I tried at B Well was Barre Pilates. This was also my first time to ever take a Barre class. When I walked in, the mats were already on the floor and we were instructed to pick up some hand weights and a blue resistance band and select a mat. One look around told me that this was a barefoot or socks-only experience, so I removed my shoes.
I ended up on a mat in the front row, which was probably a good thing because I really needed to be able to see the instructor’s movements, as it was all new to me. On the other hand, I constantly felt like I was standing in somebody’s way of seeing their form in the mirror and that was a bit bothersome. The music was a la Fergie, Usher, and No Doubt which is right up my old-school alley, but was a bit much for me that early in the morning. It was perfect for the speed and momentum of the class though, so that really just tells me that I should probably take this class later in the day when I’m more awake!
As for the workout? Well, if I thought the SPIN45 class was insane that first day, this class was on a whole other level. It moves fast. It takes some coordination (which I was, unfortunately, not blessed with). And it is a lot of work. I have no doubt that if you took this up on a regular basis, you would come out with some killer lean muscle, strength, and flexibility.
Also...are you familiar with pelvic tilts? Well, there were a few of those, while crouching slightly and holding the barre, and staring at yourself in the mirror…and keeping time with Fergie. This was a bit awkward, and really funny. It looked something like this (but you know, think “Fergalicious”):
So, what did I learn from this class? First, that Becki (the instructor) is a machine. Also, that I would need to take it a few more times to really get the routine down enough to feel comfortable in my own skin while doing it. Overall, a fantastic class but I just don’t know if I have it in me to have that much energy, work that hard, or enjoy that kind of music at 6:00am!
All in all, I really enjoyed my whole experience at B Well. The atmosphere is great, the classes were great, and every single person I met was super nice, helpful, and patient with me, as a newcomer. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, check out the FREE Vinyasa Yoga class that is offered every Sunday at 4:00pm. This will give you a great chance to see the studio for yourself and to meet some of the instructors and locals who call it a second home.
Also, keep an eye on B Well’s Facebook and Instagram pages for special “Sample Saturday” events where you can try samples of each class for FREE, and also for one-month all-inclusive passes at discounted rates, like I used. If there’s one thing I learned by stepping out of my comfort zone and giving group fitness classes a go, it’s that you really don’t have anything to lose just by trying!
Have you been to B Well? Or another similar studio in Boerne? Let us know what you thought!
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