Fit Columbia is a hidden gem among the many venues that fill Five Points — it's a yoga studio that ensures you leave feeling better than when you came in. With the overwhelming stress that the school semester brings upon students, it serves as a getaway from it all.
The idea to create Fit Columbia started a decade ago with owner Angela Sellers. As a former strength and conditioning coach at Hammond School, Sellers has a background in athletic training. She said she opened her first gym in an unlikely place — the basement of one of her client’s husband's office buildings. Ten years later, her studio is located in the heart of Five Points.
Sellers said her mission in creating Fit Columbia is to foster play and longevity. With a studio full of energetic and professional staff, they have created an environment where clients can get in touch with their fun side and let loose.
“As we grow up, we forget we can play,” studio manager and lead instructor Kiley Prevatte said. “We just create a lot of playtime, lots of giggles, lots of feel-good moments.”
Fit Columbia specializes in yoga, offering a variety of different classes for all ages. A few client favorites include aerial yoga, traditional mat yoga, stretch therapy and personal training.
According to Sellers, the studio will see six-year-old kids' birthday parties doing yoga, and then you turn around and see someone who is 80-years-old.
Sellers said Prevatte was once a client at Fit Columbia. She said she first came to the studio when she was a full-time student at the University of South Carolina. Prevatte fell in love with the classes which led her to eventually start teaching her own. Every semester, the studio has two to four interns from the university, and they are part of what makes the experience so special in Sellers' eyes.
“I started with the aerial here,” Prevatte said. “I really love teaching that because I love helping other people find that confidence or that empowerment in their body when they walk out of my class.”
Despite the studio being fitness-oriented, the goal for the classes is for clients to feel refreshed, not exhausted. Sellers and the staff aim to make fitness fun and educate clients on their bodies.
“Why would we have somebody do so many lunges they can’t walk when they leave the studio?” Sellers said. “The goal is when they leave the studio they feel so good, they understand their bodies better, they're more confident. And then later on that day they’re outside playing with their grandkids.”
One unique feature is that payment is tailored and varies based on customer needs. Sellers said she created Fit Columbia to not be a financial burden, but instead a place where everyone is able to experience what the studio has to offer.
Since COVID-19, Sellers said the studio has been able to maintain its growth while keeping everyone safe. The pandemic forced them to move into a larger location in Five Points. Sellers said the former space was about 1,000 square feet and only one room. Now in the current location, they upgraded to almost double the space to allow for a more COVID-19 conscious environment.
If students or other potential clients are interested, they are encouraged to book a free consultation via the Fit Columbia website or by phone. They offer college night classes and private group sessions for athletic teams, sororities, academic clubs or even just a group of friends. Student discounts are also available.
"We're like a family," said private trainer Nancy Goffi. "I'm a personal trainer, but sometimes a therapist, sometimes a friend."