Vessel Pilates owner strives to create ‘wellness sanctuary’ despite coronavirus crisis

Vessel Pilates owner Jessica Sowyrda switched to offering live, online classes during the coronavirus outbreak. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)
Vessel Pilates owner Jessica Sowyrda switched to offering live, online classes during the coronavirus outbreak. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)

Vessel Pilates owner Jessica Sowyrda switched to offering live, online classes during the coronavirus outbreak. (Trevor Nolley/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Sowydra opened the fitness center in May 2019. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Sowydra streams workouts to clients. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
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(Designed by Ethan Pham)
For Vessel Pilates owner Jessica Sowyrda, the idea of opening a health and wellness center grew out of experiencing firsthand the stress that comes with raising three kids as well as seeing a need for a judgement-free zone for those with busy schedules to get active.

“I really wanted to create and cultivate a space that people could come in and take care of themselves,” Sowyrda said. “We are a Pilates studio, but we are trying to really bring the community together to have more of a wellness sanctuary.”

Sowyrda’s experience as a mother is built right into the studio, with a space for children to play while their parent works out, to a range of small-group fitness classes. The center is also home to a boutique stocked with clothing, home products, locally sourced juice and elderberry syrup.

While the studio normally offers Pilates, rebound and align, barre, yoga and suspension training classes, stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus brought in-person sessions to a halt in mid-March. Instead, the studio began offering live classes every day via Zoom, a videoconferencing app, during the outbreak.

“I think [the virus] is really going to change people’s mindsets on how they view health and wellness and getting their movement in,” she said. “We just want to keep them moving whether they’re in the studio or not.”


Sowyrda also launched an on- demand video program, where people can subscribe and access prerecorded workout videos that clients can follow in the comfort of their homes. Although the videos came from needing to keep her business operating during the virus, Sowyrda said the programs will continue after the studio reopens.

Since the studio opened in May 2019, Sowyrda said the sense of community the studio has created has been amazing, with members supporting one another along their journey. Sowyrda said she now feels her studio’s mission to become a one-stop shop for health and wellness services in Kingwood is as important as ever.

“It’s been really fun ... seeing everyone let go for even an hour of what’s been going on,” she said. “It’s almost like you’re back in the studio.”

Vessel Pilates

21 N. Main St., Kingwood

281-913-5385

www.vesselpilates.com

Class hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-1:30p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon, closed Sun.*

*Business hours are not applicable during the coronavirus outbreak.

Kelly Schafler



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