“Being a mother myself, I know how challenging it can be just trying to exercise, let alone do anything without your newborn child."
Yoga instructor Crystal Widmann carved out a special niche for herself with Y2B Fit, a studio in West Mt. Airy that specialized in helping new mothers regain core strength and pelvic stability. Widmann developed her trademark technique, BYO Baby Barre™, after the birth of her son, when she used her background in exercise science to modify her workout to make it safe for the post-natal body.
“Being a mother myself,” Widmann said, “I know how challenging it can be just trying to exercise, let alone do anything without your newborn child, so I wanted to share fitness with new mothers through online videos. I later found an open space available that looked great for a studio, and it led me down a whole new path that I never imagined happening.”
And now, after a year of running her business online because Covid forced her to close her Mt. Airy studio, she is preparing to open a new space in East Falls.
“The pandemic had a dramatic impact on the business,” Widmann said. “We had to pivot the entire business online and learn a whole new way of teaching fitness. We made the decision to end the lease at our physical location last summer due to the uncertainty of when it would be safe for us to reopen the space, and it didn't make sense for us to continue paying rent on a space we weren't able to use.”
Widmann is a health and post-natal fitness expert specializing in barre and yoga training, and has more than 11 years of experience in the yoga and fitness industry. She won the 2016 Philadelphia Family Magazine's "Love Award" for Best Personal Trainer for Families.
At her previous studio, Widmann offered classes in Total Resistance Exercises, which is a specialized form of suspension training that utilizes equipment developed by a former U.S. Navy SEAL. She plans to continue that program in her new space.
Widmann graduated from Temple University with a BA in psychology and a master's in education. She earned a second master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania. She said that knowledge, combined with her personal experience as a new mother, helped her to develop her innovative technique for postnatal women. That program fuses barre technique, traditional fitness training principles and physical therapy elements to target their specific needs.
Although the purpose of Y2B fit is to engage mothers in a fitness routine, the classes are open to everyone. Not all clients are new moms, and some have been men, Widmann said.
“While I was getting my degree in psychology I was also doing yoga training, and I took a yoga course for a fitness requirement,” she said. “That sparked my interest in becoming a teacher, and I knew that after I had my son (Nesh, now almost 7), I wanted to help other new mothers with fitness.”
When the business opened four years ago, it was just Widmann as the teacher and a handful of students. It has since grown, however, to a staff of six teachers, including Widmann.
For more information about Y2B Fit, call 267-278-6251 or visit y2bfit.com. Len Lear can be reached at email@example.com.