MONROE, CT — Tammy Gruber moved her health and wellness business, A Wellness Life, out of a gym in Newtown in February, and into her own space in Monroe. She now has an open exercise room, a small salon room, and even storage, in Building One at Bradford Green, 755 Main St.
First Selectman Ken Kellogg and his community and economic recovery coordinator, William Holsworth, joined members of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the Monroe Economic Development Commission and Power Network in a grand opening celebration for A Wellness Life on Thursday afternoon.
“We welcome A Wellness Life to Monroe,” Kellogg said. “We are excited to have Tammy and her business here and wish her great success. She has a wide pallet of services.”
A Wellness Life offers personal training, corrective exercises and group classes for pilates, functional fitness, Barre, Yoga Tune Up and TRX, in addition to wellness coaching, pain and stress management, mindfulness and meditation, and reiki energy healing.
“I’m a hair stylist too,” Gruber said.
When she was 18-years-old, Gruber was a hair stylist, before finding her true passion was being a physical trainer. Then she had a life changing experience.
“I ended up with an injury to my lower back. I went to shave my leg one day in the shower and was numb from the knee down,” Gruber recalled. “I was devastated. I went to an orthopedist and was diagnosed with herniated disks, specifically L4 and L5. It was in that very moment that I decided to rehab my body, my way.”
“Three months later, after a combination of chiropractic, acupuncture, and pilates, my body healed itself,” she continued. “It was a pivotal point in my life when I understood that, if I could heal myself, I could help others to do the same.”
For the past 25 years, Gruber has been working with people from all walks of life, finding the diet and exercise plan that’s right for them. She also helps athletes recovering from injuries and clients trying to alleviate pain.
Gruber started A Wellness Life eight years ago and operated out of Club NewFit in Newtown. When the gym closed, she continued to teach virtual classes from home, while looking for a new space.
“I’m happy I’m not in a gym,” she said. “This is a smaller and more personalized space,” she added of her new studio. “The people feel safe here in a smaller group.”
Holding sessions through Zoom is keeping Gruber busy and her studio is set up to allow for social distancing during live sessions, though she said several clients are still nervous over the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Wellness Life’s open room offers a peaceful setting with a hardwood floor and natural light from its large windows. The exercise equipment includes a trapeze table, a pilates chair, exercise bars, and pilates reformers for stretching and building strength. Straps hanging from a pipe near the back wall allow for exercises against gravity.
“I’m hoping post-COVID to have eight or 10 in a room,” Gruber said. “I’m hoping things change in October and people are more comfortable coming in.”
Gruber said she has actually taught clients how to breathe with their masks on before group workout sessions.
The salon room at A Wellness Life offers privacy for clients scheduling appointments to get their hair done, with one chair and a mirror.
On Thursday, a sign adorned with a butterfly balloon and an assortment of orange and yellow balloons advertised A Wellness Life’s grand opening to drivers traveling along Main Street.
Monroe Chamber of Commerce President Ray Giovanni, who is also chairman of the Monroe Economic Development Commission, was there with other members, as well as Beth Stoller, of Power Network, a leads group sponsored by the Monroe and Newtown chambers of commerce.
“I’ve had so much support from everybody,” Gruber said. “I couldn’t have done with without the Chamber and Power Network.”