Elevate your workout at Soar Fitness Studio.

➼ Upside-down workouts? Yoga in the air? Jessica Savage McHugh believes if she can do it, so can you. That’s why she and her husband, Jason, opened Soar Fitness Studio, the Morgantown area’s first bungee and aerial yoga gym.

A West Virginia native, McHugh saw that the state’s health statistics were not promising: it’s the most obese state in the country. McHugh herself was obese for a time. Six years ago, though, she discovered POP Pilates and began her fitness journey. She started to view working out as fun and empowering, especially after she tried bungee workouts. “I knew if I could overcome that, I could help other people overcome that,” McHugh says.

In bungee classes, Soar’s most popular type, participants are suspended from the ceiling and supported in low-impact workouts as they pull against their own suspended weight.

Aerial and antigravity yoga involves colorful hammocks mounted to the ceiling. By climbing into the hammocks and hanging upside down, participants stretch their bodies, decompress their spines, flush their lymphatic systems, soothe back issues, and gain other health benefits, too. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. “When I go upside down for the first time, I see the class and their faces. Some of them look excited and some of them look scared to death,” McHugh says. “But when they do it themselves, there’s that ‘aha’ moment. When someone does a new move, we all cheer for that person.”

A third type of class, POP pilates, benefits local charities. Chestnut Mountain Ranch, ActiveVet, and Butterfly Angels have received proceeds.

Since the studio opened in April, McHugh has seen a new community form of women of all ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels. She wants to see women strengthened not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, and relationally. “People find self-love through movement,” she says. “I’ve been on the spectrum of being pushed by a trainer where I hated my workout. That’s not the environment we want for these women. We cheer each other on.”

Soar Fitness Studio is constantly evolving, so watch for new classes and instructors.

729 Fairmont Road, Suite 99, Westover 304.241.1015, vagaro.com/soarfitnessstudio @soarfitnessstudio on Facebook

written by Jennifer Skinner