Boxing + Yoga: The Winning Combo Behind BRWL Studio in Orange

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For those with a fighter’s spirit, BRWL Studio located at 475 S Jefferson Street in the Valley Arts District of Orange is here to help you better yourself while also reaching your fitness goals with its own type of workout that combines yoga and boxing – completely unique to the studio. Read on about how BRWL is changing the way we work out and connect with our community.

BRWL 

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

Founding the Studio

BRWL is a new type of workout that combines yoga and boxing. The studio says its classes reduce stress and anxiety, improve breath control, coordination and balance, and enhance strength. BRWL Studio says, “Our name BRWL comes from the phrase ‘Be Relentless With Life.’ This means to be relentless in the pursuit of your goals no matter the challenges you come up against.” Its trainers are here to help you become the best you while achieving your fitness goals.

BRWL

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

BRWL Studio was started by Marteese Gilliam and Michelle Swittenberg in November 2019 in a pop-up space. The two had hopes of opening a permanent space in April 2020 but, due to Covid, the duo was forced to pivot to livestreams and outdoor classes until they were finally able to open the brand new studio in April of this year. The studio is located in a former hat factory that has been renovated into a modern space of condominiums, retail spaces, and art studios.

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After retiring from her corporate career, Michelle created a women’s fitness challenge as a way to connect to other like-minded women in her community. Through this quarterly challenge, she met Martesse and experienced his boxing + yoga-formatted fitness class.

BRWL

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

Inspired by his new fitness concept, the two connected to discuss and start what we now know as BRWL. Michelle says that she and Martesse opened the studio because “We both feel that fitness is not only a path to self-improvement but also a way to build camaraderie and community.”

Despite not knowing each other, both Maresse and Michelle grew up in Trenton and now each lives in Maplewood. Both Martesse and Michelle live in Maplewood and each grew up in Trenton. Martesse is a certified yoga instructor who also has 25+ years of martial arts training and is a certified martial arts instructor. He teamed up with Michelle, who manages the business side of BRWL, because of her passion for fitness, and her serious business credentials with an MBA from Duke University and a BS from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton.

About the Studio

BRWL

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

Michelle says there are two things that separate BRWL from other gyms/fitness studios in the area. “1. The classes we offer are like no other classes in this area—people love our classes that combine boxing with yoga and they love our bag-based classes where every class feels like a party! 2. The location—we are in close proximity of Maplewood, South Orange, West Orange, Montclair but in an area most people seldom travel, the Valley Arts District of Orange.  We wanted to be part of the vibrancy and renewal that is happening in this area.”

Prior to the pandemic, the studio also served as a place for community members to hang out and connect. It hosted monthly boxing+bourbon nights and private parties where people have combined working out with a celebration. BRWL hopes to restart these in-house events soon.

The Classes

BRWL

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

What separates BRWL from other gyms/fitness studios in the area are the types of classes it offers and its location. The classes are unique to BRWL and not offered anywhere else. Combining boxing and yoga creates a fun atmosphere that is enjoyable for all different types of fitness buffs. BRWL’s other outstanding factor is its location.

While it is in close proximity to very popular areas such as Maplewood, South Orange, West Orange, Montclair, people seldom make their way over to Orange and the Valley Arts District. BRWL is excited to be part of the growth and renewal happening in its area.

BRWL

(Photo credit: @brwl.official)

The studio offers five different classes, as well as small group and one-on-one training sessions. Its signature class is called BX+ZN and is described as “an intense 60-minute workout in a heated room to a hip-hop beat. Your instructor will guide you through the intensity of the fight with 30 minutes of shadowboxing, then follow it up with 30 minutes of yoga that will give you a new appreciation for the yoga mat.”

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BRWL’S outdoor classes will return in September for a limited time. Upcoming dates are:

  • – 9/12 and 9/19: Rooftop of the MC Hotel in Montclair
  • – Select weekday mornings at the Maplewood YMCA
  • – Saturday mornings at Our Lady of the Valley in Orange

For more details on BRWL’s indoor and outdoor classes, check out the schedule here.

Starting September 1, BRWL will require proof of vaccination for all those participating in indoor classes. BRWL says it feels “it is the right thing to do to keep our community and their loved ones, who may not be able to be vaccinated due to age, as safe as possible.”

To learn more about BRWL, follow the studio on Instagram at @brwl.official.


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Kristina is a real estate agent at Keller Williams NJ Metro Group in Montclair living right next door in Cedar Grove. In her free time, she is involved in the rescue dog community, volunteering as the Adoption/Foster Coordinator for Wise Animal Rescue. Kristina also spends time exploring businesses in Essex County and is dedicated to helping newbies to the area find their new homes, new favorite spots, and new rescue pups!