by Staff Writer

When Sarah O’Connor was at her lowest, she discovered she could be at her strongest.

Sarah is the founder and owner of Empower Wellness Studio. Located at 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard, this facility isn’t your typical fitness and wellness center. Step through its doors, and you’ll experience an extraordinary movement—a movement “Powered By Women For Women.”

That means no boys allowed. Yes, you read right. This new facility, which celebrated its grand opening on March 24 of this year, is for girls only aged 12 and beyond. The service providers are also all female offering their trade expertise to other women.

Why a female only studio? Because “Women Do Better Together.” Empower Wellness Studio is so much more than just a run-of-the-mill gym, and there’s so much that makes this place extraordinary.

Like other gyms, Sarah’s Studio offers traditional weight machines and personal trainers along with fitness classes like yoga, barre and tai chi. These activities are designed to help you achieve the very best you.

Unlike other gyms, Empower Wellness Studio removes the male distraction factor and shifts the full focus to you as a woman. Workouts and wellness become a whole lot more fun when you laugh and bond with the girls around you. Laughter is the best medicine, and Sarah’s space delivers “Girls Rule” in the most amazing sense of the phrase.

We have a woman who comes in wearing her curlers,” said Sarah. “Afterwards, she goes into the bathroom, washes up and changes her clothes. Then, she comes out for the day looking like a diva.”

This is a space to feel comfortable and safe. When you’re here, you never need to think or worry about what shape you are, what age you are or what you need to wear. Here, you can just be you—the best you.

Empower Wellness Studio is all about fitness and wellness. Sarah wants you “To Find Out What You’re Made Of.” She and her incredible team teach that being healthy comes from the inside out. Before you even think about lifting a weight, you need to first concentrate on believing in yourself. Nothing is stronger or healthier than the power of self-love and self-confidence. Sometimes, though, we need help getting there, and this is the place.

To truly understand what’s special about this place, you need to first understand what’s special about Sarah.

Many of us have walked down the same insidious path of insecurity that she has. Like her, we’ve fought to survive. Sometimes, just surviving has been our greatest victory. But Sarah’s here to share the message that we don’t need to just survive—we can thrive together. Yes, there will be bad days, but when we love ourselves and share a community of love and support with other women, everyday can be a beautiful and healthy day.

In order to write this story, I spent time with Sarah at her Studio. She’s awesome; there’s no better adjective to describe her. She’s fought off the demons who chased her by taking control of her life and practicing what she calls “Self-Care.” To practice “Self-Care” simply means to take care of yourself first. “Self-Care” comes in many ways, and Sarah has strived to bring some of her favorite ways all under one roof. She believes if you take care of yourself and be your best self, then you can be your best for others.

I listened to Sarah’s incredible story. She says she doesn’t see herself as inspirational, but she is. When I first started to write this article, I realized that her story wasn’t mine to tell. She loves sharing her message with people; it’s the reason she started her business. So, with that in mind, I will hint at her background to give you, my readers, a sense of how fabulous she is.

For most of her life, Sarah battled health and weight issues. Her health issues combined with the medications she took caused her to gain weight. The extra weight she carried made exercise painful for her; in turn, being inactive caused her to gain more weight. More weight caused her to struggle with body image issues. Life was a vicious cycle.

What she was doing wasn’t making her feel better. In reality, her treatment was only exacerbating her conditions. Sarah realized there had to be a better way to get healthy. What was she missing?

Then it hit her. She had to start moving—that was the first and key component. Sarah began her journey by literally taking one step at a time powering through her pain.

Sarah is the first to admit she’s not a licensed fitness or wellness expert. However, she’s a smart business woman, and she’s assembled a team of experts who are licensed in their field and will provide you with their best so you can reach and be your best.

She is just a woman who found a way to make herself happy by taking care of herself and learning what she was made of inside. Sarah’s hope is that other women will take those same steps, take their own journey and find out what they are made of, too.

If you’re ready to take the first step, then start your journey today.

Empower Wellness Studio

10818 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85028