I discovered Barre Body from a good old google search. I had heard of Barre before but didn’t exactly know what it entailed. At a guess, I would have said ballet but that’s not quite the full picture. Barre Body is:
Inspired by the Lotte Berk Method and methods derived from it such as The Bar Method®, Core Fusion and Physique 57.
However, Barre Body is differentiated through its incorporation of yoga, specifically the fluid style of vinyasa, generating heat in the body whilst also increasing flexibility.
Having been out of the gym for almost 3 years due to health issues, I must admit that I did miss it. Going from 4-5 spin classes a week to absolutely zilch was frustrating to say the least. Now I’m not someone that worships the gym or say I love working out but I do revel in the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction as well as the buzz gained from the spike in serotonin as I exit a class.
As my body is finally at a stage where I have confidence that I can push it slightly without a fear of causing further injury or putting myself out for weeks due to pain, I’ve been dabbling in a little bit of yoga here and there, mainly at home with Yoga with Adrienne. But you know what it’s like working out at home. You get lazy. Or at least I do. I don’t push myself nearly as much and I’m certainly not motivated. For this reason, I decided to seek out a class.
Being a fan of the flowing style of vinyasa yoga, I was very intrigued by Barre Body and it didn’t take much for me to sign up for their two-week trial pass for a mere $50 (bargain) once I found out that there was one located near to where I currently live. They offer several different style classes not just Barre Body.
There’s Barre Tone which is more heavily influenced by the strong and dynamic US style of barre classes and which focuses more on core work, integrating the principles of pilates, barre work and the use of hand weights to tone and shapen the body.
There’s also Barre Moves which combines the flowing, seamless moves of vinyasa yoga with both contemporary and classical ballet moves. I was worried that this might be an actual dance class but it isn’t. And no, a tu-tu isn’t required.
Barre Cardio infuses high energy cardio intervals (HIIT) with Pilates and barre conditioning.
Finally, there is Barre Fit, a new addition to the Barre schedule, which merges big, dynamic movements and constant cardio, with barre work using resistance bands.
Each class consists of similar elements but with a slightly different focus. Having sampled them all, I’d have to say that my favourite class is Barre Body, their signature class, because it fuses flowing yoga sequences with both interval training and isometric exercises incorporating hand weights, mat work and the barre. I (and my body) much prefer low impact exercises so Barre Body is the perfect class. I might also add that Barre Cardio was a b*tch! If you like jumping up and down to the point of almost throwing up then be my guest.
The Barre Body studio based in the heart of the city in Sydney’s CBD is located in the old St James Trust building opposite Hyde Park on the 1st floor. The newest of the 8 Barre Body studios, with it’s Art Deco inspired floor-to-ceiling arched windows and simple white canvas with a subtle mint green trim across the top, it’s certainly the most elegant place I’ve ever bust a sweat in. With six soaring mirrors that mimic the glass windows, the studio feels more spacious than it actually is. It’s light and airy and certainly not like the stuffy surrounds I am used to when it comes to working out.
There is a small-ish communal changing room just past through the breakout area (where mints, water and a hot pot of detox herbal tea are provided) with a boxed shelving unit where you can leave your belongings (no lockers so I always bring my valuables into the class). They provide basic toiletries such as deodorant, wipes and hand sanitiser which is handy as there are no shower facilities. Toilets are within the building on the same floor and are shared with the offices that are also located on the first floor. Overall, it’s a cute little setup.
The studio holds up to 30 and although I’m not a fan of big classes (and it does get busy during the lunchtime classes where sessions pretty much reach their full capacity), it’s not too bad as everyone is positioned around the perimeter of the room up against the barre as opposed to in the centre of the room and on top of each other. I’d still, given the option, prefer a much smaller class as I feel the instructor doesn’t have the time to get to every student to ensure that they are practising correctly.
All of the instructors are very fit, most of them very petite and ridiculously toned so that’s enough motivation to push yourself through each class. There was a little inconsistency with each of the instructors, some didn’t ask whether anyone had any injuries or medical conditions that they should be aware of (I would expect this especially with new students), others were quite helpful in providing alternative exercises where required, then some weren’t really aware of the consequences of my particular condition (sciatica). I guess this is down to the level of the experience of the individual instructors. But the general advice given, although obvious, is to stop with the onset of pain.
I actually discovered that one of the daily classes was cancelled recently as it was a less busier slot (around 10am I believe), which is such a shame really. I do think you can better hone your technique where there is the availability of more one on one time with the instructor and smaller classes would certainly facilitate this.
If you’re looking for a new challenge, to keep fit or if enjoy yoga and/or pilates then I would certainly recommend checking out Barre Body. For me, it’s about getting back into a fitness regime that will help to strengthen my body, particularly my core, and to feel good both mentally and physically. Oh and if I happen to tone up and saggy/baggy bits then that’s a bonus! What’s great is that they provide a two-week unlimited class pass for just $50 if you just wanted to dip your toe into the water without signing your life away and then feeling guilty if you don’t go consistently. They also have various price plans to suit you depending on how regular you attend classes so the more frequently you attend, the more money you can potentially save. And if you just wanted to go to one class then it’s a flat $25.
Have you tried Barre Body?