As per my 30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30, trying out a Barre class has been in my mind for probably close to a year now. Of course a ballet-inspired work out piqued my interest, but I wasn’t particularly keen on paying $20 for a single class if I didn’t know if I would enjoy it or not. Someone on my Facebook shared an event for a new studio here in Winnipeg that is doing free Barre classes for the month of September- it seemed like fate, and I knew I had to go at least once! Unfortunately, I was only available for one of the free classes- Sunday, September 18, Barre HAPPENED.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Barre is an exercise class that is a mish-mash of ballet, yoga, and Pilates! They can have different focuses- cardio, weight training, stretching, or a little bit of everything. The class that I attended was a basic Barre class that touched on everything. I went to The Yoga Barre, a brand new studio in Winnipeg! You can check out their class descriptions here.
I didn’t have a chance to snag any pictures, but the studio was absolutely gorgeous. From the entryway to the change rooms to the studios, they have committed. There are hardwood floors and tons of windows! There are yoga studios and a spin room, but I only really was in the Barre studio. It’s quite narrow, but there is enough room for a barre on each side and yoga mats extending towards the centre with room to spare in the middle. I brought my own yoga mat, but they did have some available for rental if you needed. They also provide two 3lb weights, an isokinetic exercise ring, and a Theraband for you to use in the class. Everything was already set up and we were able to pick our spot and slowly stretch before the class started!
I was a little worried about not knowing anyone at the class, but you don’t really have time to talk to anyone during the class- it is a workout and a half. I pride myself on being decently in shape. I am back in ballet at the RWB, and I weekly run, do yoga, and Zumba. However, I felt it for a good four days afterwards. We started with 3-4 Sun Salutation sequences to warm up, and then got into it! Planks, pushups, and shoulder, elbow, and knee taps start the workout off with a bang. If you were wondering which part of your body is being worked out, the answer is all of it. We then used the isokinetic circle for arm work and about 100 abdominal curls- they are tiny but mighty and you will feel that for days. We used the weights in squats, twists, and small lifts. As someone who doesn’t ever use weights, those 3lb weights quickly felt like 20lb weights. It’s incredibly what a workout those small weights can give you! Moving on to the ballet inspired portion- rises and squats, in many, many, many pulses. As a ballet dancer, I struggled with these. Ballet isn’t really known for pulsing, so my muscles were slightly confused as to what we were doing. The isokinetic circle came back for leg raises as they are terrific for resistance! Last up was the Theraband, which when wrapped around the Barre provides a fantastic rowing type situation. As someone who doesn’t row, my triceps and shoulder muscles were crying by the end. We ended the class with some gentle stretches.
Overall, my thoughts? Too much Pilates for me, but I would love to try one of the cardio Barre class! Heather was a fantastic teacher, she was upbeat and easy to understand. The music was easy-to-listen to pop music, and I enjoyed the studio. It’s on the opposite side of the city, so it would take a little bit of planning but I would love to go back again. Winnipegers, you need to check out the The Yoga Barre! And everyone, you need to check out a Barre class!
Has anyone else taken a Barre class? What are your thoughts?