Wednesday, May 13, 2015

pure barre: why i love it + my experience

A goal I made at the beginning of the year is to find a work out I love and stick with it. Since graduating from college in 2011, working out hasn't been the easiest thing for me. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. It's just always been a task that I know I should be doing but can never get the motivation to actually do it on most days.

Pure Barre: Why I Love It + My Experience // A Style Caddy

Enter Pure Barre. I've wanted to try Pure Barre for awhile but could never convince myself to sign up for it {like all things in NYC, it's expensive}. In February, I saw that there was a challenge to take 20 classes in 31 days {the month of March} and thought it would be the perfect time to try it out. Crazy, I know, that the first time to try it out is to take this challenge, but it was completely worth it!

On to some tips and my experience so far...

1. Don't be nervous. I was so, so, so nervous in the days leading up to my first class! Should I stand in the front? Will I look like an idiot? Is everyone going to stare at me? Honestly, there's nothing to worry about. If you're new, the teacher will show you how to tuck before class starts so that you get that basic movement down. After that, the exercises are explained and demonstrated that you'll get it. Besides, everyone is too busy staring at themselves in the mirror to make sure they have the right form to even bother with what you're doing. Still, it definitely takes a few classes to really get the hang of it.

2. Leave your day at the door. I think this goes for any exercise, but it's best to not concentrate or think about how your day went and what you still need to do when you're there. The great thing about Pure Barre is that it's been one of few exercises I've done where I don't find my mind wandering back to what I did at work or if there are any errands or things on my to-do list that need to get done. Once that music starts, my mind is completely focused on PB and how badly my arms, thighs, seat, and abs will be burning. In a good way!

3. Embrace the shake. Once you start doing the movements and start working your thighs and seat, you'll notice a visible shake. You won't be the only one so don't shy away from it! It's a sign that you're really working your muscles to their fullest potential. You'll learn to love it.

4. If you need to rest for a few seconds, do it. I most certainly cannot make it through the plank section without stopping and going into Child's Pose for a few seconds. There's no shame in it. You'll work up to it, it just takes time.

5. Listen to and watch the teachers for cues. They're there to help! The instructor will always show you what the exercise should look like and tell you where you should be feeling it. I always pay attention to this so that I can stay conscious of it while I'm doing the movement. They'll walk around during class to correct your form if they need to, and you'll feel the difference when they do. They offer great words of encouragement, too! It's always nice to hear a "Great job!" every now and then.

Pure Barre: Why I Love It + My Experience // A Style Caddy

6. Reset your form if you need to. Correct form is key in Pure Barre. While the instructor might correct it for you, sometimes it's good to do it yourself. One of the benefits of standing in front of the mirror is that you can really see what you look like. Sometimes I'll notice that my hips aren't square or my shoulders are tensed. At that point, I make it a point to stop and reset my form so that I can get the most out of the workout. You'll feel better during class and the next day, too!

7. Ask a question or two after class. Let's say you still didn't feel that burn in your inner thigh, there's nothing wrong with asking to go over that specific movement when class is over. The instructors want to help you so they'll happily stay a few extra minutes to show you and explain to you how to set yourself up. Pure Barre also has a great YouTube channel with a series called Technique Tips to show you proper form. It's also great to go to a Breaking Down the Barre workshop when it's offered. I went to one and it really helped!

8. The smallest of movements can yield the biggest results. It's all about the small movements in PB. We're talking about one inch, just lifting your leg one inch. It's crazy how much you'll feel that burn from such a tiny lift or a one-inch pulse.

9. Every class is different. I've taken over 20 classes now and I've never had one class that is exactly like the last. Instructors have their own teaching styles and type of music they like to play. I love the mix up! I think it adds to the appeal of Pure Barre. If every class were the same, you'd know what to expect and everything would feel repetitive. I love the anticipation of wondering what exercises we'll be doing that day, even if it's something I've never done before.

10. You can do anything for 10 seconds or that final 10. You might feel like the burn and the shake might kill you, but whatever you do, stick it out for the final 10 of that exercise. It's really just 10 more seconds. Just 10 seconds! And you can do anything for 10 seconds. You will so accomplished and great once you've done it. I know I always do. Trust me, close your eyes and just do it. You'll be glad you did.

Pure Barre: Why I Love It + My Experience // A Style Caddy

Have you tried Pure Barre? I'd love to know what you think of it! And let me know if there are any other boutique studios I should try and visit!

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