Getting Back into Barre Classes

I took weekly (well, mostly weekly) barre classes at a financial district-area studio for nearly two years – from early 2015 until the fall of 2016.  Then I took a break.  Sort of.  I started Essentrics, which is less strenuous and inspired by tai chi and physiotherapy, which I went weekly (the club I take Essentrics at is not offering it in the summer).  Then, in April, I felt that I needed to get those grippy socks (like the ones below) out again and started looking for more “mainstream” barre classes.  I tried a few classes at my gym, which were okay (they were also difficult to book – classes filled up within minutes and one could only book the day before), and then I found one at a nearby yoga studio.

This class is different.  It’s only 45 minutes (opposed to an hour), and doesn’t feature ANY mat work (which was the ONE THING about barre I LOATHED as crunches can make me dizzy).  Of course, it’s not any gentler, which is a good thing.  In fact, I’m finding that I get MORE of a workout in those 45 minutes than I have in any one hour barre class I’ve taken in the past.  It’s likely because this class concentrates A LOT on glute and leg work, which I like.  And I feel great afterwards (okay, I was ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED after the first session, probably because my body wasn’t used to this version of barre).

Since there isn’t work on the mat at all, the class focuses much more on the barre and centre, in about a 55-45 rate (though these sessions are 45 minutes long, one STILL spends more time at the barre, probably an extra few minutes).  Like most classes, we start with a warmup at the centre, and then move to the barre.  This is followed by some work with weights at the centre and ends with a cool down back at the barre.  The 45 minutes go by very quickly and unlike some studios, I barely notice the music (I HATE loud music, and it’s probably why I stopped going to clubs/bars soon after I finished university.  I can count on ONE HAND how many non-classical/jazz concerts I’ve been to).  The only point of criticism I have for this particular studio that every session is more or less the same, without many new routines.  However, barre is relatively new to the studio, so things might change over the next few months.

I think this class is here to stay, at least for the time being.  I will also be trying some of their yoga classes as I’m looking for something gentle to replace Essentrics for the summer.  The yoga class I’ve signed up for focuses on restoring and destressing one’s body and mind – excellent, as I’m trying to get into a more “mindful” lifestyle.  I’ll report back! 🙂

Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz, previously known for her sites, DelectablyChic! (still "live" and still active on social media) and Shorty Stories, was born and raised in Toronto. In addition to writing, Cynthia enjoys cooking and is an avid supporter of the Canadian fashion industry. She is involved with various philanthropic projects, including music, arts, culture and mental health awareness.