Barre3 “where ballet barre meets yoga and pilates®” or as I like to call it, my home away from home. I’ve been posting for quite some time now about all of the amazing barre3 recipes and thought what better time than now to share my Hungry Southern Belle review of what I consider to be one of the best physical fitness activities out there!
Barre3, created by the astounding Sadie Lincoln, offers a unique combination of the grace and beauty of the ballet barre, the mind body connection of yoga and the strength and lengthening of pilates. Match this with an energizing music play list and the encouragement of both knowledgeable and amazingly talented instructors and you’ve got the perfect total body workout packed into a quick 60 minutes. I always leave the studio feeling energized and strong even after my hardest or longest day. No matter what physical challenge someone might have (Lord knows…I’ve got some health issues that can get in the way), there are so many modification or “layers” that can be found in each of the movements. If you aren’t close to a local studio, there is a whole website full of online workouts that you can do at home!
I personally work out at the Barre3 Atlanta South Buckhead Owned by an amazing couple, Katie Schrier and John Thomas, the Atlanta South Buckhead studio has become my home away from home. From the minute you step in the front door (complete with a cheery Barre3 welcome mat and water bowl for all of the bubbies ), you are always greeted by a warm smile and cheerful hello. The entire staff, from the front desk to all of the incredibly talented instructors, help to ensure that you aren’t just coming into a building to workout but rather entering into a “home” where you feel that you are a part of unique community. The members of the studio are an eclectic and beautiful blend of all ages, sizes, fitness levels and even include both men and women. It’s not just all of the fun athletic wear that brightens up the room but also all of the personalities of the members who share the barre from day to day. I would be very remiss in not mentioning our Barre3 mascot, Ollie, John and Katie’s most precious Boston Terrier complete with his Barre3 orange collar! (On a side note, I’m hoping to set him up on a puppy play date with our sweet Winnie!)
As you enter the studio you see the beautiful reclaimed Georgia wood wall with the Barre3 logo where not one level of detail is left untouched. Much like we are a Barre3 family, Katie’s parents were instrumental in helping get the studio ready to open. Katie’s Dad helped with installing the beautiful wood back wall. The signature Barre3 orange continues to guide you throughout your Atlanta studio experience There are orange lockers to hold your items while you are in the studio and a precious child care area (as the studio offers childcare during certain classes). One of my favorite stories from when the studio first opened was when Katie’s Dad shared that the small white table and chair set in the child care area were made for Katie when she was a little girl by her grandfather. Katie’s Dad refinished the set and it now sits ready for future generations of Barre3 babies to play while their parents get ready to shake and quake their way to their best selves.
So speaking of shakes and quakes, a well known feeling when you are in a studio or at home class, is when your body literally shakes from the power and feeling of change happening in your body. As anyone will tell you, that’s a badge of honor in Barre3 and we all embrace our shakes to the fullest! In fact, the stronger I’ve gotten and the deeper I get into the movements/positions, the more I find myself shaking and quaking. So no matter your first or your 100th visit, embrace those shakes!
The studio itself is so inviting with its bright and inviting atmosphere from the cork floor to the natural wood detailing. As mentioned, the classes are total body and engage the core from the first few opening breaths right until our final breath with our hands at hearts center. The classes are a combination of three unique movements – first going into a position to create an isometric hold of a specific muscle group, then moving into small one inch movements, finishing with a large range of motion to flush the muscle. I could go on and on about the classes but one of the best resources the studio offers is the amazing team of instructors. Each instructor has their own unique style and way of challenging us but are always so supportive an encouraging along the way. Not only are they my instructors but I also consider them friends.
Perhaps the biggest difference for me from any of the other workouts I’ve done before or any of the other barre classes I’ve tried in the past is the “barre3 formula for success”. From the site:
“It’s not just about the time you spend working out that counts, all 24 hours impact your long-term well-being. Achieving a balanced body requires a balanced approach. We call it the barre3 Formula for Success, and it’s comprised of three important elements: exercise, nourishment, and connection. Together, these three components work in harmony to help you thrive both physically and mentally.”
I’ve talked a little about my personal experience with the exercise. You have had a chance to see some of the nourishment piece with the whole and clean recipes I’ve been posting on the site. It has been totally freeing to not have to count calories anymore but instead know that I am nourishing my body with clean ingredients – proteins, fiber, vegetables and healthy fats – and listening to what my body tells me it needs.
The thing that separates Barre3 for me is the last piece of the formula – the connection. We are truly a community that is there to support and encourage one another. I have a social network of friends that I’ve created at the studio from striking up conversations and shaking and quaking next to these amazing women from day to day. We share our victories. We support each other when we need it. We work at not only making ourselves the best that we can be but encourage each other to do the same for themselves. I have introduced the studio and company to friends that I’ve had forever who are now either going to the studio classes or doing the workouts at home and I’ve made new friends with the other women in the studio. I talk about the Barre3 formula with random strangers when they ask me about my bright orange bracelet. Most of all, I love that the sense of community we feel in the studio extends into the rest of my Atlanta community. For example, another founding client (like myself) and new friend, Stephanie, is the Healthy Eating Specialist at the Whole Foods Buckhead. Just today, I ran into the store to grab a couple of things and saw her at her desk. What a great feeling to see a friendly face and have the ability to find that small connection in such a huge and busy city like Atlanta. We were able to chat and deepen our connection. Simply said, it makes my heart happy!
So my home away from home. The place and the people that make my heart happy. As you can probably tell from this brief review, this has become a much more personal connection for me than just a place I go to work out. I’ve had amazing results with my physical fitness and health and it’s more than just 41 pounds lost and being down 4-5 dress sizes. It’s very personal and something that has become a part of who I am as a person. Most of you are here to read about food but I feel like I still have a story to tell. That’s why I’m so excited to announce the launch of my sister blog site to A Hungry Southern Belle and that is my newest blog, My Steel Magnolia Life. This is where I can share more about my personal journey , things that inspire me and things that I hope to be able to motivate you. Sometimes the posts might be just random musings. I invite you all to come check out my first post, “My Dance with Barre3”, where I highlight and discuss my recent success with the 8 week Love Your Lower Body Challenge. Hopefully you’ll make yourself at home, put your feet up and stick around for a while….