It’s time to raise the barre.
Not on the heat in your hot yoga studio, but on the cross training of your yoga practice. That’s right, another workout can actually help make you lengthen and strengthen your downward dog.
It’s called barre because the workout takes place at a ballet barre. But, before you start thinking this practice is reserved strictly for ballerinas, let us explain how it can improve your yoga routine.
Barre is really like a hybrid yoga. It’s a combination of ballet-inspired movements with flares of Pilates, yoga and strength training. The low-impact workout focuses on strengthening your core and toning your muscles, which can dramatically improve your at home yoga routine.
Take a deep breath. You don’t have to be a great dancer as a prerequisite. Rather, you will be following directions from the instructor who will cue different tucking and extending motions throughout this hybrid workout. No tutus or leotards are necessary either, but your favorite pair of yoga leggings are highly encouraged. Plus, don’t forget your grippy socks!
Class may start with a warmup on a mat (hence the grippy socks). Then once you’ve built heat in your body, you’ll be flowing and pulsing, often to the rhythm of your favorite tune on the radio.
You’ll hold onto the bar or lay on the mat to focus on legs and glutes, abs and arms and target your core. There’s also resistance bands, hand weights and ankle weights to level-up your lean muscle, which in return will help you better nail some of your favorite yoga postures.
Then many classes end with our favorite yoga offering: savasana.
The real difference between yoga and barre is the small-range movements. A hot barre workout consists of simple isometric movements where you hold the rest of your body still while you work one group of muscles. You work on isolated areas—like arms or abs—in high reps to help fatigue the muscle, until you shake and feel the burn. That burn is good. That’s the muscle changing!
While some of the terms may be different—seat is to barre as chair is to yoga—you’ll soon be transitioning as gracefully as a lead ballerina in Swan Lake.
You’ll extend. You’ll keep a neutral spine. You’ll focus on your breath, all while incorporating yoga into your new workout routine.
So, go on. Meet us at the barre.
About the Author
Stephanie Kuzydym is an award-winning investigative reporter currently living in Cincinnati. She finds the best way to slow down and refocus is on the mat.