Barre workouts -- it's the hot new trend in the world of yoga! But as great as these classes are for working the core and tightening up your physique, do they really qualify as yoga? Here's what you can expect when you step inside the welcoming environment of your average barre studio:
Incorporation of the Ballet Barre
If you arrive at a barre class in hopes of launching your career as a dancer, you're out of luck. You won't learn ballet technique in this fitness class, although your instructor may incorporate a few moves from standard ballet barre sessions. The thinking behind this approach is the same that originally went into the development of ballet barre routines in the first place -- the exercises used in both contexts are excellent for developing strength without adding substantial bulk to the body. But while your traditional ballet barre session might involve live piano music and high leg extensions, the focus in a yoga barre class is on subtle moves that target the core.
Barre: The New Yogalates
A few years back, yogalates received plenty of attention for its unique infusing of the most effective exercises from both hatha yoga and traditional Pilates. Although yogalates remains a popular option among those lacking the time required to attend separate classes for the two types of exercise, it has largely been replaced with alternative hybrid classes, including, of course, barre. The standard barre class includes a mix of ballet-inspired moves with standard exercises from traditional yoga and Pilates classes.
Who Can Take Yoga Barre Classes?
The great thing about yoga barre (as opposed to traditional ballet) is that it is accessible to nearly any student, no matter his or her prior experience in yoga, ballet or Pilates. The subtle nature of the movements makes them reasonably easy to carry out for those with physical disabilities. But that's certainly not to say that yoga barre is a cinch for exercise gurus! Advanced students are often surprised to find how sore they can be after engaging in such minimal movement throughout the course of any given barre class.
If you're ready for a new challenge, it's time to give yoga barre a try! No matter your current level of fitness, you stand to gain plenty from participation in this revolutionary new approach to fusion fitness. Between difficult new moves, plenty of adaptations and a very welcoming atmosphere, you'll find yourself excited to return to the barre!