Barre workouts are not just for flatter abs and a higher, tighter bottom.

… it makes you feel better by standing taller and more strong, breathing fuller breaths without even trying to.  It helped to create the mind and body connection that I had been craving. It helped correct bladder leakage from having a big baby. I am addicted to this exercise class.  I feel more in my body.  I am enjoying being in my body.

I had been reading about barre exercise taking the nation by storm.  After reading several articles in many publications I decided to check it out.   I signed up for a month of unlimited classes.  The first class I felt very clumsy.  I couldn’t understand the instructor on her loud speaker and completely fumbled my way through the class.  That did not deter me.  I went again and again.  After the 5th class I was noticing changes already.  Mainly that I was standing taller and breathing better while not making any effort.  I felt like I had been taking breath work classes.  After 10 classes I noticed that my waist was smaller, my rear was higher and I was breathing even better.  Sneezing, laughing and jumping were also not dangerous because of bladder control.  After a few more classes I realized that I felt more confident.  I had not realized that confidence was a problem, but just the act of standing up taller is wonderful for how others respond to you.  I felt funnier.  I was happier.  By the end of the month I noticed that I could think about my hip and the muscle would respond.  I could think about my abs and they would respond.  It was amazing.  I even noticed that stretching was easier.  I also learned that barre exercise is proven to reverse osteoporosis and increase your lung capacity.

There is no reason to feel weird if you think you look stupid, because the movements are so small and take such concentration that nobody is looking at you.  Everyone is taking care of themselves and doing what they need to do to get in a workout.  They are not concerned about you.  I promise.

Here is the low down on all the studios here in Birmingham that teach barre.  Most of them are chains and you may be able to find them wherever you live.  If not, there will be other facilities.  There is a reason this form of exercise is becoming so popular.  It works faster than any other exercise I have ever tried to get my body to respond in health and in appearance.

Grand Jete’ is a fabulous studio in English Village in Mountain Brook.  It has a very soft atmosphere.  They are incredibly friendly and have quite a community.  I have been there a few times and will certainly go back when my schedule is more regular.  (That means when school is back in session)  I was very welcomed by the students as well as the teachers and encouraged to join in the conversation.  I heard the long standing customers talking about how every class is different, which keeps you engaged and encourages your body to continue to change.  It is my understanding that they have classes that go out to lunch or dinner together after class, everyone is welcome.  Their customers are from all different walks of life and nothing about this place makes me believe that anyone wouldn’t be welcome there regardless of having the most up to date workout gear or not.  First class free and $100 introductory offer for the first month.

Neighborhood Barre on 7th Ave South, also here in Birmingham is another studio I loved. They are super friendly.  The studio was clean and had comfortable cork floors.  They also make sure you are doing everything correctly.  It was hard work, but that may have just me that day.  I felt the effects immediately after class of even more body connection.  Neighborhood barre has a boys at the bar class as well.  It will be hard to decide which should be my regular studio because I loved this one and the precious one so much.  They also offer your first month for unlimited visits at $100.  First class free.

I tried some barre classes at Lifetime fitness.  They were barre fusion, and were nowhere nearly as good as a dedicated barre workout.  They had two different varieties, but neither gave me what I was looking for.

Pure Barre is a very popular facility here in Homewood.  It is geared toward a slightly younger crowd.  The music and loud speaker are very loud.  They are good about showing you proper form, but the classes are large and it takes a few minutes to get around to you sometimes.  Once you know what you are doing, you are good.  Everyone moves very fast there, coming in and going out as well as the exercises.  They do offer the $100 unlimited  month to start, but it is slightly more expensive than the others to keep up your membership.

During summer I don’t have as much flexibility, so I will be trying an online barre class from Barre3.  I will let you know how that goes.  It will be better than having no instruction, but I am sure not nearly as good as interacting with other humans and getting out into the community.

Basically if you haven’t tried barre classes, and you are missing your mind and body connection, you have to try this.  It is fun, the hour goes so fast and it works, wherever you go, just go.

In the comments section below, let me know what you do to that helps enhance your mind and body connection. ArabesqueAtBarre3 2BallsAndWeights