In my last post I told you about all the fun I have been having and how I haven’t been my best when it comes to exercise, so I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed this post was about me actually drinking in a bar. It turns out fun can be had with multiple bars/barres, enter Barre3 in Seattle.
I was home for a quick visit and my good friend Sara asked me to join her at her fitness class, Barre3, a combination of ballet barre, yoga and Pilates. I knew when I accepted the invitation that it was going to be fun, working out with friends typically is, but I didn’t fully know what to expect of the class.
The instructor, Amy Masterson, was very friendly and attentive, aware that it was my first class. We started by doing some warm up stretches which gave me some confidence, I can stretch almost as well as the next person.
The tough part began right after the stretching, let’s say four minutes in to an hour long class. I made the mistake of looking at the clock after what seemed like twenty minutes of calf burning to see that really only a few minutes had passed. In the past I believed that calf strengthening exercises were a piece of cake, this class proved me wrong. I had always had a lot of respect for the pose and strength of ballerinas but this reminded me of their true athleticism.
We moved from standing to the floor to do the pilates and yoga. I have come to realize that I don’t like the “downward dog” pose in yoga. I feel intense pressure in my wrists, the blood rushes to my face threatening to make me pass out and my palms become so sweaty I slide all over my mat. What I do love about yoga is when instructors allow for adaptations to poses for those who struggle like myself. I held the position as long as I could before coming down to my knees with the support and approval of Amy.
The class was great, the company was amazing and I had fun at the barre, though I would be lying if I said it was more fun than the bar. This barre however, worked out my body and soul while the other bar just works out my tolerance and wallet. I think I made the correct choice in bars/barres, plus it was only 10:00 in the morning.
My instructor: Amy Masterson
Workout in a chair? Yes please! This sounded like an easy(ish) workout and since I had been slacking on my workouts a good segue back. Boy was I wrong, this is one tough workout!
Chaise Fitness was founded by Lauren Piskin a competitive figure skater turned certified Pilates instructor and her daughter Rachel Piskin who is a retired professional ballerina. The studio boasts “The Reinvention Method” which combines Pilates, aerobics, strength training and ballet. I am not very seasoned in most of these, having given up on things like aerobics when I fell trying to do a backwards hop onto a step many years ago.
I took two of their classes, the Reinvention Chair and the Bungee Blast. The moves in the first class were easy at the beginning, though, simple use of the suspended arm bands turned to me on all fours with a little tiny ball wedged behind my knee doing leg and glute lifts. Ouch. I am happy to report that I did not fall off the chair or lose my ball, I held on tight. My instructor Rachel, was incredibly down to earth, helpful, encouraging and supportive. I had no idea that she was the co-founder of Chaise Fitness.
The second class, Bungee Blast had us working out on a mat and using the overhead bungees. At first glance I thought this was going to be an easier class but within minutes I was feeling the burn in my hips and my glutes. I thought I was doing it wrong at first because I had never felt such burning in my hips but our instructor Maria graciously moved us on to the next move to give our hips a rest. Maria was also a wonderful instructor, kind, helpful and really encouraging. I found out after the class that she is also a member of the New York Knicks Dance Team as well has danced for musicians such as Rihanna and Pitbull.
To get a better idea of what the workout looks like watch this quick video: player.vimeo.com/video/73461917
At the end of the video Lauren says that they wanted to create a welcoming and supportive place for people to become their best self. I believe that they have succeeded, from the moment I stepped in to the studio to the moment I left I felt welcomed, supported and never once did I feel any judgement, oh and I had fun too! I hope my remaining fitness experiences in New York are as positive!