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You guys—I have some great news to report. In-studio experiences are finally a thing once again. You know what this means? We can now get back to sweating it out with our besties and our favorite fitness instructors at our go-to fitness spots—just in time for summer.
If you’re like me, you’re probably pulling out your phones right now and packing your schedule full of workouts. If you’re familiar with some of my previous posts, then you are aware that I am a bonafide fitness fanatic. Before the pandemic hit, I was hitting a spin class seven days a week and sprinkling in some yoga sessions as well. However, when my fitness studio went on lockdown, I had a really hard time finding a stationary bike that suited my needs and to be honest, I do not have Peloton money. Instead, I embarked upon an at-home fitness journey and started doing barre a few times a week. I know, I know—if you read my last blog post I wrote about my barre experience, you’re probably shocked that I kept at it.
But you know what? Even after just a few classes, I started noticing changes in my body. My legs were stronger and more toned—which was definitely a plus for this spin addict. So now that we’re back to in-studio experiences, I’ve kept up with my spin-every-damn-day habit and have been a regular at my local Barre3, as well. Not to mention, I live in Phoenix where summer temps are regularly at a cool 120 degrees, so you literally feel like you’re being set on fire when you go outside. Seriously—why do I even live here?! Needless to say, shorts are what I live in these days so having ballerina-esque legs is a huge win for me.
Have I convinced you to try barre yet? If not, you should know that this addictive exercise is great for all levels, but it will challenge you from beginning to end and help you achieve the body of a dancer—even if your dance moves are as awkward as mine. Before you decide to plié your little heart out, here are some tips to help you crush your next barre class.
Who doesn’t love a good deal? If it’s your first time at a barre studio, check to see if they have an intro offer for newbies. Lots of studios have deals to encourage customers to check out what their studio has to offer for a very reasonable drop-in price. So, before you sign up, make sure you check for local intro offers—your wallet will thank me.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to show up looking like a ballerina. A good rule of thumb for any barre class is to wear what you would sport in a yoga class—ideally pants that fall below the knee. This is not the time to bust out those shorty short shorts because you’re going to be on the floor a lot doing a bunch of different positions—I think you see where I’m going with this.
For barre, you'll want socks that absorb sweat and have good traction. Many fitness stores are now selling socks with grips on the bottom, which are ideal for barre. Your studio might sell them on their website as well.
Having a solid pre-workout and post-workout meal is a must when taking a barre class. I personally can’t eat too much before a workout—especially if it’s an early morning class—so I stick to something simple that gives my body the carbs it needs to get through the class like a banana. And after class I like to drink a protein shake to help my muscles recover—trust me, they are going to need it.
In a barre class, you’ll quickly learn that you’ll start shaking almost immediately after the class begins. Lots of folks get nervous and think they are doing something wrong when their legs start acting like baby deer legs. But those intense trembles are actually the goal, believe it or not. When your body shakes, you are exhausting that muscle and forcing it to tone, so learn to love the shake!
Look, the difficulty of a barre class can be a little deceptive. Even though you feel like your muscles are breaking while you’re in class, you feel light as a bird by the end. Don't let this fool you, you will be SO sore the next day—like the sorest you have ever been. I’m not joking—after my first barre class, I had to walk my dogs in high heels because I couldn’t get my feet to fall flat to the ground. Why did this happen? Because the airiness I felt after class got the best of me. To decrease your chances of getting super sore, you need to either stretch at home, take a bath infused with Epsom salt—or ideally do both. Releasing your muscles will not only ease your body for the next day, but it will also help you gain more flexibility.
Nobody appreciates a rest day more than this gal—but the day after a Barre class is not the time to veg out on the couch. Like I said above, the day after a barre class is the sorest you will ever feel, so it's easy to talk yourself out of working out. This is surprisingly the most important day to go back. If you work out on the second day, you will push through your soreness and feel so much better—I promise!
I started noticing a difference in my body—and my spin performance—after taking a few barre classes per week. The more you take class, the easier (and less sore) you will be after the workout. I mean just think about it—barre exercises are supposed to mimic what professional dancers do in their rehearsals. It’s no wonder why they look so long and lean.
Ready to try barre? Book a barre class on Mindbody.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.