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Social distancing has us skipping the fitness studio—but that doesn’t mean skipping your next workout. If you used to live for your membership but now find yourself working out from your living room, or you just need something besides WFH to focus on, it’s about time you try barre.
Barre is straight-up one of the best low-impact, full-body workouts you can do for yourself—wherever you are. No dance experience required. From strengthening your core, to elongating those leg lifts, to tapping into your triceps, barre tones different muscle groups through isolated movements. Barre is gentle on the joints but tough enough to tighten. The best part about barre? It can be modified to fit any at-home environment (yeah, we're looking at all the busy moms working out bedside).
So, why should you try barre right now? Because barre during quarantine might just be your best introduction to this all-level workout.
Not sure what you need for barre class, social distancing style? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Barre instructors know you don’t have a ballet barre just bolted into the wall of your at-home office, so they have modified classes to be conducive to equipment we actually have. Your “barre” can be everything from a highchair to the edge of your couch. The main thing you need? A yoga mat to support your core, back, and booty. Some virtual classes might also use light hand weights. If you don’t have weights, you can get creative (try using a book, bag of flour, wine bottle—just don't drop it!) or opt out of using extra gear. You’re guaranteed to get a great workout without extra weight in hand. You can choose from hundreds of virtual classes.
Since being quarantined is the new norm, thousands of barre studios around the world are hosting virtual classes on Mindbody. Who said you couldn’t travel during social distancing? There’s no shortage of studios going online to get you off the couch. You can try classes from Sydney to San Antonio, London to LA. You’ll rack up those air miles without ever leaving the living room. Feeling a little overwhelmed on where to begin your barre journey?
A few of our favorite studios offering virtual barre classes include:
Roll out your mat, grab some grip socks if you want, and get ready to check out some of the best instructors in the barre biz.
Flex, fold, extend, pelvic floor—this body-toning workout has its own language. Not well-versed in barre? You’ve got nothing to fear. From plies and point to “up an inch, down an inch,” instructors will help to correct and educate you as you flow from floor to core, especially over virtual classes. If you aren’t sure what an instructor means when he or she says “tuck,” just watch and learn. Making sure you understand the actual movement is more important than remembering the word. You’ll get the barre lingo down in no time at all.
Barre is made up of ballet-inspired classes that incorporate elements of Pilates, dance, yoga, and functional training, and it has *tons* of benefits. Barre workouts include isometric strength training combined with high reps of small movements (think pulsing and lengthening). It’s a total body burn, sometimes in just 30 minutes! When you work a muscle group to fatigue in barre, it tends to tremble. That feel-good shake is where “the good stuff” (AKA the magic) happens. Where you push yourself mentally and physically to go the extra inch—or to finish out those final ten seconds. Barre instructors everywhere love when your muscles are shaking and trust us, you will, too.
If you live in a two-story walkup, the last thing you want to do is be jumping up-and-down as your neighbor's downstairs are on day 17 of self-isolation. Or as your S/O is on a conference call in the room next to you. Barre lets you break a sweat without making a ton of noise (unless you’re turning up the tunes to get through your final 60-second plank). In barre, you’ll experience the isometric strength training and small movements we mentioned earlier. Knee lifts paired with a glute press is a common combo, along with a variety of core exercises (burn out those lower/upper/middle/left/right abs, baby!), ballet squats, planks, and pulsing—a lot of pulsing. But like we said, that’s where the magic happens and where your muscles (and your mind) fight to finish that last 5, now 4, 3, last 2, and 1.
Whether you’re booking your first (virtual) barre class or taking your fourth one this week, we love to see how you stay active from the comfort of your home! Share to your Instagram stories and tag @mindbody, so we can share what working out looks like for you during social distancing. Here’s to sweating it out in our makeshift gyms and keeping safe, one day at a time.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.