6:13 pm

Take Me To My PROM

prom

Written By: Jackie Chemelli

Prom. Frilly dresses, awkward slow dances and crunchy up-dos.

Prom. Memories galore conjured with the mention of this word. Perhaps memories that one would love to leave in the pile of taffeta and tiaras hidden in the closet behind the oh-so-sassy, grown-up black blazers and red-bottomed pumps.

Here is a thought: How about we scrap all of those end-of-an-era schemas and find ourselves a new meaning for the word ‘prom’? A connotation that leads us to use the word in a way that would empower, care for, and strengthen ourselves.

PROM: Personal Range Of Motion.

As unstoppable, 21st-Century women who make the time to get our sweat on, amidst the hectic timetable that is our existence (i.e., work, Instagram, sleep, repeat), let us apply PROM to the world of our workouts and body movement. An acronym that will change the way we approach any group fitness class.

How many times have the phrases ‘listen to your body’ or ‘leave your ego at the door’ landed upon our ears only to be met with the tiny devil on our (ever-toned) shoulder. That competitive, mischievous sprite reminding us of all of our so-called inadequacies; especially when ‘Little Miss Gummy Bear’ plants beside us in class… ‘She is waaaaaay better at this than you are’ or, ‘If you kick as high as her, you will be just as amazing’ or maybe, ‘Don’t let her show you up! Kick, kick, kick!’

Pfff! Listen to that little nymph and you are undoubtedly going to limp out of class or, worse yet, defeat the petite angel on the other (ever-toned) shoulder. The sweet cherub who whispers, ‘Wow, you are so strong’ or, ‘Can you believe how far you have come?’ or maybe, ‘You are beautiful just the way you are’.

Personal Range Of Motion: Four simple words that combine together to enforce a concept as integral to our group fitness regime as toe-socks and lemongrass yoga mat spray. Imagine a moment in which the awareness that we hold of our OWN body’s abilities takes precedence over our need to impress. A moment where we go only as far as our own muscles, fascia, bones, skin, strength, and energy will safely allow us. A phrase that would guide us through those sixty sweaty minutes, knowing that we are doing OUR best and not our neighbour’s best.

How does one ensure that they are moving within one’s own PROM? Three simple steps:

Initially, give a mini (inside voice) pep talk to yourself before class begins. Remind yourself to bring attention to the angel on your shoulder. Unfriend that irksome devil. You are amazing and the only person that you need to be better than is yesterday’s you!

The second step involves imaginary blinders. (Warning, this step can prove difficult in a room full of mirrors). Regardless, resist the urge to let your eyes wander during class. So what if ‘Little Miss Gummy Bear’ has her ankle behind her ear. So what if your legs are quivering like a pouting lip and you need to take a quick lactic-acid-releasing break. This is YOUR workout. Ignore your classmates’ abilities. Better yet, give your neighbour a reassuring smile that shows you are a supportive presence in the class.

The final step in obtaining PROM is listening to the cues that your body is telling you. Work to your potential and have the strength to realize your limitations. That subtle knee pain, lower back tinge, or crippling cramp is your body’s natural way of protecting you. Adjust if the movement does not feel right. Ask your instructor for clarifications. Stop if you feel pain. All of these actions will enable you to uncover your body’s abilities and feel the freedom that comes from trusting that you will only move as far as your body declares.

Being safe and mindful while physically-active, particularly in a group setting, involves a hidden element of mental discipline and self-assurance. Each one of us is built inherently (and often invisibly) different. Provide yourself with the present of being present and vowing to move your body only under the guidance of your self-reflection.

You are the queen of your own PROM.

Author Bio:
The path that led Jackie to teach at Barre Body Studio is one filled with a passion for movement, interconnected friendships, and kismet. Jackie has always held an innate passion for dance and grew up taking jazz, tap, and ballet classes in Calgary. Her curiosity of movement continued to expand as she discovered new forms of dance as an adult student, becoming especially fond of Modern, Lyrical, and African styles. Always eager to uncover new ways to incorporate movement into her life, Jackie became a student of yoga in 2008. Appreciating the intuitive philosophy behind yoga and falling in love with the respect that the practice of yoga has for one’s mind, body, breath, and being, Jackie chose to complete her 250-hour Yoga Teacher Training during the summer of 2011 at Yoga Passage in Calgary. With the combined background of dance, yoga, and her ‘day job’ (teaching Kindergarten), alongside her belief that body awareness is a gift that is realized through mindful movement and education, instructing Barre classes was a natural road for Jackie to travel. Through positivity and gratitude of movement, Jackie approaches Barre with contagious energy, a reverence for proper alignment, and respect for one’s body. She maintains that there is a beautiful (hardworking) ballerina inside us all!


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3:10 pm

how are we doing?

Barre Body Studio Black Boatneck Sweater

At BBS the only thing more important to us than that sweet sweet burn is how you rate your overall experience.
In order to continue to grow we're conducting a teeny tiny survey to find out if we are meeting your needs and if not, how and where we can improve.

Help us collect feedback on everything Barre Body Studio! Participate in this short survey and we commit to bringing you the best of BBS. Leave us a note or like/heart/share this post on social media and one lucky participant will take home a NEW BBS Black Boatneck Sweater.

Survey closes March 28th, 2014 at noon.

Pulse and plié,

Barre Body Studio team

take our survey & share it for a chance to
win a new BBS black boatneck sweater >


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6:28 pm

BBS Insider: Attacking the Low Abs

Attacking the Low Abs

At Barre Body Studio we get requests for insider tips and exercises that help take care of (aka. Tighten up) common “problem areas.” Admittedly, trouble spots are no fun, but fortunately, there’s no need to fear or feel defeated by them. At BBS we’re always working on new ways to help target those tricky spots—like the lower abdominal “pooch”—to help our barre beauties feel as confident about their rockin’ bods as possible.

For many of us, the lower abdominals are a constant source of body insecurity—but they don’t have to be!

In order to target the lower abs, your focus has to be on the transverse abdominals. These are the lowest and deepest abs muscles in the body, which act sort of like a seatbelt holding everything in. When we tone and strengthen these deep abdominal muscles (rather than just targeting the superficial muscles that lie on top of them), we will see serious gains in our core strength. Other benefits of a strong abdominal wall include:

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Increased body confidence!

It’s also a fact that a strong core allows one to run faster, peddle harder, and stand taller. Who doesn’t want a few of those side effects?

A common mistake many people make when working the lower abs is focusing on the wrong muscle group. Oftentimes when we focus on working “just” the lower abs, we end up engaging our hip flexor and/or neck muscles instead of our core. At Barre Body Studio we talk a lot about the mind-body connection. We incorporate the mind-body connection in classes to encourage proper muscle engagement.

A study published by Hull University found that people who mentally focused on the muscles they were targeting, as well as their movement patterns, had a greater return in muscle activity which results in greater strength gains over time (Merchant, 2009). By simply focusing on the muscle areas that we want to work, we ultimately get more out of the activity. For example, if it’s the low abs that we are working, focus on the lower body core; which includes the transverse abs and the pelvic floor. This will help you maximize the strength and esthetic benefits of a strong core.

Here are a few of our go-to Barre Body abdominal exercises:

For a strong abdominal wall and flat lower abdominal section, we recommend that you perform two sets of each exercise followed by three sets of teeny-tiny pulses at the top of muscle engagement.

BBS Knee Press Backs

Kneepress

How to do it: Lie faceup with your knees and hips bent 90 degrees, feet flexed. Extend your arms and press both palms on top of your thighs. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, brace your abs in tight, pressing your lower back against the floor as you push your thighs into your hands, pushing back against them (note: your legs should not move). Hold for 1 count and then release.

Barre Body Single Leg Stretch

legstretch

How to do it: Lie on your back and bend both knees into your chest, feet flexed. Interlace your fingers on top of your right thigh and extend your left leg out parallel to the floor. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, curling up over the top of your ribcage and looking at your legs. Press your palms against your right thigh while tipping your pelvis to bring your right knee in towards your chest (your hands should add resistance to your leg). Switch legs and press your palms against the left thigh as your right leg extends parallel to the floor. 

Barre Body Boat

Boat

How to do it: Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Lean back to prop your upper body up on your elbows (your back should remain lifted), palms facing down. Brace your abs in tight and lift your legs into a 90-degree angle (knees should be touching), toes pointed. Slowly bring your legs over to the left (both hips should remain on the ground). Keeping the 90-degree angle with your legs, lower your legs and then lift them up to the right, as if you were tracing a letter 'U' with your knees. 

Barre Body Abs Push Ups:

AbUps

How to do it: Sit with your legs extended, feet flexed, hands just outside your hips with your fingertips facing your forward. Brace your abs in tight and press down through your arms to lift your hips a few inches off of the floor. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your heels on the ground. Inhale and scoop your abs in deeper towards your back, and as you exhale, fully extend your legs and try to push your hips slightly behind your shoulders. Hold for 1 count. Bend your knees and return hips under your shoulders to gently lower to the floor. 

Barre Body Plank Twists:

Plank1

How to do it: Begin in a full plank position with your feet together. Bend your right knee across to the left as you slide your right foot up to the inside of your left knee into a passé position (your hips should turn to the left and you'll pivot slightly on the ball of your left foot). Slide your right leg back to start and then repeat to the left.

Plank2


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6:01 pm

Valet Parking @ 9:30AM & 12:05PM (starting March 17th)

[caption id="attachment_768" align="alignnone" width="300"]"Finding a parking spot should not be harder than your workout." "Finding a parking spot should not be harder than your workout."[/caption]

Easy: Valet Parking at Barre Body Studio

(Starting March 17th, 2014)

Valet Parking Rates:

  •      $3.50 for a Single Valet Park

At Barre Body Studio we can appreciate that your days are busy. It can be nearly impossible to stick to a tight schedule. We know, from experience, that there is nothing more frustrating than starting your day five minutes late. Rushing out the door behind schedule is never fun, especially when accompanied by the inconvenience of an unanticipated scavenger hunt to find parking.

At Barre Body Studio we think that finding a parking spot should not be the most difficult task of your day. Nor should it interrupt your workout. We want you to enjoy the barre burn and reap the benefits of fitness without the stress of finding a parking spot. To take the stress out of the workout Barre Body Studio is pleased to introduce a valet parking service for our 9:30 am and 12:05 pm classes.

All guests of Barre Body Studio are welcome to make use of the valet service. Rates for valet parking are $3.50 per use.

We hope that the addition of valet parking to our noon classes will make it easier for you to carve time out for your BBS workout. 

xoxo,

Barre Body Studio Team

 


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11:11 pm

Barre Star Hall of Fame: Super Mom Stacey

We love our BBS mommies! Not only is it inspiring to watch them get their barre-burn on while in full pregnancy mode, but it’s incredible to watch how quickly they bounce back after the baby is no longer on board. One prime example is barre beauty, Stacey Kolenick. After giving birth to her gorgeous son Thomas this fall, she dropped us a note to let us know that her medical team believes her speedy recovery after an emergency c section was thanks to her hard work (and hard-earned abdominal muscles) at the barre. Having seen this woman pulse-pulse-plie her little heart out, we believe it!

Stacey has graciously allowed us to share her e-mail along with her astonishing before and after photos with all of you. We are so happy to have her back and so unbelievably honoured that she credits BBS with her timely come back. You are the definition of a Barre Star, Stacey. Keep up the fabulous work!

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Hi To All My Beautiful Barre Tenders!

I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 7pm via emergency c section we had a beautiful boy Thomas Stephen Kolenick, who weighed in at 7 lbs 3oz and 19.5 inches long.

Even though the c section was not my first birth preference, I am happy to say that my recovery has been remarkable, and my doctors, doula and family believe it is all because I worked out through my pregnancy. During the contractions leading up to my c section, I was so thankful for the flexibility and strength in my body and mind that I gained from Barre classes. I especially saw the benefits in my legs when I was in deep squats during labor, and I knew I gained that strength from working out over the last 9 months at the Barre.

When I came home from the hospital my Barre classes quickly proved to be beneficial to a recovering c section patient. I obviously cannot use my abdominal muscles, so I have to rely on my arms and legs to do the easiest tasks like getting in and out of bed! I have said numerous times over the last week to my husband that I am so thankful that I have strong arms and legs, as I could not imagine how women who do not workout can maneuver post c section.

I just wanted to say thank you for being such a huge part of my pregnancy and for the strength I have gained from hitting the Barre everyday. These classes have helped me through my pregnancy journey, and for that I am very thankful!

During my recovery I have confirmed how important fitness is in my life and how I cannot live without it. With that said, I would just like to encourage pregnant and non-pregnant women to remember how important and beneficial it is to dedicate at least 1 hour a day to building one’s strength in your body and mind, as you will never know when you will have recover from life's crazy twists and turns.

I think about all of you so often, especially when my Barre class reminder goes off on my phone everyday. As per doctors orders I am to "take it easy" for the next 6 weeks, which I think will be hard for me to do as I miss working out at the Barre, but as soon as I am cleared to workout I will be back in the Barre saddle! 

Thank you again and I miss you all!

Stacey Kolenick xo

 


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5:13 pm

Up an inch, Down an inch; Our bodies are ‘Made to Measure’

poppy_bbs_heart

Subconsciously, we crave it; that sweet Barre-burn. You feel the fire ignite in your glutes as your legs start to shake. Squeezing your heels together, driving your energy through the balls of your feet, you find yourself craving (and sometimes cursing) that sweet barre-burn. The movement is so small and so precise, you can actually feel your muscles in your calves, inner-thighs and quads strengthen. Isolation along with small, controlled movements, effectively getting into those key areas (shhh…the areas that we get cellulite) and starting to melt away the fat creating longer, leaner muscles.

Barre Body Studio is committed to giving you that custom workout. With so many variations to work through during an hour-long class, you have the opportunity to set your intentions early, work to the ability of your body and see results quickly. With attainable class segments consisting of weights, cardio, barre and core work, you’ll be secretly smiling as you move up an inch, down an inch, working to ‘define, lift and sculpt’ your body. And inches make all the difference in the world, right ladies? From the way our clothes fit to finding that perfect pair of boots – the ones that actually fit our wide/narrow feet, our skinny or thick calves and everything in between.

Just as we, at Barre Body Studio, work to offer you custom, confidence building workouts, Edmonton’s very own Poppy Barley Made to Measure footwear realized years ago that a ‘one-size fits-all’ approach, especially when it comes to foot fashion, simply isn’t going to cut it. Poppy Barley makes luxury, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind made to measure boots and shoes. Having custom designed items sounds so glam and it offers such a boost of confidence to your style without breaking the bank. And hey, when items fit well, we feel good from the inside out.

What a better way to compliment Poppy Barley’s Made to Measure footwear then with toned legs and a shapely derriere. Visit Poppy Barley’s website for more information on their custom fit boots and shoes. Watch for the release of news items such as the Contemporary Ballet Flat (ekk!!!) and two new heeled boot options, The Runway Boot as well as The Promenade Boot (too fab!).

Barre Body Studio is a proud Ambassador for Poppy Barley. Follow us both for fitness, fashion and footwear updates:

@PoppyBarley

@BarreBodyStudio

XOXO,

Barre Body Studio Team


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