10:48 am

Could the Next Miss World Canada be one of our own Barre Addicts?

You bet she could be! Bet y'all didn't know that you've been working up a sweat with a potential beauty queen in our midsts. Well frankly, all of you BBS ladies are true beauties, but on May 11th, 21-year-old barre-enthusiast Maria Shmerko, will be going for the title of Miss World Canada in Surrey, Biritsh Columbia. BBS is sponsoring Maria in the pursuit of her dream (this will actually be her very first pageant, if you can believe it), so we just wanted to introduce you all and let her know the whole Barre Body Studio community is rooting for her 100 percent! Ladies and gents, meet Maria. Our soon-to-be Miss World Canada ;)


[caption id="attachment_1841" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Maria and Lindsay, post-BBS-burn! Maria and Lindsay, post-BBS-burn![/caption]

How important is physical fitness to you and what role does it play in your everyday life as well as in pageantry? 

Growing up, the importance of physical fitness was always emphasized in my family. My parents placed me in ballet, gymnastics, figure skating and slalom ski racing at an early age. I firmly believe that it’s not just about looking great physically, it’s about feeling healthy inside and creating a union of the mind, body, and soul. This helps me to bring out my confidence, which ultimately plays a huge role in my preparation for the pageant.
What does your current workout regime consist of?
I practice a lot of Moksha Hot Yoga and I jog as much as I can and the latest addition to my workout regime is, of course, Barre Body Studio!
When did you first discover Barre Body Studio?
My chiropractor at Motion Chiropractic told me about Barre Body Studio. As my sponsor, she referred me to BBS and suggested that I try out some of their classes (she's a regular herself). A week later, I became a regular client myself and I couldn’t be more grateful to her for introducing me to the studio!
How often do you attend BBS? 
I am currently trying to go three or more times a week to get my body into better shape for the competition. But even after the competition, I am planning to incorporate these fitness classes into my regular workout regime. It’s been two weeks since I’ve started and I already see results in my strength, posture, and endurance.
What are your favourite classes and why?
Barre Body Blast is my absolute favourite! It is challenging and feels extremely rewarding at the end.
What do you love about working out at BBS?
The fact that it is a mix of dance, yoga and Pilates makes it a very fun environment! I don’t think it gets any better than when three of your favourite activities are meshed together. I also love that the classes are full of empowering women that are all there for the same reasons: to get healthier, stronger and more confident.
What role has BBS played in helping you get prepared for the Miss World Canada experience? 
Not only has BBS helped me finance my competition, but they have also become my health gurus. I would definitely recommend the studio to all women who want to improve their lifestyles and/or feel and look great on the inside and out. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the teachers at BBS who have helped me grow and improve. As they say in yoga, Namaste—the Divine in me, honours the Divine in you.
To follow Maria's journey to the pageant visit her facebook fan page:

11:04 am

Barre Star Hall of Fame: Karen's Fab & Fit @ 40

When Karen Keller moved back to Calgary six years ago, she was struggling to find the perfect workout to keep her consistently motivated. “I walked a lot in the other cities I lived in and had a yoga studio I loved, but the lifestyle is so different here that I never felt like I could totally get back on track, no matter what I tried,” she explains. Both of Keller’s parents were athletes and she had always run and played tennis, so maintaining a certain level of activity was an important to her from an early age. Karen felt herself slipping, especially when heading back to work after maternity leave, and was struggling to balance work and family life and still fit physical activity in daily.

On New Year's Day 2013, Karen resolved to get her fitness groove back. A friend introduced her to BBS shortly thereafter and she knew right away that she had found her perfect fitness fit. “At first I loved the challenge I got during the workouts, but at the same time, found it really energizing and always felt feeling amazing,” she says. “The focus on toning, stretching and good form hit all the right notes for me—and I enjoyed doing it all to music—unlike the pilates and yoga I was more used to.” Karen enjoyed feeling like she’d gotten a solid workout without feeling sore for days afterward. Instead of reactivating her old injuries, she actually believes BBS has helped her with her flexibility and hip issues.

Within just a month or two, Karen’s friends and family were commenting on how her body had changed and she was noticing shifts almost on a daily basis. Turning 40 on May 2nd, Karen is looking sensational and feeling more energized and youthful than she has in years. “After the the first six-week challenge, my body’s fitness age went from 27 to 23 years old! Quite a bit younger than my technical age,” she says emphatically. “Thanks BBS for making me a happier and fitter person every day!”


How did you first find yourself at BBS and how did you get hooked on it?

I originally started at Barre Body Studio in January 2013. My good friend, Niki King, posted something on facebook when the new studio opened. I was already looking for a new workout regime, so I jumped at the chance to try it. At the time I had been aware of barre, but hadn’t tried it. Niki and I went together one Sunday and the rest is history.

Tell us about your 30-day challenge experience(s) along the way.

I did a challenge right after I started and really loved the experience of having a class every single day for a month. My goal was to whip myself back in shape after an uncharacteristically sedentary period in my life and I did just that. Afterwards, I felt leaner, stronger and had more energy, I definitely lost weight, but more importantly, I felt happy.

It’s great how Marlo took the time to try and build a community around the studio too. This latest challenge in particular had a great feeling of camaraderie.I love the challenges because it's a really healthy way to channel my urge to workout every day!

What exactly is it that you love about BBS?

I really enjoy the workout itself—I find all the pulsing kind of meditative! I also really love that I can come midday during the week. For me there’s nothing better for my headspace than to get away from my desk and do something physical. I can do barre every day without getting injured, unlike a lot of other high-impact workouts, like running. I've spent a lot of time with athletic injuries in the past and am keen to avoid those types of setbacks at this point in my life. BBS has instructors who keep the workouts fresh, but also provide some very entertaining banter during class. They're a super fun, charismatic bunch and I love that.

So what comes next? What physical fitness or health and wellness goals are you currently setting for yourself now?  

I really want to start working on my flexibility. One of these day, I'd actually like to do the splits! It might not happen, but it's good to set lofty goals. Also on my to-do list is quitting sugar. I'm planning on starting with a 60 day cleanse in September, after the spring and summer when I know I'll have less temptation.

I want to stay fit right through to old age and never find myself saying, “I'm too old to keep in good shape.” My dad is 69 and still works out 3 times a week! I hope to be the same type of positive role model of health and fitness for my 5-year old son. He is genuinely proud he has such a strong mom—that's probably the best reward of all.

8:00 am

Form Friday – First Position Plié

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You too can have this carved out seat by practicing proper form in first position plié!

First position plié or small V is an amazing exercise that tones the legs, particularly the back side! But as always, proper form is the key to targeting the appropriate muscles and keeping your body safe from injury. Starting with your toes and heels together, rock back onto your heels allowing your feet to open naturally, you should have a small V and narrow knees (2” apart ONLY). Rise up onto the balls of the feet ensuring all 10 toes touch the floor, the weight should be in the middle of the foot rather than in the big toes. Press the balls of the feet into the floor and squeeze the heels together. Your shoulders should be stacked over top of your hips. Continue to lengthen through the top of the head, pulling the chin into a neutral position, lift through the chest and roll the shoulders down and back. Gently rest the inside arm on the barre with the outside hand rested on the hip.

Let’s review...

Form Friday - First Position Plié - Barre
Now it’s time to move! As you lower down continue to squeeze your sitz bones towards one another while engaging the glutes. As you rise back up press the balls of the feet into the floor and squeeze the heels tight to maintain the muscle activation in the back of the legs. Remember to modify when you need to by dropping the heels to the floor making this a slightly less advanced exercise. Keep the mind body connection strong to feel the intense burn throughout the series!