If you’re anything like me, the arrival of fall means that the gym habit you spent all summer developing is in serious danger of falling by the wayside. Suddenly we’re being pulled in a thousand different directions by classes, homework, jobs, extracurriculars, and the vague but ever-present pressure to be at least a little bit social, and it’s just too easy to stop prioritizing fitness. Bikini season, after all, is over, and sweaters can hide a lot.
But I’ve found a workout regimen I can stick to. The barre classes at the new Barre & Soul studio in Harvard Square are fun, safe, intensely challenging, and effective. And they won’t drain your funds. For $69 you can get a month-long all-access unlimited trial membership, but the studio also offers smaller and yoga-only class packages. The 60-minute barre classes combine ballet conditioning, cardio, Pilates, yoga, and meditation. If that sounds scary, I promise it’s not. The instructors take you through each move and adjust your positions when necessary to maximize your effort while preventing injury. In addition to toned muscles and improved posture, balance, and flexibility, you’ll find that the classes can be a great way to decompress and clear your mind after a hectic day. And you never get bored because there’s always a new move to try or an adjustment you can make to challenge yourself more. If you can’t tell, I’m a total convert.
Barre classes were invented by Lotte Berk (1913-2003), a famous ballerina who developed the exercise method with the goal of building “core stability” (a.k.a. strong, fabulous abs). Barre & Soul was founded more recently by Andrea Isabelle Lucas, a barre teacher with a passion for women’s issues and mind-body wellness. If all this sounds appealing to you, then check out their website and try a class! You may be sore the next day, but you definitely won’t be disappointed.