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29 September 2014

Pure Barre: What I've Learned in 101 Classes

I've said it once, and I am sure I'll say it again: I really really dislike working out. Loathe might be a better word for it. But about nine months ago, on the recommendation of a friend, I started dragging myself to Pure Barre a few times a week. What started as one class, turned into a membership, and I found myself slowly becoming hooked on something I never in a million years thought I would do. And this weekend, I hit my 100th class. And as of yesterday, 101.

Pure Barre Review

You see, as I've mentioned before, I am not a teeny-tiny ballerina-type. I am not flexible. And I can't "lift my abs off of my thighs" as instructed to do so when stretching. But in these past few months, my flexibility has drastically improved. My arms and shoulders are incredibly toned, and my legs? They've never looked better.

So what exactly have I learned attending Pure Barre? Read on for the full scoop on whether or not barre gets easier, the cult barre following, and the deal with those "sticky socks." 

What I've learned in 100 Pure Barre classes
 
Let's start by shattering a well-known saying: practice, at barre in this case, does not make perfect...but it does make sense. I quickly learned that attending two classes per week was not going to get me the results I wanted, nor was I going to get any better at the poses and stances needed to see a change at the barre. Sure, I learned what the next steps were, but form? Forget it. If I wanted to see change, I was going to have to pick up my game. Oh, and don't be fooled: barre definitely doesn't get "easier" with each class. I sweat my tail off, I am constantly checking my form, and the instructors still come to adjust my posture and moves. And I'm thankful for all of that. I don't want a workout that doesn't challenge me. What's the point?! 

Next, are the sticky socks really necessary? Absolutely! First, socks are required in the studio. As someone who despises feet, I appreciate this rule. Second, the stickiness on the socks provides a grip for things like plank which we do in every warm-up (and for the record, that I can hold for 90 seconds now!). And third, let's just be honest: they're cute. My favorite brand is, hands down, Shashi. These are practically little air conditioners for your feet. And they sparkle. Done. 

 Ew. workout pictures are so gross. but how cute is instructor Katie?

Finally, what's the deal with barre anyway? Why does everyone who tries it fall in love? Well, I can't answer for everyone, but I can answer for me. I love it because I know that I am guaranteed a fabulous work-out that focuses specifically on areas that women struggle with: arms, thighs, "seat," and abs. I love it because the instructors take the time to get to know me. They are cheerful (even at 6 am), complimentary, kind, and genuine. In any given class, I know that when I'm struggling, all I have to do is look to an instructor for support, and she's there to give it whether with those last few encouraging words or giving me that extra push I need to stay with a move. I love it because the music rocks. Yes, this is a KEY part of a class. We've had 80s playlists, Beyonce playlists, and Britney playlists. They're all awesome. I love it because I actually like working out now. I look forward to my classes. And as noted above, that's saying a lot. I love it because my studio is like a little family. There are weekend events, monthly social gatherings, and little reasons to stick around after class here and there. All in all, I just plain love it. 

Pure Barre Virginia Highlands

So, if you had asked me nine months ago if I thought I'd still be going to Pure Barre four times per week, I would have said no. But in Pure Barre, I've found a way to take care of myself that I actually enjoy. If you've been on the fence about trying a class, I hope you'll give it a go. Feel free to comment below with any questions you have. I love talking about PB! 

Special shout-out to my friends at Pure Barre Virginia Highlands; you ladies (and gentleman) are rock stars!



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26 September 2014

Gingham & White

One of the things I am on the hunt for this season is a navy checked or gingham shirt. I thought this was going to be the one of the season, but the length just didn't work on my 5'3" frame. While I was a tad disappointed, I am taking it as a sign that it's time to do more shopping! I must say that this gingham button-down may be just what I'm looking for, but if it's not either, I am glad to know that there are so many other options out there. I feel like a navy checked shirt is a great way to carry white on into fall while layering on scarves, boots, and utility jackets as needed. Plus, won't this type of look be perfect in Napa

Gingham & White



Have a great weekend, friends! And maybe try this style for yourself!

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