Barre3 Experience

When I was in Portland, OR on business about a month ago, I had the pleasure of taking a Barre3 class. Barre3 is the ballet, pilates, yoga hybrid by Sadie Lincoln. It’s received a lot of press recently after Madonna left the Tracy Anderson Method for Barre3. It was the first barre class I’ve taken, though I have taken some actual ballet classes.

The workout was great. It was the same concept as Tracy Aderson – lots of reps with small weights. The teacher was good, though I would have liked more hands-on adjustments like I’m accustomed to in a Pilates or Yoga class. The barre from ballet and some yoga elements were included, but I didn’t find much Pilates in the class. The studio and staff were very pleasant, making it a good experience. And believe me – I was SORE the next day! Much more so than a yoga or Pilates class. I know Sadie and her team are looking to open a franchise in NYC and I hope she does it soon – I’ll definitely go back.

Mid-Day Refresher

I’m lucky that my company supports many wellness initiatives. One of my favorites is a free weekly yoga class every Thursday. It’s mid-day, so I’m often too busy to attend, but every time I go, it’s nothing short of wonderful. Classes are on Thursdays which means the stress of the week has usually set in by 12:30. When I plan it right, I have a late afternoon snack then sneak upstairs for the 45 minute class followed by a quick lunch at my desk. The postures are never too challenging but perfect to release the stress from co-workers and too much time in front of a computer. I’ve started recruiting my co-workers to attend with me. Today the colleague that joined was trying yoga for the first time. I think she’s hooked!

Taking a 2nd Rate Class

Maybe it’s because I’ve figured which studios in town I like or how to pre-screen a studio to see if it’s in line with the Pilates teaching I like to practice, but my bad class last night came as kind of a surprise. As a relatively new Pilates instructor, I don’t consider myself an expert on critiquing teachers, but this was bad. Just flat out bad. I’m not going to mention the name of the studio because I don’t think this one teacher is indicative of their entire program. But I won’t be taking class from her again. And if I hadn’t bought a package from the studio, I wouldn’t be going back either. Lesson learned: don’t buy a package until after you try the studio out.

So now that I’m done venting, here are some of my complaints: The “warm-up” lasted 15 minutes. The instructor kept using very technical body part names, that even as a teacher, I had to think about. Not something I want to do when responding to a cue. She gave very confusing cues and didn’t respond to the ability level of the class. Fifteen minutes after the class was scheduled to end, she was still trying to teach. I had to leave before she finished. And most of all, she clearly didn’t take the class seriously. She talked to us like we were confidants, not clients. I expect a level of expertise and professionalism from my teachers.

I went to the ┬ástudio’s website after the class and she is the only teacher listed without a bio. This leads me to believe she is new, and perhaps inexperienced. I’ll definitely be checking that bio page before booking my next class.

Real Pilates Interview

For my day job I had the pleasure of interviewing Alycea Ungaro at her TriBeCa studio this week. Alycea has a new book out that offers a guide through different Pilates routines for varying ability levels. There is a section in the back of the book about using Pilates to compliment other aspects of life… everything from other athletics to sex to aging. It’s a very comprehensive book that’s easy to read, especially for someone who has some familiarity with The Method.

Alycea herself was welcoming and pleasant. She made our interview easy breezy and professional. I will post a link once the video posts.