Pulse, Shake, Burn... Our First Barre Session
Never one to fully commit to any form of exercise, I was fairly nervous going in for my first class at Barressential. To ease the discomfort (and given that misery loves company) I dragged my best friend along for the experience. Both of us were completely unfamiliar with the concept of Barre as it hadn’t really taken root here before Barressential. Despite my trepidations on my abilities, I walked in with an open mind, zero preconceptions, and the painful awareness that I was completely inexperienced with the physical demands of this “Barre” exercise.
So what was my first impression? As a socially awkward person, I initially had anxieties (that I’m sure many people have) about joining a new class full of regular clients. However as we walked in, Nare warmly welcomed us and introduced us to her other clients, which immediately put me at ease.
Barressential’s classes have a very welcoming environment, not only in terms of Nare who conducts the classes, but also the clients who attend. They’re all lovely people who make an effort to be human with you. With small class sizes (8 people per class), you get a great community vibe at Barressential.
One of the first things I noticed was that all the equipment is provided at class, even the mats. This is super helpful because good quality yoga mats are fairly expensive, and not everyone can afford to purchase them, especially if you’re still at university like we are. Sidebar: hygiene is great too because each mat is cleaned right after the session.
Now, about the actual class. I Initially assumed that Barre wouldn't be very challenging because it uses small and low-impact movements. Surprise surprise, it’s definitely far more challenging than I expected, because turns out that those small movements burn out every single muscle group in your body. Your muscles are worked until you feel them burn and shake (literally!). As Nare says, the shake is good! I was a trembling mess after every set, but I was assured that I would be stronger after the first few classes.
The best thing about Barressential is that Nare customizes the movements for you depending on your fitness level even if the class is at full capacity. So even though it’s super challenging, it feels possible even for people who pant and heave after climbing up two flights of stairs (basically me). The exercises are low-impact and the focus is on perfecting your technique. It feels like the movements are working not only to increase your endurance, but also your overall strength.
Nare’s efforts don’t stop there though. She talks to you while class is running, and regularly checks on you to make sure you’re handling the class okay. She kept helping me correct my posture and utilize my muscles properly. So even though it’s a group class, you get individual attention. And what’s great is - because of how welcoming the class is, you don’t feel nervous about messing up the movements or asking for help.
After working up a sweat, the last part of the class is focused on relaxing and stretching out our bodies. Nare provides essential oils, which basically makes you feel like you’re at a fancy spa. This time is very relaxing, and leaves you feeling incredibly rejuvenated and fresh. I can’t imagine leaving a fitness class feeling physically and mentally better than I did after Barre.
If you’re new to Barre, your body is probably going to hurt the next day. Mine definitely did. You’ll feel pain in muscles you never even knew you had (because Barre finds every muscle you have, without fail). However, I didn’t feel like my muscles had been strained in an unhealthy or risky way. I think this is due to the fact that we stretched after every movement in class, which felt incredible. I literally felt the tension in my joints and muscles release out! This also helps to build longer and leaner muscles, which is awesome.
Concluding thought? The biggest thing I noticed was the attention to detail that you get in Nare’s classes. You can’t beat the individualized attention, welcoming community vibe, and the challenging workout (regardless of your level of fitness) that you receive when you sign up for a class with Barressential. So whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or an unfit couch potato, Barressential is the place for you! (I’m not biased, I swear!).
Maleesha and Chethana are currently undergraduate students at the University of Colombo. If you are under-24, avail our 30% discount on 3 & 5 class packs!