Written by: Allyson Casingal
I have been a yoga devotee for 20 years. However, I decided to give barre a shot. After taking a barre class, my initial thought was that barre, in general, was not for me. Boy, was I wrong in making this generalization that all barre classes are the same. All barre classes and studios are not created equal! There are huge differences! Each method is different and you may dislike one method of barre but that doesn’t mean you will dislike all barre classes.
I decided to try barre again when Carolina Barre & Core opened its doors a few years ago on Selwyn. I was hooked! It took me a little while to learn how to transition my breathing from yoga to barre — that was the most challenging part for me. I really love the consistency of their barre class, and the “athleticism” of their specialized method really appeals to me.
At first, I was just attending one or two barre classes a week and still practicing yoga. In January 2014, I did a “reset” and decided to simplify my life. I wanted to see what would happen if I did barre exclusively. The results have been truly amazing. While it is true that the classes absolutely do not get any easier, it does not take long to see results. I love the way my body looks and feels now — strong and healthy! Gone are the repetitive-use injuries that I was beginning to sustain in yoga (I am 44). Recently, I began running again, and it has been a seamless transition.
I love the energy of CBC’s studio! The instructors are kind, knowledgeable and impeccably trained. They make a tremendous effort to keep the classes interesting, and it is obvious that they are receiving on-going training, which is so important. Classes fly by! I love the motto “We do not compare. We do not compete.” When I am there, I really am trying to be the best version of myself, surrounded by other women (and occasionally men) trying to do the same. We use our shared energy to get through the challenging classes, and the camaraderie is awesome.
We truly are a CBC community and not just individuals trying to get a great work out. The great work-out is a given and the community is what keeps me coming back. I now try to attend four classes a week (difficult at times as a mother of two teenagers and one preteen) and have been challenging myself to add a 30/30 cardio barre class (30 minutes of hardcore cardio followed by 30 minutes of barre) into the mix!
My advice to others is to keep coming back. Buy yourself a monthly package and try to come as much as you can. Not only will your body feel amazing, your mind will as well. And getting to know the sweet, inspiring instructors will challenge you to be the best version of yourself. CBC really, truly is the whole package. It has become my sanctuary!