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Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-15 13:00
Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 – October 15, and we’re so excited to be celebrating it all month long. Throughout the month, check the B3 Magazine and barre3 Instagram for stories highlighting members of our global barre3 community who identify as Hispanic.
Today, we’re featuring Karina Carlson, a former instructor at barre3 14th Street who moved to Portland this summer to join our Home Office team as barre3 Creative Services Manager. Read on to get to know Karina, including how she connects to her Chilean roots, her thoughts on what it means to be mixed race, and her ideas on how the boutique fitness industry can create more diverse spaces.
B3 MAGAZINE: Let’s start with the basics. Where did you grow up, and what is your cultural background?
KARINA: I grew up right outside of DC, in Arlington, Virginia. My mother is Chilean, and my dad is a hodgepodge of white European ancestry.
B3 MAGAZINE: This is admittedly an extremely broad question, but how would you say your cultural heritage shaped your childhood?
KARINA: Honestly, it shaped everything. It still does. I was fortunate in that my parents invested time into keeping my sister and I connected to our heritage. We grew up speaking both English and Spanish, and we traveled back to Chile often to be with family there. I’m so grateful for that.
I also grew up dancing with my mom, a ballerina who started her career with the Chilean National ballet. In addition to following in her footsteps and taking ballet through my teens, we would dance traditional Chilean dances, like La Cueca, together growing up. My mom grew up during dictator-era Chile, and to be joyous through things like music and dance was an act of defiance—an expression of individualism. Today, one of my favorite ways to move and exercise is dancing to Latinx music. It helps me find joy and deep meaning when I remember the impact that music had on my mother and family during turbulent times.
B3 MAGAZINE: Were you ever tempted to follow in your mom’s footsteps and pursue ballet?
KARINA: I danced competitively until I was a teenager. Ballet gave me so much, but there’s also a darker side to it. I’m glad I had the wherewithal to know it wasn’t healthy for me and didn’t feel pressure to succumb to that side of it.
B3 MAGAZINE: How do you think being mixed race has shaped your identity?
KARINA: Honestly, it can be really challenging at times. You’re always culture jumping, and there’s a feeling of not being enough of either identity, depending on what situation you’re in at the moment. And when you’re mixed race, it’s unique in that you’re separate from your parents—you don’t share a racial identity with either of them. To be mixed is an entire identity.
B3 MAGAZINE: Did you and your family have conversations about what it meant to be mixed race when you were growing up?
KARINA: We weren’t having the type of conversations we’re having today. I don’t know that they had the tools or the language for it at that time. As a kid, I was able to go between my two backgrounds, and it didn’t really faze me. But as I got older, I started to be more aware of it. My sister has different coloring than me—more my dad’s coloring, with fair skin and almost blond hair—and I remember my mom would bring her places, and people didn’t think she was her daughter.
I also started to notice that I was received differently in different spaces. I remember signing up for Latinas Leading Tomorrow and wondering if I was “allowed” to be there, if I was Latina “enough.” But then when I was in white spaces, I was labeled as “exotic.”
B3 MAGAZINE: Was there a moment when you feel like you embraced being mixed race as opposed to leaning toward one identity or the other?
KARINA: For so long, I’ve been shapeshifting from one cultural identity to another. It’s really only been in the past couple of years that I’ve started to embrace my identity as mixed and to have a self-assuredness about that. It’s almost like being a gas versus a solid. I can’t say I’m a solid yet, but I’m working toward it.
B3 MAGAZINE: Identity such an interesting—and lifelong—journey. Do you feel like you bring yours into your career at all?
KARINA: As a mixed person, I try to bring my unique perspective to the table. I am positioned at the intersection of privilege and marginalization and can speak to both. At work, I try to bring all sides of myself to the table and use my privileges to relate to others in similar positions and elevate the Latinx experience in a way that feels understandable.
Being visible and proud of family and my lineage is so important at work because growing up I didn’t see Latinas positioned as professionals in the U.S. When I visited my family in Latin America, I saw my primas and tias as teachers, physicists, bankers, etc. But here, it’s a much different narrative. In that vein, it’s important to highlight that Latina Equal Pay Day is October 21, 2021. When that date sinks in, I think about how it’s imperative that I not only look at the path in front of me, but also at the one behind me to see who I can help uplift and bring alongside me.
B3 MAGAZINE: I love that perspective. I’d love to wrap up with your barre3 story. How did you first learn about us?
KARINA: I was living in Nashville for a while after college, teaching for Teach For America, and there was a studio near my house. I decided to give it a try. I love that it felt similar to ballet in some ways but that the messaging was completely different. It was both familiar and refreshing at the same time. When I moved back to D.C. to be closer to my family, I became an instructor at barre3 14th Street.
B3 MAGAZINE: One of the things we’ve been talking about as we celebrate cultural heritage months is that the boutique fitness space has traditionally been and still largely is white. Although this is changing, we still have so much work to do. Have you felt this, as someone who is mixed race?
KARINA: I feel it when I step into the room in most boutique fitness spaces; they seem to be catering to a very specific type of person. I think we can change things by putting people in front who look like the people we want to bring in. People make a personal connection with their instructors, and if that instructor looks like you, it means something.
Thank you so much, Karina!
Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-13 19:57
After the manic, go-go-go energy of summer, we always welcome fall as a time to take a pause, look within, and set a course for the coming months. In fact, we’re so dedicated to this as a time of introspection that we built our latest challenge around it. Launching September 20, the 15-Day Fall Challenge is designed to help you set an intention and bring it to life through movement. Together, we’ll embrace the philosophy that what you practice, you become.
When you sign up for the 15-Day Fall Challenge, you’ll get 15 days of diverse workouts, plus bonus mini-workshops and tips, all designed to help you practice your intention and bring it to the forefront in your everyday life.
Here’s a sneak peek at the workouts included in the 15-Day Fall Challenge (including two brand-new additions!):
After this challenge, you’ll find a renewed sense of energy, increased strength—both inside and out—and a balanced mindset for the months ahead.
It all starts Monday, September 20. Join with our 15-Day Free Trial (and get your first month after for just $15!).
The post What’s Your Intention? Our New Challenge Will Bring It To Life appeared first on barre3.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-13 18:30
This year, we’ve been working hard on creating new workouts that support your fitness practice in a holistic and sustainable way. That’s why we added b3 Strength Training earlier this summer, and now we’re just as excited to introduce b3 Flow.
B3 Flow is a dynamic, breath-driven movement experience designed to mobilize the spine, engage the core, and target muscles around the joints that support a healthy range of motion. This class will create a deeper mind-body connection, foster harmony in the body, and promote active recovery so you can get back to your barre3 practice more quickly.
And just like in our Signature workout, the goal of B3 Flow is to discover joy in moving your body in a new way—there’s no perfect posture to strive toward, and no requirement to be an experienced yogi. Come as you are, and get ready to feel the benefits of this restorative class.
Here are three reasons to add b3 Flow into your routine:
Improve mobility and stability
The class is designed with specific postures and movement to target muscles around the joints, which in turn supports a healthy range of motion in your body.
Provide active recovery for your body
You’ll be guided through a dynamic series of postures alongside breathwork to relieve muscle tightness and fatigue while promoting stress relief.
Foster balance in the body
Our expert instructors will carefully guide you through each move with a focus on a healthy body alignment that works for you.
Ready to get started? Try adding b3 Flow to your weekly routine once a week to start experiencing the benefits, and check out the video to learn more!
Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-09 19:23
At barre3, our goal is to provide everyone with a holistic and sustainable fitness practice that you can feel good about—and we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to bring you even more ways to move with us to barre3 online!
Whether you press play on our efficient full-body Signature workout or get in a high-energy sweat session with our barre3 Cardio Focus workout, it’s equally important to give back to your body and mind with a chance to reset and restore.
That’s why we created b3 Stretch. Not only does it promote a sense of calm for your mind, but it’s also designed to promote active recovery in your body so you can get back to your barre3 practice more quickly. And don’t worry—just because it’s a “stretch” class doesn’t mean you have to be flexible. The class focuses on mobility and range of motion rather than flexibility or achieving an ideal, so it’s accessible to everyone.
Each b3 Stretch workout is just 15 minutes long, making the class a great add-on option after a longer, more active workout. It’s also ideal when you’re looking for a gentle way to move your body on a rest day.
Here are three simple reasons to add b3 Stretch to your practice:
Create passive recovery for your body
B3 Stretch guides you through longer-hold postures that provide a gentle opening of the joints and relaxation of the muscles.
Improve your mobility
You’ll be guided through a series of postures and moves that are specifically designed to improve flexibility and range of motion.
Cultivate calm and mental relaxation
The effects of this class go so much deeper than the physical. We use guided breathwork alongside intentional movement to de-stress your body and mind.
Ready to get started? Try adding b3 Stretch to your weekly routine once a week, or whenever you’re in need of relieving muscle tightness or soreness.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-08 19:47
Permalink - Posted on 2021-09-01 10:00
Have you tried our new b3 Stretch and b3 Flow classes yet? Subscribers get early access before anyone else—all you have to do is download the barre3 app to get started. Available on iOS, FireTV and Roku. Be sure to check back next week for more exciting ways to add b3 Flow and b3 Stretch to your practice.
We chatted with Christa joy, Producer + Manager of Online Instructor Development, to get the scoop on the new classes. Read on to learn why we added them to your barre3 online experience, what you can expect from each class, and when to add them to your barre3 practice.
B3 MAGAZINE: Let’s start from the beginning: Why did we decide to add b3 Stretch and b3 Flow classes to the barre3 online experience?
CHRISTA JOY: We wanted to give our community even more opportunities to move with us beyond their regular practice. Our barre3 Signature class combines strength conditioning, cardio, and mindfulness, and we recently launched b3 Strength Training as a way to dive deeper into the strength and conditioning aspect. The new b3 Stretch and b3 Flow classes will dive deeper into the mindfulness aspect, with a focus on stretching and breathwork.
B3 MAGAZINE: Let’s start with b3 Stretch. Can you give us the rundown on what to expect from this class, and how it can benefit us?
CHRISTA JOY: These classes can serve as your go-to for when you need a little extra stretching after a barre3 online workout or other activity. Expect lots of shoulder and hip opening, with longer holds and guidance to help you find a deeper release in each stretch. There will also be a focus on breath to help you get deeper into the stretches.
B3 MAGAZINE: How should we fit b3 Stretch into our regular barre3 practice? When should we do it, and how often?
CHRISTA JOY: We designed the b3 Stretch class in a bite-size format—about 15 minutes each—to make it easier for you to add it to your regular practice. I’d recommend carving out time once a week to press play on one. Once we release a few more videos and you find your favorites, I would recommend working up to two to three times per week—basically any time you feel like you need to spend a little extra time opening and releasing.
B3 MAGAZINE: Ok, let’s talk b3 Flow. What should we expect from this class, and how can it benefit us?
CHRISTA JOY: Expect 30 minutes of mindful, breath-focused, feel-good, challenging movement. You’ll get a big focus on spine, hip, and shoulder mobility, as well as core activation and balance challenges. Each Lead Instructor has a unique teaching style, and I encourage you to try each one out!
B3 MAGAZINE: How should we fit b3 Flow into our regular barre3 practice? When should we do it, and how often?
CHRISTA JOY: I think this is a great practice to begin to weave in once a week. It’s fantastic for active recovery the day after a really challenging workout. With the focus on breath and alignment, you’ll find that these flows really help you dive deeper into body wisdom in a way that will carry over into your barre3 and b3 Strength Training practice.
B3 MAGAZINE: What are some of your favorite moves from b3 Stretch and b3 Flow?
CHRISTA JOY: Absolutely all the hip opening! I never realized how much tension I held in my hips, and these Stretch + Flow classes have brought so much release. Also, I really connect with the slow, breath-focused Warrior 2 Flow in b3 Flow.
B3 MAGAZINE: This one is going to be personal for everyone doing these classes, but what do you love about b3 Stretch and b3 Flow?
CHRISTA JOY: I love that these classes perfectly supplement my barre3 (and b3 Strength Training) practice, as well as my super-active lifestyle. With these new classes, barre3 online feels like a one-stop shop where I can get all my exercise needs met. But mostly I love that these classes are so accessible in that they stay true to the barre3 philosophy of modifications—I know that I’ll be supported no matter how my body is feeling that day.
Thank you, Christa joy!
Ready to try b3 Flow and b3 Stretch for yourself? Get access to these new classes, our Signature workout, and so much more when you start your 15-day free trial today.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-08-31 22:57
Our 170+ barre3 studios are more than just places to work out—they’re communities of supportive individuals dedicated to holding space for what you need, and we’re ready to welcome you back. At the same time, we want to remind you that now, more than ever, it’s important to honor your body where it is right in this moment.
Today, Meghan Van Metre, owner of barre3 Menlo Park and life coach, offers advice on how to restart your studio practice in a safe, sustainable way (hint: compassion and intention will take you far!). Read on for her tips, and put them into practice when you sign up for the barre3 September Studio Challenge—a month of community, connection, and support, all designed to help you jumpstart your studio practice.
As the world continues to shift, you might feel ready to get back into the swing of a workout routine. It’s probably safe to say that a lot of us cannot wait to release pent up energy in-studio. I’m definitely feeling that way! While our bodies are craving movement and community, I want to offer a gentle reminder that you’ve probably changed quite a bit over the past 18 months. It’s important to recognize that our bodies have too; our bodies are in recovery from all the challenges we’ve experienced. As you go back into the studio, please listen to what your body needs and know that your workout might feel different now—and that’s ok!
In our “do more, be more, accomplish more” culture, you might be feeling pulled to bounce back to who you were in 2019. But let me ask you something: How can you possibly go back to an old version of yourself when so much has shifted? If you want to safely reintegrate into the new world we find ourselves living in today, you might want to take it slow and steady—in the studio and every other area of your life.
I’m sure many of us moved less than we wanted to in the past 18 months. We were tethered to our homes, worked out with others through a screen, and made intimate friends with our couches. With all of those changes taking us out of our regular routine, we can’t magically snap our fingers and instantly have the same endurance as we did pre-Covid. I really want you to have grace for yourself as the pressure of bouncing back to “normal” life starts to creep into your mindset. Where did that notion come from anyway?! There’s no such thing as going back in time! You can only move forward. And the way to move forward is to take one small step from where you are in this moment right now. And then another. If you take enough small, manageable steps, you will build strength sustainably.
One of the silver linings that being at home gave us was slowing down. In my own experience, slowing down taught me how to be more gentle with myself and surrender to being without doing. So many of the ideals I was living by started to dissolve. Trying to produce as much as possible wasn’t adding value to my life anymore. Taking things slower taught me a big lesson: When I move more slowly, I feel more balanced.
Let me explain with a barre3 example. In combo work, the instructor cues at a 2-count, sometimes even at a 4-count cadence. Why? Because when we slow down, we dive deeper into our bodies and don’t let momentum interfere with the integrity of the posture. At a slower speed, we can tap into the wisdom of our bodies and understand if we can go further or need to pull back a bit. We don’t underdo it or overdo it, our practice is just right. We remain balanced in each posture and protect our physical health. I encourage you to find one area of your life where you can slow down and notice how it makes you feel.
It takes courage to move at a different pace than the rest of the world. But you have permission to do just that. Instead of feeding into the frenzy around you, why don’t you pause and connect to the pace of your body? Your body is a source of infinite wisdom. To access it, take a deep breath in stillness. If something feels like tightness, it’s out of alignment with who you are at this moment. If something feels light and expansive, it’s what your intuition and heart call for in that given moment. As you contemplate your workout and other decisions in life, how would it feel to deliberately follow your intuition and let go of ideals that no longer serve your life?
As a brand-new studio owner, I’ve heard the little voice in my head telling me to “whip it into shape” for my studio’s grand opening. But as I reflect on everything I’ve gained from taking it slow over the past 18 months, I’ve learned to be gentle with myself. My body has kept me healthy from Covid. My body birthed a baby in January. My body is remarkable. Why would I “whip” it into shape, when I can honor what it needs most right now? I choose the pace of love, affection, and gratitude, and I hope you do too.
Lots of love,
Meghan Van Metre
With in-person guidance from our expert instructors—plus the unparalleled support of our incredible community—the barre3 September Studio Challenge is the best way to get back into your studio practice. To join and learn more about how your studio can support you, find your local studio here. We can’t wait to move with you.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-08-31 22:46
We see you. You’ve been taking care of your family, your neighbors, your community, your world. Now let us take care of you! Join us back in the studio for the barre3 September Studio Challenge and immerse yourself in a month of community, connection, and support.
The barre3 September Studio Challenge is designed to help you jumpstart your practice with energizing studio classes, unparalleled support, and a chance to refresh your gear with all-new prizes. And because we couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming our incredible community back to the studio, we’re extending a special offer: Join us for the September Studio Challenge and get 50% off an entire month of barre3 studio classes.
This past year has taught us on a whole new level what we’ve known all along—barre3 is so much more than a workout. We’re a community of supportive individuals dedicated to holding space for what you need, just as you are, and we’re ready to welcome you. Head to your local studio to learn more and sign up for the barre3 September Studio Challenge today, and learn all the ways your studio can support your physical and mental health during this time.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-08-16 20:50
“Ask your body what it needs.” If you’ve taken a barre3 class, you’ve probably heard your instructor say this at some point. And while the sentiment is simple, the act itself can be challenging—especially in a world that regularly insists that it knows what our bodies need better than we do. But, as client Matigan learned, the more you practice tuning into your body, the easier it becomes. Read on to learn how Matigan’s barre3 practice helped her tap into her needs, and how that act alone has been instrumental in helping her recover from an eating disorder.
Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, I developed a nagging voice in my head, one that was hyper-aware of how my body looked, especially in comparison to the bodies of everyone else. While walking down the street, I would take note of each figure and self-consciously check my looks in the next window, always sucking in my stomach a bit tighter. Every mirror, window, or other reflective surface became a crutch on which I depended to feel safe in my own body.
This obsession with appearance, in addition to other painful behaviors—caloric restriction, counting bites, an unhealthy preoccupation with everything I put into my mouth—were the manifestations of an internal bully: an eating disorder. Exercise too, was a practice the eating disorder seized upon. Moving my body, like looking in a mirror, was something to check off on a list—something I did solely to appease the mean voice in my head. It was formulaic. It was appearance-driven. It was a means to an end, that being the “achievement” of what I had deemed to be the ideal body.
When I first discovered barre3, this was my mindset. Barre3 was a way to exercise—a way to lift, tone, and sculpt. But I began to notice that this exercise program did not use such language. In fact, they hardly mentioned physical manifestations of “success” at all. I heard the instructors talk about strengthening the core to protect our lower backs and improve posture. They worked the glutes in order to lift heavy things, including children. Every instructor told me to focus on how the movements felt as opposed to how they looked.
Then I began to tune into my body. I actually looked forward to exercise and regarded it as a form of self-love and compassion. My barre3 practice morphed into an experience where I could show up, as myself, and move with freedom. This, I discovered, is what exercise is meant to be.
As a result of my eating disorder, I also developed a condition known as amenorrhea, or lack of menstruation. I had been pushing my body too far while simultaneously withholding from it the proper amount of nourishment. My body could not make a baby in this state, so it focused instead on keeping me alive. A future child could wait; we had more pressing things with which to concern ourselves.
I needed to reevaluate the way I was exercising, focusing instead on more nourishing movement that did not put too much stress on my chronically overstressed body. Barre3 is certainly challenging, and I often feel those glorious shakes and relish that signature b3 glow, but my body does not feel broken after a workout. I will often feel sore, yes, but not punished, not depleted. Rather than pushing my body further than it wanted to go, barre3 taught me to trust in its inherent wisdom. It taught me to breathe through difficulties and embrace change. It taught me to love my body where it was. And perhaps most importantly, it rendered the futility of comparison more concrete.
We are all told about the evils of comparison, the ultimate “thief of joy,” but such messaging, though I knew to be true, had not resonated with me. I just went on comparing myself.
But then my mindset started to shift. I saw people like Dustin and Andrew dropping to their knees during plank or putting down their weights for a few reps. I witnessed Christa joy and Jordan and Allison take water breaks. These practices of self-compassion were not considered weak; instead, they were a way of standing up for oneself. It had never occurred to me that adjusting my routine to reflect my current physical and emotional state could in fact be a source of power.
Barre3 trained my body to stand taller and grow stronger, but it also trained my mind. My far healthier (and constantly evolving) relationship with exercise has been one of the most refreshing and impactful results of my recovery process. I have grown to love movement and am now less focused on how the way my body moves differs from my fellow exercisers. And though I have yet to regain my period, I know that barre3 will continue to provide the deeply nurturing exercise my body requires to keep moving toward balance.
And I have come to profoundly appreciate balance. One can exercise for hours on end every day, eat the “perfect” diet, and sleep nine hours each night, but what is balanced about that? It is clear that such a lifestyle is missing one of the most essential nutrients to a fulfilling life, one that barre3 most certainly has in abundance: joy.
The post Barre3 taught me that compassion is my power source appeared first on barre3.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-08-16 20:16
With the new app, you’ll get:
If you’re already a barre3 online subscriber, just download the app and log in with the same email and password you use for your current online account. Not a subscriber yet? Download the app and join us—when you do, you’ll get everything the barre3 app has to offer, plus unlimited access to barre3 online, where you can get even more out of your subscription, including progress tracking to keep you motivated, add-to-calendar workout scheduling, and so much more.
Download the app today to get started, and be sure to rate and review when you get a chance!