Workout to Try: Yoga Barre Finally in the Philippines
Want to try strengthening workouts like yoga and pilates? Julia Reyes, the one and only certified Yoga Barre instructor in the country gives us a glimpse on what to expect and why you need to get into this challenging exercise, stat!
What is Yoga Barre?
Julia: Yoga Barre is a dynamic fusion of yoga, body sculpting, barre work, and non-impact cardio that will get you long and lean. It is a workout inspired by the revolutionary exercise routine developed by a modern ballet dancer and her orthopedist. The class is filled with strengthening postures at the barre that works the legs and abdominals intensely fused with yoga postures on the mat to release and lengthen from the barre work. The muscles are continuously targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched through our yoga series for release. This helps your muscles lean rather than bulk up. Yoga Barre is a music-dependent, full body workout that pairs the principles of yoga practice in breathing and stretching with the barre exercises to create a low-impact, micro-movement fitness experience that makes you feel balanced mentally and physically.
How did you get into this type of workout?
Julia: I’ve always been a very active person. I’ve tried different sports and danced my whole life. In my mid-twenties, all my activities were starting to take a toll on my hyper-extended limbs. My knees were getting killed due to all the high-impact workouts I had done my whole life. I needed to find alternative workouts that placed less strain on my joints.
I never really liked the different barre and yoga classes because I would get bored. Don’t get me wrong, I’d get worked, but I found it boring and that my muscles were still tight leading to some knee pains still. It all changed for me when my cousin forced me to attend a hot yoga class at Hot 8 Yoga in Beverly Hills. The heat added a whole new element to the practice in terms of my muscles and breathing. In this studio, I fell in love with different heated yoga practices like Hot Yoga, Hot Yoga Barre, Hot Yoga Sculpt, Hot Power Fusion. I obviously fell in love with Hot Yoga Barre the most. It was so challenging but doable for me. It also helped my legs get stronger without the need for heavy equipment and high impact workouts. Practicing in the Philippines with the aircon turned off is pretty close to the heated room in the US.
What are the benefits of this workout?
Julia: Yoga Barre aims to lift your seat, flatten your abdominal muscles, (not just your typical abs, but also the inner abdominal muscles that develop your waist and your lower abs), lengthen your thighs, and strengthen your arms. It will also improve your posture and for a sculpted physique. You will strengthen the muscles you never knew you had while also strengthening your willpower.
I myself gained a lot of weight in the US and I have slowly but surely trimmed my body (I have a waist again!). I’ve also gotten so much stronger all over my body. There are some cross-training workouts I used to do that I had to modify but now, I have exceeded my expectations in those because Yoga Barre was such a great complementary workout to strengthen.
Why do you think Filipinos should try this out?
Julia: I think this is such a great workout that’s sweeping the US because of the toning and strengthening it provides your body in a low-impact environment. I think a lot of the workouts in the Philippines are high intensity cardio or weight training. There’s not much yet that’s low-impact strengthening and toning. This is great cross-training so you can give your joints a break, or for those like me, who need a great workout that will kick your butt but keep it low-impact.
Any tips to those who are curious but hesitant to try out yoga barre?
The class is a safe space open to all levels as I can give modifications and different options based on people’s skill level. I encourage students to focus on their own practice and not compare themselves to anyone in class as we are all in different phases of our fitness journey. Everything is set to music and beats so there’s an extra layer of encouragement and hype. I will be there to guide you through it all, come sweat and strengthen with me.
Julia holds regular classes in the following venues and time slots:
Wednesdays at Center for Movement and Music, Katipunan Extension 7:30PM
Open to corporate clients and private sessions as well. Please follow @yogabarrejulia
Ready to sweat with Julia? Great news! She’s giving away a FREE trial for two to one of our lucky readers. All you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us your fitness goals for year 2018!