Barre3 Toronto, The First Canadian Flagship StudioMonday, January 05, 2015
Having first delved into the world of yoga nearly 15 years ago, I have developed a fondness for and an appreciation of the discipline. I am by no means a true yogi but feel it plays an important role in my daily life, even if it only amounts to a greater awareness of my posture or my breathing. I joke that you can find me standing on my head because quite often a sirshasana (headstand) is as much yoga as I can fit into my daily schedule. I don't always make time for a full yoga class but I do enjoy squeezing in asanas (postures) whenever I can whether at work or at home. In the past, I have tried Pilates but didn't find it as relaxing as yoga. Quite frankly, I found it too strenuous for my liking. More recently, I have been intrigued by the idea of ballet barre fitness but it wasn't until I was invited to try out barre3 in Toronto that I had the unique experience that combines all three disciplines into one.
This first Canadian barre3 location is situated at 325 King St. West, Suite 201, and has been open for nearly a month. It is a ballet barre workout that is influenced by both yoga and Pilates and was created by fitness and wellness expert, Sadie Lincoln. With a whole-health approach to wellness, barre3 offers smart, balanced and effective ballet barre workouts as well as nutritional guidance based on sensible, whole foods. Barre3 has been around since 2008 but Toronto owner Aimee Ostrander only discovered it a couple of years ago and loved it so much, she decided to open her very own studio.
Barre3 signature workouts balance strength training through isometric holds and small, one-inch movements with seamless recovery stretches. Unlike other barre-inspired workouts, barre3 incorporates larger, functional movements with low-impact cardio to jumpstart the metabolism and re-oxygenate the body. Also unique to the brand, an array of modifications, both up and down in intensity, is offered for every posture allowing all fitness levels to maximize the workout.
The special preview barre3 class was fun but intense at times, although I really enjoyed the ways in which the barre3 core ball was implemented into the workout. It was amazing to learn how squeezing the ball between your knees during a squat, for example, can really take that pose to the next level! I also loved using the ballet barre and the variations in movement that included stretching upwards while standing on your toes. The whole workout made me more aware of muscles that I have neglected for quite some time. Like, forever. Abs included. I sure felt the heat when holding certain postures and my legs would start to quiver. I managed to get through the first half of the class but once we got onto the mat for some Pilates style exercises, that's when I gave up. I needed short breaks in between and was happy to finish on two feet. The music was upbeat and our Master Trainer Catie Fahrner was excellent.
The studio itself is pristine and cheerful. White walls, mirrors and full-length windows make it feel more spacious and inviting. Amenities include a locker room at the back with a filtered water fountain, bathrooms and a shower. You can also purchase fitness wear and workout gear in the reception area.
If you're interested in trying out barre3 in Toronto, a single class costs $20. You can also purchase a one-time only New Client package that grants you three classes for $40. Other packages are available that allow you to buy 5 or 10 classes to be redeemed within six months as well as 20 or 30 classes to be redeemed within a one-year period. If you really love barre workouts, the monthly rate is $190 but you can save $40 per month if you take advantage of their Founding Client Membership (minimum 3-month commitment.) NEW! All Members receive FREE access to barre3 online workouts and recipes within one week of becoming a barre3 member. Plus, enjoy 15% off retail products. Visit barre3.com for more information or like the barre3 Toronto Facebook page for the latest updates.