Disclosure: I received a complimentary barre class. All opinions, as always, are my own.
This past year was a difficult one for me personally and professionally and I’ve struggled to find peace, balance and harmony. I’ve only recently accepted self-care as an act of self-preservation and not an indulgence. I avoided yoga studios for many years because I couldn’t bear to spend an hour in silence with my thoughts. Like many moms my brain just doesn’t shut off and the thought of slowing down wasn’t an option. As I continue jumping hurdles that my mental illness throws at me, I have no choice but to s-l-o-w down, and thanks to Barre & Soul Harvard Square I now have a safe and accepting space to do so.
In the midst of the constant bustle of Harvard Square lies an oasis for those that need an outlet where they can relax, rejuvenate and train hard. I was excited to have Barre & Soul join Harvard Square as there aren’t many barre studios on this side of town and travelling into Boston for a fitness class just doesn’t work with my schedule.
I arrived to barre class late and quickly found a mat (provided by the studio!) and breathed a sigh of relief at the smiling instructor and small class size. I am wildly out of shape (I blame it on turning 30 last year) and have done little other than complain about the extra bulge around my midsection. Thank goodness for high waisted pants! I wasn’t sure what to expect at class, and stupidly thought it wasn’t going to be too hard for this newbie. Nope. K-i-l-l-e-r workout. My body was on fire (in a good way) post class.
As a newbie I enjoyed the small class size and the instructor was amazing! She came over as soon as I entered class and asked if I had any injuries and when I was struggling to hold certain positions as sweat was dripping from my brow she gently helped with my form without agitation. My fear of being with my thoughts for an hour wasn’t something I had to worry about as my main focus was on digging deep and pushing myself to be present in class. I’ve never been flexible, couldn’t touch my toes in high school and still can’t, but it’s something my body craves. I hold all my stress in my shoulders and quads, they are constantly tight and in knots, which is crazy uncomfortable and frustrating. During class as we used the bar for various positions I was able to lengthen those sore spots and give them the much needed love and care they’d been missing. And they soaked it right up.
The studio is located in “the garage” on JFK Street in Cambridge and offers their signature barre classes as well as yoga, aerial yoga (want to try!) and teacher training. I had the pleasure of meeting the manager Emma and I think she might be my new best friend She was amazing and so supportive of me as I complained that I totally sucked in class.
Finding time to exercise isn’t easy, but just like anything else that’s important you have to make time for it. Because my time is so limited I look for six key aspects in a fitness class:
- A welcoming environment
- Friendly and supportive instructors
- Judgement free zone
- A full body workout
Barre & Soul Harvard Square encompasses all of these aspects and more. The studio isn’t some massive space, it’s intimate and relaxing and really sets the tone for the type of workout you receive. I am now all about that barre life (#BarreSoHard) and look forward to purchasing a membership so I can continue my fitness journey, and I encourage you to take a class if you have yet to try them out. They also have studios in Melrose, Lexington, Portsmouth and now offer virtual classes so you can Om at home! Oh and did I mention the owner, Andrea Isabelle Lucas, is amazing (interview with her coming next week) and is organized a yoga and barre retreat in ST. CROIX ya’ll!! Amazing.
You’re going to love this studio! They are offering a couple of special membership options: $30/month of unlimited yoga or $69/month for unlimited barre and yoga classes! And because I love ya use the code VIP during checkout to receive $10 off the unlimited barre and yoga intro special!