Why Yoga + Barre?
Yoga is a total mind and body workout that requires flowing through a set series of exercises – called poses – while using the breath to focus the mind. The practice originated in India and each yoga pose has an English or Sanskrit name.
There are many different styles of yoga, from dynamic Vinyasa yoga to Hatha Yoga to Restorative Yoga, making it a great option for everyone.
Yoga is widely touted as a physical practice that can improve strength, stability, and flexibility, enhance respiratory and cardiovascular function, and even alleviate symptoms of chronic pain. The mental health benefits of yoga are also well-documented—from reduced stress, anxiety, and depression to improved sleep hygiene and overall quality of life.
The benefits of restorative yoga are similar to the many benefits of other styles of yoga, including:
Increased relaxation: Deep breathing calms the nervous system to promote relaxation, and research supports a restorative yoga practice as an effective way to relax. A 2014 study suggests that restorative yoga is more effective at inducing relaxation than regular passive stretching.
Better sleep: The more relaxed you are, the better your chances are of getting a good night's rest. A 2020 meta-analysis looked at 19 different studies on how different types of yoga—including restorative yoga—can impact sleep quality. Researchers determined that yoga is an effective intervention for managing sleep problems by increasing melatonin and reducing hyperarousal
Improved well-being: Yoga practices, in general, are commonly associated with improved physical and mental well-being in the general population
Better mood: Research shows that yoga can help those with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders manage their symptoms
Reduced pain: Studies show that different styles of yoga including restorative yoga are helpful interventions for the management of musculoskeletal pain
Gentle on the body: Restorative yoga practices are gentle on the joints, and consistent practice can strengthen the connective tissues that surround the bones and joints
Additionally, clinical research into restorative yoga has found that the practice can be a good resource for those with cancer, noting improvements to psychological well-being. Research shows that restorative yoga can decrease depression in cancer survivors; improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain symptoms in cancer patients; and help patients manage the toxicity of cancer treatments.
Barre is a low-impact exercise that delivers similar benefits to Yoga; including increased flexibility, improved posture & body alignment, and activated core muscle groups. The key difference is a barre workout teaches muscular control and endurance specifically in the hips and shoulders while integrating core stability.
Barre combines ballet-inspired movements (the barre that gives this training style its name is used as a support for some ballet exercises which are typically done in a barre class) with functional strength exercises.
In general, Barre could be thought of as a fusion of Pilates, classical ballet moves and dynamic stretching.
You'll use just the barre (you can also use a sturdy chair) for support, and your body weight or small pieces of equipment such as ankle weights or low-weight dumbbells to add resistance while you perform a number of reps — the goal is to work the muscles to the point of tension release with a focus on balance, and body awareness.