Every month at The Bar Method Atlanta, we spotlight a client who has made a extraordinary transformation through barre; either mentally, physically or both. We originally featured client, Cara Kinzey, as our “Bar Star” in October, 2016, but want to share her with our BarreLifeAtl.com friends, in hopes that you’ll be as inspired by her story and outlook as we are.
Four Questions with The Bar Method Atlanta- Bar Star: Cara Kinzey
TBM: How long have you been taking classes at The Bar Method Atlanta?
Cara: I started The Bar Method about six months ago in April, 2016.
TBM: What was your biggest motivator for starting The Bar Method?
Cara: When I started The Bar Method, I was the worst case scenario for you guys. I was recovering from a massive stroke I’d had a few years back. Lifting my butt/legs/arms in the air and moving them in some type of coordinated fashion has been awesome physical therapy. My balance and posture are 100% improved and I feel worlds better. Thank you for that!
TBM: What is your favorite love-to-hate exercise?
Cara: My favorite “love to hate” exercise is arabesque with the ball behind the leg (or what I refer to as “ball gate”). I know if I keep it up, I’ll learn more proper technique and will eventually conquer arabesque one day!
TBM: What are your successes inside and outside of the studio as related to The Bar Method?
Cara: When I started at The Bar Method, my primary goal was to overcome balance issues that remained from a previous medical issue. I had been regularly working out on an elliptical, but realized I needed to do something more to help strengthen my core and to build muscle tone throughout my body. I tried a Bar class on a whim just to see what it would be like. I decided to try the classes for 30 days and was hooked!
It was quickly obvious my posture and flexibility were not great, but the instructor was very encouraging and gave me simple corrections, which I now know were baby steps. Each class seems difficult in a different way and you can start to feel/see changes as a result of your efforts after only a few weeks. My flexibility, balance and posture have all improved about a 1000% and I am still improving! My body has changed a lot already, but will always be a work in progress.
Kudos to all the instructors. They are patient, encouraging and like to have fun in class. Any time at the barre is a good time. I totally enjoy it.
We’re proud of you, Cara! And we look forward to watching you achieve every goal you set out on- both in class and beyond.
Drive through any area of any town that’s moderately busy, active and trendy and you’re likely to see more barre studios than you can count on one hand. While each may have slight variations in their names and color schemes, most seem more the same than different. They’re not.
I’m here to tell you that not all barre studios are created equal and, in many cases, the actual bar may be the only similarity. In this post, I’m going to break down four ways The Bar Method is different from the rest.
It’s in the details. From the moment you walk into The Bar Method, our goal is to help you leave the outside world at the door. If you take only one hour of your day (or 45 minutes for Bar Express), we work hard to make your time here dedicated solely to restoring and strengthening your mind, body and spirit.
Inside The Bar Method Lenox or East Cobb, you’ll notice a calm, spa-like environment with lots of natural light and soft, comfy surfaces. From the bathrooms, which are stocked with nontoxic, naturally derived Sally B’s Skin Yummies products, to the complimentary hot tea and coffee bar and our boutique filled with a consciously curated collection of Lines we Love, we believe it is the personal touch and unmatched quality that separates us from the pack. And when we ask clients why they chose us and keep coming for years, this is usually the first reason they give (after the amazing results they get from taking class regularly of course).
Let’s get Personal. If you’ve taken more than a handful of classes at The Bar Method, there’s probably been a day where you felt like the teacher just Would. Not. Let. Up. You’re probably right.
Our classes are small by design, so that one instructor can give each student the attention they deserve. On our best days, that special attention is appreciated; but when we’re a little off, it can feel like we’re being singled out. Stick with it.
Your instructor will let you know when your form needs a little tweaking and when you’re making progress in your practice. We want every class at The Bar Method to feel like a personal training session- and why do people hire personal trainers? To be motivated, pushed just beyond their limits and even constructively corrected when they begin to slip.
Stick with it, and I promise, those “squeeze your shoulder blades in and down” and “grip your glutes” comments of today will become the “terrific posture” and “now you’re in the muscle, great job!” comments of tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself because you earned it, and your body will thank you, as it reaps the greatest benefits of your time at the barre.
Physical Therapy is at our Core. For more than a decade, The Bar Method has worked alongside some of the best physical therapists in the business to create a workout that is not only safe for clients recovering from injury, but one that utilizes that knowledge to help you tap into the muscle you intend to work (which btw, is usually underworked) and OUT of muscles your body typically, and erroneously, recruits to get the job done. The Bar Method is a completely non-impact workout, but we go further than others to minimize joint impact with padded, plush carpet in the studios. Remember, no bare feet on the carpet! 😉
You’ll notice that teachers offer various modifications for students at different experience levels and for those nursing injuries. Don’t worry that your workout will be compromised because of modifications; the key is to stay consistent without causing any further injury that will keep you out of your workout game long-term.
Another physical therapy component at The Bar Method is our focus on the entire core. Many workouts and other barre regimens target the abs, obliques and middle back, which are great but what about the upper back, your glutes, and thighs? These areas play a huge role in your overall strength and resistance to injury and are often forgotten as part of the core. At The Bar Method, we give the entire core love… tough love, but love nonetheless.
Advanced Teacher Training. Did you know there are barre certifications out there that take only a day to complete? That’s great news for anyone who wants to become an instructor ASAP. But it’s not great for anyone hoping to experience a safe and effective barre practice (i.e.: all of us).
Every instructor at The Bar Method undergoes training for up to six months, working closely with coaches and evaluators to perfect their form, increase their understanding of anatomy and physiology, and their teaching performance. Only when evaluators feel an instructor-to-be has advanced to a teacher level, do they earn The Bar Method teacher certification.
But the certification process is only the beginning of education for The Bar Method instructors. Ongoing teacher training in the studio and continuing education classes ensure that The Bar Method instructors are teaching with the latest industry knowledge and body science information as their guide. Because the more we know, the better we do. And you can bet we’ll continue striving to be the best barre studio in town, to help you be the best you!
Your #sundaysmoothie. Don’t forget to tag it with # Sunday smoothie when you give it a try! If you haven’t heard about Kimberly Snyder, this is a great way to get to know her and her recipes!
January and detoxing go together like December and sugar cookies. So many of us wake from two-months of relatively unbridled holiday indulgence, and realize it’s time to reel it back in. Externally, the idea of detoxification is front-and-center this month. With a new year comes a new chance to set intentions and goals to be a better version of our authentic selves.
But let’s quite all of the outside noise for a moment- What’s your body telling you? How do you feel on a daily basis? If your body is currently taxed with toxins, here are a few ways it may tell you:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Bloating and swelling
- Sinus issues
- Frequent headaches
From cold-pressed juices, to eliminating chemicals from our diet and skincare regimen, there are a lot of ways we can boost our body’s natural detoxification processes. But one of the most effective ways, and maybe my favorite, is through an awesomely sweaty, shaky barre class. Here are three ways barre class promotes detoxification in the body…
Burn baby, burn. There are actually only two types of toxins that enter our bodies- water-soluble toxins, which are carried out through the blood and kidneys, and fat-soluble toxins– the more destructive type that can dwell inside our fat cells.
Fat-soluble toxins make their way into our systems by way of pesticides, heavy metals preservatives and other pollutants. Ideally, these toxins will be processed by the lymphatic system and expelled from the body, but if the body is compromised, these toxins make their way into fat cells where they cause free radical damage over time.
During exercise, body heat and circulation increase and fat-soluble toxins are expelled from the cells and carried out through sweat. Additionally, the twists and bends we do in barre class work to stimulate the intestinal tract, which move toxins (and everything else) right along before they’re absorbed by the intestinal wall.
Lymphatic Love. Along with the liver and kidneys, the lymphatic system plays a massive role in the process of detoxification. It runs parallel with major blood vessels and is responsible for removing waste from every cell in the body- that’s no easy feat and when it’s not working properly, everything else can suffer. A lymphatic system that is clogged will often let you know with itchy/ dull skin, bloating, stiffness in the morning, brain “fog”, constipation, swelling in the fingers and weight gain.
The rhythmic stretches and deep breathing we do in in barre happen to be excellent for lymphatic drainage. Our lungs pump lymphatic fluid while increased circulation and body heat improve lymphatic flow.
Relieve stress, release toxins. Stress and toxins have a cyclical relationship. On one hand, stress and anxiety can be a symptom of a body that is overloaded with toxins. On the other, stress can make it harder for the body to eliminate toxins.
Additionally, stress can lead to insomnia and make us more apt to reach for junk foods, which further disrupt the detoxification process. A good workout is one of the best ways to nip this unhealthy cycle in the bud. It serves as a reset button for an overtaxed mind, releasing tension in the body and sending toxins on their way.
Just like in every area of wellness, we really reap the long-term rewards of detoxing when it becomes a lifestyle. It’s not about perfection, but the transformation that comes from the daily habit of drinking that extra bottle of water, adding greens added to each meal and, most importantly, making it to barre class 3-5 times a week. Once we’re in that consistent rhythm of making better choices, of showing up- the hard part is over. So, here’s to achieving and maintaining a constant state of cleansing in the New Year!
Another delicious #sundaysmoothie by my fave, Kimberly Snyder.
Source: Peppermint Dream Smoothie Recipe
Not long ago, you may have seen a pretty creative picture gallery called “Tipsy Portrait Project” circulating the inter-web in which photographer Marcos Alberti photographed his subjects after 1, 2 and 3 glasses of wine. The result was pretty much what you’d imagine, with partygoers becoming exponentially flushed and jubilant as the series, and the pours, continued.
We at The Bar Method Atlanta decided to do our own less boozy, more barre-y version of the photo series. Keep in mind that we didn’t quite have the budget for a professional photographer, fancy lenses, and so on… but their post-barre glow shines through nonetheless.
Check out these beautiful, blissed-out barre-istas (a.k.a. loyal clients of The Bar Method Atlanta)…
Our “subjects” walked into class reeling from a rather cold, wet winter morning and walked out an hour later with an energetic buzz of emitting from deep within. And we’ll take that lasting, hangover-free “buzz” over one at the bar any day.
When we seek out products to feature in the retail shop at The Bar Method Atlanta, I’ll be the first to admit that we’re a bit picky. It can be a long process finding products we feel confident to stand behind and sell to the clients who trust us. But that obsession with quality over quantity is something I’m most proud of. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about seeking out and supporting brands that resonate with us, not only as smart consumers, but also on a heart level.
Bamboo Juices is one of those brands for me. I could go on and on with the reasons why- it’s organic, locally produced, tastes uh-maze-ing and so on, but here are four most interesting reasons Bamboo Juices is a line we love.
1. The brains behind Bamboo. Bamboo Juice CEO and founder, Kelley Sibley, did her homework in the creation of her brand. In fact, she spent 15 years studying anthropology and traveling the world to learn about the eating habits of people who live in “Blue Zones”. These are areas with high concentrations of people who live passed 100 years old. She uses the ingredients and combinations of foods found to be most beneficial to longevity in these areas, and then lovingly worked them into each of her juices and almond milk.
2. It’s chock full of micronutrients. Raw, cold-pressed juices pack a powerful punch of micronutrients, feeding us on a cellular level. But Bamboo Juices takes nutrition to the next level by using a Norwalk Juicer, basically the Bentley of hydraulic press juicers. This progressive production method has been proven to be most effective in retrieving nutritional enzymes from fibers of produce. And more nutrition density means a healthier you!
3. Unlike life, it’s simple. Bamboo uses no more than five ingredients in each juice or almond milk. Our body uses different enzymes to break down different ingredients. Using limited ingredients ensures that the body can complete digestion and also complete nutrient absorption. The flavors of each ingredient really come through in yummy combinations, like lemon-ginger-green apple and carrot-ginger-lime.
4. Our clients love them. And we love our clients! Sure, we initially pick the products we want to feature at The Bar Method Atlanta because the staff loves them but after that initial order has been placed, it’s our clients that have the last word. If we hear less-than-ideal feedback or if a product just isn’t selling, it will be short-lived.
Stop into The Bar Method Lenox and The Bar Method East Cobb for a Bamboo Juices and tell us what you think! We get new batches and flavors delivered almost daily!
As promised, here is @kimberlysnyder’s #sundaysmoothie. Kimberly makes a great point when describing this beauty empowering smoothie. With time at a minimum, stress at some of its highest levels for the year, and sugary treats at every turn, it’s the perfect time to boost your immune system and keep your gut healthy with probiotics. Enjoy this smoothie as it nourishes your body.
Let’s talk about guts. Ewww, right? No.
Our “guts”, when working properly, are a beautiful thing and oh-so vital to the way every other system in our bodies perform. Often, when we think about boosting our immune system, we think of washing our hands, getting plenty of vitamin C and so on… but protecting our intestinal wall with living, disease-fighting bacteria is actually one of the most powerful ways we can improve our health and vitality in every area.
One of the best ways to protect our guts (or digestive tract, to be more specific) is with live, fermented foods that are packed with lactic acid bacteria. These good bacteria aid the break-down of food, keeping harmful microorganisms at bay and allowing for better nutrient absorption. They’re also loaded with micronutrients, such as choline, that can be tough to get in our everyday diet.
“All Disease Begins in the Gut”- Hippocrates
One of my favorite ways to reap the benefits of living, fermented food is through raw sauerkraut (note that the unrefrigerated sauerkraut on most store shelves is pasteurized and contains no live cultures). Not only does raw sauerkraut boast the benefits of a fermented food, but cabbage happens to be a cruciferous vegetable, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and radishes. These vegetables combat many cancers, lower cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory properties and enhance your liver’s detoxification process. One serving of quality, raw sauerkraut delivers a health boost that surpasses many expensive probiotic supplements in stores, and for a lot less money!
A few conditions that fermented foods, like sauerkraut, help combat:
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Mental Illness
- Autoimmune Diseases
Three-Ingredient Sauerkraut Recipe
Medium Head of green, red or napa cabbage (approximately 3 lbs)
1 ½ tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp caraway seeds
What You’ll Need
Chef’s knife or food processor
Two quart-sized mason jars
Jelly jar or cup
Clean stones or marbles
Piece of cloth for covering jar
- Cut Cabbage. Remove wilted, limp outer layers of the cabbage. Cut cabbage into large chunks, removing core. Slice each chunk into thin ribbons.
- Add Salt and massage. Move cabbage into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Begin massaging the salt into the cabbage with your hands. After 5 or 10 minutes, the cabbage will start to have a more tender texture, more like coleslaw than raw cabbage.
- Mix in caraway seeds.
- Pack cabbage into the mason jars. Every so often, push the cabbage deeper into jar. Pour any remaining liquid into the jar- just leave an inch of space on top as the mixture will start to bubble after a couple of days.
- Weigh the cabbage down. Once all the cabbage is packed into the Mason jar, slip a smaller jelly jar or cup into the mouth of the larger jar and fill it with clean stones. This will help push the cabbage down so that it’s eventually submerged in its own liquid.
- Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air into the jar but prevents dust and insects from getting into it.
- Press the cabbage every few hours. Over the next 24 hours, press the cabbage down into its liquid. As the cabbage releases more liquid, it will become limp and compact and the liquid will increase.
- Add extra liquid if needed.
- Ferment for 3 to 10 days. Keep sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a temperature between 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
- Start tasting it after three days. You can let it continue fermenting as long as you’d like- there’s no absolute answer- just whatever tastes good to you at this point. When the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw the cap and refrigerate.
And voilà! Aside from the health-benefits of sauerkraut, its tangy crunch is a great addition to soups, salads, proteins or even by itself.
Things to Note
- Since sauerkraut is fermented, it will keep for at least two months if refrigerated. As long as it still smells and looks good, it will be.
- You’ll likely see bubbles and foam as your brew matures to its most beneficial state. This is all normal and part of the process.
- Note that your mix may develop a white, velvety film on the top. If this happens, simply skim it off the top and fish out any solids that it may have left behind.
Other fermented foods that benefit gut health:
- Greek Yogurt