Instead of talking about my usual arts aesthetic, I'm going to talk about a physical aesthetic - as in "the body." It's coming upon a year now that I've been taking daily classes at the Bar Method in Soho. I guess you could say I'm obsessed, an addict, an aficionado. The first class I took on the day it opened in April, 2010, I was hooked. The studio itself is a big, open airy loft converted into 3 studios. There are changing rooms, showers, towels, a complimentary coffee and tea bar; the works. The staff is disarmingly cheerful and welcoming, and you only have to introduce yourself once, for thereafter, your name will never be forgotten. The class itself is a combination of yoga, pilates, ballet, isometrics and light weights. It's fast paced and you don't have a chance to rest for the entire hour. However, each exercise is followed by a complimentary stretch, which I find to be a most healthy fitness ethic. You use your muscles until they fatigue, and I can't help but smirk when I look around the room at 20 women on their tippy toes with their legs shaking uncontrollably. This is not only typical at Bar Method, but expected, and not harmful in the least. The concentration is mostly on the thighs, glutes, and overall buttocks, and the burn is unrelentless. The movements are small and precise, evolved to promote a long, lean dancer-esque body. The results can be seen relatively quickly, if you take class a few times weekly. All exercises can be modified for those who have injuries, are pregnant or do not have the flexibility. I absolutely find it to be the most well thought out, well structured class I've ever taken (and I've taken quite a few in my day!) I can't picture my life without Bar Method. And, when I ask myself "Am I a masochist or what?", the answer lies in the mirror, when I stare at my Bar Method butt and smile contentedly.
|The Awesome Co-Owners, Amy Duffey (left) & Kristin Kelleher (right)|