When I mentioned to some of my coworkers (who aren’t very into fitness) that I was going to check out a barre class, they seemed excited and asked if they could tag along. No, I told them. It’s not that kind of “bar” class. While there weren’t any libations, I did guzzle plenty of water.
Thrive Fitness and Nutrition Studio in Pelham encourages healthy living by offering barre exercise classes along with access to a nutrition coach. Thrive emphasizes a holistic approach to wellness focusing on all aspects of leading a healthy lifestyle.
The Core Barre method is a combination of ballet, Pilates, and yoga, incorporating strength training and stretching, according to Thrive instructor Danielle Aviezer. The one-hour classes utilize light dumbbell weights, stability balls, and a ballet barre (of course) to provide a challenging workout. I have taken a variety of workout classes like Zumba, Bikram yoga, spinning, and even CrossFit. Don’t let “light weights” fool you: After executing a series of movements with light weights for three minutes, my biceps were burning and my arms felt like they were ready to fall off.
What I enjoyed most about the class were the intermittent periods of muscle burn and relaxation through stretching; it was strenuous, but I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out, as I do at CrossFit classes. In addition, the small class size (classes at Thrive are capped at 13 people) enabled the instructor to give each participant individualized attention. I was assisted in my stretches and had my form corrected multiple times. While most clients are female, guys are welcome, too.
During the class, we listened to upbeat pop music, which kept the tone in the class upbeat as well. The class concluded with participants holding stretching poses on the floor, closing our eyes, and taking deep breaths, while the aroma of lavender essential oil filled the air. I left feeling incredibly relaxed, as if I’d just had just had a yoga class, but way more fun.
I asked why Thrive offers barre classes exclusively, and not other types of fitness instruction. “Barre is our passion,” Emily Venugopal, Thrive’s PR rep, told me. “It has the high energy and fun of a Zumba class and the weight-bearing conditioning of a Pilates class, but offers so much more. Luxurious stretches, total body shaping, intense core strengthening, and interval training. It’s addictive.”
Carol Hinchcliffe, holistic health counselor
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Though the fitness portion focuses on core barre classes, Thrive also offers nutrition counseling and programs. Holistic health counselor Carol Hinchcliffe organizes seasonal cleanses as a way to help her clients hit the reset button when necessary, such as after the holidays. The cleanse program includes a detailed plan with explanations on why food groups are eliminated and even offers a variety of recipes for each meal. In addition to the cleanse program, Thrive hosts educational seminars and events to help clients lead a healthy lifestyle. Hinchcliffe is available for one-on-one coaching as well. More info: 914.355.2520; www.thrivestudiony.com