It’s been a big year for The Bar Method! We celebrated our 15th year in business, introduced a new product, Bar Express, and this week we opened our 100th location in Phoenix, Arizona!
We owe our success to our phenomenal community of studio owners, teachers and clients. They are incredibly passionate about the brand and dedicated to sharing their love of Bar Method with thousands of others in communities across the United States and Canada.
Bar Method studio owners come from diverse set of career backgrounds, including accounting, retail, marketing, finance, politics and more. The majority of owners are women who start as clients, and then decide to change their careers to promote a practice that has had a profound and positive influence on their bodies, their self-esteem, and their lives. Many owners go on to open several locations.
Elissa Scannell is the owner of the new Phoenix location. She discovered The Bar Method as a Washington, D.C. political consultant. Within one year, Elissa became an instructor. She was attracted to the Bar Method because of it’s focus on tried-and-true technique, rigorous teachers training, luxurious studios and overall brand quality.
Bar Method’s 100th studio is located in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood and will celebrate its opening on December 10 with free classes throughout the day, refreshments and raffle prizes. As part of the “Grand Opening Special: $75 for 30 days of unlimited classes,” the first 100 customers will receive a limited edition pair of Bar Method grippy socks.
We bet you’ve heard “stand up straight” or “don’t slouch” a few times before — even if the critiques and criticisms about posture weren’t directed at you personally. But what is good posture and why exactly does it matter?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary offers a straightforward definition, listing posture as “the way in which your body is positioned in sitting or standing.” The Kansas Chiropractic Foundation says that good posture means “your bones are properly aligned, so your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended.” Kerrisa Smith, a Certified Bar Method Instructor at the Bar Method Marina in San Francisco and the National Physical Therapy Consultant for The Bar Method, tells us that the benefits of good alignment as nature intended include a healthy spine, improved circulation and digestion, efficient respiration and your ability to portray a more confident body image. She also notes that good posture can even help you to prevent injuries.
“Posture isn’t actually an inherent trait as it’s affected not only affected by genetics but also our daily rituals, positions and habits,” Kerrisa says. “Our hectic routines and mobile lifestyles can attribute to bad habits and cause problems like neck pain, shoulder impingement, carpal tunnel, back pain and tendonitis.” Even more, slouching in chairs, carrying heavy backpacks or purses, and sitting in awkward positions while driving can also lead to postural issues — leading to discomfort and injury over time.
The silver lining? Kerrisa says that it’s never too late to correct your posture. “Making simple changes to your daily routine can save you from pain and impairment in the future,” she promises.
To begin practicing better posture, Kerrisa tells us you’ll need to take a quick inventory on your current physical stature. While facing forwards, look into the mirror and notice:
- Are your shoulders level?
- Is your head straight?
- Are you hip straight?
- Is there equal space between your arms and sides of your body?
- Are your ankles straight?
Next, turn to the side or on profile to the mirror (or take a picture):
- Is your head upright? (not pointing forwards or backwards)
- Is your chin parallel to the floor?
- Are your shoulders in line with your ears and the midpoint of your hips?
- Are your knees straight?
- Is there a slight forward curve to your low back?
After assessing your posture, begin to incorporate her five easy tips into your daily routine. They’ll correct postural imbalances while helping you maintain the superb stature you’ve mastered by taking class.
- Lift your chin: Kerrisa says, “Doing this will help help decrease unnecessary stress on your cervical spine.”
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together: Whether you’re sitting at your desk or standing in line at Starbucks, begin to perform small isometric squeezes of your shoulder blades. Kerrissa tells us that this will help to lift your chest and stretch out tight, rounded shoulders.
- Pull your belly in: Do this all day and every day! Kerrisa explains, “This action will activate your deep abdominals (the transversus abdominis muscle) — just like the work you do in flat back. Think of these muscles as your inner girdle and know that as this muscle strengths, it will help protect your back and help flatten your stomach.”
- Stand with relaxed legs: Like your instructors tell you in a Bar Method class, avoid locking out your knees. This puts increased pressure on your lumbar spine.
- Stand tall: Be proud of your height (or lack thereof!) and own your body by standing tall. Not only will your inner confidence will reflect outwards, and you’ll look more lean while doing so.
As Kerrissa reminds us, “We’re only given one body in life and it’s our job to love it, respect it and nurture it. Take the time pay attention to your daily positions, and make the necessary changes to improve your posture. You’ll find yourself with a healthier, happier body.”
We’d love to learn how Bar Method has helped you improve your posture — share your personal story in the comments!
Chances are that you’re dying for something delicious, healthy and energizing after celebrating a carb-coma worthy Thanksgiving and working hard in your first post-Turkey day Bar Method class. We get it — taking challenge options, staying in good form and pushing your limits for an entire hour is truly hard work.
Since we often get questions about healthy snacks (which inspired Burr’s research into low-sugar suggestions), we reached out to our friend, author and fellow Bar Method addict Candice Kumai for an easy to make smoothie recipe that you can whip up in seconds once you get home.
Not only will the ingredients help bring you major internal health benefits, but Candice loves this satisfying drink for what it can do for your outside too. She says, “Beauty is an inside job. This is the perfect drink when you’re fighting a cold and for pesky wrinkles. To feel great and look gorgeous, get on that blending. It’s #SmoothieTime!
Ingredients (this smoothie recipe serves 3):
- 1½-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- Toss in some blackberries
- 1-2 teaspoons spirulina
- 1 tablespoon probiotics/acidophilus (or a scoop of yogurt if you’d like!)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Do you have a smoothie recipe you swear by? We’d love to learn about it in the comments!