barre-barmethod -Portrait of pretty brunette woman posing in light room with light from window

Monthly Music Playlist: Girl Power

We know that a good song will go a long way in thigh work and could be just the right amount of motivation to get you to work lower, push harder and stick with it to the end! But why stop there? Beginning this month, we are releasing a custom Spotify playlist on the blog for you to download and play anytime you need a little extra inspiration to get through your day. Think of it as your new personal soundtrack!

This month’s playlist is inspired by our amazing community of strong, empowered women and includes fresh new tracks (and a few throwbacks) all from strong female artists making an impact on the world through their artistic gift.

Lady Gaga shows up in true rock star fashion with her new single “The Cure.” Ellie Golding is back in a cool collaboration with Kygo and we added a throwback from one of the greatest voices of our time, Amy Winehouse.

Just press play below and turn it up …. or download the playlist on Spotify and play it anytime, anywhere!

Leave a comment and let us know which favorite female artists you’d love to hear next time you take class.

barre-barmethod-pink tulips-happy mothers day

Top 7 ways to celebrate yourself on Mother’s Day

Being a Mom can be one of the most rewarding things in life, filled with incredible moments of love and joy.  When your toddler runs into your arms in need of a hug because they banged up a knee.  Or when you walk in the door after being gone for the day, and they scream your name in utter excitement.  That feeling of pride when you watch them score a goal or hit a home run.  Or when you help them navigate a tricky situation and they give you a look of appreciation because only you get it, and them.

Of course, being a mom can be a thankless job as well.  The never-ending cycle of picking up clothes, doing laundry, keeping food in the fridge, making sure homework gets done, playdates are scheduled, and that they get to school, sports and activities on time.  You’re the one who makes it all happen, yet you rarely hear a thank you or, even worse, get an eye roll and are made out as the bad guy.

We stay sane as Moms by taking care of ourselves.  Taking care of our bodies, getting in our work out, for just one hour of “me-time,” to be strong physically and to power us to get through the daily laundry list of to-dos.  It’s one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our family.

For Mother’s Day this year, first and foremost, sign-up for a barre class to start your day feeling strong and healthy. Schedule some time with your kiddos or family so everyone can participate in the celebration.  But do NOT forget to prioritize some self-love and treat yourself to something that will make you feel great (or give hints to those around you) this Mother’s Day!

Top 7 ways to celebrate yourself on Mother’s Day:

1. Plan a day with the girls

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Gather up a few friends, and head to the beach or a nearby park for a picnic or a DIY wine tasting. Who said wine tasting should be reserved for wineries? We love the idea of catching up with the girls under the sun, with a glass of rose in hand (try Minuty, a tasty rose that is light and refreshing) and the whole day to catch up on all the latest happening in each other’s lives. Be inventive and have a blast! You deserve it.

2. Indulge in a little retail therapy

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Buy yourself something nice to wear to your barre class! You need these Beyond Yoga Spacedye Leggings. Once you put them on, you won’t want to take them off. We’ve been known to sleep in them before waking up for the early 6 am barre class. This color is our favorite! It’s the perfect, versatile color to add to your ever growing collection of leggings. We all know you can never have too many!

3. Sign up for lessons

barre-barmethod-guitar lessons-mother's day gifts

Learn how to salsa dance, play a new instrument, pick up a new sport. Learning something new is the best gift you can give yourself. Not only does it enrich your life by adding value through newfound interests, it also connects you to new people that you might not otherwise have met.  Life is short and it’s never too late to learn something new.

4. Shop the beauty counter

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Splurge on that new cleanser, cream or eye shadow that you’ve been eyeing online or keeps popping up on your IG feed. We are loving the Beauty Counter Dhalia lip gloss, it’s got a slight pink tint and goes on smooth – the perfect little something for busy moms on the go.  If your make up bag is already overflowing, try this Saje spray to soothe your skin with delicate mists of beneficial essential oils that support you from morning to night and enhance your “super-mom superpowers.”

5. Book tickets to an event

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Go to a concert (Bruno Mars, Mariah Carey & Lionel Richie, and The Weekend) are all on tour this Summer! If the music doesn’t make you move, then see a play or buy tickets to a baseball game. The options are endless and nothing beats a fun experience with your closest friends or loved ones.

6. Subscribe

barre-barmethod-popsugar-gift box

Get a gift that keeps on giving and sign yourself up for a curated box full of beautiful surprises.  We love the “Must Have PopSugar Box”  you get $100 worth of products for only $39.95 per month + free shipping! Yes Please!

7. Head to the spa

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The easiest and quickest way to relax is to book an appointment for a facial, massage or mani/pedi at your local day spa or resort.  It’s okay, go ahead…shut out the world, pamper yourself and enjoy the silence!

So get some love from your family and enjoy the flowers.  But, don’t forget to pamper yourself and do something that makes YOU feel great.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Please leave a comment below to let us know how you’re planning to celebrate yourself this mother’s day!

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barre-barmethod-organized cubbies

Inside Out Change: 6 Tips to Bring Fresh Perspective and Simplify Your Home

It’s that time of year when we start to think about warmer weather, new activities, spring cleaning and a fresh beginning before Summer rolls around.  If you’re like us, you’ll wonder where to start.  Where does all this stuff come from?  Where is it going to go?  How do I simplify?

We turned to our friend, Laura Harrison from Less Mess, More Life, who isn’t afraid to tell you how to “get real with what you need.” Laura is a healer of sorts. She heals the relationship you have with your things. She empowers you to make changes on your own and break old habits that may be weighing you down and preventing you from living more. Laura firmly believes that your internal state directly affects your external environment and vice versa. We agree. Not only does a mental shift need to happen to create change, it’s a way of life that needs to continue in order to live with less mess.

Sound familiar?  The Bar Method is also about making changes to live a better life.  We sometimes need to change our mindset in order to realize our full potential in class. We often have preconceived notions about our strength, weakness, age, weight, and experience that limit our beliefs about the results we can attain. Read this inspiring story about making changes But what if before a set of leg lifts (we know that one is a challenge for everyone), we changed our mind from “I can’t” to “I will?” How would changing out one word impact that set of leg work for you?  Like consistently working on a clean, organized home…we need to consistently work on getting stronger and more flexible. It’s a way of life. Consistent practice pays off with lasting results.

We asked Laura to share with us her best 6 tips to bring fresh perspective and simplify your life at home:

1. Purge

The most dramatic change you can make to your space and your life is to get rid of the excess that is weighing you down – the toys you keep stepping on, the t-shirts that don’t fit you, the piles of paper that can be recycled or stored electronically (use this app to scan). How do you know what can go? Dig deep and get brutally honest with yourself – how often do I use this? How many of these do I truly need? Do I feel good when I wear this? And if you need to set rules for purging, then do so, but make sure they are realistic and maintainable.

2. File Differently

Unleash the power of the magazine file for anything but magazines (ok, maybe you get one for magazines). Use these containers for construction paper, extra notebooks, activity books, and your inbox for mail (only put in items after quickly sifting through for what needs to be recycled). Click here for more ideas on how I use them.

3. Control your Calendar

The time is here to sign kids up for summer camps, make new commitments with volunteer organizations, and book summer travel plans. Before you commit to ALL of these things, think hard about how “busy” you want to be. How would it feel if things weren’t so “busy?” Unless it’s 100% out of your control (not much is), you have the power to calm the daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal calendar chaos. Just remember to use the power.

4. Add Light

The most common problem I see in people’s homes is they are dark. Unless, you have beautiful recessed lighting throughout (lucky you), ceiling light will not be enough. Add table lamps and floor lamps (like this classic white table lamp, or this gold floor lamp) that cast light up, brightening your pretty face and the whole room.

5. Start Now

Why wait?  Start today by putting a donate bag in each room or purge one drawer. Just like The Bar Method, small, tiny actions (remember drawing a dime size circles on the floor with your toe?) can have an enormous impact. So start somewhere and start now.

6. Listen

If you want to pretend you have an organizer with you while tackling a project or need a little more encouragement, listen to this podcast. Seriously – many people have sent me pictures of their donate bags saying just listening was enough to get them going. Could it be for you too?

Now, what is the ONE thing you are going to today to get started? Leave a comment below to let us know.  Here’s to less mess and more life!

barre-barmethod-headshot

Laura Harrison

 info@lessmessmorelife.com

 415.601.5964

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How to Set and Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Taking a Bar Method class 3-5 times per week has major benefits that range from improved flexibility and strength to a more toned-looking physique. Whatever your motivation, setting solid goals for what you can achieve with class will have a huge impact on your success while inspiring you to stay on track when life gets hectic.

Setting goals with the SMART Method

According to SELF Magazine, there are a handful of best practices that can make all of the difference when thinking about the fitness milestones you want to reach. These tried and true tactics are rolled into the SMART Method, a goal-setting guide that trainers and professional athletes swear by. The SMART Method says that each should be five things: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

  1. Specific: A general goal like “getting stronger” is good in that it will help you identify a direction and path for all of your hard work, but it the SMART Method calls for a more specific goal that you can narrow down as you progress. If your goal is strength, identify something that’s particularly hard for you right now. If your goal is to be healthier, connect it to something like weight loss or your energy levels.
  1. Measurable: Not only will measuring your progress do wonders for your motivation, but it will help you see what’s working (or isn’t!) so you can keep fine-tuning for improvement and eventual reach. If you hope to lose, weight, consider measuring your accomplishments in pounds or inches. If you’re working on becoming stronger, set specific challenges for yourself in each portion of class and proudly note when you meet them.
  1. Attainable: The SMART Method says that a good goal is attainable, so choose something within reach that requires discipline and dedication. Never made it through thigh without taking a break? Start with getting through an entire subset or exercise that’s especially tough. Build on your goal once you get there!
  1. Relevant: Students regularly tell us how Bar Method has helped them in different parts of their life, whether staying in shape before giving birth or toning up before their wedding. Tie your goal to an event in your own life to give you a little bit of extra inspiration. It makes a big difference!
  1. Timely: Giving yourself enough time to successfully accomplish your goal is healthy, but open-ended goals can cause potential pitfalls. The SMART Method suggests using time to create a sense of urgency and keep yourself on track. There’s no magical time-frame for achieving fitness goals, so be honest with yourself and come up with a plan that fits your lifestyle and what you hope to achieve.

Whatever your goal, using the SMART Method to put together a quick plan will help you reach your goals. Hold yourself accountable and be consistent – results are sure to follow!

(h/t SELF Magazine)

Featured Playlist: September

As you’ve probably experienced, good songs and strong beats can play a big part as to how motivated and energetic you feel when you take a Bar Method class. It’s not just your imagination — science has shown the powerful effect that music can have on people. Knowing this, we carefully create each class playlist to take you from warmup to ab work and all the way through final stretch.

This month, take the feel good vibes with you anywhere while playing our featured September playlist. Bar Method Music Editor Ayden Graham says, “This is a ‘best-of The Bar Method’ picks mix made to pump you up for aerobic cross-training, give you a moment to catch your breath, then dive into some deep core work and a final cool down. Just like any Bar Method class, you’re sure to feel satisfied at the end of this musical journey.”

Without further ado, here’s a mix of this month’s best music
:

1. Can’t Get Enough feat. Mariah McManus by BRKLYN, Mariah McManus
2. Goodness Gracious – The Chainsmokers Extension by Ellie Goulding
3. We All Fall Down (feat. Jamie Lidell) by A-Trak, Jamie Lidell
4. Don’t – Don Diablo Remix by Ed Sheeran
5. Dirty Work by Austin Mahone
6. Here for You by Kygo and Ella Henderson
7. In the Morning by ZHU
8. I Loved You (feat. Melissa Steel) – Extended Mix by Blonde, Melissa Steel
9. Summer Nights by Tiesto and John Legend
10. Call It What You Want – Planet of Sound Remix by Foster the People and Planet Of Sound
11. Fire by Hudson Thames
12. HandClap by Fitz and The Tantrums
13. Stevie Knows by Olly Murs
14. Summer Was A Day by Pete Yorn
15. Magnetised – Piano Tapes by Tom Odell
16. You Are So Beautiful by Bootstraps

Do you use Spotify? Save this month’s playlist to your favorites to stream it wherever you are.

5 Healthy Ways to Beat Back to School Stress

Stress and how you perceive it can have a tremendous impact on your ability to power through long to-do lists, get enough sleep and make it to Bar Method class. The good news? There are actually a handful of things you can do to keep your energy levels high while carving out time to take care of yourself — even with a jam-packed schedule.

Healthy breakfast

To better understand what exactly helps ease stress and how to manage it, we talked with Angela Mader, a NASM CPT who’s certified in Fitness Nutrition and the founder behind fitlosophy. A champion for living a well-balanced life, Angela gave us a handful of great ideas that should help you stay calm and collected as you (or your kids!) head back to school.

1. Write it out. It may seem counterproductive to find time to journal when your stress comes from the fact that you feel like you don’t have a minute to spare, but Angela swears that writing out your thoughts can make a tremendous difference in how you go through each day. “Try taking 15 minutes to jot down a few sentiments of gratitude and you’ll likely find that you can relax, sleep better, and if time allows, even longer,” she says.

2. Take care of yourself first. Make sure you find the time to do the things that make you feel good and remember that you’re best equipped to care for others when you actually have the energy to do so. Whether that means carving out 15 minutes of alone time each day or making it to 3-4 Bar Method classes each week, do your best to avoid compromising your feel-good, healthy activity.

3. Power down. Angela tells us, “Break away from your devices at least 30 minutes before bed. The light of your phone or tablet stimulates brain activity and can really interfere with sleep. Turn off the TV, step away from the phone and pick up a relaxing read instead.” Studies show that just six minutes of reading each day can cut stress by 60%.

4. Nourish your body. Eating well will help you keep your energy levels stable while helping you manage all of the back to school chaos. If you have a green thumb and feel up to a few fun hours, Angela suggests, “Plant a garden to nourish your body with the fruits of your labor. Whether you grow herbs, produce, or flowers, this relaxing pastime can be a major stress reliever.”

5. Take a break when you feel like you really need one. Feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or like you just can’t make it happen? Angela reminds us, “Not every workout has to be killer. Sometimes, a relaxing, stress-reducing walk might be just what your body needs. Listen to your body.”

How do you de-stress? Tell us what works for you in the comments.