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How Barre3 Can Change Your Workout


Article by Jordan Reichert

Photography by Jordan Reichert

Group fitness can be intimidating, especially when you are trying something new. At times it can feel like the whole room is against you or watching your every move. One Kansas City studio is working to combat group fitness stereotypes and promote balance in both body and mind. Barre3 Kansas City, located in the Brookside neighborhood on 63rd Street, is redefining your relationship with fitness.

This month Barre3 launched its annual January Challenge, with a twist this year. Instead of focusing on how the classes make you look, Barre3 is shifting the focus to how the classes make you feel. After each class during the challenge, clients check in and monitor their progress by selecting one of five stickers to represent their experience: Stronger, Less Stress, More Balanced, Less Pain, and More Endurance. Over the course of the challenge, clients can visually track the way their classes are making them feel via the charts in the lobby.

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Why this shift? Anxiety and poor mental health are at an all-time high, and Barre3 aims to break this cycle. By bringing awareness to the way you feel inside, you can create balance with the way you feel on the outside. Barre3 fosters this with the instructors' positive messaging during classes, special wellness-focused workshops, and the guided breath work portion during every class. In this part of the class, the lights are lowered and a relaxing posture is cued. Clients are lead through a meditation full of uplifting prompts and speech. This is the last portion of the Barre3 class. It is a way to reflect on the work completed and empower clients to carry on the rest of their day.

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I asked the owner of Barre3 Kansas City, Natalia Stamm, a few questions relating to the challenge:

How is this challenge different from other fitness challenges?

"The Barre3 January Challenge is different from other fitness challenges because we are changing the conversation about fitness from how you look to how you feel. Instead of exercising to get to an end goal, at Barre3 we exercise to be present in our bodies as they are in this moment."

What would you tell someone who has wanted to join but is hesitant?

"I would tell someone who is hesitant that Barre3 is for everyone! We have clients of all ages, fitness levels, and body types. At Barre3, we give people full permission to modify the moves according to what their bodies need. Every move we teach has variations, and no variation is better or worse than any other."

How does this challenge bring awareness to mindfulness?

"The Barre3 January Challenge brings awareness to mindfulness by allowing you to tune in and be present to own body wisdom. When you give yourself that power and space, you’re more likely to make decisions that are right for you, in class and in life."

What do you love the most about the Barre3 class?

"I love Barre3 because it's not just a class, it's a community. Relationships are just as healthy and as important as exercise. Building community and connection is something we are very intentional about at Barre3. We know that loneliness is one of the primary factors contributing to a decline in our overall vitality. Exercising in a group setting is one of the single most effective ways to fight loneliness."

I started as a Barre3 client almost a year ago. The environment was so welcoming and I immediately fell in love with the balanced workout. I had dreams of becoming an instructor and living the Barre3 philosophy. Last year I became a certified Barre3 instructor after traveling to our headquarters in Portland, Oregon to learn from a master trainer. Not only do I see how taking this class changes my clients, but I see the change within myself as well. I feel stronger, both mentally and physically, and more body-positive than ever. The Barre3 January Challenge is a great reminder to love my capable body.

You can view Barre3 Kansas City's class schedule by clicking this link. The January Challenge runs until February 2nd. If you are new to Barre3, you can get two weeks of unlimited classes for only $49! Happy sweating!