|Alive Mindbody Studio|
Welcome to this special series where I take you along my adventure of scouting out some yoga studios in Victoria, BC. Yesterday I visited Yew Tree Yoga, for a warm welcoming yoga session and today I wanted to try something completely new!
Kristen, the owner of the beautiful Alive Mindbody studio invited me to try a barre class – something I’ve never done before. I joined her this morning in a Barre Flow class and the description sounded perfect for a beginner like me:
Soulful music challenges your body in a different way when we hold poses longer and complete deeper stretching throughout this Barre class. It’s like a Yoga class on ginseng..and upright. You’ll feel like a zenned warrior at the end.
Before we begin, I also wanted to share their beautiful website with you! I absolutely love the colours and the Easter egg is really the class descriptions where there are the most adorable stick figures. They also offer quite a fair number of classes throughout the day, everyday of the week. With some many classes available, the unlimited monthly membership is quite a steal, so make sure to check it out!
|Reception desk and waiting lounge|
Since I’m new in Victoria, I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be to find parking. Luckily, the website had parking information listed out here and details which streets offer free parking and for how long.
Let’s take a look inside! The studio is located on the third floor of the plaza complex. Once you enter the clearly marked doors, there are plenty of signs directing you to the right place. Everything is colour coordinated with their business logo so you won’t get lost!
|Spacious lounge area for catching up with friends before and after class.|
The receptionist greeted me and checking in was a breeze. I was given a quick tour of the place and I asked if I could take pictures for this review.
|Little locally crafted potions and jewelry with a beautiful mirror.|
In the waiting area, there are two large benches and merchandise for sale on the walls. The decor with the mirror and little succulents are so cute! Lots of the little bottles of potions are also made locally.
|Lots of merchandise and local crafts available for sale!|
The change rooms are a very simple room with a partition for some privacy, a large mirror and wall hooks. Just like the cute stick figures on the website, there are cute logos on the doors for the ‘chicks’ and ‘dudes’. There’s a few other stick figures throughout the studio but I’ll keep that a surprise for you when you visit 🙂
|Minimalistic change rooms with adorable stick figure labels on the door.|
As this was a barre class, I figured we won’t be using a yoga mat much. I didn’t bring my own and that’s alright since all the props you would need for class are stored in these cubbies and free to use. Again, most studios in Toronto charge rental fees for yoga mats so this is a very nice change I can get use to.
|Yoga mats, blocks, bolsters, blankets, free weights, toning balls, and anything you need for class.|
There are two studio rooms at Alive Mindbody. The smaller room is relatively bare, featuring clean white walls, floor-to-ceiling mirrors on two sides of the room and a storage shelf for pole classes. The studio just looked so clean and well-kept!
|Beautiful and spacious studio.|
The main studio had large windows on one side of the wall and mirrors at the front and back of the room. I really loved the different chandeliers and plants they hung from the ceiling!
As this was my first class, I wanted to find a place to hide and not draw attention to myself. Some of the other girls looked super well prepared with their special grippy socks, hair tied in a perfect bun (I still don’t know how to tie my hair in a bun!). I wasn’t sure where the front or back of the room was, so I just picked a corner and hoped for the best. Yes I was super nervous and worried I won’t be able to keep up. Well, I soon found out there is no ‘front’ or ‘back’ since we change direction quite often! So much for trying to hide!
|Main studio with barres along the walls and oh-so-cute chandeliers!|
For my first barre class, I think I did pretty well and survived! I could feel my legs were a little wobbly when I was driving home after class. Coming from a yoga background, barre was quite different. There is a lot more emphasis on leg work and some shoulder. I would say it’s almost like a pilates class due to the repetition, with the exception of mostly standing up and having a horizontal barre for balance. The exercises we did was perfect! They were simple enough for beginners to follow, but the challenge really comes from the repetitions. Any ‘easy’ movement becomes so much harder when you have to repeat it ~8 times! With the relatively small movements in barre, I was able to discover groups of muscles that I’ve never really thought about. Yes, you will sweat a little, your muscles will feel a burn and shake but you also feel so accomplished after! I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be sore the next morning.
|Candles by the window add to the holiday spirit.|
I was really glad I got to try a barre class at the Alive Mindbody studio. The instructor and owner Kristen was so energetic, friendly and encouraging. These qualities are so important especially for a more dynamic flow type of class to keep students motivated! If it wasn’t for Kristen’s reassurance that we’re all doing fantastic, I might have taken a few more water breaks 😛
Have you tried a barre class before? If so, please let me know where you practice and what you like about the studio and the classes!