Our second stop on the dance fitness tour took us back to the basics. It’s fun to see the rest of the nation is becoming obsessed with barre, so we had to resume our place. There are many derivatives of the Barre Method, but the goal is always the same: we want the long toned lines that we associate with dancers. And because we love a chance to hang with our own brand model, Shay Kostabi, starting with her class at FlyBarre in Flatiron was a no-brainer. My friend Pasha, who is a dancer in his own right, agreed to pay our girl a visit. When he asked what FlyBarre was, I realize now I may have been a little too vague in my description:
“You know… like a series of conditioning exercises based on ballet barre…” He thought about it, nodded, and in we went for the FlyBarre experience.
When I kept getting evil glares from him between our sweating and low level grunting… I guess I deserved it. To his credit, he totally rocked it and Shay made us laugh through the work and grunting.
PEOPLE: ballet dancers have amazingly toned bodies because they work HARD! I know they make it look soft and easy but all the dancers I know are some of the toughest, strongest and most disciplined/diligent athletes I’ve ever seen. If you don’t like concentrated and highly intense toning exercises that feel like they will never end, then this is probably not for you. If you like to feel a serious burn… go sign up.
Some notes on the Flybarre Flatiron Studio itself:
Coming from a grimey dance studio background, I was impressed with how polished and cool this space is kept. The reception is very professional, the slate maze-like hallways setup a serious and intense environment. They supply you with towels, water, great bathrooms, lockers; all you could ever expect from a quality studio. Added bonus: right as you finish class theres a clean-up crew that comes in on your heels and leaves the studio wiped down and spotless for the next group. Impressive!
The work is intense but the teachers are inspiring and keep the energy up even when you think you don’t have another leg-lift left in you to give. Shay was invested in our working hard and getting value, which I hear is common for the team here. You know you will work hard, probably suffer a bit, but the hour goes by fast and after it’s over your quickly laughing and enjoying yourself again. Well, until the next day at least…
Maybe it’s the summer heat that creeps up on you and slows you down, maybe it’s our detox theme that has made us look at some of our eating and lifestyle habits… but there’s something to the art of slowing down when possible. I know we are all on the go and in a rush to get our work done and to have a resemblance of a social life, but recently on a work trip I found an easy way to slow down and it paid off.
I was recently in Italy for the first time in my life and I decided that I would allow myself to sit and enjoy the food. All diets and guilt trips out the window. A trip passing through Florence by myself doesn’t happen everyday and I felt I had to really take advantage and enjoy. The irony is, I thought that I would return home having gained at least 5 pounds. I mean I really let myself go at it, baked goods for breakfast, pasta for lunch, pizza for dinner…I didn’t hold back. And since I usually try to be gluten-free, you can understand my surprise when I got on the scale and the numbers were the same. I didn’t even do all that much walking or exercising while I was there, so what was the big difference.
Upon reflection, I realized that the big difference was that I allowed myself the ‘luxury’ of sitting down and taking my time to enjoy each meal. I savored every bite and enjoyed each sinful platter, knowing this was a special treat. Often I didn’t even finish a full plate of pasta because the sitting and taking my time with it made me realize I was full before the plate was empty.
Ok, so I’m not saying go out and eat pizza and be merry, but there’s something to be said for taking your time when you eat, allowing yourself to savor and maybe surprising yourself when you realize you don’t have to finish the whole plate in order to be satisfied. Of course I got back to my hectic NY life and immediately wanted to stress eat through every pizza corner place I passed. The point is, I realized that I can have those highly desired foods if I take the time to sit, breathe and truly allow myself to enjoy every single bite until I feel full. Thinking of being on a sidewalk café on the streets of Florence also helps create the mood. 😉
As we look to Pomegranate Nation this month | www.pomegranate-nation.com | for sustainable versions of some of our favorite foods, I’ve decided to take cue and bring my own body back to a sustainable and energetic place. It is the beginning of Summer after all and I want to be fresh and ready for all the events coming up, not to mention all the work that still needs to be done to bring Vivey’s collection to reality.
Starting off with baby steps after a long and tiring spring semester, I’m focusing on small changes I can implement daily, like a morning detox drink to start the day off right.
There are many fun and easy ways to create a morning detox drink as a way to get your metabolism moving with a little extra umph. The easiest one is a cup of water, half a squeezed lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick. But recently I’ve added a few ingredients after some web browsing to make this a livelier experience!
So try this tomorrow morning first thing and let me know how you feel:
- One cup of water
- A splash of pure organic juice of choice
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- A pinch of cinnamon for good measure
If the vinegar’s too much for you, you can add a little more juice to help with the intensity. Energized day, commence…