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Come As You Are to Pure Barre

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When I first stepped into Pure Barre, owner Allison Weyand greeted me with a smile from behind the counter. I told her I was excited to take class and that I used to dance and do yoga … two children and many moons ago.

“You’ll feel right at home here,” she said.

That turned out to be more than the truth.

Barre classes can sometimes sound a bit intimidating, but venture into any Pure Barre around the country and you’ll find a warm, inviting atmosphere where women from all walks of life feel welcome. Trust me.

Everyone who walks through the door is ready to work hard, do their personal best, and have fun. I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy but as the trainers say, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Since I mustered the courage to take my first class a year and a half ago, I have become such a fan that I tell everyone I know about Pure Barre. Slowly but surely I have drawn friends into the “Circle P” tribe. One of them is a high school teacher who is about to join the 100 Club. Another is a single mom who finally realized she deserves to take care of herself in addition to everyone else. A third is a breast cancer survivor who swears Pure Barre has helped her regain upper body strength after major surgery.

Other friends compliment me on the changes they see in my body and my spirit, but have turned down invitations to join me on Free Friend Friday. Why?

Here are a few of their misconceptions about Pure Barre:

Myth #1: It’s too expensive. To this I say, take a moment to think about the cost of your child’s summer camp, one meal at a nice restaurant, or an outfit you might wear only once to a special event. You’ll likely realize that the way you spend money reflects your priorities, and what is more important than your own health?

Check your local Pure Barre for introductory specials, holiday promotions, or multi-class packages you can spread out over time. Or, consider buying a Pure Barre DVD and joining the Pure Barre online community for technique tips, inspiration and motivation to practice on your own.

Myth #2: I have to get in shape before I go to Pure Barre. NOT! I was 25 pounds overweight, totally stiff from years of neglect, and pretty hopeless about ever bouncing back. I had also just turned 40.

The good news is, if you keep coming, you will be on the path to shedding pounds and inches, gaining flexibility, and realizing that true confidence comes from knowing you are doing your best every hour at the barre, and you aren’t going to give up!

Myth #3: I won’t fit in. Wrong! You do not need to a dance background to reap the benefits of Pure Barre, nor do you have to be a certain age, size or shape. In fact, that’s what’s so great about it. I have met women who practice Pure Barre with their college-age daughters, and others pregnant for the first time. I have met young girls in the prime of health and others with unique challenges or injuries who swear Pure Barre has helped.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, you don’t need any special preparation or gear for Pure Barre, except, of course, a pair of sticky socks.

Eventually, you will probably want to splurge on some great leggings that wrap around your heels, or a cute Pure Barre pony tee, but for now just come as you are. I promise, you’ll feel right at home.

The Male Minority

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As a father of very active twin boys, I was fortunate enough to find fitness avenues that allowed us to exercise as a family. One of my sons had taken up cross-country running in high school and he and his brother and I participated in countless 5 and 10k’s through the years.

When the kids left home and I was transferred to another state for work, I went into a period of sporadic activity, culminating (miraculously) in the running of Chicago Marathon last year. That accomplishment was the result of being pushed relentlessly for almost a year by my niece, who finished with me. Although I was able to complete the race, I wasn’t happy with my weight or my performance.

My foray into Pure Barre was a fluke. A co-worker told me about it, and her enthusiasm convinced me to try, even though I’ve never participated in any type of group exercise. After the first session, I was confused, but tired. I figured I’d give it another try. After the second time, I was hooked. I realized immediately that PB was going to help me with my flexibility, which was debilitated after so many years of nothing but running!

I initially felt a little weird about being the token male in the classes, but the instructors (and other students) have always made me feel welcome and comfortable, and they never hesitate to encourage, push, and help. I’ve lost 28 pounds so far (since January), and fully expect to hit my target weight in the next few months. I’m healthier than I’ve been in at least 20 years, and I just feel great!

The impact that Pure Barre has had on me as a father is that I am now shaming my sons into getting back into shape. They have put on some 26-year old paunches, and I’m trying to convince them it’s much easier when they only need to lose 10 pounds! Although we’re miles apart, PB is a frequent topic, and I’m quick to share my latest accomplishments (weight loss, flexibility, etc.). They’re sick of hearing about it (as are my co-workers!). Even though I haven’t had the opportunity to go through a session with either of them yet, I’m looking forward to showing off!

A few of us men have been lucky enough to happen upon Pure Barre. I’m pretty sure our time as the male minority will be short-lived as others discover our little secret! And thanks to “my ladies” for letting me be part of the family!

Brad Holt - Wheaton

Monthly Mantra: One Simple Thought Can Change Your Perspective

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New Year’s resolutions can be tricky to keep up with. I know how it goes all too well – the first week, maybe even month, starts off strong. You’re eating better, feeling super organized, working out daily… then life happens. It’s tough to balance it all and really keep your vision for the year in-action and a top priority. With plenty of failed resolutions behind me, this year, I’ve adopted a new mentality, choosing monthly mantras over a full-year commitment. Here’s how I’ve been approaching each month in 2014, and extending my chosen intention to all areas of life.

Pick a quote

With the start of every month, I take the opportunity to start fresh by refocusing my attention around a simple quote. I think about the next 30 days, naturally let a single word come to mind, and go from there.

Example: In the beginning of the year that word was “ENERGY.” I found a quote that was encompassing of my feelings and easy to remember: “Give this world good energy.”  Short, simple, and to the point.

Write it down

monthly mantra: you are entirely up to youNext, I write it down where I’ll see it every day. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Having subtle reminders helps me stay focused without pressure. I’m also a very visual person, so having the constant encourage right in front of me makes a world of a difference.

Example: At home, I have a chalkboard hanging in my kitchen. It’s one of the first things I see in the morning, after pouring myself a mandatory cup of coffee. At work, I make myself a post-it note and stick it on my monitor. In fact, I’m staring at this month’s mantra right now, “You are entirely up to you.”

Believe in it

Words are just words until you put meaning behind them. But that’s hard to do without taking the time to understand before you react. Once I select a quote, I self reflect and figure out why I was drawn to it and what’s going on in my life that will benefit from the words. Truly believing in your intention can reset your entire perspective on your day-to-day life.

Example: Once I committed to my April mantra, “Think less. Do more,” I immediately felt lighter, like a cloud was lifted off my brain and the walls of my life were opened up wider. I was ready to just stop thinking and to just live without analysis. The “non-thought” process made me feel more free and open to possibilities, from exploring new places to connecting with new and old friends. I cut out the time wasted analyzing why things weren’t a good idea, and just went for it.

Live It

This is the fun part: actually living it! The point isn’t to let this intention loom over your every step, but rather work towards your goal throughout the month naturally, until it becomes a habit.

Example: My March mantra was to “Learn something new about yourself.” With the winter sadly still in full swing, it was getting harder and harder to keep motivated. Discovering big and little things about myself helped that dreadful 31 days fly by. This was especially true at the barre. With every class having its own beat and choreography, there are more things to discover than you realize. From how I greet fellow Pure Barre enthusiasts in the studio to listening more closely to my body, I learned something new about myself every class I took!

Self-improvement comes in so many different forms, and many times we’re growing without even realizing it. My monthly mantra plan has brought me closer to my Pure Barre practice, my health, the people in my life that matter most, and myself without pressure. Do what works for you, but never forget that every morning brings a fresh start and new opportunity with infinite possibilities.

- Kat Collins is a former Pure Barre National Brand Ambassador who works in health and wellness marketing, and lives in a New York state of mind while she LTBs around her hometown, Chicago.

“Pure Barre Has Been a Lifesaver for Me”

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Pure Barre enthusiast, Mairin MacDonald, shares her Pure Barre story with us.

Mairin MacDonaldTell us about your Pure Barre journey.

Pure Barre has been a lifesaver for me. I was diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy at a young age. I’ve had multiple corrective surgeries & been in physical therapy my whole life. Last summer, something wasn’t quite right with my right leg so I went to the doctor. Actually, I went to three different doctors and thought that another surgery was coming. Pure Barre to the rescue! I started taking class at Pure Barre Novi in December 2013 coupled with Botox shots in my leg. The combination has been amazing. Eventually class replaced almost all of my physical therapy needs and no surgery is on the horizon!

What do you like most about Pure Barre?

I love the challenge of Pure Barre. I feel like I get to conquer something new each class. I know it will never get easier, but I am certainly getting stronger! I also love that it’s not just about the workout. I love the instructors and my fellow PBers. I look forward to class so that I can see these people who have become my friends.

What changes have you seen in yourself as a result of taking Pure Barre?

Without getting too technical, Pure Barre has changed my life. My right foot used to turn out pretty severely before starting class. After about 5 months, I can honestly say it’s not noticeable to me or others. My doctors are truly impressed with what it’s done for me. So much so that a few weeks ago I found out that surgery won’t be needed for at least a year, if at all. Pure Barre is literally just what the doctor ordered!

What advice would you give someone considering trying Pure Barre?

If I can do it, anyone can. I’m never going to have the perfect form and there are always moves that I am going to have to modify and that’s okay. You never know until you try, and I bet you’ll be so glad you did!

The Importance of the Mind-Body Connection

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Elli Boland - Mind Body Connection

Usually, our wonderful Pure Barre teachers will remind us at some point during class to “focus on the mind-body connection.” For the past weeks, I made it my practice to notice my mind-body connection, to explore why it is so important, and to go beyond just the obvious. There is so much juice in that one invitation!

The obvious and most tangible aspect is that when we focus our attention on the muscle that is working, we are working harder, more effectively, and get faster results. Research supports this truth, and that is why Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and exercise forms that are very detail oriented like Pure Barre, are considered mind-body exercises.

Digging deeper…what also happens when we connect our attention to the muscle that is working? What are we not focusing on? We are NOT paying attention to our problems, our lives, and all the other noises in our head. It is nearly impossible to dwell on life’s challenges or questions, when we are shaking it up at the barre. It takes all of our attention to the exercise. To this moment, right now, and right here. We walk out of class feeling more at ease, clearer, and more energized.

And it was not just the movement. It is due greatly to the fact that we took a break from listening to the stinking thinking.

Digging deeper.

Most everybody I know deals with fear and anxiety on a regular basis.  Anxiety is not something that happens to us like catching a cold. It comes from what we spend our time, energy, and focus on. Many of us are focusing on the past-creating guilt, shame, or depression, or on the future – creating fear, distrust, and anxiety.

During Pure Barre, we strengthen our ‘focus muscle,’ getting less and less distracted.

We can take this habit from the barre out into our lives.

At any given moment, we can focus on one of 5 really strong mind-body connections: our five senses.I like to call this practice “pockets of peace,” or “moments of mindfulness.”

The thing is, we all glorify being busy, but it goes against who we really are, and what is really true. Our natural state is well-being, and being fully present. At the end of our lives, it won’t matter what we accomplished, how we looked, or whom we cared for.

It only matters if we paid attention and truly noticed the sweet taste of the kiss, the smell of spring air, the surge of inspiration carrying our dreams….

Taking moments of mindfulness is like coming home to our natural state.
It takes as much energy to worry about the future, as it does to practice presence. It allows us to live our life to the fullest; being fully there in all things we do.

All we need to live fully is within us right now.

To make this your new normal, attach pockets of peace to something you are already doing:

Next time you go to the bathroom, leave your phone behind, and connect to your feet on the ground. Breathe deeply, and focus all your attention on connecting to your feet.
When a commercial comes on, hit “mute,” and listen to all the sounds you can hear in that moment.
Or whenever you are eating, focus all your attention to the smell and taste of your food, instead of texting, reading, or watching TV at the same time…

Think of ways that you can make this idea your own.

Before we know it, we begin to notice when our shoulders tense up. And we can consciously relax them. We begin to notice that we are not actually hungry, but that we feel sad and need love. So instead of eating when not hungry, you let yourself cry instead, or you write in your journal…

The more attention we bring to the moment, and witness our mind and body, the more connected and clear we feel. Our body already guides us towards what is in the highest good.

Even without ever thinking about it, I am sure that many of you are experiencing these positive effects from Pure Barre, and its focus on the mind-body connection.

After doing over 350 PB classes, I find that the greatest gift it brings me, is an hour of pure presence. It is a reminder that being present is my natural state and feels best. And that I have access to the NOW 24/7 by what I focus on.

And going through a time of great heart ache and transition right now, this simple practice of mindfulness is saving my booty every day, and allowed me to experience great joy and peace, in the midst of great challenge.

I invite you to now expand this practice into your day-to-day life, using your five senses.
Smell life with 100% of your attention.
Feel your body moving with 100% focus, experience touch with every cell of your being.
Taste life’s pleasures with all you have.
See things, immerse yourself in what is right here.
And listen. Listen in conversations, listen to silence, and listen to music. Fully.
Without the need to do the next thing.

Slow down, and pay attention. That is the essence of mind-body-soul connection.

- Elli Boland is a life coach, yoga instructor, and an avid Pure Barre client in Charleston, SC. Elli believes in living on purpose, with purpose. Connect with her at

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy

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comparison is the thief of joyEveryone has a story.

We are all on a quest for love, health, and abundance.

Along the road, we all experience pain and suffering… looking at each other, we can hardly tell where we are at the continuum of pain or bliss.

Especially in any kind of exercise setting, it is easy to forget that we are all one and the same, just here to find our way towards our desires and destiny.

Maybe her pain is hidden behind her well groomed appearance, but you never know what the person next to you is going through, what her dreams are, what challenges she is facing on her way there, and what suffering she endured to be where she is.

 “Comparison is the thief of joy” – T. Roosevelt

Ain’t that the truth?  Yet we all do it. By doing so, we miss out. And we feel down.

We miss out on the opportunity to take an hour just for ourselves, and get the most of our time mentally, physically, and emotionally.  We miss out on having compassion for others. We miss out on learning more about ourselves, and we miss out on feeling connected.

Next time you take a jealous glance at the bodies around you, send love, blessings, and compassion. You never know what is going on inside.

Extend the same to yourself. We all have our hands full with our own lives. When you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror, I invite you to use this affirmation:

I fully and completely love, accept and approve of myself.

It may sound silly at first, but our words hold great power. Just notice how it feels to say lovely things to yourself or about others versus judging the size of your thighs compared to another.

The great news, we are completely in charge of what we focus on.  Do you really want to spend your time focusing on others? Not just during class, but in your life?

It takes away precious energy that we could be spending in totally uplifting, productive, and fun ways.

My invitation to you is get to know each other. Get to know the story. If you want someone else’s body, you also need to swap lives.

It is the nature of our inner critic, also referred to as “the ego,” to compare ourselves. That part of us is not our enemy. It is just trying to help and protect us. It is doing so by comparing, criticizing, judging, guilt tripping, and pushing.

Have compassion for this part of yourself. Understand that while it is trying to help, it does not work. It is like a parent or a teacher that thinks that by punishing, threatening, or yelling, they would get us to be more motivated. It never works.

Chances are, you have been criticizing yourself all your life and can see that it does not help.

So how about every time you compare yourself, let a red light bulb go off in your head. Gently shift your focus towards loving and compassionate thoughts. Draw your attention to your breath, relax your shoulders, and focus on the muscle that you are working. Get super present with the exercise; perhaps even close your eyes.

And remember that our bodies are just a vessel. The body is not who we are, it is just the house we live in. It changes constantly, inside and out. It is our vehicle, and we are the messengers inside.

 Be a messenger of love. Radiate self love and acceptance.  The change begins with you. Be happy with the skin you are in. Be a role model for all women by loving, accepting, and approving of your body.

I took my own advice a few weeks back. I eyeballed a beautiful woman in the corner.  I found myself making up stories about how amazing her life must be. “She looks like she has it all together, and her body is rocking. She probably has an easy life, lucky one” crossed my mind.

My life that day was chaotic and lots of things were out of my control. My old habit of criticizing my body and comparing myself to others kicked in to take my mind off that which I could not control. We women tend to do that when there is something off in our lives; we turn to self judgment to distract from our soul’s true pain.

I felt my energy going down, my body feeling tight, and my mood getting irritable. So after class, I took some time to get to know her. Turns out that she has an autistic child that needs 24/7 care, and that her hour of Pure Barre is the only time she has to herself.

Now when I see her, I smile and send love and compassion her way. I feel so inspired by her strength, and in awe of her ability to take such good care of herself, despite her challenges.

We all have a story. And the story of a woman is usually paved with pain and suffering, fueled by hopes and dreams, lined with lots of people counting on her strength and care, and always searching for a happy ending.

Loves, we are here FOR each other. We are messengers of love, and when we allow ourselves to shine, we inspire others to do the same.

- Elli Boland is a life coach, yoga instructor, and an avid Pure Barre client in Charleston, SC. Elli believes in living on purpose, with purpose. Connect with her at

Pure Willpower: 100 Classes in 100 Days!

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Karen Tye, a local client at the Pure Barre River North studio in Chicago, takes the 100 club to a new level. As of today, Karen has just 100 classes in 100 consecutive days! That takes sheer willpower, and we are inspired by her strength and dedication. Learn more about Karen’s story below.

Karen Tye

Tell us about yourself and your Pure Barre journey.

I’m a medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, the largest medical school in the country. Besides being pretty stressed out about the usual aspects of second year of medical school such as board exams, and starting to be part of patient care for the first time in the hospital, I’m also a Biochemistry and Physiology tutor and Class President. Taking care of and advocating for others, whether it’s patients or other students, have always been huge driving forces in my life. However, in this tumultuous and demanding journey that is medical school, I started to lose focus on my own needs. The self-neglect began to show physically and emotionally.

Growing up I was pretty active. I played tennis and I used to swim 4 hours a day in college as part of the varsity swim team, but I just didn’t have that kind of time in the working world or in school. And to be honest, being part of a team was one of the huge draws of swimming in the first place. I showed up to practice because I knew friends were counting on me. Once I didn’t have a team anymore, it got so much harder to get myself to the pool or the gym. I tried running, and did the Chicago Marathon a few years ago, but I got injured in the process. Between suffering from the post-marathon blues in addition to hamstring tendonitis and winter weather, running just wasn’t something I kept up with. When I started medical school, I tried yoga, but it also didn’t take with me. I liked the restorative benefits but didn’t feel like I was getting that much of a cardio or strength workout. And with classes and clinic in medical school, I felt like I just couldn’t take any time for myself. Working out felt like both indulgence and a chore.

Then I met Pure Barre. When the studio opened up a mile away from me, I figured I’d give it a try after my first final exam in December. I desperately needed a mental break from school. I hadn’t worked out in 2 months, so that first class was REALLY difficult. But it was so satisfying. I became quickly addicted to that feeling of productivity when I left my stress at the barre. I came back after every exam. First, I thought to myself I would be happy to LTB at least twice a week. Then it was three times a week. Then I thought I would try to go as much as I could before school started back up and I got too busy. Well I guess that saying “where there’s a will there’s a way” is true, because even though classes are back in full swing, I have still found a way to fit in a LTB session every day!

I have convinced many of my friends to try a class with me, and a few have started LTB’ing as well. My boyfriend finally joined me at Pure Barre for my 100th class at River North, which happened to be a “Bring on the Men” Class yesterday.

What do you love most about Pure Barre?

I love how it builds muscle literally and figuratively. I used to have weight lifting routines I would do in the gym, but they were never fun. I never looked forward to them the way I do a Pure Barre class. As for the mental strength that Pure Barre develops, the focus that it requires to stay in that shake zone has definitely strengthened my resolve and grit in life. I can also compartmentalize better. When we’re burning thighs out, I literally can’t think of the other things that are going on in my life. No matter how stressed out my day is, I can just put everything aside for 55 minutes and focus on my core, arms or seat, whatever the section is.

I also love how I can throw myself into the workout and not worry about getting hurt. Pure Barre is super low impact, but serves as my strength, cross-training, stretching and meditation for the day. It’s been 100 days in a row and I haven’t created any muscle imbalances or suffered any injuries.

I also love the team environment. I feel like I have 9 personal trainers and coaches here, and I never want to let any of them down. Emily, Shelbye and the rest of the women at River North have been so invested in our classes. They don’t just do the bare minimum of calling out the sequences. They really push us to be our best selves and hit that perfect form. They notice when our splits are a little better in thigh stretch one day or if we’re giving an extra inch in seat work another day. Their passion, enthusiasm and attention to detail adds so much and makes every Pure Barre class so much more than another workout.

Finally, I love that I can pretty much find a Pure Barre studio anywhere I go. When I flew home to California for the holidays, I took Pure Barre classes at the Pasadena studio. In March I flew to New Orleans for a convention and kept my daily LTB streak going by taking classes at the NOLA studio. I will never have the same exact Pure Barre class, but I know the general sequence of what to look forward to, and to always expect to be challenged.

Long story short – I love that Pure Barre is so much more than just a workout. It’s a lifestyle. I think finding your true love in physical activity, whether it’s running, swimming, yoga or spinning, is really important, and for me Pure Barre is mine.

What changes have you seen in yourself as a result of Pure Barre?

Well, now I’m a girl who works out regularly. And I LOVE my workouts, which is a total first. I’m also happier and more balanced. Fitting exercise into my life as a med student used to seem impossible. But now my attitude is that I need to fit school into my life as an LTB’er. I get to school early to study because I finally found a workout that will get me out of bed before 6 AM in the morning! I’m actually doing even better in school this semester than I was pre-Pure Barre. I am so much happier and more productive overall. I really understand I need to take care of myself a little every day to do my best for everyone else in my life, personally and professionally. I always hoped to be a physician who really practices what she preaches, but I feel more confident in that possibility now.

On a physical level, I’ve dropped a dress size and half the weight I gained in medical school so far. I can do serious pushups and wear sleeveless dresses without being self-conscious again, just in time for spring!

What advice would you give to someone just considering Pure Barre?

The idea of a workout with a barre might seem a little intimidating at first, but you do NOT have to have perfect rhythm or dance experience to have an amazing workout. I have zero coordination and I followed along just fine.

Don’t ever worry about the other ladies in class. If you get there early or stay a little later and strike up a conversation, you’ll always make a new friend. After all, we are all there for the same reason, and we all started our first Pure Barre class just as unsure and unfamiliar with the sequences. That’s definitely common ground.

Also, those weights might look small, but they’re deceptive. They might as well have an extra zero added to the end of those numbers for all the ways that we use them in class! Form is always more important than weight, so make sure you have that down before you feel like you need to hold more. I started my first classes without weights at all, and I still got a ton out of the positions.

Finally, if you stick with Pure Barre, not only will you continue to see results, but you won’t run out of challenges or achievements at the barre. I’ve just finished 100 classes, and I still haven’t! Like they say, it doesn’t get easier, you just get better.

“I love the confidence I see in myself and the women around me.”

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A loyal client at our Pure Barre Bozeman studio, Elizabeth Spartas shares her Pure Barre story with us.

elizabeth spartasTell us about yourself and your Pure Barre journey.

I began going to Pure Barre at the suggestion of my mother. After she finished explaining it she ended with the statement, “I know it doesn’t sound like it- but it’s hard!” Fresh out of college and an avid runner I was doubtful- how could something that uses a ballet barre and tiny movements be that difficult? Certainly it would be easy for me. Wrong. The first class kicked my butt and a year and a half later they continue to do so! Each class I find myself challenged in new ways and I have to admit, hearing “final ten” is still just as exciting as it was when I started.  As I’ve gone to these classes I’ve discovered a stronger (both physically and emotionally) me. My once chronic running injuries have disappeared. My confidence in my body has grown. Not to mention that I go to Pure Barre with my mom! I love having a workout that we can do together and where I have seen such a change in her as well! It’s rewarding being in an environment full of women in general.

What do you love most about Pure Barre?

What don’t I love about Pure Barre?  I love the way that even after a year and a half the classes are still difficult and haven’t gotten boring! I love the confidence I see in myself and the women around me. I love seeing a class full of women, thighs shaking, looks of concentration on their faces becoming super focused for the final ten and then gratefully sinking into that stretch.

What changes have you seen in yourself as a result of Pure Barre?

I have seen a huge change in my body! I wasn’t expecting it at the start, because I was already decently fit. When I look in the mirror I see lean, toned muscles. More than that, I finally stopped beating myself up over my body, which was a process in itself.  Confidence.

What advice would you give to someone just considering Pure Barre?

Try the first class and then come back! Don’t be discouraged if it feels as though the teacher is constantly correcting you or if you feel like you have no clue what you’re really doing! As you go to more classes the technique becomes clear! Just be sure to make those movements little, listen to the instructor, and take a look around if you’re feeling lost (you can always wave the teacher over, too).

elizabeth spartas


Important vs. Urgent

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In 2006 I boarded a plane with just a suitcase and moved from Detroit to San Diego to bring Pure Barre to the west coast. I remember very distinctly that I didn’t have any keys since I didn’t have a house or car and I had rented a place blindly off Craig’s list. I didn’t know a soul. It was an exciting yet murky time for Pure Barre as I was a young and inexperienced CEO and Pure Barre was growing.

Shortly after arriving in San Diego I was introduced to a very wise and successful man who graciously took me under his wing. There are many things this mentor said to me that helped shape Pure Barre’s future and are forever burned in my memory and one of them recently resurfaced. One day when we were discussing business operations he said to me “Carrie, you tend to do what is urgent rather than what is important.”

Although years ago this statement had me analyzing how I was running the company it recently had me thinking about how I was handling my personal life. As many of you know, I have 3 little ones – Luke, Ruby and Ellie (Luke, 14 months, and Ruby & Ellie, 5 months, in picture). Figuring out how to spend enough time with each of them as well as my husband, friends, dogs, as well as time for work, working out, and just taking a shower became a real issue real fast.

When I find myself getting anxious about this I hear my old mentor’s words and I ask myself…OK, what’s important right this very second and what is not important but is just urgent. Is it urgent that I order diapers? Yep. Is it important that I hold my baby girl 10 more minutes or read one more book to my son. Absolutely, so the diaper order can wait.

Pure Barre Founder Carrie

Quick Tips for Pure Barre Newbies

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angela at pure barre wheaton

Angela LTB’s with friends at Pure Barre Wheaton

Pure Barre Beverly Hills just wrapped up a March Madness challenge, which meant that I got to overlap with some of the other regular clients more often in addition to a number of new clients to Pure Barre! I secretly love spotting new people at the studio. I can’t wait for them to experience something I love, to see what Pure Barre is all about, and for them to discover their legs shake for the first time! So for those thinking about trying Pure Barre for the first time, or if you have just recently taken your first class, here are some quick tips that may be of help!

Why you should try Pure Barre:

  • Pure Barre is different. I like Bikram, and I also like running, but Pure Barre is certainly a love of its own. It’s dynamic, fun, has upbeat music, and good energy to keep you going. Class is structured so you can expect to go through the same sequencing in the order of targeted muscle groups, but different exercises for each class. I love that it feeds that side of me that appreciates organization, but every class incorporates different exercise moves, so it keeps me on my toes.
  • Pure Barre targets problem areas. Excellent. This has allowed me to understand my body better. Through Pure Barre, I have discovered that my arms and legs are much stronger than I originally thought. On the other hand, the abs segment of class is always my hardest, but I love that it has clearly shown me my areas of growth. I run assessments and keep track of data at work, so if I am bringing that mindset to Pure Barre, this means that it is very easy to measure when I am growing and strengthening my target areas. Carving lower and deeper into my abs without stopping, or a strong set of lower curls to finish class are my personal measurements for the areas I would like to work on. Every body is unique and everyone will respond to a given class in their own way, but you will have the opportunity to learn more about your body and yourself, and that is amazing.
  • Pure Barre will encourage. The positive affirmation throughout class is real. “Go deeper”; “Hang on”; “You can do it”; “Perfect, Ang!”… Who doesn’t like a burst of energy from a passionate teacher to motivate them? Yes, Pure Barre is an incredible workout, but I have also found it to be a version of therapy. It’s an hour away from my busy day to take care of my body and clear my mind, and the encouragement gained through class stays with me throughout the day.
  • Pure Barre will change you. Period. Everything just kind of hurts in the beginning, but stick with it and in just a few classes, you will feel your arms tone, your legs lengthen, and your seat lift. I’m always seeing bodies transform at the barre and it is truly inspirational!

Tips if you are newer to Pure Barre:

  • Keep going. It can be tough; it can be a real challenge. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” and “there is no substitute for hard work” (Beverly Sills/Thomas Edison). Go when you would rather sleep in for another hour. Go after work when you’d prefer to jump into your cozies and watch a show. Go get a jump-start to your weekend with an energizing class. Your hard work will pay off. Practice persistence here.
  • Get a routine. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple Pure Barre studios in your near vicinity, pick a studio that will work best for you. Identify the classes that work with your schedule. Book your classes in advance online or through the Pure Barre app. Surround yourself with the little ways that are going to work with and for you and your continued consistency toward success.
  • Clarify confusion. We understand that some poses are trickier than others, so listen carefully to the teacher’s words, especially during set up. Don’t be afraid to look to veterans in class if you are lost or confused, but make sure to bring your focus back on your own body. Ask questions after class- teachers are happy to help you! You should really be feeling the burn in the target area if you are doing the pose correctly in your own working zone. You will want to maximize your hour workout, so make sure you are making the most of your classes by understanding what is going on.
  • Bring a friend, or make a friend. People who are successful with exercise often make goals, so set those goals and have a friend journey with you toward your success. I love the accountability I have found at Pure Barre, and it’s that kind of support from friends that can make all the difference!

- Angela Bae is a former National Ambassador for Pure Barre who works in higher education administration, enjoys her active life in Los Angeles, and is a loyal client to Pure Barre Beverly Hills.


Angela visits Pure Barre Pasadena!