When you’re practicing Pure Barre you may hear your teachers remind you to engage your core, lengthen your spine, keep your chin and chest up and maintain a “confident posture.”
What does that mean?
Good posture is key to doing Pure Barre properly, but sometime it comes all but naturally. You may feel inclined to bend, twist and torque your upper body every which way in an effort to get deeper into the exercises. But it’s more important to achieve proper alignment of your hips, spine, shoulders and head than to lift your leg an inch higher. So, here are some tips on cultivating perfectly pure posture at the barre and beyond:
- Check Yourself: Glance in the mirror as you set up and perform your Pure Barre movements and take an honest look at your posture. Make sure you listen to your teacher throughout class and follow their cueing for correct posture and positioning. This holds true whether you are sitting, standing, or folded in half with your forehead to the barre, and no matter how your legs are positioned.
- Adjust Your Stance: If you glimpse yourself hunched over, leaning to one side, or otherwise compromising good posture, back off. You should never feel tension in the areas not being working, and remember, your form is always more important than lifting your leg higher or sinking an inch lower. Poor form can lead to bad habits or, worse, injury. Proper posture, on the other hand, will cultivate a stronger core, and with that foundation you can then work on the height of your leg or sinking deeper into your thighs.
- Find a Focus: In yoga, locking your gaze on a single point is known as “drishti,” which translates literally to “pure seeing.” In dance, it’s referred to as “spotting,” and used to maintain orientation during spins. Whatever you call it, finding a focal point can help in Pure Barre too. Depending on your position, pick a spot on the wall, mirror or floor in front of you and try to hold your eyes there throughout your sprints and stretches. Listen to your teachers’ prompts as to where to direct your gaze. This will force you to be mindful of your alignment. It will also discourage you from looking around the room at what everyone else is doing so you can tune into your own form and tweak your posture as needed.
- Think Like a Dancer: Pure Barre uses elements from dance to create a workout that lifts, tones and burns. You don’t need a dance background to fall in love with Pure Barre, but why not channel a ballerina during your hour at the barre? Ballet dancers are known for their beautiful carriage. They create long, lean lines with their bodies that start with perfect posture. Tap into the grace within yourself as you practice your exercises at the barre and it will reflect in your movements.
- Stay Straight: Pay attention to your posture away from the barre. When you are driving your car, sitting at your computer, eating dinner at home or chatting with a friend, how are you sitting or standing? A slouched back or tense shoulders can convey boredom, laziness, weakness or worse. Good posture, on the other hand, sends a message of assurance, confidence and poise. Your Pure Barre practice has strengthened your shoulders, upper back and abs, so engage that Pure Barre core and meet the world with proud posture. You’ve earned it!