Growing up, my best friend was a ballerina and I was a basketball player. Not exactly polar opposites of the spectrum, but clearly somewhat of a contradiction for the social strata that is the world of high school varsity sports. Years later, I’ve long since lost my ability to make a lay-up, while she still stays in shape with the basics she learned by the ballet barre.
Promising enhanced flexibility, a stronger core, better posture, and longer and leaner muscles, the Nalini Method at Pure Yoga in New York is a barre workout that picks up the slack for us non-dancer types that want to get the long, lean, graceful figure of a ballerina’s body but don’t know the moves. Founder Rupa Mehta created the intense hour-long class to help participants “stretch their limbs and lifestyle;” the workout seamlessly mixes ballet barres, mats, resistance bands, weights, exercise balls and ankle weights-and hits the thighs especially hard, but, as Mehta stresses it has less impact on the body than running, so you don’t have to worry about overdoing it.
Is it easy? No. Is it easy to understand? Absolutely. Class attendance is limited to ensure participants receive proper adjustments throughout the session (think personal instruction in an energized group setting) and you can feel the “burn” after just one session. Am I knocking on the New York City Ballet’s doors for an audition? Not exactly, but I might look pretty good in a leotard.
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