The latest fitness trend making its way to Calgary studios is a combination of yoga and ballet.

The core elements of yoga joined with the strength and conditioning of ballet bear the best of both worlds.

Barre class is a fun and empowering workout that is a blend of yoga, pilates and ballet that focuses on strength, posture, balance and definition.

Anelia Dee has been running her 8 Street and 5 Avenue S.W., Samadhi Yoga and Wellness studio, for about five years and introduced barre class in January.

“Most people enjoy a yoga class that is a little more dynamic, it’s more challenging class than yoga,” she said.

The workout targets neglected muscle groups such as glutes, quads, upper back, core and small isometric movements to keep the heart rate up.

The class incorporates ballet movements such as the plié (pronounced plee-AY), which come in half and full versions, squats, pulsing, lifting on tippy toes and then there is weights involved on top of that.

“Barre has been around for a while. It is a ballet inspired workout because you’re engaging your whole body, and using all your muscles,” Dee explained, adding that there is still breathing and using a lot of the same poses as yoga.

Because it is a bit more of a physical challenge, a lot of the clients stay for the yoga class, which is back-to-back.

Dee said her clients love barre because it shapes their body, and because it’s more gentle and accessible for people since it takes place in a smaller class, so there is more attention one-on-one.

As the class continues to grow and becomes more established, Dee said she will design the classes to be more challenging for the clients.

“We want them to step out of their comfort zone,” she said.

To keep the classes increasingly demanding, classes will have more poses added and different movements.

Sometimes a simple challenge can be holding a pose for longer, or adding ankle weight or extra plies.

She said the feedback so far has been very positive and that at the end of barre class clients say they feel the muscles they’ve been engaging.

“There are a lot of trending fitness classes right now, some come and go, but I think barre class is one of the ones that will be here for a long time.”

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