It’s 10:00am on a Sunday morning and I am at the Barre.
This is much different than the bar. Though clothing was minimal and at times I felt a bit wobbly, there were no cocktails in sight.
I was about to experience the trendy workout that has taken Hollywood and, more recently, YQR by storm. Project Barre Studio opened its Regina doors in March, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check out the studio and participate in a barre workout for myself. Little did I know that I was about to learn a few things about barre, including how much I hate the phrase “up an inch, down an inch”, and how heavy two pound weights actually are.
Truthfully, the next hour was very challenging but in the most positive of ways. The staff were extremely welcoming and, sensing my newbie nerves, they encouraged me and walked me through what I was about to participate in. They also walked me through the beautiful space which includes a small boutique area and a spacious changing area as well as a perfectly minimalistic studio.
The barre workout I participated in (a foundations class) was very beginner-friendly and modifications to each pose were offered. We were told to “embrace the shake” as we moved our quivering limbs up an inch, down an inch, and then held the pose for
an hour an additional few seconds. The workout was refreshingly different, challenging as hell, and left my muscles feeling the shake for days afterwards. I highly recommend it!
Project Barre Studio’s owner, Sasha Ash, agreed to answer a few questions about what barre is, and why she opened a studio in Regina.
Q. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions for Like Mother Like Daughter readers! I imagine that your schedule is very busy right now, so we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
A. Thanks Vanessa! I’m so excited to bring your readers into my barre world! My name is Sasha, I am the founder of Project Barre Studio. I’m a Regina girl, born-and raised. My husband and I met while I was a student at the U of S studying Marketing and Business Communications. We welcomed our first child in 2014, our son Merrick. I am definitely an old soul! I’m an avid gardener, farmers market goer and tea drinker. No matter what fun or chaos the day brings, my 2 favourite things in the world are cuddles + stories before I put my son to bed, and working on variations for new barre moves!
Q. As you know, I recently participated in my first barre class, and I loved it! One thing I loved were the modifications offered and the accessibility of the workout. For those readers who may not be familiar with barre, what is it and who can benefit from participating in a barre workout?
A. A barre class is a full-body, very low impact workout class, lasting 60 minutes. During a typical barre class we target everything from arms and seats to legs and core. We borrow moves from ballet, yoga, and pilates and incorporate small tiny movements and 8 second holds. Our motto: the move doesn’t have to be big to make a big impact. During a class we’ll get into common ballet positions like a pile, lower down until the thighs engage, and work from that position. We’re only in a move for a minute or two- but that barre burn comes quickly! As your muscles begin to fatigue you’ll notice your legs/arms/core start to shake. This is our happy place… when our muscles shake, our muscles change! At Project Barre we currently offer two different levels of class: Project Foundations and Project Signature. Our Foundations class is our entry-level class. We move at a slower pace and offer extra modifications for those experiencing injuries, or who are pregnant or new to working out. Our Signature class is our original barre class, the one that started it all!
A. I grew up in Regina, dancing competitively with Applause Dance Studio. When I moved to Saskatoon to attend the U of S I missed dancing so much. I tried everything from adult dance classes, running, group fitness, cycling/spin… nothing ever really stuck. My (now) husband and I met in Saskatoon and spent the next 10 years moving between Saskatchewan, Alberta and the US for his job. I was first introduced to barre in the US about 5 years ago and instantly fell in love! It allowed me to move the way I remember from dancing, but didn’t require choreography or even coordination. A few classes in I began noticing a new found strength in my legs, my arms and my core. I knew then that barre was going to be a permanent part of my life! I spent over two years building the business, drawing on my training and dance experience to develop all of Project Barre’s moves. I consulted with trainers, athletic therapists and even an osteopath to fine tune all of our signature moves.
Q. The idea of work/life balance is a hot topic in the internet world, the blogging world, the mom world…everywhere really. How do you attempt to find balance in your very busy life?
A. I am a HUGE family person. My family always comes first. And opening the studio has meant that my clients have also become a part of my family. Learning to be present (something I’ve always been terrible at) has been super important. When I’m at home with my son, he’s all I’m thinking about. When I’m at the studio I let myself be completely there. I’ve got a constant “to-do” list on the go, a notebook full of ideas and an extremely supportive team around me. Learning to let others help me was huge. I’ve always been very independent but with only 24 hours in a day, the help means that I can find that balance while managing my family (at home and at the studio!).