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I’m religious, but that doesn’t explain why I like coming to prayer position at the end of a barre workout.
Barre borrows much from Yoga practice, but I’d like to talk about specifically “prayer hands,” the Anjali Mudra (pronounced UHN-juh-lee muhd-RAAH). At the conclusion of class, we bring the palms of the hands together then place them heart center.
In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, mudra means “a sign” or “seal,” referring to hand gestures and body positions that bring about a certain inner state and have symbolic meaning. Anjali comes from “anj” in Sanskrit and means “to honor or celebrate”.
When the hands and fingers are placed in a particular pattern, the energy within the body can be redirected and changed. “Anjali Mudra” opens the heart; calms and balances the mind; and reduces anxiety.
By bringing our hands together heart center, we are connecting to both the right and left sides of the brain. It is said that the right hand represents our divine self and the left hand represents our worldly nature.
Anjali Mudra acknowledges the energetic heart and directs it to open to the light.
During barre, our energetic heart takes over. We are thankful to our bodies for working so hard. We feel calm and less anxiety after the workout. We take the final moments of class to honor our hard work with this celebratory sign of mind-body balance.
And SHAKE I did!I’d drive by “barre las vegas,” I’d wonder what it was. The sign spoke to the curious side of me, but not enough to stop due to my busy schedule. The sign on the building was huge; it was written in a cool, industrial font; and was not capitalized. Not until I saw and purchased a “barre las vegas” Groupon for 10 classes that I ventured in; turns it, THAT deal changed my life.
Pronounced “BAR,” Barre Las Vegas was a gorgeous studio with retail and fitness space. After finding a spot in the workout room and waiting for the class to start, the place’s friendly vibe came to life when a fellow student asked me if it was my first time. When I admitted it was, she PROMISED me I would love it. And to wait for the shake. HUH? I was going to shake?
And shake I did! Barre is a Pilates-based total body workout that emphasizes small, specific yoga- and ballet- inspired movements. It’s named barre for the ballet barre used for balance and stretching. Muscles are worked to exhaustion then stretched. Again. And again. The workout is no impact on the joints because there’s no pounding…we work out in grip socks…on carpet! And there’s great, motivating music. When we are standing at the barre with our fingertips on the barre, on our highest heels, abs engaged, heavy tailbone, knees soft, the legs start shaking…and shaking is good…changes are happening! After my 10 classes were done, I bought a package. After the package, I became a member.
The changes I have had include: losing: inches, weight; gaining: strength, flexibility; a mental clarity and peace; and new friends! There’s an online scheduling system that allows you to reserve your spot in class ahead of time. For me, scheduling my workouts and placing this dedicated time on my calendar helps me stay committed and keep my workout times. Planning my workouts, just as I would plan any doctor, hair, lunch appointment, serves as a tool to insure I get to the gym. I plan my life around my fitness priority, instead of trying to squeeze in a stop in at the gym. Healthy life, happy life!
Because of barre, I’m in my 40s more confident and in better shape than ever. One regret: that I didn’t stop to find out what barre was sooner. But, now, YOU know about it. Because NOW that you’re in the know, you know. To stop in. To sign up. To get shaking. See you @ the barre.