yoga with a side of ballet @ epic yoga

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Crash Course: The ballet barre class at Epic Yoga is not your average barre class. It’s heavy on the yoga with a sprinkle of classical ballet moves thrown into the mix. Be prepared to test your balance, flexibility, and focus. Click here to check out the schedule.

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[left]where: 1323 Connecticut Avenue, red line/Dupont Circle

bring: yourself

perks: showers, lockers, wifi, free mat rental and towels

sweat score: 5.5 out of 10[/left]

[right]wear: yoga clothes

cost: drop in rate is $18, first week is $20*

instructor: Emma Saal[/right]
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I crashed Epic Yoga’s martial-arts inspired Red Sun Yoga class last week and liked it so much I went back to try their popular barre yoga. My previous post features a full photo tour of the gorgeous Epic Yoga studio space and has more information about the instructor, Emma – so be sure to check it out!

According to Epic Yoga’s website, the barre yoga class is a “yoga-based class that incorporates ballet barre work, cardio and Pilates.” The reality is that it’s a yoga class first and foremost. The real difference happens when the class turns up the heat by adding in classical ballet moves like relevés, tendus, and thigh burning pliés. Have you ever tried doing chair pose while on your toes? Or spring from a lizzard lunge into a one legged relevé? Exactly. The ballet just amplifies and adds to what is already a challenging and fun practice.

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French terms. Yogis with no dance experience will feel right at home, as Emma has seamlessly integrated all of the ballet moves into basic yoga sequences. If you can flow your way through a guided sun salutation, you’ll be just fine. But don’t think that means you’ll feel comfortable. Even without any barre work or the familiar yell of “tuck! tuck! tuck!” you’ll hear in other traditional barre classes, this class is sure to break a sweat. I was shaking within the first 15 minutes as we started in on side planks, lunges, and leg extensions. I thought it was a really fun way to switch things up, and made me acutely aware of how far I have to go on increasing my flexibility and grace.

Two things I really liked about this second visit to Epic Yoga:

  1. They are now offering lavender and peppermint infused cold towels after class – similar to my obsession at Biker Barre. I wish this blog had smell-o-vision so you could get a good whiff. These are oh so wonderfully refreshing after a sweaty class. Hooray!
  2. The women’s locker room was much warmer than the first time I crashed. The space heaters were blazing and it was nice and toasty. My toes thank you, Epic Yoga!

My friend Amy stopped by after work to join me for this crash (thanks Amy!). We try to meet up every week or so for a workout date, and the 8 p.m. yoga barre class was a great fit for our schedules this time around. By the end of class, however, we were both starved for dinner and needed to refuel. Luckily there’s a Sweetgreen just a few blocks away from the studio – one of our favorite spots for a quick and healthy bite. Yum!

I have an unfettered obsession with their Santorini salad, so despite the excellent choices and the delicious sounding seasonal salad on the menu, I caved and went with my stand by. But I’m not totally boring! This time I branched out by adding in some warm grains and avocado. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

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Would you try the barre yoga class or stick to the traditional barre method?

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*Epic Yoga waived my walk-in fee, but opinions are entirely my own.

2 Comments

  1. Leah December 10, 2012 / 10:46 am

    If you are still on your “barre crawl”, you really need to try out The Barre Code in Del Ray. It really is the best barre class around.

    • DC Fit Crasher December 10, 2012 / 7:29 pm

      I will Leah! Trying to do all the gyms in DC first, but I know Del Ray isn’t too far. It’s definitely on my radar. Thanks for suggesting again!

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