Barre3 = Yoga + Pilates + a Ballet Barre

The grace of ballet, the wisdom of yoga, and the strength of pilates all rolled into one 60-minute workout? My curiosity was piqued.

I have some background in Bikram Yoga, having used it to lose 10 lbs. in six weeks in time for my sister’s wedding a couple of years ago. When I read Barre3’s description, I was pretty confident I could handle it.

Tanya Tan and Darcy Harding at the Barre3 studio in The Spa FortAbout a dozen bloggers took the Barre3 challenge last Monday night. Barre3 Managing Director Tanya Tan briefed us about the workout and introduced our mentor for the night — Barre3 master trainer Darcy Harding, who came all the way from Portland, Oregon to help establish Barre3 in Manila. I was certain I was in for a one-of-a-kind fitness experience.

By 7pm we were all instructed to enter the studio and to each take a ball, a strap, and a pair of dumbbells. I opted for the lightest pair which weighed 2 lbs — and boy I glad I did because you won’t believe how heavy they feel when you’re making tiny upward arm movements while keeping your entire body in the proper Barre3 posture!

Barre3 at The Spa FortIn Barre3, you do a lot of breathing, stretching, and balancing. It is actually a mix of yoga and pilates which you do with a ballet barre. The movements are small and controlled, and you are urged to concentrate on finding strength from your core. It’s all about tucking your tummy in and keeping your back in the correct posture. Even with light air-conditioning and the absence of dynamic moves like jumping jacks I was sweating waterfalls.

Barre3 with Darcy Harding at The Spa FortFor Barre3, all you need are light workout clothes you can freely move around in and a pair of socks. Socks with rubber stick-ons at the bottom are recommended but ordinary socks will do. Balls, straps, dumbbells, and mats are provided by the studio.

According to Darcy, you need to be able to reach the ballet barre in order to workout so there is a bit of a height requirement. “People as old as 70 years old practice Barre3 in Portland,” shares Darcy. I asked her if children can do Barre3. “Although in theory Barre3 can be practiced by anyone who can reach the barre, it needs a certain maturity and discipline since you need to focus on your core. In that aspect, kids may not be able to get much out of it,” she says.
The next day, I felt muscles that I didn’t know existed. My entire body felt worked out. It was a good feeling.
A single Barre3 session costs P700, but a monthly unlimited membership is priced at P5,500 — about the same price as a month of yoga or pilates. At the moment, Barre3 is only available at The Spa Fort and The Spa Alabang, but Barre3 studios in Rockwell and Eastwood City will be opening soon.
All first timers can avail of a free trial Barre3 class, just call the following numbers for inquiries, schedules, and reservations:
The Spa Alabang
836-3184 / 850-3490 / 850-6836
The Spa Wellness at The Fort
403-5994 / 856-5858
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