March Challenge, Think Spring

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We are still a full 2 weeks out from the March Challenge, but I thought we all could use a little dose of Spring on this rainy February Friday.  And these seriously scream Spring.

Attend TEN or more classes in the full month of March.  Take home the benefits of a consistent barre practice on your body & a Rifle Paper Co X Corkcicle 16oz tumbler.

Barretending. We'll kick the Challenge off with Barretending on Friday, March 1st.  Will be a 6:30 class time rather than 5:30 to hopefully catch some of you who have been unable to attend in the past.  Barre followed by complimentary wine in the studio.

Overflows.  Sat 10am & Sun 8am added to the March calendar.

Our family is growing. Thrilled to announce Amber Wiehe has joined our teaching team.  Amber has been a part of the studio for two plus years & comes to us beautifully certified by Exhale (which also happens to be where I started my barre journey in NYC in 2007).  Small, charmed world.  Amber & I will co-teach Tues 8:30am & Thurs 9:30am in March.

New to studio challenges? To participate, just book & attend classes!  There will be a challenge board in the studio to monitor progress to ten.

So many of you are heading away to warmer locales next week.  Soak up the sunshine, bring some of it back, and see you at the barre very soon.

~ Melissa

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I Could Talk For Hours

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Yesterday’s Forever35 podcast episode talked again about one of my favorite topics. Planners & lists & how we all organize all the things we need to get done.  Of course my sister & I immediately jumped on the phone & rehashed our current strategies...

My control center is my Rifle Co monthly planner.  (Shocking, I know).  I use the monthly view with colored sharpies.  I layer things on to the page according to a very specific priority...

Travel:  Challenge dates gets organized & then vacations (mostly family, then friends or solo) get blocked out asap.  My big trips are locked & loaded early in the year so they happen & life & studio do not get in the way.

Work:  The barre classes I’m teaching get added in purple.  Whiteout is a girl’s best friend as we move through the month & swap classes for coverage purposes.

Self-Care & Life: Any known appointments get added in black.  I’ve learned to pre-book ones that are important to me (doctors, dentist, massage, puppy obedience classes, standing dinner dates) so again, they happen

Workouts:  I take one extra workout class a week. I often book & plan the exact class in advance in which case it’s added as a black appointment so it’s prioritized.  If not, I circle the date each week in green to mentally set the placeholder in case I’m not able to prebook (some studios allow only 1 week of future availability).  I also often combine my workout with seeing a friend.

Any time leftover is up for grabs.  Up for grabs to either make plans with a friend, go away for a weekend, or stay in & do nothing... I’m an introvert & homebody, and seeing my month laid out ahead of time gives me clarity on when to grab precious recharge time.

This method works for me because it takes work, obviously, but also lifestyle & turns everything into non-negotiables.  I also can visually see if a week is going to be too much for me so I have clarity to say no to dinner plans & book them on a week where they’re a treat, not a to-do.

The weekly planner view is my daily to do lists.  I assign tasks out to myself to days where they make sense & I can see (from my monthly view) that I’ll have the time or be in the right place.  I looooove checking the done box.  Hello, challenge checkmarks.

A recent change for me is I leave my planner at home.  I used to carry it everywhere with me, but too much of anything can be a bad thing & I found myself addicted.  Yes, I would pull the car over to check something off a list.  Yes, I would sit unnecessarily long upstairs at the studio after class “playing” in my planner.

Now it lives at home & each morning we spend time together over coffee.  I translate the days to-do’s into my phone, admire my colorful monthly view handiwork, hug it & kiss it & tuck it back in its drawer.

How do you handle your planning?  Are you one of those fascinating people who keeps it all in your head?  Feel free to respond back to me.  Many of you often do & as you can see, this is a topic I could talk about for hours.

Happy planning 🤓

~ Melissa

Housekeeping

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It’s important to me that your experience in the studio is consistently nourishing.  A great, efficient workout, wonderful women, and an opportunity to care for yourself for 45 minutes free of as many outside distractions as possible.

With that in mind, a few studio reminders:

Cell phones must be silenced.  I do understand there are times when it makes sense to have them near you at the barre.  I do ask that if you need to check your phone or send a text, leave the room to do so.

Please refrain from holding private conversations during warmup, stretch, and during sets.  Talking between sets (or more often sharing a moment of exclamation) is just fine & encouraged.  It’s part of how we find & build bonds with each other in the studio.

Final stretching... for many, this is the only five minutes of the day where we stretch or privately put our head down & reflect.  If you cannot stay for all of stretching, please let the instructor know before class & quietly sneak out.  We will clean your mat so as not to disrupt your neighbor.

Thanking you in advance 💕

Melissa

February in the Studio

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A week remains in January & it’s looking as though more than 80 of you will finish the Challenge.  Some perspective on how impressive you all have been this month...

Dec:  52 classes on calendar
January?  103

Dec:  466 workouts total
January?  1003 (with a week to go!)

Got Valentines Day plans? Bring your man to the barre Sat, Feb 9th @ 6pm.  Michelle (and her hubby Nick) will be teaching.  Book a dinner reservation afterward & call it date night, you both will have earned it.  Just six spots open, $30 per couple.  Purchase “Date Night” online or in the app, no cancellation available on these spots once booked!

Checked out Stretch Therapy yet? Read here for more details.  Such a beautiful complement to barre & a nice alternative to a massage.  Note:  prepare to be sore the next day!  These are deep, wonderfully therapeutic stretches.

Finally, I’ve added a Sunday, Feb 3rd 8am overflow to the calendar with yours truly.  Book away.  💕

~ Melissa

Be More Okay

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I stumbled across this article this week (6 months after it was published) about ways to be more okay.  Some points resonated with me, but what really stood out is this list does a nice job of highlighting things that don’t cost an arm & a leg.  Because my god, “self care” can be expensive, amiright?

I’m sure different points will resonate with you, but skim through & read the ones that jump out at you.  Here’s what caught my eye.

Ask for help.  I was just telling Alex how I swapped the upstairs & downstairs queen mattresses this week.  Why.  By myself.  I swear it was a mixture of adrenaline, anger & ego that finally hoisted the mattress up the stairs.  My takeaway is that mattresses should have handles on the sides & that I really need to learn to phone a friend. 

Boundaries.  This is a constant work in progress but I am trying to pay attention to the complaints I hear myself voicing over & over (and over) again.  Why am I waiting for a change in someone else that I have no control over when I can instead just firm up my boundaries.... 

Finish something small.  I love this one.  I feel so much more at peace after I’ve mailed the package ✔️ restocked the barre socks ✔️ and dropped off that JCrew return. ✔️ It’s satisfying to finish something when so many other things linger longer on the to do list.

Hobbies. I turned my hobby into my job... and I love it.  But I did find myself short a hobby.  So now I play bridge, as many of you know.  Every Wednesday I get together at ZJ’s Diner & play cards for 4 hours with seven 80-somethings.  It is my favorite day of the week.  My brain is off.  We laugh so much, eat soup & BLT’s & talk about seriously everything. 

Plan.  I find calm in knowing what next week looks like & I find inspiration & drive from knowing what 6 months from now will look like.  I love scheduling in the people that matter to me.  While I may not be spontaneous, I am consistently intentional & it feeds me.

Unfollow.  I went through at the New Year & muted almost everyone’s Instagram stories (sorry!) My 15 year old niece showed me the trick (of course).  I still follow the feeds I care about but no longer have the story showing up top.  I’m spending less time on social media as a result, which I know is better for me & how I spend my free time.

See you at the barre ~

Melissa

January, Going Strong

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Hey there,

I hope 2019 is treating you kindly so far.  We are 7 days into the January Challenge with roughly 90 names on the board so far.  The studio is bustling and inspiring.  As always, do not fear the waitlists, they are moving.

The following overflow classes have been added & more will come as needed:
Wed, Jan 9th @ 8:30am
Fri, Jan 11th @ 6:30pm
Sat, Jan 12th @ 11am
Mon, Jan 14th @ 8:30am

• In other news, my favorite new app is called Done.  The free version allows you to track 3 habits.  It makes very satisfying noises.  What I’m tracking?
1. Daily flossing (guilty)
2. Daily multivitamin (whyyy is this hard)
3. 15 days/mo without that glass of wine

• Every so often one of you asks how my capsule wardrobe is going.  It’s going strong.  The New Year can be a natural time to organize & purge.  Even with a tiny closet, I pulled ten items.  Rather than donating them as I usually do, a girlfriend inspired me to try Poshmark.  I like the idea of contributing to second hand (and away from) fast fashion.  Mindfully listing the items made me aware of how fortunate I am (and hopefully will make me equally mindful the next time I shop).

See you soon at the barre ~
Melissa

Almost New Year

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It felt wonderful to be back in the studio yesterday after time off for Christmas.  I hope you all had the loveliest of holidays & I can’t wait to start our year together at the barre.

New Year’s is a time of reflection & intention, and I love that.  As such, hands down the best thing I did in 2018.

2019 Intentions - I look back at last year’s vision board & everything on it was “accomplished.”  I think the trick for me is to set broad intentions rather than specific goals... many 2018 items came together in ways that weren’t on my radar at all.  But have made me happy & satisfied nonetheless.

I’m excited to watch 2019 play out with this subtle direction in mind... For starters, where I’ll be in January.

See you at the barre ~ 

Melissa

Get to Know Caitlin Queen

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Caitlin is just such a gem.  As you read on, you’ll discover that she found the studio through her mom, Peggy, who has been at the barre since the beginning.  Caitlin & Peggy spent much of last year taking ballroom dance together, alternating who was the “girl” & who was the “boy.”  They used the studio one evening to practice for their recital & I sat on the floor, watching in awe.  Alex & I attended the recital.  These two just make you want to call your mom.

Caitlin is funny & loyal & oh my god, if you remember her birthday (Nov 6th) or even better, her half birthday (Cinco de Mayo-ish), you will make her day.  She is adventurous & independent & I admire how well she seems to know herself (even though she may not see that yet). 

We spent co-teaching practicing at her village house, then walking & talking our way to class.  After years in the studio, she knew the work before I went to teach it to her.  Her form is beautiful & her heels are high.  But most importantly, she cares.  Which is something I can only admire, not teach, but clearly her mother could. 

You can find Caitlin at the barre Tuesday & Thursday evenings 7pm, in addition to Saturday mornings 10am during challenge months.  Please read on & enjoy... Melissa

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a Hamburg local, born and raised, and an only child, technically speaking, but our family dog has become the favorite sibling over the years. I graduated from Hilbert College in 2015 with a BA in Business Administration and minors in marketing and leadership. I currently work downtown at Blue Bridge Financial in HR and Marketing. Outside of barre, I coach Special Olympics Basketball and enjoy running.  I also completed my first half-marathon in Nashville earlier this year! 

What originally brought you to the studio & what made you want to teach?

Many of you probably know her so it won’t come as a surprise, but my Mom is the reason I originally came to the studio. I came in to the first class apprehensive, wondering how barre could be a good fit for both of us and left with my booty kicked and a nap on my living room floor calling my name! From class number one I knew this was a good fit for me and loved the instant feeling of comfort in the studio. Teaching was never something that I had given much thought to since I was happy in my little student bubble, but when Melissa approached me, it was an easy yes! I knew I loved the class, loved our barre community, and it was a no brainer to hop on the other side of the barre. 

Most rewarding part of the job?

The most rewarding part of the job is that it doesn't feel like a job at all! I had taught gymnastics for a number of years throughout high school and college and missed having a place where I was using a completely different part of my brain and in the fitness world. This filled that void that for me. Walking through the door and letting go of anything else that is happening outside of the studio walls puts me in my happy place. I love all of the pre & post chatter, the friendships that have been built, and obviously the workout itself! 

What do you do in your free time?

Living right in the village of Hamburg, I love to shop/eat/drink my way through all of the local stores and restaurants that continue to pop up. When I'm not traveling through the shops of Hamburg, I love to travel around the U.S. visiting friends & new places - seeing all 50 is on my bucket list! I also love to spend time with family and on the weekends during football season you can catch me watching every Notre Dame and Bills game.

January Challenge, 2019

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I hate to brag, but oh man... these January Challenge sweatshirts.  Are you ready?  Let’s do this.

Attend TEN or more classes in the full month of January.  Start the year off right with a consistent, realistic, effective barre practice. And you’ll take home the sweatshirt & booty to prove it. 

New in 2019.  Tuesday/Thursday 8:30am permanently on the calendar. 

Barretending.  Hello, old friend, we’ve missed you.  Both Fri, Jan 4th and Fri, Jan 18th @ 5:30pm.  Barre followed by complimentary wine in the studio. 

Overflows.  Sat 10am, Sun 8am & Sun 10am all added to the January calendar.  

New to studio challenges?  To participate, just book & attend classes! There will be a challenge board in the studio to monitor progress to ten.

Have I mentioned New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday?  To fresh starts, shiny planners, new goals, updated dreams & new barre sweatshirts.  

To promise!  See you at the barre ~ 

Melissa

Stretch Therapy, January!

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Join us in January for a Stretch Therapy workshop!

Barb Wischerath will host these 75 minute workshops.  Barb fell in love with the practice on retreat & has spent 2018 attending workshops & trainings to complete her certification.  We are thrilled to have her & this practice join the studio.

Stretch Therapy is the safest, most efficient method for anyone to improve flexibility & posture, as well as gain grace & ease in the body. The technique is based on work developed by Kit Laughlin & is practiced by thousands of people worldwide.  Stretch Therapy is suitable for everyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level.

Sunday, January 6th, 11am - 12:15

Sunday, January 13th, 11am - 12:15

Cost:  $20

To register, purchase the appropriate workshop in the online store or in the app & we will book you.  If the item is gone, it means the workshop has filled.

Class size is limited & spots are therefore nonrefundable.  Come ready to stretch, strengthen, breathe and relax.

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Get to Know Emily Saramak

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 When Emily sent me the below interview, I responded that I laughed & I cried.  And I did.  This girl is as genuine as they come & I’m so lucky she stuck around the studio long enough to hire her.  We bonded first, now years ago, over Barretendings & finance conversations.  She approaches her life both methodically & spontaneously.  She knows her worth & goes after what she wants.  She can be silly & goofy & doesn’t take herself too seriously.  And she’s basically a blogger which is just cool cool cool in my book.

Can you tell I like her?  I knew all of you would too, which is why when the opportunity to bring on more instructors presented itself, I crossed my fingers.  Her years in the studio have given her expertise & natural grace with the body of work.  And her charisma & presence bring levity & hilarity into the room.

You can find Emily at the barre Monday & Wednesday evenings 5:30pm.  Please read on & enjoy... Melissa

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Emily (nope, not that Emily, I'm the other Emily) and I was born and raised in Lake View, NY. After going away to school in the Adirondacks, a brief internship in NYC, and a year in Cali, I couldn't be happier to have my life settle back where it all started. I'm a writer for the money-saving blog Hip2Save, so I get to work from home (which is honestly as great as it sounds) and create frugal living content based on my own experiences and research. I have two older brothers, incredible parents, a hilarious set of friends, and a great boyfriend who are all the reason I'm usually smiling — that is, when my resting bitch face isn't taking over.

What originally brought you to the studio & what made you want to teach

Fun fact: I actually was considering moving into the studio beforeit was the studio. The building owner was in the middle of deciding what the space would be so a potential apartment was up for grabs. I ended up finding a place downtown so I settled in the Elmwood village instead. But sure enough, he sent me a gift certificate for a class at the Barre Studio Hamburg after it was established! My friend Noelle had already been frequenting the studio and got me to come along for my first class, and I was hooked. I found myself "teaching" my friends the basics of the class and would always be practicing the sets anytime I was bored. I asked Melissa about teaching but she had just brought on two new instructors (Alex and Emily!), so all I could do was hope the studio would continue to grow. Two years later, Melissa shot that barre studio bat signal up the in the sky and I answered the call. In literal terms, she texted me if I was interested and I said yes, please.

Most rewarding part of the job?

This is going to sound really weird, but there's a point in the class where everything feels like it's on autopilot, and I snap back into reality when we hit child's pose. For a while, I never felt present in class — there was always a deadline, an event, a conversation, or just some sort of brain matter that wouldn't let me focus on being in the moment. After I started teaching and becoming so ingrained in the movement of the class, all that clutter dissipated and I would honestly come out of a set thinking, "Shoot, was I talking at all during those moves? What did we even just do? Why is my thigh/glute/hamstring on fire?" The ability to make a workout feel relaxed, invigorating, mindless, and concentrated all at the same time is pretty powerful. Even more so is the feeling that my mental space is completely clear — that's some Gandhi level stuff right there.

What do you do in your free time?

I love hitting up a good happy hour, watching puppy videos, gossiping with my mom, eating tacos from Chipotle (which I have roughly 2-3 times a week), and relaxing at my family's cabin in Ellicottville. I like to cook, mainly because I think I'm really good at it, which is only due to the fact that I love the 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's and I put that s*** on everything. Also, I read a fair bit. Not like novels or the paper, but blogs that have the writing style I want to emulate or the content I want to create. I get my news from the Skimm, which is a daily email that breaks down the day's headlines into an easy-to-understand synopsis, and I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't. I like getting out and experiencing life, but my real happy place is laying on my couch with a face mask, a glass of wine, and a bag of Poppables watching Live PD. All in all, I'd say I live a pretty well-rounded life.

Proof of Abundance

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Happy December Monday.  I had a really nice weekend filled with a holiday girlfriend dinner and a lot of really therapeutic time in the studio.  I recently read this that sums up so nicely one of the many ways the studio feeds me, maybe you too.

To quote, “As much as I love the shroud of quiet I get to pull over myself at the end of a long day of human interaction, community is also where I find the greatest tangible proof of abundance. I feel the most full - of love, of hope, of certainty that the world is fundamentally good - when I am surrounded by like-minded people working toward a common goal.”

In other news, am I the only person obsessed with this?  Do yourself a favor & watch the DWTS Juniors finale this coming Sunday at 8.  I promise you you will be glad you did.  These kids are incredible.

In holiday news, gift ideas:

✔️ Gift certificates are available in all class & dollar denominations.  They can be purchased in the studio or by phone, in which case they are mailed out the next day.

✔️ Barre Studio OnDemand gift certificates.  Contact Melissa to purchase.

✔️ 2019 Rifle Co planners.  Leftovers!  $20 in the studio.

See you at the barre,

Melissa

Holiday Pop-Ups

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 Sunday, December 16th 🎄

Holiday Barre Brunch.  10am class followed by an hour of mimosas, hot cocoa & coffee in the studio.  Pick your poison. 

Thursday, December 27th 🎄

9:30am class taught by our Cali based teaching team.  (We’re just gonna keep calling her that)... Emily McCreary will be home for the holidays & manning the barre that morning.

Book both online!

~ Melissa

A Grateful Heart

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the studio.

I find myself more grateful than ever this year that the people I love are safe & thriving.  I also find myself wanting to share that gratitude in the most basic of ways.

Hand written notes are a part of my love language.  I love writing them.  I’ve chosen 8 beautiful Rifle Co cards & assembled them in my living room into my own personal box sets ($16 value).

Today is Black Friday & as usual, my preference is to reward rather than discount.

December can be a difficult time to stay consistent in the studio. Attend just five classes in December & take a set home.  Enter 2019 armed to let the people in your life know how much they mean to you.

Call it a Mini Challenge.  Call it a commitment to “you time” throughout the holiday season.  Call it paying gratitude forward.  Call it a holiday gift from us to you.

We will track progress in the studio, as always.

Lots of love -
Melissa, Sara, Michelle, Taylor
Alex, Emily & Caitlin

Thursday is Thanksgiving

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First, how?  But second, I can’t wait.

My favorite classes of the year are Thanksgiving morning.  There is still one spot open in the Thurs 8:30am.  And we added a Wed 8:30am as well with a few spots to grab.

I’m heading back to NYC again to eat & shop this holiday weekend.  Thanksgiving dinner here and Friday dinner with a girlfriend here.  I’ll torture myself in a humbling intro to beginner ballet class & hit a few Black Friday sales.

All the bloggers I follow are already coming out with gift lists ... does it just start earlier & earlier each year?  But these two felt worth sharing with a studio full of thoughtful women:

Need a $30 Secret Santa gift that feels oh so personal?

Or a gift for that grandparent, aunt, caregiver that loves your child like their own?

Enjoy this week, your families & your Thanksgiving traditions. 
~ Melissa

Podcast Addiction

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As many of you know, I live in Ellicottville & am therefore often asked if I mind the commute to Hamburg.  Not a bit.

There is zero traffic, it’s predictably 40 minutes door to door, and best of all, it keeps me current on my podcast addiction.  The random days each winter that 219 closes find me cozying up in Alex’s guestroom if need be.  There’s a first world problem for ya.

Thought I’d share my favorites if you’re looking for new pod material.  Similarly, I always am - so please respond & let me know what you’re loving. 

Forever 35.  It bears repeating.  Hands down my favorite pod of the week.  Doree Shafrir & Kate Spencer talk self care shop & continue to entertain & influence me.  This is, in my opinion, the best of the best.

Bad on Paper Podcast. I’m likely biased on this one because one of my favorite bloggers, Grace Atwood of The Stripe, hosts it.  She & co-host Becca Freeman live in Brooklyn & NYC, respectively, & review Young Adult novels on the odd weeks.  Even weeks, they offer listener advice & I find them raw & unpolished & relatable.

Second Life.  Host Hillary Kerr is half of the duo behind the fashion line Who What Wear at Target.  They also launched the site MyDomaine where I find myself reading articles like this.  On the pod, she interviews women about their transition from first to second career life (women you’ll know!)

Alison Rosen is your New Best Friend.  I found this pod because she interviewed Kate & Doree (the hosts of Forever 35).  I enjoy her.  I think she’s a natural interviewer & her guests are typically people I’ve never heard of, but find interesting.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I really enjoy Dax’s co-host Monica Padman & her fact checking in each episode.  I will say, I am very partial to his interviews with women.  I’m a Parenthood fan & he interviews a lot of his cast mates & also his wife, Kristen Bell.  Amy Schumer... Mila Kunis... Lena Dunham.

Enjoy & see you at the barre this week

💕 Melissa

Holy Grail

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This month has been packed.  From talking to many of you in the studio, I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.  My holy grail practice when life feels overwhelming?  I’ve said it before... waking up before everyone else on the planet.  I loved this article.  The ability to read or work or think without distraction only occurs for me in the wee hours.  And I embrace that.

When I think about the holy grail products in my life, these Rifle Co planners definitely are at the top of the list.  I live out of mine.  I’m always excited to share them with you each Fall.

Holy grail planner pens?  So good.  No bleed-through. 

Holy grail vacuum?  We use this in the studio & it has been a game changer.  Every night, the last teacher at the barre brings Roomba downstairs & he does his business. With the exception of weekly dusting, he runs the housekeeping show.  I bought one for home too that handles the transition from tile to hardwood to rugs seamlessly.

Holy grail hair product? I had a difficult period in my life a couple years ago & 6 months went by before I noticed half my hair had fallen out.  I talk to other women about this & know I’m not alone.  Therapy, time, and this serum every 2-3 days stopped the cycle.  Stress is no joke.  I’m very loyal to this stuff.

Always grateful to have your ears both in the studio & on the page.  See you at the barre for a feel good month - body, brain & spirit.

~ Melissa

November’s Swoon Worthy Challenge

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These planners are the BEST, and we're bringing them back for the November Challenge.  This is the perfect time of year to get and stay organized.

Attend TEN or more classes in the full month of November & take home a tighter barre booty AND a Rifle Co 2019 planner.

These beauties run August 2018 through December 2019, so you'll be able to start using them immediately.  And... wait for it... this year they’ve added two full pages of stickers.  Yep.  Swoon.

Tuesday / Thursday 8:30am classes have been added as well as Saturday / Sunday 10am.

New to studio challenges? To participate, just book & attend classes!  There will be a challenge board in the studio to monitor progress to ten.

Looking forward to a healthy, productive November!
~ all of us at The Barre Studio

Did You Know ...

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 ✔️ Our Challenges task you to attend 10 classes in one month.  This is twice weekly, then throwing in that third class on the weeks you can.  I hear client feedback that consistently moving from two classes per week to three is a real game changer.  I believe it.  The next Challenge is in November... details out soon & spots are already booking.  #loveit

✔️ We accept health insurance wellness cards.  They do not run through online but I can manually run them in person or via email, phone, text.  And yes, we can split the transaction if needed (part on your wellness card, the rest on a credit card).

✔️ We offer gift certificates.  In all class or dollar denominations.  These can be purchased in the studio.

✔️ Cant get to the studio?  Workout with us in the comfort of your home ... or hotel room!
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thebarrestudiohamburg

See you soon at the barre ~
Melissa

On Joy

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A group of us got together at the studio heading into 2018 for an evening of vision boards.  Mine is above.  See the girl in the cute one piece jumping into the pool, upper right corner?  Yes, I actually did embrace one pieces this year, but that’s not why she’s on my board. I looked at that picture & realized (had been realizing) that I just really wanted more joy.

Brooklyn-based Ingrid Fetell Lee researched joy, and the differences & correlation between joy & happiness, in her book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness. 

Her research shows that happiness is an overall opinion that we all make about how we feel about our lives.  It’s a long term view, both looking backward & forecasting forward.  How we feel about our career, our relationships, our health, our purpose.  It is such a big idea!  And perhaps a lot of pressure?

Joy is immediate & simple.  It’s an intense experience of positive emotion.  The teachers & I gathered at Alex’s house yesterday & watched a 3 month old puppy & a 6 month old kitten play & hiss & run circles around each other.  We laughed & exchanged smiles & experienced joy, together.  Sounds so simple because it is.

Joy has a significant impact on our well being.  There is research that states bringing small moments of joy into our daily lives reduces stress.  And that if we already are stressed, moments of joy can speed the recovery.  And sharing & experiencing joy with other people?  It’s shown to improve relationships.  I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

See you at the barre this week ~

Melissa