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Activate your beauty

A barre workout is an ideal way to achieve all-round physical fitness and agility – and inner harmony, too.

A ballet studio: mirrors reflecting an airy space, a gleaming floor, a wooden barre with a line of women pegged to it – the typical setting for a classical dance class. But look closer. These women are not ballet dancers: this is a barre (pronounced “bar”) workout – a fabulous way to improve muscle tone and strengthen posture.

Harmony of body and mind

The body positive movement taught us something important: whether we're curvy or slim, we work out because it makes us feel good – something that Madame Maria Galland, a passionate dancer, believed wholeheartedly.

 
“In classical dance, I hoped to rediscover the harmony that used to emanate from my mother. I wanted to create my own world, with her help.”

Maria Galland

At the heart of her philosophy was a passion for beauty, health and aesthetics; her belief that we carry beauty inside us, which can be preserved as we age by bringing the body and mind into harmony. Madame Maria Galland saw both dance and outward beauty as expressions of eternal youth.

 

Madame Maria Galland saw both dance and outward beauty as expressions of eternal youth.

Fitness regime for everyone

Ballet dancer Lotte Berk developed the barre method in 1959 after she suffered a back injury. Looking to fuse ballet training with rehab therapy, she developed a combination of movements inspired by her experience with ballet and disciplines like yoga and Pilates, using the floor and the barre for balance.

Anyone can do barre if they’re reasonably fit – you don’t have to be a professional dancer to harmonize your inner and outer beauty. With barre, you can achieve the same result – and have fun while doing so.

Power, poise and peace of mind

Barre differs from typical strength training in that there are no extravagant movements. Instead, you make small isometric movements, an inch at a time, tensing muscles in your core, arms and legs while holding your body still.

For women who regularly work out, barre once a week is enough to fine-tune the muscles. For the rest of us, it’s a way to increase core strength, flexibility and balance. And perhaps to bring us the poise, peace of mind and inner harmony that Madame Maria Galland believed is reflected in our outward beauty.

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