Transitioning to FALL

In studio life, when seasons change—it feels like we have the opportunity to ‘change’, too!

This summer we’ve added a lot of classes, a new padded mat flooring in the practice room, some social media sharing we have not done before, and more options to help everyone find what they need in the studio.

So what does all this transitioning mean…and why should we be opening to change if we are happy where we are?

First of all—no one has to change ANYTHING at all…but sometimes it can be nice to see changes or new things in our days. It gives us new perspective, maybe new appreciation, and perhaps new ideas and inspirations we have not had in a long time. This leads to motivation, encouragement and more ‘want’ in our day to day. Being content in itself is a practice within our yogic lifestyle; finding ways recognize new things in places that really have not changed at all is a great way to be happy with all you have!

This starts in your mental and physical body and can reach outward into your actions, interactions and day to day activities.

We all know the South Georgia heat is smothering…so with cooler weather, enjoy that cool morning, take time to see how lovely the leaves are outside, and maybe add an evening walk to your schedule when you can. Use your time on the mat and in the studio to appreciate that you ‘made it’ there, that you GET to move through these seasons, and that maybe you are working through shedding some ‘skin’, but it will bring brighter seasons in the process.

Remember we are all on different journeys—and if you simply need a place to land and rest your body—we are here for you. If you need more, like trainers to kick your behind or make you sweat and forget about the chaos you had at work or earlier in the day—we can do that, too.

Let this fall be a time to shed, to transition to a restful winter, and to prepare for a blooming springtime in your body!

Is yoga really for every body?

Simply put, YES, yoga is really for every one. Yoga is a spectrum of variety, movements, activity level and intensity. That’s what makes it a practice of unifying people and bringing students together—it also makes it accessible for us throughout our lives as our emotional and physical needs change through the seasons.

Many people find yoga looking to lose weight or get more active and then scale back and find the more therapeutic and restorative practices to help them keep their body healthy and repaired.

Many people find yoga in the opposite forms—starting with more restful practices to be able to find some calm and peace and then find inner drive and strength to be in more fiery classes.

The cool thing about yoga is it truly is a journey-every evolving, a million routes to take, tons of different finds and experiences and never one true destination. It can be something you pursue life long and keep finding new things to enrich your existing knowledge and love of practice—and find new things that resonate with you and bleed purpose into other areas of your life.

Most people don’t realize that ‘yoga’ really isn’t about poses at all. It’s about living life in it’s purest, fullest form through your personal interactions, how you fuel and appreciate your body, your breath and recognizing how your choices and your day to day effect those around you. It CAN simply be going to class as the studio or waking up and stretching. But it can also be finding ways to open your energetic pathways and moving your way into moments of stillness where your worries fade away and you just feel ‘ok’ in the moment. When you look at the more energetic means of practice you start to have more fulfillment in your classes and physical movements. Heart opening postures become more like surrendering and release, lunges and warrior poses feel more like moments to gain strength, and savasana really feels like a moment to let the world stand still.

Being part of a studio helps you find variety in your classes and brings you into a community of other people looking for the same things. There’s really no need to say what you need or are looking for because everyone else there is probably seeking the same—maybe just some quiet and a break from the hustle and bustle of the work week.

If you are unsure that yoga is for you due to injury or age or maybe just a fear of people—remember that you can do yoga if you can sit and breathe, and we all do that every single day!

Vulnerability + Anxiety

It’s been a weird month for me.

A dear friend of mine passed away. I really haven’t experienced loss through death…ever. It’s a weird, new thing for me. Honestly we had spurts of silence where we were both just busy and didn’t talk every single day…so I still feel like she’s just out on the beach and will text me back tomorrow like she used to…I don’t know that I’ve come to understand, yet, that she won’t.

I reread our texts from the last year…one really spoke out to me about encouraging others and how she admired that I could be so vulnerable in sharing on social media…she told me to keep being that way and helping others feel good…and I read through her texts about how she had one life and wanted to travel and love and live…and I just kind of soaked it in, withdrew a bit, and decided life is short and I literally may only have a decade left to make it my best…so I’m gonna.

I read and research a lot on social interactions, behaviors, psychology, relationships, personal development…all the things about people and being human. I find a lot of solace when I read or listen to a podcast and find something that resonates with me in an ‘i always think that’ kind of way. It reminds me we are not alone and we are not put on this planet to be islands of isolation and struggle—we are all made of the same pieces and are simply trying to put our pieces of our puzzle together as best we can day by day.

For instance, I’m always trying to perfect my teacher training and think how can we dig deeper and what more can we provide and offer for the next group. I’m reading a book from two much more seasoned teachers than me and so much of it mirrors things in my lesson plans and in the exercises we work through already; it allows me to see where I could do better but also feel a bit of a pat on the back for where I have actually done a great job. I feel it’s important to discover and understand both our triumphs and our recognition of needs to improve!

I went through a messy three years. A lot of hiding and confusion turned to anger and shame and finally guilt and embarrassment. However, not that I have ‘made it to the other side’ or feel that I am in some place to offer great words of wisdom—I do feel that I can say I finally feel a little freer, don’t feel so broken, and am happier more days than sad or blue.

It’s been a process of diligence and dedication—and truthfully withdrawing from things to focus on my children and my home and my business has helped me the most. These things have allowed me to create memories and connections, create safe spaces and remember what is important to me…I don’t really know that I knew what I really cared most about besides the things you assume must matter to everyone.

I will 100% say that vulnerability has led to a major release in anxiety; there’s less surprise or secrecy of feeling like you have these things ‘wrong’ with you that no one else is going through. Chances are—most people around you are going through something just as relatable or maybe 10 times more frustrating than you are.

We can find ease in connection rather than distancing; a good balance of being ‘real’ verses over sharing can go a long was in not feeling like you have to present yourself as anyone other than who you are; and at the same time it can allow you to listen when people are sharing what THEY need or what you maybe could benefit in changing or developing in your own days. I’ve found a lot ‘vulnerability’ is just being available to others—not necessarily sharing all the gory details about your heartaches.

So if you’re feeling anxious—remember vulnerability starts with yourself. Actually talking to yourself through meditation, exercise, quiet time or even journaling to discover what you are feeling or hoping for rather than ignoring feelings you don’t understand. I know that is a major experience of anxiety for me—when I don’t allow myself to fully experience an emotion and find the root of why I am feeling that way.

So moving forward through summer and more teaching and less of other things for ‘work’, I’m hoping to continue to challenge myself to be more vulnerable in my day to day experiences whether spending time with my children or teaching a class of some sort. I want to bring a deeper experience and richer connection with those in my life and hopefully bring them a fuller version of myself, too.

Be vulnerable ❤

Mary

Just keep sharing what you love…

I started thinking about how I have been pulled in so many directions for a while now…I have sewn dresses for half my life now to make extra money, make ends meet, have expensive things for my children that I maybe couldn’t have afforded to purchase myself…and while doing that I found something else that I not only loved–but think I’m kind of ‘good at’.

I’ve lived by an exhausting calendar, a thread filled house and constant headache for quite a while now…and I realized in the last two months that while I love both hobbies and both do in fact help me pay my bills…one needs to be ‘fun’ and the other needs to be ‘work’.

I was raised by women that sew. Like REALLY sew…I learned from them, I worked in stores later that had amazing seamstresses that showed me how to do more meticulous handwork and I taught myself as much as I could over the last decade. I’ve made over 1000 dresses…for all ages and sizes…and the more I take on the more it feels like an uninteresting list of details rather than a craft I love that sweet Margaret and Margaret taught me that summer after college, or a sweet night with my Mimi at her dining table on her Kenmore sewing machine, or helping my mom make piping for pillows (which I HATE, by the way; home dec hates me).

My sweet Addy is so beautiful; I made so much for Nicholas because I had not started teaching at that time–and with Addy I feel I’m losing time and I get sadder every day over it. I lose sleep over it–silly, I know, but when you grow up with women that hand smock dresses for their babies and their babies and you’ll have these dresses forever…you start to feel you’re truly failing at something you NEED to do.

During this, I somehow have a fitness studio that has grown during a pandemic…it literally blows me away everyday. I also was teaching the majority of the barre classes at another fitness studio during this time that won best barre studio in Savannah…those are huge signs to me that I need to pursue my teaching endeavors while my body allows me…so I am.

I believe in sharing what you love–not selling what you do. I share my sewing in photos and gifts when I can and I got so busy in the last 11 years I can’t remember a day my table didn’t have an extra button on it and a machine pushed to the side for dinner (at best; it’s usually way messier than that). I have taught a minimum of 5 classes a week for a decade now because I love to help others feel better, watch them land in their bodies and the stress on their face+neck+shoulders melt away…

So I’m going to keep sharing…and I got to go back to the gulf coast this spring…it is one of my favorite places and where so much of my family still is…so for those that have shared with me and supported me in the last year of stress and business and all the other ‘stuff’, I hope to share this place I love with some of you, too…just to say thank you.

This cottage was quaint, away from the hustle, had amazing sunrises, and the calm of the ocean that just makes you feel ‘new’ every single time you pause and take it in. When I got there with my family in May I practiced with my youngest brother on the front lawn, walked sunrise with my middle brother down the bayside street, and my family did a cookout and dinner in the back courtyard our last night we stayed. I knew it was perfect for a retreat…and somewhere I would love to share with those of you that maybe have never ventured to the gulf coast!

There are so many things about my home state that I love and miss–and I hope that I can share some great things, food, maybe some of my family, and even some fun stops along the way with y’all that earn/win a spot.

Thank you always,

Mary

Keeping Calm—during busy times of the year

This year seems to always be CHAOS. Maybe that’s just the mom life talking, but end of the school year, planning summer vacations and figuring out how to fit kids into camps along with fun days and work and family seems to be quite a feat in the midst of all the other hundreds of things you are already doing.

Teachers are wrapping up school work and end of the year parties, work doesn’t slow down, traffic towards the beach is a nightmare, and all in all we are just trying to keep our heads above water til summer hits and we can (hopefully) press snooze a couple times and CHILL!

I

FEEL

YOU.

So, how can we find some peace and quiet and stillness in these crazy times? My advice to you—wake up early, go to bed on time, and give yourself that time in the mornings to start your day doing whatever it is that makes YOU happy. I’m not just talking ‘yoga’ or ‘meditation’ or the things that work for me…because truthfully, I have neglected those things as of late (I’m admitting it). I’ve been diving into self care—enjoying a quiet hot shower instead of rushing through rinsing off (which I do about 2 to 3 times a day because of my class schedule, practicing a more diligent skin care routine, finding books that are light easy reads and just enjoying a few pages here and there, REALLY cleaning my kitchen, sewing for my daughter, making fresh juice in my juicer we all know I’m obsessed with, fitting in a quick gym workout after a class or maybe stretching a bit or taking a walk outside…it’s different every day but I’m learning to listen to my body and take a little time for myself—and it makes a huge difference in my day and how much more I can give of myself to my kids and those around me.

The things that work best for me when I seem to be ‘at my best’:

  1. Wake up early. Period. It’s the one thing I find every successful blogger, self help expert, millionaire, etc. to have in common. The morning time is glorious—it’s light and inviting and a new start verses the night that is dark and ending. Embrace a new beginning instead of another closing.
  2. Live by my planner—plan every day and write down all the things I need to do. There is something so satisfying about marking things off a list! My first husband actually used to do this and it has stuck with me.
  3. Maintain the house just a little bit each day—when you wake up clean up what you see that you CAN in 10 minutes. Do it again at the end of the day. At least rinse the dishes and put them in one side of the sink so that next ten minutes you can just wash them or load the dishwasher—or have one of the kids do it! Start a load of laundry or change out a load in these 10 minutes—that can be a load a day which will make your weekend or catch up day drastically lighter on the workload!
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone. I have been TERRIBLE about letting myself be too available in some of my work and it has caused so much stress, anxiety and over committing. Not I have to actually CHECK to see who has contacted me (I do make myself available for those that would be trying to reach me for my kids). This has been life changing.
  5. Lastly, do make time for yourself. WRITE THIS IN YOUR PLANNER. Whether it is a workout class, a daily walk, that time to wake up and get ready and make yourself feel your best, or even just treating yourself to a healthy meal or a coffee—PLAN THIS and DO IT and ENJOY IT!

You are responsible for your own happiness; make it happen! Don’t let the chaotic responsibilities we all have get you flustered!

And if yoga or meditation IS your thing, try these postures to help maybe ease your mind and help you start your day calm, cool and collected—or wind down to rest for the night! Remember that our yoga practice is not always about the sweat—it’s more about connecting with your breath and your body. Some poses are meant to stretch you, some are meant to bring fire and heat and intensity to your movements, and some are meant to detoxify or even just slow your blood pressure and help bring ease to your body. Use these to relax!

Downward dog—but walk the hands back to get your hips higher and heels closer to the mat. This will help you tap into your breath, stretch your side body, engage your core and help stretch your legs.
Waterfall—or do against a fall for feet up the wall—this helps reverse the natural flow of our body from our usual upright position during standing, sitting, walking, etc. It is calming, grounding and restful.
Standing forward fold—you can press your fingers to the floor or relax and let your upper body drape forward. This let’s gravity bring some length to your spine and also stretches the backs of the legs; keep your weight moving slightly forward instead of into your heels.
Peace pose; a gentler version of pigeon. This is sometimes called pretzel in other practices; bend each leg at 90 degrees and sit up right trying to ground both thighs or fold forward. If you are naturally more open here, you can shift into pigeon by extending the back leg and turning the front of the thigh to the floor. This is calming, grounding, and peaceful and you can also add a twist over the front leg by walking your hands to frame the front thigh.
Stack the ankles—or sit in any posture with legs crossed that help you relax. You may want to sit on a blanket or block to bring ease to the lower back. This is a great way to just sit, bring awareness to your breath and give yourself a moment of quiet. Focus on breathing more than anything else and you just may find your mind taking you somewhere else!

Heart Openers + Emotions

In the yoga world we try to sequence (choreograph) our classes and practices to help the body do a variety of things.

Sometimes it is truly just to relax, breathe, and feel back with yourself.

Sometimes it is to sweat, feel stronger and accomplished–change your body physically which of course works back to our mental needs, too.

And sometimes it is all about energy work–security, creativity, empowerment, love, confidence, intuition, and overall balance and understanding.

In February–with Valentine’s Day, what better time to focus on opening that heart space and how to tap into those loving emotions. Whether you need to cultivate love and kindness for frustrating or lonely times–or want to celebrate love and admiration of someone in particular and of course for yourself, these postures may help!

Start with grounding yourself; whether you believe in energy work or not–heart openers can bring up some emotions and feelings you may not understand or even recognize are speaking to you! Let your body release them and listen to what your body is telling you!

Things to remember:

WARM UP: never go straight into your back bends! Warm up the front of your hips, warm up your arms and shoulders, and make sure you warm up adequately for the level of challenge you are hoping to achieve! (a little back bend needs a little warm up–a BIG back bend needs a LOT of warm up)

Don’t overdo it! If you feel tingly, pinching, sensations in your nose or fingers–STOP!

BREATHE while in your pose!

In cobra, we stay low to the ground. It actually is fairly suitable for warming things up; keep your elbows by your side and use your upper back strength to lift the shoulders as if you want to press them back behind you.

In upward facing dog, we take cobra to a higher intensity–be sure you are warm for this one for sure! Arms should be extended and engaged, thighs should be engaged+drawing toward one another+and off the mat, and you should feel more LENGTHENING in your spine than back bending!

A standing back bend is also one was to open the chest and explore upper body movement–but without losing that sensation of grounding through the feet! Pictured above may be too intense for you, so try just looking UP first!

ADD a back bend in other poses! In this grounded lunge, the shoulders are pressing back and the chest is opening toward the front of the mat and eventually upwards. There are MANY postures that allow heart opening possibilities! What others can you think of? How about pigeon, tree pose, and warrior 3?

ADVANCED back bends look cool…but can actually cause you hard–so be sure you are balanced, ready for deeper bending and have the core stability to try things like scorpion and king variations! Scorpion variations is one popular term for inversions allowing the feet to drop down behind the head; a king version is a more popular wording for reaching back for one or both feet with both hands and bringing them to the head (such as in dancer and pigeon).

Remember, the fullest expression of the pose is NEVER a requirement and can be dangerous–so stay where you are and work to what your body craves…not what you see on instagram!

Bend and open and feel all the love this February!

B+Y

What do I wear to class?

A common question we hear when someone decides to start attending classes is ‘well, what do I wear?’

First and foremost–be comfortable. Especially in the beginning–just wear what you would be able to move in and feel confident in. As you figure out which classes you enjoy most you will easily find what styles and fits of athletic clothing you like for each class.

For classes you will be moving quickly and doing a lot of large movements–you will probably want things that are more fitted, especially for your bottom half. This allows you to move without feeling tangled, and probably is more comfortable as your body warms up. Leggings can help keep heat in, too and that helps with circulation and flexibility during the class! You will want a good supportive sports bra for you ladies; in athletic classes, if you are larger in the chest you will want to look into sports bras with wider straps. They will be more comfortable and not pull so much on your neck–and this goes for outside the studio too (can help reduce shoulder tension, headaches, and even help your posture). Shirts are up to you–if you like to stay warm try a snug dry fit long sleeve tee. If you prefer tank tops, try something that lets you move easily but stays in place. For classes like yoga, more fitted shirts tend to be less distracting; for barre and other fitness classes, looser tops are fine because you are not ‘upside down’ much and don’t have to worry about the top moving around.

For gentle yoga classes and other classes like YIN and meditation, really anything is fine. If you prefer fitted clothing–wear it. If you want more relaxed fitted things that feel comfortable–wear those! You also may want layers in these classes since you won’t be creating so much heat in your body.

There are ALL kinds of brands out there–there are all kinds of fabrics and styles and fits. Trendy, basic, bright, subtle…you name it–you’ll find it. There are also all price points from affordable items at Wal-Mart and Target, to high end brands at boutique studios and specialty stores like Dick’s and Lululemon.

We don’t carry much athletic apparel in the studio anymore–but you can shop our online boutique with Zyia Athletics HERE! Check out our suggestions below for classes we offer:

Fav bra–the bomber bra; a lot of support, a lot of colors and a lot of bang for your buck!

Fav leggings–for compression and feeling supported and held in tight, try the light n tights! For comfy movement and super soft fabrics for yoga and really anything–try any of the luxe line!

Fav tanks–for a comfy tank that fits great and not too snug try the swirl tank. For more fitted dry wicking styles try the copper charged tank or horizon muscle tank.

Fav lounge and loose fitting pants–oh the jogger life; so comfy and functional. All the joggers are superb–and if you want a snugger fit that functions as a legging but has more a jogger look, try the ascends. For some just all around comfy pants, try the unwind joggers.

Fav pullovers–the velvet sweatshirts are so soft and perfect fitting. The namaste tee and yoga shawl is also a fav for wearing to class or even out and about!

I didn’t know y’all ‘work out’ there?!

We hear this…like every single day. And we love the response when someone tries any of our fitness classes. It’s a mix of surprise with ‘that was really hard’, a sigh of relief when that cool towel touches their face, and a bit of eagerness to try another one.

Yes…we ‘work out’ at The Barre+Yoga Room.

Yoga is NOT just stretching; in fact most of what you see on tv, instagram (ESPECIALLY instagram), and maybe picture in your mind as being ‘yoga’ is only about 10 % of it. Like any other methodology, dogma and practice–it has evolved SO much from where it started, been through chains of lineage and founded by new students that became teachers and evolved their own styles and beliefs on teaching.

This means just like there’s a lover out there for every person and a church for every believer–there’s a yoga practice for every body!

Within B+Y we have traditionally trained instructors mixed with new fitness ideals. We then sprinkle in different backgrounds and lifestyles for each of our teachers and you have a variety on our teaching staff that will help you always have a class to look forward too–and never feel you are just doing the same thing over and over again.

If you want a WORKOUT, try THESE:

PULSE 30 | 60 | 90 – this class is heated to 85 and uses tons of props for weights and resistance. There is a combination of pilates inspired core work, barre and traditional fitness ‘moves’, and power yoga to help you tap in, tone up, and zone out.

FLOW+CORE – ah, another fav. All the core with all the flow. We heat this class to 90 and help you burn out your abs and flow til you can’t flow no mo’. Movements are set to hip hop music to bring the fire to your workout.

HOT FLOW – a great mix of yoga, 90 degrees, moves that seem like nothing in the moment but will give you some soreness the next day

Cardio Barre+Yoga and Barre Xpress – any of our barre classes are going to light your legs on FIRE! We sweat and we sweat HARD with barre–so prepare yourself. You’ll work your entire body every class and end with a cool down stretch to keep those muscles lengthening.

If you want to STRETCH and RESTORE sore muscles or RELAX your mind and spirit–try these:

Gentle Yoga – a perfect place for beginners or those needing more of a mental practice than a rigorous workout. This class moves a little slower and lets you stretch and feel at ease.

YIN – YIN is a fav with so many because it’s low, restful and never heated…in fact it’s kept chilly in the room most of the time. In yin we stress joint space and connective tissues in our bodies to help relieve tension and other emotions we may be holding on to, as well as physical stresses that can effect our posture and overall ease in the body.

Practicing With Prayer – This class is set to popular Christian and uplifting music and weaves scripture throughout the practice. If you need a safe place to land, are looking to get back to your faith or maybe just need some positivity in your week–this is a gentle yoga class with some yin like postures.

If you have questions–message us; but yoga is a spectrum and there truly is a place for the toughest gym rat to the anxious busy body.

Come practice with us!

Welcome

We’ve worked really hard to keep our space simple, inviting, and growing for more than two years now.

From two instructors and a small schedule, to classes every single day and a staff that keeps the space running, clean, and happily evolving to suit our communities needs–this studio has become more than a place to practice yoga and to workout. It is truly a space to nurture your spirit, make friends, feel inspired, and find your footing.

We have big plans for the year ahead, hope for more growth and opportunities, more faces through our door and more to give back to our people.

Thank you for supporting us–we hope you allow us to keep supporting your mind and body needs in return.