An introduction to Barre with Anness Brown

Anness Brown has joined our incredible selection of wellbeing teachers, bringing Barre to The Studio at Restoration Yard for the first time. Combining the low impact fusion of Pilates, ballet and yoga, So Barre, So Good is designed to lengthen, strengthen and tone your whole body. We sat down with Anness to chat further and find out everything you need to know before your first Barre class at Restoration Yard.

Anness Brown, Barre Teacher, in The Studio at Restoration Yard

I arrived at Barre in my mid 40’s, my background is not ballet or any form of personal training, far from it actually!!I’ve spent the last 25 years in the marketing world of whisky, cars and hotels!

Like most people I have dabbled with various methods of exercise whether that’s yoga, Pilates, callanetics or aerobics but it was only when I started doing Barre that I really felt I’d found my method of exercise. I just fell in love with the way it made me feel. I could see my body changing, getting stronger and more flexible, I was also experiencing an amazing mental health benefit too, I finished each class just feeling so happy.

Like many in my age group, or any age group for that matter, I was (and still am) juggling a young family, work, elderly parents not to mention the first signs of perimenopause for me this happened to be anxiety and the dreaded nightly insomnia! The way I coped was Barre and after each practise I always felt calmer and able to get on with all the ups and downs of life. I was curious to find out why and how Barre was having such a positive effect on me and so my teacher training journey began.

What training do you have?

I trained in The Barreconcept Method which then led me to The London Method which is based on the original exercises of Lotte Berk, the originator and founder of the barre technique.  I am now teaching and loving every moment of sharing this amazing method of exercise.

So, what is Barre?

It is a low impact fusion of Pilates, ballet and yoga designed to lengthen, strengthen, and tone the body.  For me it is like taking all the best bits of each and then bringing them all together into this great workout. Using a barre as leverage and support, you do simple repetitive movements that will enable you to tap into deep hard to reach muscles. As you work one side of your body with tiny movements to lift, lengthen and tone the other side is stretching, stabilizing and holding you in position – you are continually getting a full body work out without really noticing, well you will feel it, a few wee shakes here and there - there will be a burn, but a good burn!

What are the common misconceptions of Barre?

So many people think you must be super fit or have done ballet before. This is absolutely not the case. No previous barre or ballet experience is required, these exercises were specially designed for non- dancers to enjoy and achieve.

Who is Barre perfect for?

This class is for every body type, no matter the fitness level, size, or age. It is particularly great for the peri - to post-menopausal age as this method of exercise stretches and sculpts muscle whilst burning fat without any cardio strain, it also builds muscle density.

This may sound like a cliché and quite bold but barre sets you up for a great future you; you have to invest in your fitness level now so you can have a healthy fit life later… your 80-year-old self will thank you big time!!  It’s also great for those ladies (and gents) that love the music from a Zumba or aerobics class but all the left to right, jump up, step here there and everywhere …. just leaves you in a spin and always facing in the wrong direction (I’m talking from experience here!!). Barre is simple and fun.

What are the main benefits of your class?

This barre class will tone your arms and legs, pull in your waist, lift your bottom, flatten your stomach, and maybe most importantly leave you in a great mood!! It’s so much more than just toning your body!

What makes your class unique?

There are lots of barre classes out there. My class is very much based on the original barre method, and I draw a great deal of inspiration from Lotte Berk. Lotte was an ex-ballerina who in the 1960’s created a method of exercise with a mission to heal bodies from the inside out, the exercises ( as I’ve said before) were designed for non-dancers! Throughout the last 50 years other forms of exercise have derived from Lotte’s original method such as the more cardio barre but for me there is nothing quite like the original simple but effective method.

Why do you like teaching at Restoration Yard?

It’s one of the best studios I’ve been in, it’s spacious, airy and overlooks the pretty Restoration Yard courtyard. It’s such a beautiful setting, you can’t help but feel relaxed as you drive through the gates of Dalkeith Country Park and make your way through the stunning estate to The Studio. I live in south Edinburgh and it’s so easy to get to The Studio, it’s just a quick 10- minute drive and there is always plenty of parking, an added bonus!

"I urge anyone who is remotely intrigued or interested to give Barre a go, it may be just right for you too!" ~ Anness Brown

So Barre, So Good

Join Anness on Wednesdays at 11:30 - 12:30 in The Studio and find the missing piece to your exercise regime. Did you know we have classes running almost every day at Restoration Yard!? Check out the Wellbeing Class Programme and design your week of wellbeing now.