1) How long have you been taking barre classes?

I took 6 classes at a strictly barre studio during a Groupon promotion and then a couple years later was able to incorporate barre to my weekly fitness routine once PAI added barre in April 2014.

2) What made you decide to become a barre instructor?

Fitness and a healthy lifestyle are extremely important to me, but as a graphic designer by day, it was only a hobby. Being an instructor allows me expand my creativity beyond Photoshop and print ads, logos and annual reports. I see the opportunity to teach as a way to share my love of fitness with others, leading clients through the challenging exercises and gentle stretches that I have personally seen benefit from.

3) What is your favorite section of barre class and why?

I love the arms section. Right up front muscles are burning, and you just know that this is a no-nonsense workout! I love seeing my muscles spring to life in the mirror across the room. But I also always look forward to ab work, in any fitness class. I’ve always had a strong core and ability to push myself in ab exercises, and there’s nothing better than walking out of a barre room feeling immediately trimmed in the midsection!

4) How would you describe your training experience?

As someone that has never taught anything before, let alone fitness, it was a huge step out of my comfort zone to decide to teach. The training broke classes and exercises down in a manageable, understandable way. It was definitely information overload that first day! But there are systems, and Rachel’s calm presence, clear instruction, and encouragement, made me confident that I too could retain the knowledge that would translate into leading clients through a real class.

5) What advice would you give to people considering trying barre class?

I know I was totally lost the first few times I took barre classes, so don’t feel like you’re alone if you are feeling out of your league. Barre is accessible to everyone! Listen to the teacher to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and really focus your attention on the specific muscle group you’re working. Breathe! And embrace the shaking muscles that feel totally foreign! It may take a few classes, but soon you’ll welcome that shake and know you’re changing your body for the better.

6) What is your general fitness routine?

After years of running, I took time away from it after a hip stress fracture. I then chose to focus more on building my yoga practice, with a little spinning for cardio and TRX on the side. For years I would go to yoga, especially the hot classes, as many times a week as I could after work, and then I had my first baby and my free-time focus, purposefully, changed. My love of yoga remained, but I didn’t want to spend as much time in the studio and away from home. I was also completely humbled by how quickly I lost the core strength I had completely taken for granted all my life! Barre came into my life 8 months after my daughter was born, and it was perfect timing since it is an incredibly efficient and effective workout, and I feel like my hour away from the family is well-spent. It is now a weekly priority for me to get to at least three classes between barre/yoga/spinning with lots of walks, when the weather is nice, with the stroller. Staying active makes me feel so great, mentally and physically, so I make it a consistent way to take care of myself.

Lynn Ison teaches barre-OM® classes at PAI Yoga & Fitness (www.paiyogafitness.com) on Mondays at 6am. Email barreominfo@gmail.com for more information about classes, workshops or training.