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Raising the Barre: 8 Ways to Refine Your Focus In Pure Barre


(Photo Credit: Pure Barre Boulder)

When you find something that changes your life from the inside out, you just can’t help but want to share your enthusiasm with others!  I could wax poetic about Pure Barre all day, but that might be frightening to some of you.  Or it might make us BFFs…either one.

When I took my first Pure Barre class, I was so nervous that I was shaking before class even started! I worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and that everyone else would be laughing at me, or at the very least they’d be chuckling at me on the inside.

Well, as it turns out, that didn’t happen.

Over the past several months, I feel like I’ve gotten into a great rhythm with my Pure Barre workouts, but what I’ve learned is that getting the results became more about challenging my mind and letting my body follow.

Here are my best tips on refining your focus in Pure Barre so you can make the most of your workout and get the results you want!

1. Create a mental bubble.

If you catch yourself comparing to someone else, you have one of two choices.  You can either use those negative feelings as fuel to push you forward either in your workout or whatever else in life, or you can push the thought aside and use your energy to make sure you have the best workout possible.  Focus on your goals, your body, and what you want out of this one hour.  (The third option is to get so overwhelmed by these comparisons, thinking that said person is better than you that you just quit trying.  We both know you’re stronger than that.)

2. Everyone starts somewhere.

You wouldn’t compare a professional athlete with a novice, so don’t compare yourself to others in class.  We all start somewhere, so don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t where someone else is.  What looks “easy” for someone else is probably the result of months (maybe years) of really hard work, consistent effort and dedication.  Pure Barre is about more than being fit, it’s about understanding the movements and putting all your work into whatever target body part is being worked.  Let yourself start somewhere and know where you want to end up.  With some dedication, shaking muscles, and positive self-talk, you’ll get there too!

3. Discomfort is different from pain.

If you are in pain, then you might be doing the pose incorrectly or have an injury that isn’t healed.  In the case of pain, stop, take a break, listen to your body, and talk to the instructor about modifications.

However, a big part of exercise is discomfort, which is different from pain.  Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the two, but check in with your body and start to feel out that difference.  If holding the pose feels obnoxious, tiring (but not like you are going to pass out), and uncomfortable, you can probably keep going. Try the 5 second rule–give yourself 5 more seconds in a pose you think you can’t hold and see how you feel then.  If you made it 5 more seconds, give yourself 5 more before coming out.  You’ll be surprised at how much longer you can hold the pose than you originally thought.

4. You Are Your Own Worst Critic

Believe it or not, people aren’t watching you during your workout to take you down a notch. 99% of the time, people are just glancing around the room trying to find their focus. They’re all too busy thinking about themselves to be focused on you! When it comes to your workout, being self-centered is a good thing! :)

5. Get clear on your intentions.

It sounds too simple to be effective, but it makes a huge difference.  Before you walk through those doors, figure out exactly what you want from this workout.  Do you want to feel mentally strong? Get rid of some negative energy from a bad day? Slim down your thighs? Get stronger arms? Sculpt your seat so you can wear that dress or awesome pair of jeans? Whatever it is you’re going for, figure it out and remind yourself of that any time you start to compare yourself to others or want to drop a pose.

6. Do it for you and you only.

During your workout, don’t just block out the rest of the world, block out everything in the room and just focus on what you want to get out of the next hour.  Don’t worry about the person next to you or down the barre.  They’re on their own path so stay on yours.  Any time you find your mind wandering, bring it back to your intention.  This is your time, use it to get what you want out of your workout.

7. Focus on your breathing & position

Pure Barre is such an intense workout that if you’re letting your mind wander/compare, you’re
going to either a) miss key instructions or b) not be working your hardest and therefore not getting the results you could be getting.

Focus on your breathing, the music, and getting into the right position. Focusing on the actual work keeps your focus and energy on you, not on others in the room. See this post for 7 tips to help you hold challenging poses. 

8. Clear your mind.

After being out for a week with a stomach flu, I was nervous about getting back into my workouts and not being able to give everything I usually could.  I went into my first class back with nothing but a desire to listen to my body and do as much as I could while enjoying the workout.  The result? I totally surprised myself.  Not having high expectations for myself or thoughts buzzing around my head let me get back to the simplicity of the moves and be in the flow.  Not only did I physically feel great, but I was able to hold poses I usually find really difficult with a lot more ease than usual.  Sometimes clearing your mind and not thinking too hard is just what you need to refresh yourself and your workout.

Remember: every day and every body is different.  Use what works for you and listen to your body.  Most of all, have fun! What you put into the workout is what you’ll get out!

LTB <3



I’m not affiliated with Pure Barre in any way, I’m just an enthusiast and all thoughts expressed here are my own. 

*Photo credit: Pure Barre Boulder

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Sam Brown May 18, 2014, 6:47 am

    Love this! I still don’t really have much idea what pure barre is exactly haha but I just read this replacing everytime it says ‘pure barre’ with ‘bikram yoga’ and it fits crazy well! I love every bit of this!!

    Sam xx
    Sam Brown recently posted…3 Differences Between People Who Live Their Dreams and The People Who Spend Their Lives DreamingMy Profile

    • Alex May 18, 2014, 10:42 am

      Thanks, Sam! I’m glad it works when you replace bikram yoga for PB! I think tips for most types of exercise can be interchanged. Pure Barre just happens to be my thing so that’s why I write about it :)

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