Daily Burn Barre Harmony

 

It isn’t everyday that I have the opportunity to try out a new workout, be the most awkward person in the group and have a blast wth other fun ladies while filming a live workout.

Daily Burn barre harmony group

Alyssa Sparacino  – me – Leslie McDonaldAliKelly RobertsAshley Macha

As part of Daily Burn’s press launch for their new barre workout, Barre Harmony, a few of us were invited to give the workout a try during today’s Daily Burn 365 filming.  DB365 is Daily Burn’s latest workout program which features, brand-new 30 minute workouts every SINGLE day at 9 AM.  Available on the Daily Burn 365 page all day, people can do the workout at home any time during the day that works for their schedule.  How fun is that?  In case you haven’t heart of it, Daily Burn is a leading streaming fitness service which offers more than 600 stremaing workouts taught by certified trainers. I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of their workouts over the years since my good friend Theodora is one of Daily Burn’s Senior Managers. In fact, Bo and I streamed Daily Burn’s workouts on a weekly basis, our favorites of which were Inferno Power and 5/10 in Nine workouts.

Their new barre program, Barre Harmony, was created by the talented Becca Pace as a 6-week at home program that will target the burn in 15-40 minute workouts you can stream from home.  The workouts only require a yoga mat, a chair and optional light weights if you want added burn.  Perfect for all abilities, each workout shows modifications to make the workout easier or harder.  Barre Harmony is the first time Daily Burn has featured a barre program and I am sure it’ll become one of their more popular programs due to the great mix of mobility movements, toning, cardio and stretching.

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Our group arrived a bit before the live 9AM Daily Burn 365 show began filming in order to go through the moves, understand the show’s flow and get comfortable.  For today’s workout, I was the person showing all the modifications which was a very new role for me. At first, I was self concious of being the person doing the modifications as I’m used to going all out but then I realized that right now, modifications are what allow me to stay active and healthy during this last trimester of pregnancy. You should have seen my face when they told me that doing modifications meant a lot of camera time in order to make sure the people watching at home could follow them. As you guys know, I’m not the most coordinated person in the world so I was worried about messing up but luckily our group spent most of the rehearsal laughing and having fun together which helped calm my nerves.

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Once we started the workout at 9 AM, the workout flew by. I was so focused on the moves and adjustments that I never looked for a clock to check the time. The workout flowed quickly between cardio bursts, strength work and stretching which I appreciated and also helped keep things interesting. The two hosts, JD and Becca kept things light hearted and positive with lots of jokes and postitive reinforcement for both our group and the viewers at home. Also, the below picture is one of the few moments when I wasn’t watching Becca to ensure I was doing the move properly. I found the lack of mirror to be the most challenging aspect of the live workout as I’m accustomed to watching my form and the instructor via a mirror during barre and other workouts.  If you want to see some of the footage from today’s workout, you can watch me in all my awkward glory via their Facebook video.

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Want to check out Barre Harmony for yourself? You’re in luck as right now you can get a free 30-day trial so you can tuck, pulse, stretch and sweat at home with Barre Harmony!

Thank you to Daily Burn for inviting me to be a part of today’s launch and for the free 30-day trial!

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Maternity Workouts & Workout Gear

running while pregnant

Before I got pregnant, I thought that I would spend the nine months running and sweating in the same way as before. I had visions of finishing multiple races while wearing a fun pregnancy tank, further developing my muscles and strength during high intensity workouts and continuing to explore and try different NYC boutique fitness workouts via ClassPass.

I quickly realized, that pregnancy is unique for each person. Personally, I found it virtually impossible to workout during weeks 7-12 of pregnancy due to exhaustion and some nausea. Over the past 11 weeks I have luckily been able to return to a consistent workout routine, averaging six workouts per week. However, my weekly workout schedule has evolved and quite different than what I did before.

  • Most weeks, my workout schedule is as follows:

Instead of trying multiple studios and teachers per month, I am more focused. Each of the above workouts leave me feeling strong, energize and most of all – safe. The instructors are able to easily provide me with prenatal adjustments while also focusing on form and technique. These workouts are also helping me prepare for the marathon that will is child birth and being a new mom. These workouts also take place in Brooklyn, which is quite an adjustment from my previous routine.  Walking to workouts allows me to enjoy some fresh air and extra movement while also saving on commute time.

In addition to changing my routine and class choices, I’ve also had to make some changes to my workout gear. By the time I entered my second trimester,  my body was significantly growing and changing. Suddenly I felt as if I had no workout clothes, even though my dresser drawers were filled with sports bras, leggings and tops. I did my best to resist buying things but then realized that the last thing I wanted to feel or resemble while working out was a stuffed sausage. I spent an afternoon going through my dresser and made three piles – donate, keep but store for after pregnancy, and keep to wear now.  Once I purged my drawers I invested in a few pieces that would allow me to feel confident and comfortable while working out.

Here is the workout gear that I’ve been loving during pregnancy.

  • For Two Fitness Tank – I love this comfortable tank as it comes in a number of colors, is flattering and very comfortable. The technical fabric and long length ensures that the top stays in place and I stay cool during every workout  This makes a perfect gift for a new mom who enjoys working out and wants to share her news with everyone.

For Two Fitness Tank

  • Brooks Pick-Up Tank Top – This was one of my favorite workout tanks before pregnancy but now that I am the proud owner of a growing bump, I’ve fallen even more in love with it. Available in more than 15 different colors, this affordable tank ranges in price from $21-$42 depending on color and is so soft and stretchy. In fact, it’s so long and stretchy that I am still able to wear my pre-pregnancy size though I finally ordered 2 new tanks in a size larger to enjoy during the rest of pregnancy.  My friend who is also pregnant raves about the higher neck so she isn’t constantly flashing people during workouts and I love the skimming shape.

Core Power Yoga Ashley

  • Brooks Juno and Brooks Fiona Sports Bras – The first piece of workout gear I had to invest in during pregnancy were new sports bras. My 36A sports bras were uncomfortably tight within the first trimester as I rapidly grew from a 36A to a 36C. Now, at week 23 I’m between a C and a D but luckily, thanks to the adjustable straps on each of these styles, I’m still enjoying both bras. The molded cups limit my headlights during workouts and the light compression provides me with the support I need.  Many of my mom friends recommended these bra styles as they can also be used for nursing after I give birth.  In addition, Brooks sells these bras in almost every size beginning at 30B and going up to 44DD.
  • Nike Power Epic Running Tights – I’ve been surprised to find myself reaching for these black tights week after week, even as my stomach and body grows.  They stretch more than any of my other leggings and the mesh details on the calf help keep me cool.

Your turn: If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant before, what were your favorite pieces of workout gear? Unfortunately, it seems like most brands have discontinued or limited their maternity gear over the past few years, as when I read older blog posts or articles, more than half the links and lines no longer exist. 

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CorePower Yoga New York City

Get excited New York City – CorePower Yoga is finally coming to Manhattan.  This May CorePower Yoga is opening the doors of it’s first New York City location at 70th and Broadway on the Upper West Side.

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For years, I’ve heard friends and fellow bloggers rave about CorePower Yoga. With over 160 studios nationwide, it seemed like there was a studio in just about every metropolitan city except New York. Focused on helping students live their power, push beyond their boundaries and turn stress into sweat, CorePower Yoga is far more than your typical yoga studio.  Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to preview CorePower Yoga thanks to a lovely morning event hosted by CorePower Yoga and Well+Good NYC at Central Park’s Tavern on the Green.

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Evann and I attended the 11 AM event together, during which we enjoyed a hybrid class, hosted by three dynamic and energetic women who are leading the opening of the NYC location. The hybrid class blended aspects of two of their class offerings,  Yoga Sculpt and Core Power Yoga 2, together in one 60-minute class.

Evann and Ashley CorePower YogaCan we take a minute to appreciate the sunlight that flowed through the space? Tavern on the Green’s atrium was the perfect venue for a morning flow as we were able to enjoy the blue skies and morning sun as we stretched and energized our bodies.  Even though it was freezing outside, it was warm and toasty on our mats.

Since this was my first time experiencing CorePower Yoga, one of the first things I noticed were the hand weights which they recommended we place on our mat. Unlike other studios, one of their signature classes, Yoga Sculpt, include light hand weights to intensify each yoga pose. In addition, throughout the flow weights are incorporated into strength-training moves such as squats, lunges and bicep curls.

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Once we were all situated on our mats, the three instructors welcomed us, introduced us to CorePower Yoga and explained the flow of class. As you can see from this picture, they were on Cloud Nine, thrilled to finally be sharing CorePower Yoga and the news of their new studio with so many New York City yogis. Their positive energy set a great tone for class before we even started. I loved when they told us each to not take class too seriously – it’s only Saturday morning yoga.

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After a few minutes of intention setting, we  started the flow with time in child’s pose, grounding ourselves, before quickly transitioning into the flow portion.  During the flow, which moved at a pace fast enough to induce a sweat but slow enough to ensure proper form, the instructors were hyper-focused on form and adjustments, which I always appreciate. They also created a supportive, inspiring environment for the students motivating us to do our best and be present in the moment.

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After thirty minutes we regrouped and transitioned into the challenging but fun yoga sculpt portion of class. Unlike any yoga class I’ve taken before, this class mixed strength, cardio and flexibility into the practice. For example, in chair pose we would hold the pose and then begin doing arm exercises using the weights before flowing to the next move. I really enjoyed the use of weights and appreciated the added challenge EXCEPT for the transition points on the mat. This may have been that the lighter weights didn’t have enough space to be held properly while also allowing for wrist movement but I felt clumsy during plank and sun salutations.  The cardio bursts were also a fun change of pace, incorporating things like mountain climbers into the middle of a plank series, or burpees following a flow.

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By the end of the class, I was exhausted but completely zen. My muscles were still shaking from the strength training and my tank top was sweaty from the cardio but I was standing taller and feeling lighter due to the yoga and positive vibes. Regardless of your level of practice, CorePower Yoga offers a class that is right for you. I appreciate that under one roof you can find sculpting, cardio and zen.

Core Power Yoga Ashley

Even though it is a trek from our apartment in Carroll Gardens, I will certainly be heading to the Upper West Side to enjoy classes once they open.

Interested to learn more about CorePower Yoga’s UWS location? Head over to their website to learn more about the studio and their limited time 25% off special.

Thank you to Turner PR, Well + Good NYC and CorePower Yoga for inviting me to a wonderful event. Photo credit: Barbara Corella, Evann Clingan and Well+Good NYC

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