Q&A with your barre instructor - zosia

1. What sparked your interest with health and fitness?

Growing up I was always intimidated by the gym setting, and like most people in high school, university, & beyond, I was extremely self-conscious about the way my body looked. As I began to learn more about nutrition through self-study while I was at King’s, I started to take an interest in the connection between mind, body & spirit, and how they all have such a profound effect on the other. When I realized this, I knew I had to start treating my body better & I’ve only grown in my dedication toward living a healthy lifestyle & wanting to share what I know with others. 

2. In your opinion what do you think is special about barre classes?

Barre classes are great because it's a fusion of so many forms of fitness that intimidates many people, like ballet, dance, pilates & yoga - but it's not anything to be scared of!! The way that the class is organized makes it challenging, but not difficult enough so that you feel 'lost' or can't keep up. After a few classes you'll begin to feel stronger, get a sense of improved flexibility and posture.

3. Now if someone doesn't have any experience in dance or ballet - can they still benefit from barre classes? 

I’ve taught a variety of classes over the past year, and the most common excuse I hear from people as to why they won’t try something is, “I’ve never done it before.” Well, how do you know if you’re going to enjoy it, or if it will benefit you if you won’t try something new? You don’t need dance, ballet or pilates experience, you don’t even have to have experience working out! Trust me, O BARRE is low-impact, and pretty easy to follow. Not to mention I’ve put together a pretty great playlist of songs to sweat to!!

4. What exactly can someone expect at an O BARRE class?

You can expect to work hard, because well, it’s work!! Your balance, muscle engagement & body awareness are going to be challenged & you’re going to feel the muscles you worked tomorrow, and probably the day after. After time, you’re going to notice your balance, muscle composition, & flexibility improve. It’s challenging, and fun!

5. What should I wear or bring to my first O BARRE class?

O BARRE doesn't require a lot of equipment; we have everything you'll need at the studio except a yoga mat. Besides that, please bring a reusable water bottle & grippy socks, the ones with the rubber on the bottom. If you don't have a pair, bare feet will keep you from slipping. Wear comfortable fitness attire, that fits properly. You don't want to be worried about fiddling with your clothes during a class.

6. What can be found in your gym bag?

My gym bag has the pretty standard gym-goer items in it. A water bottle, (I love BKR or Swell), extra socks, Deep Blue Rub, headphones, lip balm and doTERRA essential oils. I also always have hand sanitizer, dry shampoo, yoga mat/shoe spray all of which I made myself from essential oils.

7. Do you have a special morning routine?

My morning routine is my favourite part of my day, by far. It sets the tone of my entire day! As soon as I wake up I meditate for 5-10 minutes before doing anything. I put a drop of doTERRA Peppermint oil in my palm, rub my hands together, cup over my nose & mouth and inhale deeply, I rub my hands on the back of my back for a cooling sensation too. It's such an uplifting aroma, it perks me right up. I'll put on the kettle and work on drinking a litre of water before anything else goes in my system. Most mornings I'll add a drop of Lemon essential oil. After my water is down, I usually oil pull while I make my Bulletproof Coffee (make sure to look it up to learn about the amazing benefits!!). After oil pulling, I sip my coffee while I write down & prioritize all of the things I need to accomplish that day. When I'm about half way done my coffee I'll put some essential oil in my diffuser, whatever I'm feeling that day, and do some Sun Salutations in my kitchen or living room. After my practice, I like to journal. By then, my dog, Zeppelyn, gets a bit antsy, so we'll go out for a walk. On our walks I always listen to a Podcast. I really like The Model Health Show, Robin Sharma Mastery Sessions, Balanced Bites, Fed & Fit, Mind Pump and the Melissa Ambrosini Show.

8. Outside of O BARRE - where can you be found?

I have a few commitments on the go actually. I teach group fitness & am a personal trainer at the HealthPlex, so I spend the majority of my time there. When I'm not instructing, I spend a lot of my time working with doTERRA Essential Oils, mainly educating about their uses & how people can reduce their toxic load with plants. Currently, I'm taking a Yoga Teacher Training Course to be certified to instruct Yoga. I never thought I would miss homework being out of school, but I love having to study, learn new concepts & be held accountable for homework. I also work one morning a week at Sam's Percolator. When I'm not working I spend the rest of my time with my dog, doing my own work outs or hanging out with friends.

9. How do you stay motivated on days when your energy is or you're just not feeling it?

On days when I feel sluggish or unmotivated it's easy for me to stay active because I have a routine. I feel that's key to living a healthy & active lifestyle. Even when I'm not feeling my best, I know my dog needs to get outside - and she can't go by herself (haha) so that means at least 30-60 minutes of my day is spent being active. Being a fitness instructor, I can't just not teach a class because I'm not feeling up to it.  Caffeine really helps, I love Bulletproof coffee. Peppermint essential oil really helps me feel uplifted as well, I'll usually just smell it or put a drop in my water. Other than that, I think the power of mindset is what keeps me moving. Don't get me wrong, of course I have off days where I do very little, but I just have to remind myself how I'll feel the next day & how hard it is to get back into a routine, even with one day off.

10. How do you want your clients to feel when they leave your classes?

I want participants to feel motivated, energized & accomplished. I hope that they learn something about themselves during each class, and say "wow, I didn't know I could do that" or "I didn't feel like coming today, I'm glad I did"

Corey Lapp