“Well, I must’ve done something to manifest that…”

Somehow, acknowledging the power of our thoughts has, of late, gone through a rough spell of Self-Blame and Criticism. Life is full of inevitable ups and downs, but in an effort to take full power in our lives, we’ve come to believe that we should also have full control. (Cue the Game of Thrones theme song.)

Newsflash: there is a LOT that is completely and utterly out of our control. So how are we to find the sweet spot between self-blame and total laissez-faire apathy?

Taking charge of our own well-being and happiness requires one big, radical thing: Personal Responsibility.

It’s Not Your Fault, but It Is Your Choice

The train was late - especially late, and you missed your barre class. The hard-on-herself gal might think, “What did I do to make this happen?!” She analyzes her day to find any hints of how she must have sabotaged her happiness.

Either that, or she silently rages at the train operator, the crowds of people, or her coworker’s incompetence that kept her at work just a little too late. But we know that gets us nowhere fast.

The Self-Responsible gal will think, “Well, dang. Nothing to be done about it now, so how will I make the best of my time?”

A lot of things happen that we don’t choose for ourselves, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant. Those hiccups could totally derail our happiness if we let them, but we won’t- we DO have control over that choice, and we can reorient our attention and energy in a new direction at any moment by shifting our own subtle behavior.  

Enter The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, one of Barre & Soul staff’s favorite reads.

Freedom and The Four Agreements

If personal responsibility is the path to reclaiming our happiness, The Four Agreements are the stepping stones to get us there. Translated into 40 languages they are, simply, as follows:

  • Be impeccable with your word.

  • Don't take anything personally.

  • Don't make assumptions.

  • Always do your best.

Practically? You may not be in control of how everything happens during your day. Things will go awry. You will make mistakes. Sometimes, things will fall apart.

Skip the blame part and don’t take it personally. Drop the assumptions that anyone or anything is out to get you, and continue to do your best.

Head up. Eyes open. How can you take responsibility for where you go from here?

So you missed your 5:30 barre class. Luckily, there’s a 7pm - you can get a few errands done in the meantime and still get your workout. You’ve still got your head on straight.

Work has been slammed, you haven’t had a chance to go grocery shopping in days and your cupboards are looking dismal so you’re grabbing take-out again. Blame-free: it happens. Eat as healthy as you can and slot “groceries!” into your calendar ASAP.

You promised your coworker you’d have something finished for her by 5pm and it just didn’t happen when other things took priority. Being impeccable with your word, in this case, means owning it, apologizing that it didn’t happen, and letting her know your plan for completing your end of the deal. No self-flagellation, no groveling necessary, just a clear plan and honest apology.

Things happen. All the time. Will you succumb to the gremlins of self-criticism and blame? Or will you take a look around, do your best, and make an empowered choice:

Ok, what now?

Go get ‘em.  

More is not, in fact, better.

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More guacamole? Better. More vacation time? Definitely better. More sleep? Yes, please.

But more hours of workout time? Not necessarily better, in fact.

Many of us can recall the early days when we first discovered any sort of fitness regimen. We spent hours on a treadmill or awkwardly trying to use the weight machines as we figured out how our bodies responded to exercise. Some of us became runners for simplicity. Some gave up.

Some of us, eventually, found our way to group classes. Maybe barre. Or yoga. Remember Zumba?

The logic might then look something like this: if one class a day is good, then wouldn’t two be even better?!

For some? Maybe. But it completely depends on you, your lifestyle, and your body type. And? We’ve designed the Barre & Soul Method to be SO effective and efficient that even just 3 classes a week will completely transform your fitness and overall well being.

First and foremost: Barre actually isn’t about ballet. They’re just cousins.

You might see the barres on the wall and think this is going to be all plies and other French words you don’t know. In reality, the Barre classes you’ll find these days take their inspiration from the focused movements and workouts that were used to train dancers - but they have been extracted, honed, and changed to create a workout for everyone. Not just people in leotards.

While you will see some plies (aka squat with turned out feet) in class, you can bet they won’t be accompanied by wide, sweeping arms or spins and leaps. You’ll be focused on your alignment, your breath, and the shaking in your muscles (which is where the real transformation occurs).

Which brings us to...

Here’s the science: small, effective movements mean you need fewer of them.

This part’s a little geeky, but it's crucial: we’ve designed the targeted isometric movements of the Barre & Soul Method to be SO effective that you don’t need to do a barre exercise class twice a day. You don’t even have to be in class every day. Because you’re not doing big, compound movements, you can work a muscle for a longer period of time and fatigue the target area in a way that gets serious results in just 3 classes per week.

You’re also getting a whole body workout every time you come to barre class, meaning there’s no need for “legs day” and “shoulders day”: every day is everything day at the barre. You’ll tone your muscles without getting huge and bulky - and yes, those tiny 2-lb weights will absolutely do the job. And then some. You just need to give them a few days a week of attention.

A little bit of barre, a little bit of yoga.

You know that your body benefits from a full, functional range of movements - including the fluid stretch of yoga. Three barre classes a week will help you take your yoga practice to the next level by increasing your joint stability, revving up your core strength, and targeting the muscles that are more difficult to get in a regular vinyasa practice. On the flip side, including a couple of yoga classes a week will keep you flexible and challenge your body to move in different ways.

Both will help you calm and focus your mind, center yourself, and boost your mood. All in just a handful of hours per week.

Work out in a way that is good to your body, mind, and soul. Your classes should feel good for your whole life - and with a quality barre class, you’re going to feel and see the benefits of your workout without needing to spend hours at the gym.

So. Transformation is at the barre. We will see you there!

Barre & Soul® wins Best Barre Studio in Boston!

Best Barre Studio Boston 2018 Boston Magazine

Hello Amazing Barre & Soulmate!

There are no adequate words to express how grateful and humbled I am that Barre & Soul has been chosen for Best Barre Studio 2018 in this year's Best of Boston Awards!!!

Words can't do justice to the extraordinary, hardworking, dedicated, passionate (and frighteningly good-looking) team of barre and yoga teachers and staff who are responsible for this honor, both past and present. For a small, indie company like us to get noticed amid a sea of big brands, you are really doing something special! 

This honor would surely not be possible without our (equally gorgeous) members, we love you more than you know. You make all of our dreams come true and for that, we are forever grateful. Your bright shining faces, dedication to your health and wellness and your commitment to your soulmate community is at the very core of what Barre & Soul stands for. 

We are more than just fitness, we are an empowering, inclusive community of men and women all here to uplift each other all while pulsing and sweating together! 

It has been an immense amount of work these past 5 years and I wouldn't trade it for anything. We've been through many ups and downs as a small independent business, however, every step of the way has been a learning process that has brought us closer to our successes. To our mentors, partners, kids, friends, staff, community, and everyone who has taught us something about how to lead, no matter how big or how small, we thank you.

I can't wait to see what the next 5 years brings us! 

Thank you. Love you. 

Your Barre & Soulmate for life,
Andrea Isabelle Lucas

Barre & Soul goes to the 2018 MindBody BOLD Conference

I’ve been to a lot of industry conferences and trade shows. They’re never amazing. NEVER. There may be a session that you can garner a few worthwhile tidbits, but mostly a lot of filler.

BOLD was nothing like that.

Firstly, the headliners were Michelle Obama and Billie Jean King. NBD.

Secondly, our founder, Andrea, was speaking on a Women in Leadership panel.

Let me just say I was blown away.

The conference was nothing short of incredible. Every session was worth attending. EVERY SESSION. At Barre & Soul, we are always looking to stay up to date on new technology, new trends, and best practices to give our clients the MOST amazing experience at our studios! And the breakout sessions delivered. The speakers themselves had so much to offer in addition to making themselves available for questions, pictures, whatever, they were up for it. There was so much valuable information that I took 3+ pages of notes! Seriously. Not only did I take notes, but I pored over them in the days and weeks following the conference and the presentation decks that accompanied them. Did I mention they had a conference app that was pretty awesome too?

When I asked Andrea to sum up the Women in Leadership Panel , she said, "It was such an honor to be included in the diverse panel of women entrepreneurs. My favorite part was hearing questions from the audience about what the attendees were wrestling with in their own businesses. I was so excited to get to know more about them, and the room was filled with energy as the women gathered were eager to roll up their sleeves and help each other problem-solve."

Then there were the headliners.

Michelle Obama was awe inspiring yet incredibly down to earth. It was a 90 minute fireside chat that felt like 20 minutes and I want to be BFFs with her.

Billie Jean King was a rip roaring good time, full of spunk and some big news (she and a collection of friends had just casually bought the LA Dodgers!) oh and it was the 45th anniversary of her win at the Battle of the Sexes match. She had a ton of wisdom to share with the attendees and it was another inspiring, engaging discussion that had me hoping the time would go slower.

Then there was the food.

That may seem trivial until I mention that I am gluten and dairy free finding food that fits into those specifications that isn’t just a head of romaine lettuce w/ some olive oil and vinegar can be challenging. Did I mention there were 2,000 people in attendance?

The meal options were well thought out and delicious. No hunk of plain lettuce for this girl! WINNING.

Then we won the MINDBODY Visionary Award!


This award was given to a select group of studios who embody community empowerment and who are in the top 30% of businesses using MINDBODY. Receiving this award was an unexpected surprise, but so exciting!  I know we have curated pretty incredible communities in our studios, but to be recognized for it was pretty awesome.

We are always looking for opportunities to give back, to support members who fundraise for causes they are passionate about, to support women and girls and SO MANY other things. A couple of the biggies this year included EmpowerHer, Cole Haan + Planet Water Foundation fundraising partnerships, and the Africa Yoga Project fundraising and volunteer effort.

2018 has been a big year for Barre & Soul. Thanks MindBody Online for being an excellent partner! We look forward to an incredible 4th quarter and 2019!

We're Doing Something BIG... Online Barre Teacher Training Coming Soon!


The barre community has been craving a highly credible, safe, and comprehensive online barre teacher training. A training that shapes YOU into the most knowledgeable, confident and well rounded barre teacher from the convenience of your own home. We've heard you and we are here to provide you with the training you need.

Check out my Facebook Live video below to learn more about what inspired us to offer our signature training online and read on for more info!

Before my Barre & Soul days...

I was a struggling single mom with no credit, no college degree, no job, and no money. In spite of the tough times I faced, there was one area of my life that filled me with excitement.

In the little town where I lived, there was a barre studio, a place where I had seen myself grow and strengthen, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. In addition to getting so much out of the classes and the wonderful community there, I had taken on the challenge of training to become a barre teacher.

As I've shared on this blog before, I wasn’t a "good" teacher trainee. I fumbled over my words and feared the sound of my own voice. I was my own worst critic, at a time when the last thing I needed was self-criticism holding me back.

Determined to overcome my circumstances, I took baby steps forward. Little by little, hour by hour, month by month, I found my voice. I became a confident barre teacher and started on a journey that would change my life for the better.

That barre training was just the beginning. I went on to build my career out of this method that I loved, eventually becoming a Manager and Teacher Trainer for the prestigious Exhale Spa before starting my own company, Barre & Soul in 2013.

If you had told me at the beginning of this journey that I would one day be the proud owner of 5 studios, with the most wonderful communities of teachers and students packing the house, or that I'd be traveling back and forth to England to study privately with the daughter of Lotte Berk, inventor of barre, I would never have imagined it!

I am too filled with gratitude to keep it all to myself. After having the finest mentors in the world, I want to share what I've learned over the years and pay it forward as much as I can!

I want YOU to have the same level of joy and fulfillment in your career that I have come to know. 

If you've ever thought about taking the leap into teaching barre, I want to help YOU find your confidence and your voice as a certified barre teacher! 

With that, I am excited to announce that we are working on something really exciting behind the scenes! 

A way for you to pursue your passion from wherever you are, anywhere in the world...

I've got a sneak peek for you: A few inside secrets to share, drawing from my 10+ year barre teaching career.

What is the difference between a good class that draws a few students and a GREAT class that is consistently packed? 

Download your free cheat sheet and learn about the magic I have come to rely on to keep students coming back again and again, so you can lead barre classes your students can't stop raving about.

Thank you for your interest! I hope to meet you and share my passion with YOU!

-Andrea Isabelle Lucas

Back in the UK! A Deeper Dive into the Lotte Berk Technique

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As I recover from jet-lag, and digest one of the busiest weeks of 2018 (so far!) its hard to know where to begin. I’ve just returned from a week in England, training with none other than Esther Fairfax. This was my second immersion in training and practicing the original Lotte Berk Technique with Esther (Lotte’s only daughter, and carrier of her mother’s legacy and method).

Fitness for Your Entire Life

Esther is no ordinary barre expert. First of all, she is 83 years old. Many of her peers are thankful just to be able to walk without the assistance of a walker or even a cane. But Esther refuses to relate to this – she takes action to ensure her health and wellness, every day. She continues to practice and teach a rigorous exercise regimen that has bestowed endless benefits. I hope to be able to pursue them all, as successfully as Esther has in the coming decades of my own life. Esther talks about her upbringing in a most unconventional and creative family, and her inspirations – for example, a consistent exposure throughout her life to artists, dancers, actors and performers of all genres. She shares all this conversationally, while she moves gracefully from exercises prone on the floor, then lying on her back with feet under the barre while working the abdominals, and then standing tall at the barre, or moving with strength and confidence in the center of the room.

Art & Expression

As she demonstrates the myriad exercises with razor sharp precision, she emphasizes how critical it is to execute them with the best possible form. At the same time she can’t express strongly enough that this exercise method is not just a class. She firmly sees the method as a true work of art, through which participants find not only impressive physical transformation, but expressive self-actualization.

Community & Connection

Another notable quality that runs strong in her studio, is community and connection. The friendship and camaraderie she has seen and personally experienced is a crucial part of living a long, healthy life. Experts have long known that people that have close relationships and the support of a healthy community live longer and more vibrant lives into their elder years. Esther is absolutely a testament to this fact. I spent hours interviewing Esther, and members of her home studio community and this is an area that can’t be underestimated for everyone touched by her classes.

As I jump into my routine back at home in our Barre & Soul community – I am so proud to see so many points of alignment between what I’ve learned and internalized in my time studying and training in England with Esther, and what I’ve been working so hard to cultivate in my own studios.

Every day I work closely with our fantastic team of managers in each Barre & Soul studio to ensure we’re all on the same page with regards to the exceptional experience that is delivered to each and every person that enters our studios.

There is so much more to share in upcoming blogs, about the method itself and the details of the training and its benefits. But underlying that – I couldn’t be more inspired by the reminder of the deeper benefits that we offer our members. These benefits don’t seem to be a primary focus at most traditional gyms – fitness that can be sustained for life, art and expression, community and connection. But they’re at the core of our beloved Barre & Soul studios, offering a form of fitness, community, self-expression and joy that lasts a long and healthy lifetime.

Are You Ready to Own It All This Year?

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Happy 2018 everyone! As you may have heard, I spent last year working on a book, and I'm so excited to begin sharing excerpts with you!

If you want to make this your boldest and most wildly successful year yet – make 2018 the year you decide to own it all. What does that mean? When I use the word own," what I mean is…

  • Stop waiting for other people to step in and rescue you from situations you don’t want to continue in.
  • Begin taking personal responsibility for your choices, and your circumstances
  • Don’t blame others for your unhappiness, your financial reality, your overly busy schedule, or the way you look or feel.
  • Envision what you do want in your life, and how it will feel to be there – and map out an action plan to get there one step at a time
  • Quit waiting around for a parent, a friend, a mentor, or a fairy godmother to tell you, “Hey, you’re allowed to leave that awful relationship.” “It’s not too late to go back to school.” “You’re allowed to start something new.”

Once you accept 100% personal responsibility for everything you want to do, have, and become – you’ll be amazed at how empowering it feels, and the choices that are available to you.

Owning it all is a promise you make with yourself—a promise you keep renewing and practicing, day after day. There’s no perfection required in the process of doing this each and every day, but there’s continual progress. There’s always another level you can master, and there’s grace, beauty, and joy in the process.

I’m sharing my personal story, rebuilding from a shockingly low place to create a life I am in awe of each and every day. I want to share actionable, concrete steps that you can put into practice to eliminate old ways of falling into the same old unsatisfying routines and catapult your life in the direction of your dreams.

Stay tuned for more on my book, and get ready to own it all!

If you'd like to get exclusive excerpts from my upcoming book, Own It All, sign up here and as an added bonus, I'll send you my Radical Time Design e-course free, so you can start owning your day right now!

Marching into 2018 with Goals, Grace & Grit

Marching into 2018 with Goals, Grace & Grit

Congratulations – you survived the 2017 holiday season! We’re all cleaning up from lots of well-deserved celebrating, and now’s the time to recalibrate and hit the reset button.

Let’s talk 2018 goals 

We can recommit or establish new habits anytime – but there’s something that feels so appropriate about mapping out our boldest intentions and most thrilling goals at the outset of a new year.

In order to set yourself up for the most efficient path to success, you need to put a few things in place to ensure you’re operating with a healthy, high-performance foundation – inside and out. Here are a few pieces of advice we all can benefit from:

Gratitude & Being Present

As you set goals for the future, and envision how we want the coming year to go, be sure you don’t lose sight of accomplishments you’ve already made, and successes you’ve already achieved. Take a moment and bask in gratitude for the goodness you have right now – especially your health and vitality, and the opportunity to wake up each morning with a new day in front of us.

We often fall into the trap of feeling like we’ll finally “be happy when…?” Goals are important, but it's important not to live in a constant state of anticipation of the future at the expense of the present.

Do you have a future aspiration that is serving as a road-block to your happiness today? Ask yourself where and how this kind of thinking tends to trip you up – and pay attention to that so you can enjoy the present while working towards an even more rewarding future.

Creating Space

Clear out the excess and the clutter. File or just get rid of old papers and receipts. Donate items you’re not really excited about. And if you received holiday gifts you don’t want – give them away before they crowd-out space that should really be reserved for the things that bring you joy.

Create some breathing room.

Remind yourself how important it is to take great care of your body. It is the only one you’ll ever have! We tend to indulge in extra sugar and alcohol throughout the holiday season, so now is a great time to realign with priorities for a healthy body.

  • Go grocery shopping and stock up on your favorite healthy foods.
  • Make a plan to skip alcohol for a while.
  • Clear unhealthy options out of your kitchen so you're not constantly tempted to pick them up.
  • Bundle up and go for a walk, or try a new winter activity like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
  • Schedule a couple of workouts this week and make it extra fun by planning them with friends or family.

Reflect & Envision

Reflect on and celebrate all the achievements you’ve made in 2017. Decide where you want to go even further, and start envisioning your goals in 2018. Make a mental note of what made you feel the best about the past year and what gave you the most happiness and satisfaction. Let that information support the plans and goals you envision.

A fun project I really enjoy to kick-off a new year is creating a vision board! This is a visual collection of images, photos, and words that symbolize, describe or depict the things, feelings, achievements or experiences you want to have in your foreseeable future. Studies show that if we put this in a prominent place where we can see it clearly for even just a few seconds each day – our chances of manifesting our dreams skyrocket.

Whatever your goals are, your Barre & Soul community is here to provide support and encouragement every step of the way. We’re here to cheer you on when you’re killing it – and since we’re all human, we are here to count on when you divert from the path to your goals and end up on an unplanned detour!

See you at the barre in 2018! Its going to be great!

P.S. Want to dream and scheme with me in person? I'll be holding two Dreamers Summits next month: one on February 18 at Barre & Soul, Portsmouth, NH and one on February 25th at Barre & Soul Harvard Sq. in Cambridge, MA. Sign up!

P.P.S. Are you signed up to receive my monthly love notes? You can sign up here, which includes a free 5-day mini-course on my Radical Time Design method for getting stuff done!

Andrea Isabelle Lucas

Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

I am committed to making sure the classes we offer you at Barre & Soul are simply the best in the world. For the past decade, I've learned from some of the foremost innovators who preceded me in teaching barre and yoga in the US. 

In our barre classes, I’ve worked to fuse all the collective wisdom of the American barre industry, with my own passion for empowerment, social equality and a mindful approach to fitness - to create what has become a phenomenal community of Barre & Soul studios.

This year, I decided it was time to dive deeper – and go straight to the source of where barre was born. Lotte Berk was a ballerina who fled Nazi Germany in the 1940s and then developed an unprecedented method of conditioning and strength training in the UK that was as much a social and community building experience as it was a fitness regimen. Its popularity grew throughout her life, and Lotte mentored her daughter Esther Fairfax in the details, style and philosophy at the heart of what we now call “the Lotte Berk technique”.

Learn more about the most elite barre teacher training here.

Esther Fairfax has now been teaching her mother's method for 54 years. She lives a few hours outside of London and is in her early eighties. She is strong, vibrant and dedicated to carrying on her mother’s legacy. She continues to teach those interested in practicing the purest form of barre.

This summer, I had the honor of traveling to England, alongside our own Crissy Trayner, to spend time with Esther and become certified in the “Pure Lotte” technique, creating a direct connection from Barre & Soul to the source of where the barre phenomenon began.

The workout Esther presented was one of the most challenging I’ve experienced anywhere. I could see clear connections to the movements we teach at Barre & Soul. It was the essence of barre – no props, mats or weights. Just the elegance of precise form and movement - and body weight used as resistance to develop a lean, strong, flexible, agile body.

The trip was enlightening, as I understood more clearly than ever the differences between Barre & Soul and Lotte Berk’s original method.

Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

Sign up to receive updates and deals on our upcoming January barre teacher training here.

Some elements that distinguish Barre & Soul were born from my personal passions – for example, a focus on mindfulness and feminist empowerment as much as physical training, postures and elements from the yoga tradition, and some are standard practice in US barre classes, like the use of light weights, and the fusion of calisthenics like push-ups and planks that invite another layer of full-body strengthening.

Barre & Soul will continue to offer our distinctive method that you have come to know and love! But my time with Esther Fairfax opened my mind to the importance of learning about roots, and continuing a legacy, and we look forward to sharing with you some of what we have learned.

We will be training more of our Barre & Soul instructors in the “Pure Lotte” technique, to help preserve the beautiful, powerful method Esther Fairfax’s mother began. I believe Pure Lotte deserves to carry on even in a world that is obsessed with innovation and change. I see it as a personal and professional duty to keep the legacy alive, and I can't wait to share this timeless method with you in our upcoming Pure Lotte workshops!

See you at the barre!
Andrea :)

Want to try a Pure Lotte class? Join our email list to find out when and where the next workshop will be held here!

The Most Unexpected Gift I got from Teacher Training

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Not so many years ago, I was a struggling single mom - I had no credit, no college degree, no job, and no money. I’d by lying if I said I didn’t feel hopeless on a regular basis, comparing my life to what I saw around me.

Each day, after my 7-year old son caught the bus to school outside of our tiny apartment, I would push my 1-year old daughter’s stroller down the sidewalks of a town that seemed picture-perfect, and full of picture-perfect people on their way to important meetings, coffee dates and social engagements that filled their comfortable lives.

I walked to a studio where I was trying something new – with excitement, but so, SO fearfully. I was training to be a barre teacher. I loved barre classes, I knew that. But I wasn’t a "good" teacher trainee. I fumbled over my words and feared the sound of my own voice. I was undoubtedly my own worst critic, at a time when the last thing I needed was self-criticism holding me back.

“Practice getting your words out,” my trainer would say. “Count aloud when you’re alone in the car to get used to it.” But even then, with no one around to hear me, the second I opened my mouth, a voice inside my head would insist: Just shut up, just shut up, just shut up!

It's not unusual to be intimidated by public speaking, I'm sure you've heard before that most people fear it more than death! Maybe it's something you'd like to get more comfortable with too. For me, it was especially hard because my life was at rock bottom.

Learn more about our Barre & Soul® Method Barre Teacher Training here.

To say I felt unworthy doesn’t even begin to explain it. It felt like every cell in my body was made of unworthiness. Who was I to teach these women anything about fitness, or well-being? I was still working on getting back to my pre-baby body, going through a long and wretched divorce, feeling unaccomplished no matter what angle I looked at my life from.

What did I have to teach these wealthy, successful, happy women, who seemed to have J.Crew catalog families and perfect marriages? How could they take me seriously when I was a failure at marriage, could barely support my children, relied on assistance to buy groceries, and on the Salvation Army for my kids' Christmas gifts in that terrible first year of my divorce. I wanted so badly to create major change in my life and be an example of better things – inspiring even – for my kids and for myself.

Determined to overcome my circumstances, I took baby steps forward. I used the word “confidence” in my computer passwords, hoping to invoke blessings and begin to establish a sort of mantra to move towards embodying this quality. I craved confidence like a dry field craves a drenching rain.

Find your voice and become a barre teacher! Find how here.

I had to type the word each time I checked my (tiny) bank balance, an incantation of power even in the face of my nearly empty account. Little by little, hour by hour, month by month, I did find my voice. I collected scraps of confidence in the moments when I could at last do a set of push-ups on straight legs - when I could teach a class to a few friends without losing my nerve - when I won a small victory in family court and started receiving the support I needed.

“Where do you get your confidence?” people often ask me now. "You seem so sure of yourself."

When I reflect on this, I call to mind the countless hard-won increments, gathered over many years.

There were no shortcuts. No celestial signs. No surprise inheritance or lottery ticket came to my rescue. And I certainly didn’t wake up one day and start a thriving business with multiple locations.

I simply persevered. Kept on. Pushup by pushup, password by password. I did one mildly terrifying thing at a time. I forced myself to keep practicing my teaching. I watched my classes improve, little by little. And one day, when I opened my mouth to speak, it was no longer scary. Soon, it was even fun.

The look of fear and shame in my eyes was replaced by shyness at first, then finally by passion and enthusiasm. Believe it or not I ACTUALLY LOOK FORWARD to public speaking opportunities these days. Teaching barre and yoga classes gave me the opportunity to embody the quality I had so longed for. By facing my fears and showing up again and again, in time, I found my confidence.

Wondering if you can do it? YOU CAN. Your barre teacher training journey starts here.

Introducing the Barre & Soul Collection, Feel badass and beautiful wherever the day takes you

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Hi! Andrea here! I’m so excited to finally unveil something I've been working on all year - Barre & Soul®'s own clothing collection! The first drop has arrived in our studios and I can't wait for you to check it out. This apparel collection is made in small batches in Los Angeles with ethically sourced/recycled materials, and it's designed by us, for you!

I have personally overseen every detail of the line’s creation from collaboration with our designer (a former top designer for brands like Nastygal, Revolve clothing, and more!), to choosing the materials, to selecting a production house here in the USA, and travelling to LA several times to visit the factory and participate in fittings and design meetings.

The launch of our new collection is something I am proud of not only because of the impeccable details and high quality of the product, but for the values it represents.

Our apparel line is not just for working out in a stylish, ethically sourced way – it will make YOU feel badass and beautiful wherever the day takes you.

The line is inspired by you our community, classic rock, the Feminist movement of the 60 and 70s, with a nod to the grace of ballerinas like Lotte Berk, the original creator of barre. It is a collection with grace and grit. 

I know that Barre & Soul®'s students are busy people. You've got jobs to do, kids to raise, degrees to earn, and workouts to fit in! I wanted this line to look just as good coming to and from class as it feels during your workout.

Here are a few of the pieces you can look forward to.

  • Full-length leggings
    Black, perfect compression, high-waisted, full-length, delightfully flattering and supportive

  • Capri leggings
    Leopard print, recycled materials, brushed soft handfeel

  • Satin "Rebel Rebel" Bomber Jacket
    leopard print lining, gold on black

  • Feminist AF Cropped muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • Barre & Soul® Cropped muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • High-Low Black Resting Barre Face muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • High- Low white ‘Barre Butts’ muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • Strappy sports bra
    leopard print, recycled material, lined, brushed soft handfeel

  • And more!

I hope you love it!

:) Andrea

Forget Bikini Season, Do it for You!

I was as low as could be in my life when I first made a commitment to my mind/body fitness practice. This brought physical strength and stamina, along with a revolution in my confidence and beliefs about the goals I could achieve.

I was a single parent, struggling to work through financial strain, domestic violence and emotional abuse. At vulnerable moments, the last thing anyone needs is a message that we’re not enough.

Everyone has vulnerabilities that can be addressed in healthy, empowering ways through fitness. When I turned to barre and yoga in search of a little peace of mind, what I got was a meaningful breakthrough – it changed my life, gave me the power to “own it all” and, eventually, the vision to launch Barre & Soul. I want everyone who walks through the doors of our studios to have the same opportunity for personal growth and empowerment.

Women need to know we have the capability to shed emotional and physical burdens - rather than focusing on a few stupid pounds.

When fitness programs emphasize ‘bikini season’ and ‘shaping up for summer,’ this implies women’s bodies aren’t really their own. Assuming women somehow owe it to society to look a certain way positions us as objects for consumption.

Do it for your 100-old self

Do you envision living an active and adventurous life after retirement? Start building physical, mental and emotional strength and stamina into your routine now!

Do it for you, not to fit someone else’s definition of what’s “hot.”

Women are already under tremendous pressure to fit the mold - from career, to social and domestic life, to unrealistic beauty standards. This is all impossibly high-maintenance if we choose to subscribe to it, and it leaves us with less freedom and leisure time to devote to real self-improvement and development compared with men. So don’t buy in!

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate my toned muscles and seeing my body physically transform had a huge effect on my belief about what I could accomplish. But that’s just the surface. We need to get real about how much we have to gain from making a commitment to our health and fitness, and stop reducing it to a silly notion like bikini-season.

FORBES: The Boss Behind A Feminist Fitness Empire on How To 'Own It All'

Get Inspired. Learn where Andrea, owner/founder of Barre & Soul came from, how it all began and what inspired and encouraged her to create her Feminist Fitness Empire.  GET INSPIRED.

Learn where Andrea, owner/founder of Barre & Soul came from, how it all began and what inspired and encouraged her to create her Feminist Fitness Empire.

Calling all Runners: Why Yoga Is Just What You Need!

This week, as I reflect on the inspiration the Boston Marathon brings to our community – I’m writing to send a high-five to every runner out there – for your stamina, grit, determination and strength. These are qualities we deeply value and work hard to cultivate at Barre & Soul. Huge congratulations those who ran the Boston Marathon. It takes super-human levels of stamina and endurance to take on a race of this level, and we know you’re feeling it big-time post-race.

We want to reach out to you personally, from another dimension of the fitness universe, and invite you over to learn more. Bring your bib number and your driver’s license to any of our studios for a complementary class in April.

We’ve just been recognized in Boston Magazine as one of the best places to explore a yoga practice in greater Boston, and we want to extend an invitation for you to join us here.

Yoga is often misunderstood as an exclusively meditative, passive approach to self-care and fitness. Yes, there is a mindfulness element, and yes there is the benefit of self-acceptance, meeting your body each day wherever it is on your mat. But there is so much more to learn and benefit from - for runners in particular.

Many runners cite greater flexibility as the primary reason for beginning a yoga practice. This makes sense, because yoga stretches the muscles that are tight, which in turn increases the range of motion in related joints.

Studies have also shown that yoga combats stress, accelerates weight loss, reduces pain, helps people stay consistent with their fitness routine, and even improves running times. The strength and flexibility runners develop on the mat--particularly in the core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors--can help them run more efficiently and avoid injury.

What’s more - holding challenging yoga poses builds tenacity and mind-body connection that translates in your runs. And it teaches you to deepen the connection with your breath –a skill that you can leverage to enhance your running as well.

A real breakthrough in embracing Yoga for many runners happens when they learn that fast-twitch muscle fibers can contract ten times faster than slow-twitch fibers. This is the kind of muscle that runners really want to develop to train for speed.

The difference in which muscle fibers you build comes not from your training speed, but your training intensity. If you do an isometric exercise that involves holding a half-full cup of water out at arm's length for four hours a day, you’ll develop lots of slow-twitch muscle because the intensity over time is low.

If, instead, you tried to do a shoulder raise on that same arm at maximal intensity for a fraction of the time, like seven to twelve seconds, you fatigue fast-twitch muscle fibers (all muscle fibers, in fact) much faster. Intensity is key to your speed training, not the speed of the movement itself. This is where a great Yoga practice can transform your running game, and your fitness overall – thanks to the isometric element.

It may seem counterintuitive, but isometric exercises involving very challenging but static holds involving body weight (a foundational element of both Yoga and Barre) can be better than plyometric (like exploding into a movement, like big jumps or clapping push ups) for speed.

Isometric exercises for speed also use a minimum of impact force, and keep the body safe from injury. Great news for runners, and everyone else!

History Has Its Eyes on Us

Oceans of Pink

Pink hats, handmade signs, the sun straining through an overcast sky, and the collective buzz, excitement and hope of women united. These are some of the images and feelings from my experience at the Women’s March on Washington that I will never forget. This historic event changed my life and, for many citizens of the world, redefined the relationship between our beliefs and the actions we are willing to take to support them.

As we made our way through D.C.’s brownstone-lined neighborhoods, I felt an underlying nervousness considering some of the worst case scenarios that could potentially occur. We passed the steps of the capitol building en route to the march rendezvous point and people poured in on all sides. My friends and I stood and soaked in the sight of the gathering crowds, and anxiety began to melt into gratitude. Grandmothers in wheelchairs, moms and children and a surprising number of men marched along with us - with no sense of patriarchy or self-sacrifice, but as true equals and allies.

Fear evaporated when I looked around and let my heart be filled with love for the diverse ocean of fellow Americans coming together, to support each other with compassion, to bear witness and to unapologetically raise their voices for freedom, equality, and respect for all. There are no words for the power of the experience - shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowd larger than I had ever seen or even imagined, standing united for their values and love of humanity. 

History has its eyes on you

"History has its eyes on you" read one sign, carried by a man passing by. I stopped him for a photo and he beamed with joy and pride in this message. This is why we marched. 

"Misogyny is not normal" read another sign. How interesting the relief it was to have this basic value expressed so clearly, publicly and affirmatively. We trekked our way through the thick crowd to a spot where we were able to stand on a low wall and view the jumbotron showing the stage from which the presenters were speaking. The messages weren’t new, but they were powerful in their simplicity. Cheers of support erupted through the enormous crowd – “Women’s rights are human rights.” “Black lives matter.” “We will never give up.” It is amazing, the power in hearing your deepest truths declared aloud, no matter how many times you’ve thought them before.

My eyes filled with tears over and over again as I looked in all directions at the size of the crowd we were part of. I welled up with emotion (and still do) – not because I was inconsolable that my candidate wasn’t victorious in a presidential race, but because, by being part of this event, I know I am contributing to a permanent legacy. I am part of history. My human family was gathered around me in solidarity for the equality issues I’ve been blogging and speaking about for so many years, often wondering how many others out there cared as deeply as me.

We didn’t find out until returning from the march for the evening that similar events were happening all around the world. Over 5 Million people marched world wide – over 1 Million in Washington DC! There are no words to express how it felt to see and know we're not alone. It was clear on this day that feminism isn't an extreme agenda driven by fanatics. The feminist values I’ve been fighting for all these years are about equality, social justice and progressing into a brighter future for all humanity.

We will not “get over it”

For those that might not understand where we’re coming from – for me, the march wasn’t a complaint or part of an angry political agenda. It wasn’t about an inability to cope with change, a lack of adaptability or acceptance of reality. It was a fulfillment of my duty as an American and a human who believes certain inalienable rights and core values that I hold dear to my heart do matter.

Just as suffragists fighting for women’s right to vote didn’t get over it, and civil rights leaders struggling relentlessly for desegregation didn’t get over it – we will not “get over” the issues that were central to that event.

I see it as our duty as members of the human race to work for equality. If you haven't been assaulted, or discriminated against for the color of your skin, your religion, your sexuality or your gender – then you’re fortunate, and I am glad you haven’t suffered in this way. I believe that whether or not you’ve been personally affected by these injustices, it’s all of our responsibility to make sure nobody else has to go through them.

If you were part of the Women’s March - even if only in spirit - don't let anyone minimize it. This is the dawning of a new era of alert minds, compassionate perspectives and global action.

On Inauguration Day

Prior to the march, driving from Boston to Washington D.C. with a car full of friends (including Barre & Soul's Chief Amazement Officer, Crissy and our Yoga Teacher Training Director, Carrie), we felt a somber occasion was unfolding. At the same time, we talked about how grateful we remained - for America and all the freedoms and opportunities we have here. Carrie had just returned from a volunteer medical trip to a country decimated by disaster and lacking infrastructure and the supports we enjoy and too often take for granted in the US.

She reflected on the reality there - lack of roads, safety, clean water, and essential medical care for many citizens. Following the Women’s March, I’m more aware than ever of how great America IS today. And how crucial it is that we stay vigilant about the elements of greatness that matter most to us – equality, safety, freedom, diversity, and opportunity for all.

Within American culture, and in spite of a highly evolved system of government and justice, many women still can't achieve their highest potential. We have come a long, long way, but we can’t allow ourselves to forget what propelled our progress.

Don’t stop striving. Appreciate the things others before us have fought hard for. Keep raising your voice for equality and for the freedoms that for so many have not yet been realized.

Thank you to everyone who has joined this movement. We may not see the the end of this fight in our lifetimes. Keep fighting anyway.  

Barre & Soul Founder, Andrea Isabelle Lucas, on the Real Talk Radio Podcast with Nicole Antoinette

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Nicole sits down with interesting, inspirational, and refreshingly imperfect people to have unfiltered conversations about what’s really going on in our lives. You know, all that juicy behind-the-scenes stuff, like fears, secret dreams, guilty pleasures, and more.

Alexandra Elizabeth Reviews Barre & Soul's Harvard Square Studio

Alexandra Elizabeth of Making Motherhood Visible reviews our Harvard Square Studio.

"In the midst of the constant bustle of Harvard Square lies an oasis for those that need an outlet where they can relax, rejuvenate and train hard. I was excited to have Barre & Soul join Harvard Square, as there aren’t many barre studios on this side of town and traveling to Boston for a fitness class just doesn’t work with my schedule."

Little Miss Runshine Shares her Barre & Soul Experience

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Boston fitness blogger Jessica shares her Barre & Soul® experience on her blog Little Miss Runshine. Jessica has taken many classes with us since, and we are thrilled to be part of her fitness schedule!

What’s for Breakfast? Health Pros Share Their Morning Meals

We don’t need to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Boston asked three fitness professionals, including Barre & Soul® founder Andrea Isabelle Lucas, to share their favorite healthy breakfasts.