BREATHE: Soul Shift, which debuts in Airlie Beach next month, includes meditation in their barre classes.
BREATHE: Soul Shift, which debuts in Airlie Beach next month, includes meditation in their barre classes. Contributed

A holistic approach to class is barre none

IF BALLET, pilates and yoga had a baby, the resounding love child would be a barre class.

Barre is an exercise aimed at working towards a leaner body, but without the required co-ordination and finesse of a regular dance class. It helps to build and strengthen your muscles, improves core strength and posture and gives your body an overall toned and lean look. 

Soul Shift will debut in Airlie Beach in the coming weeks, and is offering a five-week barre course.

Having danced for 37 years, Soul Shift director Louise Keech has spent the last six years developing her barre class.

"Throughout the class we use strengthening exercises that you would use in a dance class, however there is no actual dancing, as in there are no routines, no combinations, it doesn't require dance experience, and it doesn't require co-ordination or flexibility," she said.

Ms Keech said anybody can do the class; exercises can be adapted for beginners and more advanced students.

"I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, there's always an exercise that can be modified to suit someone's level of strength or experience," she said.

Physical benefits include toning, increased strength and its low impact, so it's easier on your joints compared to say running, or boxing. The point of different between Ms Keech's class and a traditional barre class, is that she has an entirely holistic approach, and has worked meditation to feature into her all her sessions.

"It's not just an exercise class, we calm the mind and that's going to help relieve stress, help you focus not only on the class but other parts of your life," Ms Keech said.

She added a lot of people find it hard to just be still, as life can get chaotic and busy, which inspired her to incorporate meditation into her classes.

The five-week course starts on February 18 and costs $198, with students able to choose three of the five classes on offer per week to attend. Classes will be held at Vartamana Yoga and Day Spa, and Ms Keech will check in weekly with her students through email, as well as in class to provide guidance.

For more information on the course, head to soulshiftlou/ or contact Ms Keech on 0420 782 275.