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Say Yes to YOU: St. Croix Yoga and Barre Retreat 2016

For a recap of the last St. Croix yoga and barre retreat, click here. Already convinced you want to register for the retreat? Visit the Barre & Soul website!

st croix retreat

This is an invitation. A possibility. A big, empty sweet space in which to just be.

Come to St. Croix with us!

Imagine yourself with no worries, jumping off the pier with 15 of your new best friends, into the sparkling St. Croix sea…

Let your shoulders drop. . .

Imagine the sun, your toes in the warm sand. . .

Imagine yourself…

Snorkeling

Hula hooping

Learning poi

Paddle boarding

Fire dancing on a moonlit beach

Imagine being free to laugh and play and imagine how amazing that would feel (it’s a total escape from the grind of daily life!!).

Imagine yourself recharging.

But don’t imagine yourself doing this alone or lonely…

…You don’t have to go it alone. You can live it up together with your joyful, conscious Barre & Soul community.

Because that’s what we do, together.

We’re going back for a 2016 Barre & Soul Retreat to St. Croix!

And while we’re there, we’ll hook up with a joyful band of American/St. Croix locals known as Kiki and The Flaming Gypsies (for real! They’re a fire-dance troupe).

They’ve got the inside scoop and they’ll take us on guided yet informal \adventures. They’ll take us everywhere they know is good.

We did it last year and it was AMAZING.

And our second annual Barre & Soul Retreat to St. Croix is not the usual fitness-y/wellness retreat where you’re driven by an individual mission to get certified, complete a certain number of hours, study, push yourself, or follow some grueling and super virtuous routine.

You can just relax, have fun, and let everyone take care of you. You can just be.

Recharge, rejuvenate, rejoice.

  • Visit a stunning nature preserve

  • Eat super-delicious, healthy meals

  • Drink a few cocktails

  • Take barre and yoga classes each day…if you feel like it (no pressure and no skill required!)

Everything you might want to do in St. Croix, everything you need…it’s all-inclusive and it’s all taken care of.

You don’t have to do anything except show up.

Show up and play.

Show up, cavort, laugh and hula hoop and be silly and take care.

Of each other.

With each other.

Because no matter how driven we are by life’s hustle, trophies and titles, a truly good life is lived in community!

Community = the good life.

Time together is soul food.

It’s self care… together.

Which is kind of the way it’s meant to be done.

I think that’s one of the things that amazed me about our trip last year. There were so many moments in St. Croix when I was totally blissed out and I looked around at everyone and thought,

“This is incredible! I’ve found my tribe.”

And we were. We had Barre & Soul staff, students, friends, pairs of mothers and daughters, pairs of partners…

…and together we had SO. MUCH. FUN.

It was MAGIC.

Everything was taken care of. You will be 100% taken care of. Your trip is all-inclusive, you’ll have incredible activities every day that you can choose to do or not do, it’s up to you…

It’s SO easy.

Right down to the seemingly silly details, like that you don’t need a passport because St. Croix is a US territory or that your phone will work without a hiccup because AT&T is one of the carriers there.

Simple = magic.

Ease. That will be one of the highlights of your trip.

The other retreat highlight – and maybe “highlight” is an understatement, is the togetherness.

The bonding.

The group exercises that will light you up.

We slow down, live, laugh and play as a community and it’s incredible.

It’s soul food.

It’s rocket fuel.

It was one of the best things we did for ourselves and each other last year.

So of course we’re doing it again! And this time I hope you will come, too.

Here are the deets:

Barre & Soul Retreat to St. Croix, 2016

April 19-24, 2016 at the Palms Beachfront Hotel.

  • 5 nights

  • 16 spots

  • All inclusive: accommodations + three meals a day + daily yoga & barre classes + group adventures and activities.

Your only responsibility? Arrange your flights and pack your bags.

And, well, register!

Register for your all-inclusive, 2016 Barre & Soul Retreat to St. Croix:

  • $1799 per person for a private room, or

  • $1499 per person for a shared room

  • Regular registration starts February 21 and closes March 1, 2016.

 

But if you register before February 20, the resort gives us a discount, which means we can offer you an early-bird deal and here it is:

  • $1549 early bird per person for a private room, or

  • $1299 early bird per person for a shared room

  • Early bird registration starts now and closes February 20, 2016.

(Pro tip: you’ll get the best deals on your plane tickets when you book 50 days+ before your trip, which is why we’re giving you this loving heads-up.)

So if you’re feeling like you could use a retreat…

…plus some easy, no-pressure community magic…

…plus sandy beaches, fresh food and fruity beverages…

…plus a lil’ Barre & Soul…

…then come on in. Your journey awaits you on the other side.

On the sandy beach by the warm, blue St. Croix sea. With hula hoops (and cocktails) and each other.

Are you in?

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Weekly Link Roundup

link roundup 2.5.16

Lose those last five pounds! (Or the first five!) Back by Super Popular Demand, our Nutrition Jumpstart has another session starting next week. If you need a push to eat better so you can have more energy and feel great, this program is definitely one to check out – it worked for me!

Don’t wait to live your best life, do it now. A Boston blogger shares her thoughts. 

Where DOES that resting bitch face come from? Science attempts to explain. And yes, it affects as many men as women. Learn here. 

Netflix is about to expand the #girlboss empire. Future binge-watching material.

A diet and exercise experiment to lose fat and gain muscle – Hmmm.  I definitely agree with the protein part. So they didn’t experiment with less weight training yet, it sounds like. Seems obvious that 6 days of full body weight training would not provide adequate recovery time! Those dudes must have been so hangry and depleted!

Ice Castles! So cool.

My current status: snowed in and kinda liking it. Enjoy your weekend!

[Free Download] 7 Steps to Turn Your Dreams into Reality

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Over the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting two awesome Dreamers Summit workshops! It was so inspiring and uplifting to see the members of our studio communities come together and share their deepest dreams and visions.

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If you’re close enough to attend the upcoming Dreamers Summit at Barre & Soul Harvard Square on 2/25/16, I invite you to join us! If not, this post is dedicated to sharing the process with you, so that you can dream up a kick-ass 2016 (and beyond).

Download your free worksheets now!

The 7 Steps

1. Leave the past in the past and create from total possibility.
It’s okay to look over your shoulder and give a nod to whatever past circumstances have brought you to where to are today, but then turn around and face your future. The events of the past do not get to dictate what’s possible starting now.

2. Visualize your life in 10 years and journal about whatever you see. (Download the visualization prompt below!)
I stole this trick from lululemon and have been using it since 2011 when I was an ambassador for them. The idea behind a 10 year vision is that it is far enough into the future to help make anything seem possible. It helps draw out your greatest ambitions and helps you start doing things today to build toward the kind of future you want.

3. Identify your goals.
After you’ve journaled, look over what you wrote and circle any concrete ideas that could translate into goals. For now, pick one that gives you butterflies. This is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal, a term originally coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras  in the book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”

4. Start planning out your action steps.
Work backward from your 10 year future, all the way back to this week and come up with some action steps that you can start immediately to help you get there.

(Download my handy dandy BHAG worksheet below!)

5.TELL PEOPLE!!
Put your dreams out there! As scary as it may sound: write it down, display it, start speaking it into existence.

THIS is the number one reason I’ve been able to accomplish big things, like opening studios, to small things, like finding the perfect piano for our yoga room. I talked about it here on the blog, in our newsletter and posted it on Facebook. I mentioned it in conversations with students, and before long, this piano was donated to us!

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Some wisdom from one of my favorite books, “The Four Agreements,” on the power of your word:

power of word

What kind of seeds are you planting in your conversations with others? Are you telling them your excuses, looking for agreement so that you can play small? Or are you sharing your vision for what’s possible? Either way, you are sowing the seeds that will grow to be YOUR LIFE!

6. Create a visual reminder.
Maybe you write your goal out beautifully on a chalkboard in your home or office. Maybe you get some nice sturdy foam core board and clip images from magazines to create a vision board you can look at every day, like we do in our Barre & Soul Dreamers Summit events.

7. Be flexible.
Remember that you made it up! You can always rewrite the script. There are no right answers.

There’s also no ONE calling for each of us, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Dreams are infinite, you can pursue as many as you want and change your mind anytime you like. Just pick one now, and get started!

Dream it, plan it, then do it!

procrastination

Ready to dive in? Get your free download to unlock more detailed step by step instructions.

 Download your free worksheets now!

P.S. If you want to do all these steps live with me, in the company of friends (maybe some you haven’t met yet?) join my upcoming Dreamers Summit in Harvard Square on 2/25/16!

 

Weekly Link Roundup

link roundup (1)It’s that time again! I love the Weekly Link Roundup as a way to close out the week and ease into the weekend. And what a week it’s been! We celebrated our Barre & Soul team with our holiday party, celebrated our first Dreamers Summit and were busy with Barre Teacher Training and Yoga Teacher Training. Most likely you had a busy week too, so I’ve rounded up a few links below to help you catch up on your reading. Happy Weekend!

A Steakhouse Chain That Aims to Appeal to Women Is Sashaying Into Boston – Did you see this? Did anyone else think it was a joke at first?

This is your brain on nature. Get outside.

I jiggle therefore I am. Women of all shapes and sizes kicking ass.

The Jogging Concierge takes a break from running for a Barre & Soul Method class. Read all about it!

Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and a Love your Body Challenge . . . I am still thinking about this one. It resulted in some pretty big breakthroughs for me, so much so that I wrote an entire post on it, if you haven’t checked it out yet, I would love for you to read it!

P.S. The Love Your Body Challenge article features our nutrition coach, Stacey. Registration is now open for our February Nutrition Coaching group! More info here.

Have a great weekend!

Surprise! Fitness Pros are Insecure Too

fitness pros insecure (2)

I just finished reading this powerful article, Cellulite, Stretch Marks, And A “Love Your Body” Challenge from the Girls Gone Strong website, (which features Barre & Soul’s nutrition coach, Stacey, who I can thank for this post!)

Major breakthroughs ensued.

Now this is funny because the idea is not SO revolutionary. Fitness pros have “flaws” and cellulite. Of course they do! (We do.) So… why did it affect me so much?

After reading, I had a few major ‘aha’ moments, and rather than wait until I can articulate them perfectly, I want to share them with you now, as I process them myself:

I see now that I’ve always thought of myself as an outsider from the fitness scene.

A lot of the women you see in fitness shoots and magazines, and even in the Girls Gone Strong post , I had imagined as devotees to a different, more hardcore type of fitness – heavy lifting, kettle bells, things that go on in the gym about which I knew nothing. I don’t do cardio, or high intensity intervals, or run marathons or lift anything terribly heavy in my line of work as a barre and yoga teacher, or even in my hobby doing aerial silks. On the other hand, folks in the barre fitness world where I’ve made my career are often serious ballet dancers. I’ve never been one of those either (although I have danced!) So I didn’t count myself as “belonging” to either of these groups. I distinctly remember going to NYC as part of my management training for a previous employer and feeling like a total impostor next to the wispy-thin ballerinas who graced the studios there.

I’ve also never done an INTENSE fitness shoot with like, special lights bouncing off my rippling deltoids… I imagine some would argue that there are photos on my own blog that are exactly those kind of photos. But I never experienced them that way. I remember the day of one shoot, trying to hide my upper body “flaws” with a flowy shirt, and making up a story in my head that the photographer was avoiding the kind of closeups that I had seen her do with other pros. Reading the girls gone strong post, and seeing the accompanying photos made me realize for the first time that yes, I am one of these fitness professionals.  And we really don’t look so different after all. Funny to think that even I, someone who has been behind the scenes, didn’t see it until now!

Yesterday I got an email from someone who had been to my site and they wrote “you sure are one fit lady.” “Ha! Fooled her,” was my first thought.

Kind of crazy, right? The thing is, I know that a photo like the one I use in my web header just tells the absolute best version of the story, and behind it are a hundred dreadful shots that never see the light of day. After my last “fitness” shoot over 2 years ago, I had been working out like a lunatic and drinking 1100 calories worth of expensive green juices per day for 3 days.(For the record, I do NOT believe in juice cleanses and I have stopped doing them.) I left the shoot completely and utterly drained. I went into my favorite coffee shop and ordered enough food for two people. I ate every damn bite of those nutella crepes before digging into an order of huevos rancheros. I was fucking starving.

I tend to recoil into a mess of insecurities the day after a photo shoot.

I know I’ve done my absolute best to look as celebrity-perfect as I possibly can, and if I’ve worked with a great photographer, I consider the results of that shoot to be the “best I can do.” In other words if I don’t get some flawless shots, I’m hopeless. My least favorite thing is having to see the un-retouched proofs come back with the unflattering ones included – even if “the world” never knows those imperfect shots exist – I do, and I let it turn me into a mess. I expect to look damn good in each one of those professional shots, and if I don’t, I feel like I’m not in league with the other clients I’ve seen in the photographers portfolio.

Just the other morning, a friend came over to film me for a short intro video we were hoping to post on my blog. Kind of a “get to know Andrea” interview for the camera.

At one point she commented to me, “people want to hear what your experience is like, you’re at this pinnacle of fitness.” And I thought “Another one fooled! She clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I’m not even working out that much right now. I could probably only do 2-3 pullups at the moment.”

PULL-UPS!! Only 2 or 3! How normal is it for women to do even a single one? It’s abnormal. And yet I treat my 2 or 3 like they’re small time. In that moment, I realized that my idea of a “fitness” is a carrot on a string, and for all my running towards it, I keep it forever out of reach.

I’m not sure I had ever realized how much I was struggling with impostor syndrome as a fitness professional until just now.

This is a complicated issue – psychologically, socially and politically.

Clearly, I don’t beat myself up like this all the time – if I did I would never put myself out there in the first place. This is just one nasty voice inside my head. The voice of the Perfectionist. Of “never enough.”

There are other messages rattling around in there too, many of them positive.

I wanted to confess this to you because I believe you have a similar voice in your head, too.

You might have heard, and loved, Steve Furtick’s quote:

One reason we struggle w/ insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.

Damn right. Don’t forget, this is me SOMETIMES:

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Andrea 2

But I woke up like this:

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And this is what I look like with dirt on my face after a long day of work on a studio project.2015-06-25 23.05.17

And just for laughs, here’s what I look like in the midst of an unfortunate contouring mishap. (I don’t look impressed.)

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There’s the highlight reel… and then there’s behind the scenes…

This is a reminder, for me as much as it is for you: Wherever you are in your journey, there is someone in the world who would give anything to have the health, the strength and the beauty that you possess today.

Don’t let perfectionism ruin your ability to love and appreciate yourself. And when you start to compare yourself to some external ideal you see in an image, please remember, one photo DOES NOT tell the whole story.

If you haven’t read Cellulite, Stretch Marks, And A “Love Your Body” Challenge, do yourself a favor and read it now!