B is for Breath

How should we breathe in barre?

We admit, there is a lot to remember in barre class. But one thing you cannot forget to do is breathe, because when you forget to breathe, bad things happen. Like passing out or overheating and early fatigue. Luckily, your friends at Center Stage will work with you throughout the entire duration of class to ensure you’re breathing effectively, efficiently and (take a breath) with ease during class. So, periodically you can expect the instructor to gently remind you to breathe and if that’s not working there will probably be some shouting, but please know, the shouting comes from a good place (it’s all love at Center Stage).

If you’re a yogi or yogini, chances are you’ve heard the whole “in through the nose out through the nose thing.” And that’s awesome, but in barre class when you’re burning up the floor, it’s OK to do a bit of mouth breathing. It happens — especially when you’re crushing cardio and then make a transition to squats.

Breath is another one of the key principles in barre class. This is why we want you to have complete control over it through all 55-minutes of class and to breathe with a purpose.

To help you breathe with a purpose the fine folks at Center Stage University concocted this super convoluted equation that may take seven or eight MIT mathematicians to solve, but we know you can master:

Controlled Breath + Controlled Movements = An Elevated Heart Rate (x) Muscular Contraction to Third Power

We know it’s a lot to take in, but here is how it breaks down: When you have control over your breath and movements it’s going to raise your heart rate (this is good because it gets the blood going and burns calories and all that) and then it takes your muscular contraction to a whole new level.

Study it, live it then go out and breathe it and put it altogether at the studio. But before you do, please enjoy this very serious video to help reset the mind and body to get you in the right place to breathe.


We hope that video put you in the right mindframe to get serious about your breath. And if at any point you have a question, please, please, please know...

We Always Got Your Back

If you find yourself having trouble finding your breath in class, ask your instructor for some guidance and breathing exercises you can do on your own. Sam, founder of Center Stage, really recommends this breathing exercise (but there are so many others out there that you will love and that we can tell you about in person) where you close your eyes and match your inhale with your exhale to decrease stress and to calm the body — and if that doesn’t work, just watch another silly video.

We will work tireless with you to find the right breath in hopes it makes each 55-minute class a breeze. And with enough practice, proper breathing will become second nature, allowing you to focus on other things like proper Alignment (check out our previous post on the importance of alignment) and trying to resist the temptation of wiping the sweat from your brow during Intensity Class