Abstract painting and photography line exposed brick walls in the vestibule. Visitors fill their water bottles with fresh water spurting from clear glass jars. In the basement, there’s a kitchen the size of a typical studio apartment. The showers are pristine.
Spa, it is not. This is the Bari Studio in TriBeCa, NYC, home of the Bari (that’s bar-ee) Method of movement. With the male portion of the team missing, the Greatist girls trekked down to lower Manhattan to see how we’d fare in a one-hour BariMACRO class.
Studio owner Alexandra Perez and director Sara Michelena greeted us and gave us a tour of the digs. It turns out there’s even a garden in the back. (Don’t tell, I’m moving in.) Still in awe, we stepped into the wood-floored studio — complete with a ballet barre, resistance bands hanging from the ceiling, and a stack of trampolines — and waited for our cue.
The Bari Method is based mostly on performance training for athletes, Alexandra told us, but it incorporates all different types of movement, from Pilates to swimming. The studio’s clients include professional models, hockey players, and the rest of us regular folks looking for a fun and effective workout.
At the Bari Studio, instructors don’t wear microphones or shout instructions — so students who don’t have ESP just have to follow along. And so we did, starting off with some choreographed routines that struck me as a cross between a modern dance class and more sophisticated version of my cousin’s bat mitzvah.
Next, strength training included lunges, push-ups, crunches, and tugging on those fancy resistance bands. (A few giggles erupted when I got stuck mid-air trying to maneuver the bands — I told the instructor her equipment must be defective.) All the while, we bopped to the beat of tunes ranging from Wiz Khalifa’s Young, Wild, and Free to Mika’s Big Girl.
With complimentary Bari water bottles in hand and a healthy glow on our faces, we returned to the streets a little stronger, more flexible, and sweatier. The next day I tried to show some friends the dance routine we practiced, but I’d already forgotten it. No problem, though — the soreness in my shoulder muscles was enough of a memory.
What’s the swankiest fitness studio you’ve ever visited?