Babies & Barre

Six years ago when I was a new mom, I remember feeling so much love, but also very alone at times. I wasn’t alone in the physical sense; there was my husband, there with me every step of the way, Lola’s grandmother’s checking in, and my big sister trying to answer all of my questions from one moment to the next. But the one thing I was missing was a fellow new mom to talk to, or even cry to – yes, I’m a big crier.

“I started taking barre when I had gained a large amount of weight from having breast cancer at 26,” said Paulina Kashirsky, owner of JC Barre. “The hormones and sickness had me up to a size 12 and I hated my body. I tried running and classes at the gym, but never felt like I was pushed or much changed happen. A friend told me to try barre and I was hooked. The changes started after a few weeks of committing to an unlimited package but I still felt I lacked cardio.  I also always felt like the frumpy no make-up girl in class. I opened JC Barre after testing multiple barre work outs but found one with cardio breaks bit in and tweaked on the method to make a fast flowing and body shaking (I love the shake since it shows change is happening) and fat burning class. We wanted to create a studio that was simple but wasn’t intimidating to any body type and had no preset pretenses. As time went on we saw that people loved our instructors who were often dancers and added dance and cardio blend classes to complement our barre classes.”

Today, six years later, I am so happy to see that there are so many chances for new moms to connect in Jersey City. JC Barre holds a mommy and me barre class (baby not required), where new moms, veteran moms and future moms can get some exercise in and meet new friends. How cool is that!?

I recently sat down with JC Barre’s manager, Megan Smith. I immediately felt like we were bff’s — Megan has such a bubbly and outgoing personality, we were immediately new best friends.

She has 21 years of dance experience behind her. She started dancing when she was 3-years-old. During her Hunter College days, where she majored at their School of Dance. After graduating, she was introduced to Pilates, fell in love with it, and that is when she decided to pursue fitness as a profession.

She is a certified Pilates, MegaPlyojam instructor and an A.C.E. personal trainer, specializing in pre-post-natal. With various clients in NYC, she also teaches youth fitness to the kids at the OLC school. While a college student, she was also a nanny so she has always had a fondness for kids. Doesn’t my new best friend sound super cool?!

When I asked Megan to sum up the studio in a few words, she described as, “A place that’s less stuffy than most barre studios. Always very welcoming and never any judgement.” She adds that the mommy and me classes are a great social factor where you meet new mom friends, and get to connect with them a few times a week at the same time, seeing results with the core-strengthening exercises.

I had never taken a barre class and was intimated. I’m no ballerina, that’s for sure. I attended the mommy and me B3 class and really enjoyed it! It was a fusion of ballet and Pilates. We used small weights that really worked both my arms and legs. Even though it was my first time taking the class, I didn’t feel left behind or judged in any way. Megan encouraged us all and provided clear instructions. The few babies in the class enjoyed the class as well – most of them napped the whole time. After class, I chatted with the fellow moms and even though I have a big girl now, we shared stories and advice. I even bumped into one of the moms at a JC kids event a week later. That’s our awesome community for you!

In addition to 4 mommy and me classes during the week, they also have early morning, evening classes and weekend classes. I highly recommend attending a class to not only become a fit mom, but to find new mom friends along the way. They even offer a Flyaroo fitness class for kids ages 5-6, which is a fitness, yoga and cardio blend that incorporates different cultures from around the world. You can find their full schedule and prices on their website: http://www.jcbarrestudio.com/

*Special deal for my readers and first time JC Barre students: You can take any class on the current class schedule for free. Be sure to mention the JC Mom Blog. *

Keep an eye out for them at the upcoming Grove Street Holiday Market – you just may nab a free class card. They also offer new student specials and have different promotions all year round.

xoxo

Namaste, Moms

I’ve practiced yoga on and off for the past 7 years. When I was first introduced to yoga, I instantly fell in love with how it made me feel. I’ve practiced vinyasa, hot yoga, pre-natal yoga and most recently, gentle yoga and meditation. I’m always on the go, both physically and mentally — I just don’t know how to stop. I’ve even contemplated taking up transcendental meditation but finding the time to attend an introductory class has been an obstacle in itself. Luckily for me, Kathleen Kraft, studio manager and YogaCity NYC regular features writer, offered me the opportunity to attend the gentle yoga and meditation class by the Michelle Timek Yoga studio.

Anytime I am covering an event or business for the blog, I want to make sure it can be beneficial to my fellow moms. Well, a few minutes after sitting down with Kathleen, owner Michelle Timek and her husband Dan walked in with their newborn baby girl and it made me smile from ear-to-ear. Seeing her walk in with her child assured me kids are welcomed and will be treated with care and attention; it can be very disheartening to support a business that does not welcome children with open arms. At that very moment, I knew exactly why I was sitting there! In addition, I get to support a new mom and a fellow mompreneur.

Kathleen has been teaching yoga for 3 years and also teaches kids yoga/creative movement to 3rd and 4th graders at the Stevens Cooperative School in Jersey City and Hoboken. A few of the other instructors are moms as well, and all of the instructors have a pre-natal background. The studio offers mommy and me classes for children ages from newborn to 5-years-old. At the moment, they offer two sessions on Tuesday and Saturday. This is a mommy friendly studio!

Located on the 9th floor at 150 Bay Street in downtown, you immediately feel an at home vibe; maybe that’s due to the fact you are in an actual residence. Studio owners Michelle and Dan actually live on one half of the studio. The space has great natural light and a wonderful corner of horticultural beauties.

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On October 29th, the studio is hosting a babycare and breastfeeding preparation workshop. The course is being taught by Jayne Freeman, who has been working with pregnant families for over 8 years in and around Jersey City. She is a certified childbirth educator, breastfeeding counselor and postpartum doula. Jayne has also taught at several pediatric practices & hospitals; she was a consultant for the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health where she directed the postpartum mood disorder initiative. To register for the event, please visit: http://www.michelletimekyoga.com/workshops

I will keep you all updated on future workshops. When the warm weather returns, we can all attend rooftop yoga, the only studio is Jersey City offering such a thing! I simply can’t wait.

xoxo