Class Review

First Take Fitness: Core Fusion Barre + Yoga at Exhale

The perfect class for a short attention span.

The Class: Core Fusion Barre + Yoga at Exhale Spa, located in the Highland Hotel. The class is held on Mondays at 6:30pm and  Thursdays at noon.

The Appeal: I’ve taken Core Fusion at Exhale. I’ve taken yoga at Exhale. I’ve also taken Core Fusion Barre at Exhale. All of them were great, so my expectations were high for this dj mashup of a class.

The Instructor: Catherine Hesse

The Space: The studio in Exhale Spa has light hardwood floors, lots of natural light, and all the equipment you need for class. Definitely get there early to shop their solid athleisure selection and even sip on some tea.

Courtesy of Exhale

Who’s There: My class was all-women, some of whom were clearly regulars. Ages ranged from 20-somethings to 40-somethings. Everyone had great leggings.

What to Wear: Like any yoga and barre class, leggings are preferable to shorts. I brought my sticky socks but the teacher gave us the option to go barefoot. I think I look silly in sticky socks, so I went sans footwear.

How It Went: Don’t let the mouthful of a name intimidate you. The class is essentially just 30 minutes of a very good barre class with some brief hand weight work beforehand, followed by 30 minutes of a very good, high-energy yoga class. Personally, I avoid yoga studios because I can get bored or too in my own head after about the 30-minute mark (I like getting out of my head during a workout), so this setup was perfect for me. We moved from the mat to the barre and back to the mat so swiftly that I never had the opportunity to overthink my grocery list or that text I sent my mom earlier.

The Aftermath: I do Pilates on a fairly regular basis, so I wasn’t crazy sore, but my thighs were definitely feeling that barre work the next day.

Loved: The teacher, Catherine Hesse, was great. She was all positivity, which you need when you’re doing your umpteenth plié. I also loved that I wasn’t totally sure what was going to come next.

Didn’t Love: There are no mirrors in Exhale. I’m sure there’s probably a perfectly sensible reason for that, but I like to check what my body is doing, particularly in a barre or yoga class. I also like to make sure my hair doesn’t look dumb.

Difficulty: There are many moves that will burn, and many moves that I couldn’t hold because of that burn. Things move fast, but all in all this is an accessible class anyone who’s not a total yoga or barre beginner.

Bottom Line: I would like to hug the person who decided to put barre and yoga together. Although I love the benefits of both, barre and yoga classes are my least favorite when taken individually. Combining the two eliminated the tediousness I sometimes feel during an hour-long class.