Barressential is one of the most revolutionized wellness centers in Sri Lanka today. Prioritizing a foreign workout technique called “Barre and Pilates”, Barressential is a fitness studio that has taken the Sri Lankan fitness industry by storm.
Nare Bandaranayake, fondly known as Nare, is the brainchild behind this unique fitness studio, she picked up her strong passion for barre and Pilates when she was in London. As stated by Nare in an interview with Daily Mirror, “Initially, I was not a workout person myself, I hated it”, she started practicing the methods of barre as a form of rehab to relieve her back pain, but eventually fell in love with it in the process. Nare worked in finance prior to starting Barressential in Sri Lanka, which goes to show that Barre and Pilates, unlike other workout methods, does not take the whole day and that it is more than possible to balance both your fitness and your profession.
So, you might be wondering what barre and Pilates are. Well, barre is a physical exercise that incorporates movements derived from ballet. It mainly focuses on muscle-mind connection and time under tension, highlighting slow and controlled movements. Whilst, Pilates emphasize proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance.
Many fitness enthusiasts have a common misconception that the only way to sculpt your body is by curling barbells and doing cardio. Nare alongside her team, has proven that you should utilize your own bodyweight and focus on controlling the movements rather than just moving an object from point A to point B.
I had the privilege of visiting Barressential at Colombo 05 and boy, was I intrigued.
The studio was like nothing I had seen before. It looked extremely fancy and authentic, the rooms were very spacious and had very clean acrylic mirrors on the walls with aureate lighting, something the Instagram fanatics would love, and most importantly, had very distinctive equipment called Reformers which is a brilliant machine that uses spring resistance and a strap/pulley system to test your stability, to improve your strength and flexibility. These machines are available only here at Barressential, as this is THE only fitness studio that teachers Barre and Pilates in the country.
Currently, the general public is a tad reluctant to join a barre session, or any gym session in general, taking into account the global pandemic, but there is nothing to worry about when it comes to Barressential as Nare and her team have taken the appropriate safety precautions. And trust me when I say, they take their safety as well as their clients safety very seriously.
Barressentials was initiated back in 2016, and started off with just 4 people per class and progressed to have a maximum of 14 people per class, prior to the pandemic. At this moment in time, only 5 people are allowed per class for both reformer and barre/mat Pilates due to the current situation in Colombo.
Nare and her team had to face many obstacles, the pandemic being the biggest one yet, but they lunged their way through it. Amidst the global pandemic, virtual lessons were conducted via zoom and as the situation in the country gradually declined, more and more clients joined Barressential for face to face sessions.
A fitness studio that started off with just a few ladies, now consists of men as well, some being world class athletes. Safe to say, that the common misconception of barre being a feminine way of working out has diminished.
The latest addition is a workout regimen for pregnant and post-natal women, showing that this workout works for those with special conditions, rehab needs or injuries – no matter the age.
Barre and Pilates help each individual with not only reaching their ideal physique but also allow them do so in the safest way possible, avoiding injuries, and training in the environment created by Nare and her team makes working out feel a whole less frustrating and exhausting. It also helps release more endorphins, making you feel amazing after the session rather than feeling drained out. Nare was exactly like one of us - she was not a huge fan of working out either, and knows exactly how and what we are feeling. She creates routines that will make you want to come into the studio and basically convert, working out from being a burden to a lifestyle.
Do you remember your first day in the gym?
The nerves, the anxiety, not knowing what to do, embarrassed because of the judgy looks thrown at you and overall feeling intimidated. Sound familiar to you?
Well, you don’t need to worry about that at Barresssential, as Nare and her team will be providing you with a customized routine and will be assisting you throughout the session. So it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, you will be getting all the attention and more.
I tried out a few barre sessions for myself as it was still so foreign to me, and oh boy! - it is not as easy as it looks. We always feel like we have to lift heavy dumbbells or barbells to “build” your body and we forget to make the most out of our own body weight. Each exercise had specific breathing methods and controlled movements so you would actually feel the strain in the specific muscle you’re working on. I was very intrigued and will definitely be signing up for a few more sessions.
Nare and her team have quite evidently set the “barre” very high in terms of price, quality and service.
Join Barressential, and change your lifestyle for the better.