After four years of procrastination, I have finally found my way back to the barre.

Upside Motion is one of the few studios in Singapore that offer barre classes, and with very accessible locations - one in City Hall and another in Orchard - and convenient schedules it was a very easy decision to sign up with them.

They offer a three-class pass for beginners, valid for one week and can be used on any of the group classes. Apart from Xtend Barre, which is their particular "flavor" of barre exercise, they also offer Pilates Mat and Antigravity Aerial. So I figured I'd try all three.

I started with Xtend Barre, at the City Hall location. The studio is a short walk from the MRT, but it's tucked into its own tiny corner in Armenian Street. Central but cozy. And very peaceful.

Photo credits: Upside Motion

Our class was pretty full, but still a reasonable size at fifteen. Since there are only two rooms, it hardly ever gets crowded and there are ample changing rooms and more than enough lockers for everyone. No showers though, but I don't really mind it all that much since I go straight home after class anyway. I can see how it could be a deal-breaker for some, though.

I only have my Barre3 classes in Manila as reference, but this one is definitely more fast-paced. I do feel that more emphasis could have been given on the correct form, because that spells the difference between working those muscles and doing absolutely nothing (or worse, injuring oneself). Other than that, it's pretty much the same old barre exercises I have grown to love; the ones that leave me with violently shaking thighs and render me unable to laugh without wincing in pain.

Bonus Side Story: Abe attended a Barre3 class with me once, together with a couple of our other friends, and in return I had to run 5k with them. We weren't a couple yet back then haha :p

Next up: Antigravity Aerial. I was very very excited for this. And also scared shitless. This time they offered classes for beginners, and I naively thought we would just be stretching about in the air while lying on the hammock. So when the instructor started saying things like "inversions" I started to panic a little bit. But in the end, all it took, really, was a very deep breath and hell of a lot of faith in my core and the tensile strength of those silk hammocks (they can support up to two hundred pounds). Despite the initial scare, it was undeniably a very fun class, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I was able to achieve, what with me not being in the best shape at all.

As much as I would like to show you a selfie, I was struggling enough as it is, so instead here's a video of people doing it so much more gracefully (it goes without saying that I was only able to execute a teensy tiny fraction of the moves shown here).

Last but not least: Pilates. Patting myself on the back for this one. For starters, I booked an early morning class. On a Saturday. And when I woke it was raining like crazy. Almost, almost cancelled, but I soldiered on, and I'm glad I did. There were only four of us in class, which means there is a lot of opportunities for the instructor to observe and make the necessary corrections to our form. This was in the Orchard branch, only a couple of steps from the standalone H&M store, but like the other studio it feels very cozy and, despite the central location, feels quite secluded. Amenities are pretty much the same (so again, no showers).

After that last session, I took yet another deep breath, handed the receptionist my credit card, and signed up for ten more classes. It's good to be back. ^^

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