Thank you for showing up for you,” said Angela Vieira as she wrapped up a barre class at her studio. Each class at the Barre and Yoga Experience (BYE) ends with a message of empowerment for clients to take with them as they return to the hectic outside world. The Smithfield studio opened almost five years ago and strives to create a community space for all levels of barre and yoga classes. BYE promises a space “free of judgment, self-doubt, and the stress and anxieties of everyday life.”
The first time I stepped through the doors, I had never tried barre (exercises centered around a ballet barre) and had not practiced yoga in years. I didn’t even own a yoga mat. During class, I moved my body in new and sometimes difficult ways. But each movement came with the option for modifications, and I was always encouraged to stop if I felt any pain. I never felt as if I was being judged for not keeping up. BYE offers a space for people to enjoy regardless of where they are in their fitness journey. “You have to celebrate the small wins,” explains Vieira, “whether this win is a peak pose, moving up a weight set during class, or just showing up on your mat.”
Vieira emphasizes the importance of incorporating wellness into our daily lives regardless of what phase of life someone may be in and offers virtual options for those who can’t make it in the studio. Since every class can be joined from home, you might see a toddler or a dog wandering through the background of someone’s Zoom. As a mother of two running a business with two locations (also Plainville, MA), Vieira knows what it’s like to try to balance a busy routine, but she always turns to movement for stress relief. Making the time to take even just 20 minutes a day to move your body has proven benefits.
Vieira encourages her students to set their intentions to something beyond just the physical accomplishments. “It’s not about you looking a certain way; it’s all about how you feel. That’s what this space was created for. So walk through those doors tonight feeling strong, feeling empowered,” she instructs. Classes are accessible but challenging for every level. The aim is to give you the skills to go back out into the world and remember the mindfulness and meditation practices, so when you’re stuck in traffic later or having a rough day, you can remember to take a deep breath and let it go.
Since Rhode Island is such a tight-knit community, BYE is a place where you may see the same faces all the time; those people become friends and hold each other accountable. The studio helps build a community support system, which in turn makes it a space people keep returning to. For first timers, BYE offers free introductory classes and also partners with other local businesses like ALOFT Providence Downtown and The Farm in Chepachet to create fun and engaging events open to all.
The Barre and Yoga Experience • 259 Putnam Pike #2, Smithfield • 401-757-0406
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