Rachel Wilson teaches Barre at PAI and is the founder/owner of BarreOm.
Let's take a moment to get to know her a bit better.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Washington, DC. I was a three sport athlete in high school (volleyball, basketball and track and field) and played Division I basketball at the University of Pennsylvania. I taught 8th grade English in the Bronx, NY for two years with Teach for America, and earned my master's degree in teaching from Pace University. I attended law school at the University of Michigan, worked briefly in D.C. and currently serve as the Program Director for a non-profit organization, The Law and Leadership Institute. I love going to the movies, rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, and spending time with family and friends. :)
2. Tell us about your fitness journey from when it started to where you are now.
I have always loved fitness. I love working together with others toward a common goal. I used to love running, heavy lifting and playing basketball. However, in 2010 I realized that my joints could no longer handle high-impact exercises. I took my first barre class in early 2011 and was immediately hooked. I enjoyed the challenge, music, camaraderie, and the results. I wanted to share my love of barre with others so after I graduated from law school, I returned to D.C. and taught classes for several years at DC's first barre studio, B. fit. During that time I trained new and current instructors. I also really developed a regular yoga practice at my home studio, Tranquil Space. When I moved to Columbus, I decided that I wanted to create my own method of barre classes that would combine yoga and barre which prompted me to create barre-OM (www.barre-OM.com). I also decided to pursue my 200 YTT certification and became certified in the Spring of 2014. Since then I've also received fitness certifications in indoor cycling, and Lagree Fitness.
3. Where do you see your journey taking you in the next few years?
I hope that barre-OM continues to blossom and will hopefully exist in other studios both within and outside of Ohio. I also hope to continue teaching barre, yoga, and Lagree Fitness. I look forward to continuing to pursue additional certifications. There is always more to learn!
4. Out of all of the exercise methods you’ve tried in the past, why did you feel the need to create your own program?
I have loved yoga ever since I was a senior in high school. I also thoroughly enjoyed taking and teaching barre classes. However, as a barre client, I often yearned for more. I wanted longer stretches, and more hands-on adjustments. I also wanted to create a workout experience that is always challenging, interesting, and fun. I wanted to know what muscles I was working and why we were doing certain exercises. Also, I have several ongoing injuries that I am coping with and I found that more often than not, modifications were not offered for clients with injuries, tighter hips, or other anatomical challenges. For example, my wide-second (or horse stance in yoga) will never look "ideal" because I have limited external rotation in my hips (I have femoral acetabular impingement in both hips). For years I thought that I just wasn't flexible enough! It wasn't until I enrolled in my yoga teacher training program that I realized that my body is structured differently and that's okay! I wanted to create a method that provided anatomical explanations for movements, specific and helpful modifications for clients dealing with various injuries or anatomical challenges, and that also provided ample time for clients to stretch their muscles. I wanted clients to love barre (even when their muscles are shaking uncontrollably) and to experience great mental and physical results, while moving safely and efficiently. I also wanted to train instructors to create an environment that is welcoming, positive, engaging, and fun! Ultimately, I wanted to find a way to fuse barre and yoga together, in order to create a powerfully positive experience for clients.
5. What kind of results should someone expect to see with a Barre workout?
Results may vary. Some clients may lose weight, while others gain muscle. Many clients report that their body looks more toned and their waistline is smaller after doing barre classes regularly. Barre classes target arms, abs, thighs, and glutes so clients typically see improvements in those areas after taking classes regularly for several months. Beyond the physical results though, clients will often see changes mentally as well. When clients see that they can survive 2 minutes of chair, a 90 second forearm plank, or 3 minutes of full-foldover, they ultimately realize that they are capable of so much more both inside and outside of class!
6. How often should someone do Barre to see results?
I recommend that clients attend class 3 days a week. Most clients who attend class three days a week and also maintain a healthy diet will often lose a dress size.
7. What is your favorite pose?
I love chair pose in barre. It reminds me of wall sits during basketball practice. :) I also love half moon in yoga!
8. What brought you to PAI Yoga & Fitness and why do you chose to teach at PAI?
I reached out to Chan and Mike to see if they were interested in starting a barre program and interestingly enough, they were just talking about it moments before they received my email. Their willingness to take a chance on the new girl from D.C. is what afforded me the opportunity to help build the barre program at PAI. I chose PAI also because I enjoyed taking classes there as a client when I used to visit Columbus. I enjoyed connecting with the other instructors and clients.
9. What is your favorite quote?
"We must change our tactics or lose the game." ---Abraham Lincoln
Sign up for a Barre class with Rachel today! You won't regret it!