On an early-week whim, the craving for matcha tea and full body toning took sleuth to Williamsburg, home of a new yoga-barre workout paired with a community space and healthy eats. For yogis who love self-care and socializing, Shaktibarre is crushing it.
Experiencing the teachings of Corinne Wainer, CEO of Shaktibarre and director of YoGirls, is what I would imagine it’s like to witness a magically spirited unicorn come to life.
We began with three speedy rounds of sun salutations. The music was pumping and Corinne was beaming with excitement. “Take a beautiful, purposeful breath in,” she said. And, I did.
Next, came three rounds of plank push-ups and five-pound weight exercises, focused on toning the arms. What seemed like a peaceful, fluid start to class, quickly turned into a no-nonsense empowerment bootcamp. “Come on ladies,” she yelled. “We’re just warming up!” Five minutes in, breaking a full sweat.
After several minutes of mat work, we were guided to the exercise barre. Half of the room faced the other half, and like a confident group of ballerinas, we all lifted to our toes for squats and leg lifts. “Pulse, pulse, pulse,” she continued on rhythm. The more I wanted to give up, the more Corinne pushed us further outside of our comfort zones. “Check in how your day was and see if you can turn it around!”
She encouraged us to set a one-word intention. Hers was forgiveness. “What’s yours?” she asked. “Yell it out!” Fearless! One woman yelled. Connected! Another screamed. I joined in. Courageous! Yelling intentions into a room of sweaty women was oddly liberating, like each one of us was intentionally there to lift each other.
“Stop living in the grey!” Corinne yelled with purpose. “Get it!”
We added in core strengthening and breathwork that resembled Kundalini techniques. Wide-leg squats, hip-thrusts, and breath of fire made the room roar. “Hug in your female intuition,” Corinne said. “It’s always there and you know how to turn it off and on.”
As we made our way back to our mats, in the center of the room, the music lowered, the lights dimmed, and we found our way back to yoga. Poses like virabhadrasana 1 and vashistasana had my body trembling to keep going. I used the empowering female energy filling up the room to – quite literally – keep me elevated. There was a lot of deep breathing, sweating, and most definitely profound wakefulness emerging from everyone around me.
When we finally landed in savasana, I felt lighter. The room felt lighter. My worries felt lighter. It was the first quiet moment I had all day. I wanted to sip in every minute of it.
Corinne slowly guided us back to a comfortable seat, prayer hands at heart, sealing in our practice. From there, she began banging on the floor, creating powerful vibrations with her hands. Without hesitation, we all joined in.
When we finally landed in stillness, I felt awake. The room felt awake. My intuition felt awake. It was the first fully awake moment I had all day. I wanted to sip in every beautiful, purposeful minute of it. And, I did.
—Ashley Howard for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $22, with mat and towel rentals available for $1 each.
Tuesday 6:30-7:25pm Open
Shaktibarre 449 Keap St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 (617) 930-0098