This weekend, New York City’s newest boutique fitness studio—starring an original somewhat-barre-inspired workout and wellness amenities galore—will open its doors in Tribeca.
Its founder is Alexandra Perez, a 25-year-old business woman with a passion for fitness.
Perez’s job in finance took her to London, where she tried Lotte Berke workouts, and to Holland, where she learned to love resistance bands. “You know how people go to museums? I’d go try the newest workout in every city,” explains the Venezuelan beauty.
But Perez never found her perfect workout, so she took a leave of absence and decided to create it. A certification in Pilates and months of research later, the Bari Method was born.
The Bari Method combines elements from Perez’s favorite workouts—and a few whims of her own. The result? A short inspirational story to frame the class followed by a choreographed workout to pumping music (think Cee Lo, Rihanna), a standing cardio sequence with suspension bands, Pilates-esque mat work (only with more oomph), and stints at the barre.
But is Bari just another Lotte Berke spin-off? Perez says no. “We really get into the barre,” she said, lifting her leg above her waist and arching over it. During the class, we left the tiny, isolated (and excruciating) exercises of Pilates and Lotte Berke behind, our bodies moving, moving, moving.
The workout is challenging but it has a touch of playfulness and fun. Bari may just be the Refine Method’s free-spirited little sister.
Perez has created a hip, downtown vibe in her exposed-brick space—and the amenities are sweet: lockers made from recycled wood, a free pre-workout shot of concentrated green tea, filtered water flowing into Bari Method bottles. And moms will love that the kids can take Budokon classes, which combine yoga with martial arts, while they’re getting their Bari Method on upstairs. Classes are premium priced at $35 (it’s less for kids).
Still, going the extra mile seems to be Perez’s obsession. “If you’re going to dedicate an hour of your day to yourself, it should be a little more special than just in and out, throw your towel, and leave,” says Perez, who is also brewing kombucha, tending a zen garden, and displaying art at the studio. “Not many places create an entire experience.” —Lisa Elaine Held