One thing that brings people back to the barre is the BURN! But what happens when the burn turns to burnout or even worse, injury? As a barre-tender myself, I want people to enjoy the benefits of this amazing workout without fear of getting hurt or feeling left behind. Here are 3 ways to help keep the burn going without compromising the benefits.

    Neutral Pelvis

    When it comes to lower back pain or strain, tucking can further aggravate or worsen any issues that may be occurring. Taking out the “tuck” and maintaining a neutral pelvic position will alleviate compression in the lower spine. An alternative move would be to go into an anterior tilt instead when doing “back dancing.” 

    Forearms > Flat Back

    Having issues with the hip flexors? Instead of doing Flat Back on the wall, prop up on forearms on the floor (like a reverse forearm plank). This will allow for an increase in abdominal support when lifting the legs. Being in an upright position creates a shortened angle between the legs and hips, making it difficult for any leg flexion. The hip flexors have to work much harder and overworking this muscle group can cause fatigue, strain and even pain. Swap for forearms and you won’t miss a beat!

    Have a ball!

    High C Curve can put an unwanted load on the lower back if experiencing pain in that area. A way to take off some of the stress, and make this position more comfortable, try placing a ball behind the lower spine. Leaning back into the ball will offer support for the back while allowing the abdominals to work harder. The goal is not to be in pain, but to work the core, so using this prop will ensure for a burn without burnout.

    It is important for longevity in barre classes to not push through the pain. Modifying, adjusting a set-up, or replacing an exercise is not a sign of weakness but intelligence. Not every group class is designed with our bodies in mind, so having options in your back pocket are important to make the right choices for yourself. Enjoy these tips so you can keep feeling the burn without burning out!

    About the Author

    Michelle DuVall is the creator of Barre Variations, a compressive method and manual with an expanded syllabus of choreography and technique. She is also a passionate motivator who creates inclusive experiences for her community through movement sessions, wellness events and retreats.

    For this blog posts or to see more from Pure Barre, visit: https://thebarreblog.com

  • Totally Giftable Skin Care Tools

    Posted on

    Perfect for gift-giving season: Ways to improve skin’s appearance without the expense or time of medical spa procedures. Check out these easy-to-use devices that bring spa technologies (and results!) into your home.

    Contour, tone and smooth with NuFACE

    Little knobs on this device direct safe, low-level microcurrents through your skin, tissue and down to your muscles (microcurrent technology has even been approved by the FDA as muscle stimulant).

    The way it works is that microcurrents stimulate the body to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a compound found in all our tissues that helps boost firming and plumping proteins like collagen and elastin. Some people see immediate results, but others may require a few weeks to get the desired plumpness.

    Results are cumulative, so after a few months of use, you’ll see improved contours and a more toned and firm look, users say. After two months, or when you’ve achieved the results you want, scale back to 2 or 3 days a week for maintenance.

    How to choose the NuFACE for you
    NuFACE Gold Trinity Complete Skin Toning Collection features a NuFACE Trinity microcurrent device with a facial trainer (knobs coated in 18K rose gold!), 24K gold Gel Primer (with real gold flakes for extra firming), skin prep cloths and a power adapter. Grab this limited edition set for the holidays before it’s gone!

    NuFACE Mini has the same power as the larger device but its petite size makes it great for travel or small bathroom counters.

    NuFACE NuBody Skin Toning Device is the firming device for smoothing dimples on uneven skin. With four treatment knobs and an easy-to-grip round handle, you’ll firm sagging skin in larger areas like thighs, stomach and arms.

    Hydrating Leave-on Gel Primer is used with all NuFACE devices and helps ensure optimal microcurrent conductivity and treatment results.

    Boost collagen production and reduce wrinkles with the ORA Microneedle

    If you want to banish fine lines and improve the look of old acne scars, try microneedling. This device is a cylinder with many tiny medical-grade needles that gets rolled lightly over your face, resulting in micro-injuries to the top layer of skin. Your body responds by boosting collagen and elastin production.

    Clinical studies show that this technique works to plump skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and scars. Microneedling can be used on other parts of your body, too, and a wider roller can help reduce the look of cellulite on legs, arms and stomach. Try ORA Microneedle Face and Full Body Roller Kit with four interchangeable rollers for face, body, lips and other small areas, and a sterilization tray for use after rolling. This kit is great because it includes just the right size of microneedle for each part of the body to ensure you don’t damage skin, and the included sterilization tray makes it easy to clean the tool before and after each use. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure you’re using the tool properly!

    Reduce puffiness and calm irritated skin with a crystal roller

    For a slightly more organic skin care experience, a gemstone facial roller does the trick. For centuries Chinese women have been relying on this simple beauty tool to relax facial muscles and reduce puffiness.

    When rolled gently in an upwards and outward motion over the face, gemstone rollers help release and drain toxins in the lymph nodes. The natural coolness of the gemstone makes it especially good for reducing under-eye puffiness and relieving irritated skin. Storing the roller in the refrigerator will enhance the effect and you can roll after applying serums for better penetration.

    How to choose a gemstone roller

    Kitsch Jade Crystal Facial Roller is a classic choice, as it’s naturally cool to the touch and will warm up a bit when used. Because this gemstone has slight variations and is not as silky smooth as other stones, it has more impact on the deeper muscles of the face—making it a good choice for lifting and helping serums penetrate more deeply. Jade is known as a healing gemstone, so this roller also helps soothe redness and balance your skin.

    Kitsch Rose Quartz Facial Roller will remain cool to the touch and is best known for helping smooth wrinkles. Rose quartz is also said to be the gemstone of love and helps release toxic energies so stress and tension (that cause fine lines!) ease when you roll it over your face.

    For this blog post or to see more, visit: https://www.pharmaca.com/projectwellness

  • Sift Picks: Weirdest Desserts From Around the World

    Posted on April 25, 2018 by Andrea Ballus

    The world is full of strange and wonderful things, including desserts. It’s always a blast to take a virtual “world tour” to see what the rest of the planet is enjoying. Here are a few of the most unusual desserts we found, but even at their weirdest, we still want a bite.

    Light Bulb Drinks

    Here’s a new one: have you had boba tea or a milkshake out of a light bulb yet? If not, you’ll likely be seeing them soon at a smoothie shop or dessert bar near you! One of the weirdest, but coolest, trends we’ve seen popping up lately is serving any sort of drink – from the sweet to the alcoholic – right out of a light bulb. Yes, you read that correctly. The uniquely-shaped “glass” lets you really see the swirls and pops of color in your drink, which makes them extra appealing.

    Japanese Water Cakes

    Also known as “raindrop cake,” this weird and truly delicious concoction looks exactly like a giant glistening water droplet. In Japanese, they’re called Mizu Shingen Mochi, and some clever dessert lovers have been making their own and even including blooming “flowers” in the middle for an added effect. Made with superfine sugar and Japanese agar powder, this delicate dessert has to be chilled and eaten quickly when served, or else it’ll melt back to nothing. You can find a recipe for water cake on this blog!

    Chicken Dessert Pudding

    If you just did a double take, you’re not alone. Chicken’s not the first ingredient we think of when we think about dessert, either, but in Turkey, it’s called tavuk göğsü and it’s considered a delicacy. Chicken is typically boiled until it’s super soft, then pounded to a delicate consistency and mixed with sugar, milk, rice, spices, and other flavors until it becomes a pudding. Sounds weird, but it’s apparently beloved by locals.

    Chocolate Rice Pudding… with a Fishy Twist

    Rice pudding doesn’t sound unusual at all, and chocolate is far from being considered “weird” when it comes to dessert. In the Philippines, both are used to create a tasty rice pudding called champorado, along with milk and sugar for sweetness. Sounds delicious! However, this treat is often served alongside a salty dried fish called “tuyo.” Puts a new spin on sweet and savory, doesn’t it?

    Cherpumple Cake

    This one’s our own weird local creation: a pie in a pie in a pie in a cake. Huh? You’ll find it in Los Angeles, where it started out as a joke. It’s all America’s favorite pies – apple, cherry, and pumpkin – layered on top of one another and surrounded in spice cake with sweet buttercream icing. That’s a sugar bomb if we’ve ever heard one!

    Ais Kacang – Rainbow Shave Ice

    People who frequent Hawaii won’t be strangers to shave ice, and they may not even bat an eye at the azuki beans mixed with sugar that can serve as its base. However, in Malaysia, this dish is taken even further with the addition of flavors like lychee, green grass, corn, or even pungent durian fruit. Top it all with red syrup or condensed milk and you’ve got a rainbow colored concoction of interesting flavors!

    Chocolate Covered Insects

    Enough said, right? These are exactly what they sound like: insects with a chocolate coating. Most frequently, they’re crunchy crickets, but you’ll also find grasshoppers, mealworms, or even spiders. In America, we tend to be squeamish about eating bugs, but they’re an excellent source of protein and, by all reports, quite tasty.

    Have you heard of any weird or unusual desserts from around the world? Share them with us! We’d love to hear all about them. Have you tried any of the desserts on this list?

    Check out our list of the most expensive desserts we've come across.

    To see this blog post or others like it, visit: https://www.siftdessertbar.com/blogs

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