Feeling inspired at Inspire Studio

With Jerusalem barre classes now on my radar, I have a feeling I’ll be returning to the Holy Land sooner rather than later.

Inspire Studio (photo credit: Courtesy)
Inspire Studio
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It seems like everyone and her mother can be found sporting tight Spandex pants and messy buns in their local fitness studios these days.
Hailing from a town in Connecticut that is surrounded by yoga studios and CrossFit locations, I was anxious to continue taking classes – specifically barre classes – in Jerusalem and maintain a sense of normalcy while spending my summer abroad here.
After a bit of investigating Google and Facebook, I decided to try out Inspire Studio in the city center.
While the city abounds with yoga studios and gyms, the barre offerings are unique to Inspire; if I wanted to continue taking barre classes here, it would have to be at this particular studio.
First, a quick low-down on barre fitness.
The classes are typically an hour long and focus on isometric movements that are based in ballet and Pilates. The workout mainly targets your glutes, core, arms and legs. Weights are usually involved, as well as resistance bands and exercise balls.
Barre classes help you to achieve the dancer’s body you’ve always wanted. Or in my case, the dancer’s body I used to have.
Located at 22 Agron Street, just off King George Avenue, Inspire is easily accessible by the 18 bus, though not easy to find.
Three other businesses share the address, which led to my confusion about its location.
My expectations were based in suburban America, where studios have their own personal buildings with parking lots and giant signs.
Here, the 10:15 Wednesday morning barre fusion class I had signed up for waited just beyond a plain lilac door with no logo, no sign, not even an “Inspire Studio” sticker plastered on the entrance.
Finally, the door opened a few minutes after 10:15 and a handful of women poured out. As I walked in, I could not believe that more than eight women had just fit inside the cozy space.
Upon seeing the stone walls and large, bright windows, I knew I had found the right place.
The English-friendly studio, which offers yoga, Pilates, barre, dance and meditation classes, has a spiritual atmosphere, and not just because it’s in Jerusalem.
It glows with a calm aura, which made me feel right at home.
The five-person barre class was taught by Chagit Lanton, whose encouraging words and dynamic music choices helped distract from the workout.
Because it was a barre fusion class, we began with some yoga poses on our mats to loosen up our muscles and our chakras.
After about 15 minutes of child’s pose and downward-facing dog, the music livened and Lanton brought out the barre, an old, heavy metal rod that we placed in the center of the room.
We curled our arms with weights and pointed our toes and I thought, “I could do this.
I could live here.”
Give me a barre class and I can settle anywhere.
As the class ended, I felt rejuvenated and ready for the rest of my day, as I expected to feel, and vowed to Lanton to return.
Google Maps struggles aside, my experience at Inspire was welcoming and engaging. With Jerusalem barre classes now on my radar, I have a feeling I’ll be returning to the Holy Land sooner rather than later.
Find Inspire Studio on Facebook at Inspire Yoga & Pilates Studio or at www.inspirejerusalem.com.