January 2019

Pure Barre: Ready, Set, Change!

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography


Kara Raehn, owner of Pure Barre Hilton Head Island and Pure Barre Bluffton, with her son Cohen.

There’s something about a clean slate on the calendar that cries out for change. And if you are like millions of people around the globe, one of your goals for the New Year is to change something about your body—whether it’s to lose weight, get stronger, have more energy, or just look and feel better. Owner of two local Pure Barre franchises (on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton), Kara Raehn has a “prescription” for that!

CH2’s Linda Hopkins recently caught up with the busy mom and business owner to talk about how Pure Barre is changing bodies and changing lives.

Linda Hopkins: Kara, it’s so great to see you, and you look fantastic! How are you doing, and how is your little one?
Kara Raehn: He’s so good, Linda. [Cohen] just turned 10 months. Everything is happening at this 10-month mark. He’s been army crawling for a while, but he’s finally on all fours. He’s learned how to pull himself up on everything, climbing stairs … I’ve got a workout machine at home, Mr. Cohen Henry! He’s a healthy and happy baby.

LH: This has certainly been a big change in your personal life. Tell me what’s new at Pure Barre.
KR: We’re so excited to introduce a brand-new format called Pure Reform. We have three formats now. We have Pure Barre Classic, which is what we opened with; we have Pure Empower, which is our cardio-based format; and now have Pure Reform which is a strength and conditioning class.

LH: For those who may be unfamiliar with Pure Barre, describe the original Pure Barre Classic format.
KR: Pure Barre Classic will always be our base with Empower and Reform sprinkled in. It focuses on the muscles women really struggle with: hips, arms, abs and seat. The class consists of tiny, isometric ranges of motion. It’s super low impact, and while it’s certainly not easy, it’s achievable for every client, because we can help you modify the positions if you are dealing with any kind of injury or limitations.

LH: How are you able to meet different needs and help clients achieve various goals?
KR: Pure Barre is the perfect prescription for your body. I recommend taking Classic two to three times a week and doing one Reform and one Empower class. That would be my perfect prescription. If weight loss is your goal, you might want to participate in more Empower classes or for additional toning, more Reform. Weight loss, strength and toning—whatever it is you’re looking for, we can provide you a variety of classes to meet those goals.

LH: Clearly, Pure Barre can help clients change their bodies. How does Pure Barre change lives?
KR: Weight loss and body transformations sort of inherently change people’s lives. But most all of our clients say they gain confidence and self-esteem, and I think that can have a positive impact on every area of a person’s life.

LH: So, this would be emotionally beneficial as well?
KR: Absolutely! Pure Barre is such a mind-body connection. A lot of people describe Pure Barre as their “happy place.” The world shuts off; the music turns on. They work solely on their body, only thinking about the movements, the posture and the techniques. There’s no room left in your brain to think about all the things going on outside of here. Your mind doesn’t wander when you’re in class, because it can’t. I think that really sets Pure Barre apart. Whatever is happening in your world, this is a place to let it go. It’s like an hour of therapy.

LH: I know from my own experience here that there is a great sense of camaraderie among your clientele.
KR: Yes! Clients flock to Pure Barre, not just for the workout. I think people get really connected to the community aspect of things. The friendships that have been made here are amazing—friendships between people from all different walks of life who probably never would have met. It’s such an honor for me to see that and get to be a part of that.

LH: What’s this I hear about a new at-home option?
KR: Pure Barre on Demand is livestreamed online and is available for purchase for clients and non-clients. You are not going to get the exact same experience at home that you would get at the studio, but it’s an added option for women like me who can’t make it to the studio every day—because of life. It’s great for clients when they’re traveling. Or maybe you don’t feel 100 percent and you still want to do a quick 20-minute something at home or a five-minute arm or seat workout.

LH: Speaking of the Pure Barre experience, tell me about the “retail therapy” department.
KR: We have a great variety of activewear: leggings, tanks, sweaters, accessories—and not just for the gym—things you can wear from studio to street. The retail area is open around our classes, but if you want to come in and shop, just leave us a message. We’ll be more than happy to come open up the shop for you.

LH: What keeps you from burning out?
KR: I’ve been teaching over four years now, and I’ve never been more passionate about it. It’s something I’m so connected with. I fall more and more in love with the technique as every year passes, because we continue to change and mix things up. I don’t get bored; I don’t get burned out. I think I’ll be a Pure Barre teacher till the day I die.

LH: What do you find most challenging these days, and how are you meeting that challenge?
KR: Owning two businesses and being a wife and mom—it’s hard. I just try my best … and sometimes things fall through the cracks. But I have to give myself grace and know that it’s okay.

LH: What are your personal goals for the New Year?
KR: With Cohen getting a little bit older, we are getting into a better routine and a better schedule; one of my goals is to get into the studio more. We’ll also be presenting some new fitness challenges for our clients to help hold them accountable and meet their goals for the New Year.

LH: Do you have any advice for new moms?
KR: The best advice someone gave me is to re-evaluate what you’re doing every two months. If it’s not working, then change something. [Sage advice for everyone!] Just do what’s best for you and your child, and love on them a lot. They’re going to turn out just fine.

Ready to shake something up in 2019? Change your body and change your life at Pure Barre, where the world shuts off, the music turns on, and the transformation begins.

Pure Barre Hilton Head is located at 38 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite 129, in Shelter Cove Towne Centre. For more information, call (843) 785-7888 or visit www.purebarre.com/sc-hilton headisland.com. The Bluffton Pure Barre studio is located at 109 Towne Dr., in Belfair Towne Village. For more information, call (843) 815-6015 or visit www.purebarre.com/sc-bluffton


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