I started taking classes at the Portland Bar Method two weeks ago and I'm totally hooked. Please note that I am not usually a fan of any kind of exercising besides walking. And unless you are over 75, walking is hardly exercise. When I was in grad school, I would go to the gym sporadically, usually because my friend made me go, but since moving to Portland almost a year ago, I've done very little. There was some light jogging early on, but then the weather and my natural laziness put an end to that. I've also never been one for exercise classes because scheduling my life around them seemed like such a chore; the most I've done in that front was a few yoga classes, again usually when my someone (my sister) dragged me.
I don't remember exactly how I heard about the Bar Method, I think it was a combination of having walked by it a bunch of times and also maybe reading about it back when Black Swan first came out in theaters and everyone was talking about ballet-style exercise classes. In any case, once I decided I could benefit from more activity and that self-discipline wasn't cutting it, I decided to check it out. I've always been really thin, but also really weak. My goal obviously was therefore not to lose weight, but to gain strength and flexibility and tone up generally.
The classes were brutal the first week and I was pretty much endlessly sore for the first week and a half. The last few days have been better; while my muscles definitely feel tired after class, subsequent soreness was not as intense. More, a pleasant reminder that I exercised. The classes themselves run through the same basic sequence of exercises each time (with little variations here and there), which would seem boring except you have to concentrate so hard to maintain proper posture and alignment that it's actually really interesting. And since I find them so challenging, they really require all of my focus. The classes are an hour long but the time goes by in a flash. I'm really enjoying it so far and actually look forward to my class days, which seems unbelievable for someone like me. My morning classes always gives me such a little lift to the rest of the day. So far I'm going 4 times a week, but I can see stepping it up to 5. The classes themselves are spendy, which is the main drawback, but I think it's enough of a benefit that it's worth the money for me. I highly recommend it!