Empowerment month would be incomplete without hearing from two inspiring women who make female empowerment their bread and butter. Meet Corinne Wainer and Shauny Lamba, the founders of SHAKTIBARRE, a barre-yoga hybrid workout that combines empowerment and exercise. After taking a class at SHAKTIBARRE, our minds and bodies felt so strong and energized one of us cried at the end of it. We decided to sit down with the brains behind the studio and we can’t wait for you to learn more about Corinne and Shauny's message. We love that SHAKTIBARRE combines barre and yoga into one class. How did you come up with this hybrid and how do these two workouts complement each other? Combining yoga and barre is an idea stemming from a few goals. One goal is to increase oxygen uptake and decrease the secretion of stress hormones that can happen in a lot of mega-intense fitness workouts. By pairing barre moves with yogic breathing, our students balance their bodies internally and externally. Vinyasa also stretches the muscles that contract vigorously during a barre workout, so the student leaves feeling toned as well as opening the body to heal and recover. In addition, with boutique workouts becoming increasingly trendy, exclusive, and overpopulated, we feel a responsibility to re-create connection to self and others during said classes - which the yoga enables us to do seamlessly and gorgeously. What advice would you give to a beginner who is scared to get started in the fitness arena? A beginner who is afraid of embarking into the world of exercise should rest assured that it is the integrity of the class that will help them achieve their desired results. They do not have to move at a crazy fast pace, lift the heaviest of weights, be a professional dancer, or be extremely flexible to participate in class. They simply need to come as they are and start from there. That’s another way barre benefits so well from yoga, as the philosophy of becoming more and more yourself rather than being the best or someone else is the perfect lesson for students of all levels. We love that SHAKTIBARRE’s mission is all about female empowerment. Who is a strong woman that inspires you? Strong women who inspire us are our mothers of course, and at this moment surely each other. Shauny is a fierce, attention-to-detail savvy sweetheart that keeps things in line around here as well as offers her vast expertise in Ayurveda and nutrition for diverse communities. Corinne brings her expertise in educational psychology to encourage mindful curricula and partnerships, as well as a creative and dynamic atmosphere hallmarked by unconditional love. What do you think the role of empowerment plays in a healthy lifestyle? Empowerment is essential to a healthy lifestyle because fads are indeed fun, but they come and go while as intrinsic motivation transcends lifetimes. When a person feels personally or socially disempowered, he or she is less likely to take initiative regarding his or her health and wellbeing. And as the old saying goes, we can only love others once we establish a more profound love within ourselves. That being said, journeying towards greater empowerment is essential for the collective healing of our world, really. What’s your healthy living philosophy? Our healthy living philosophy starts with truth-telling. Once we become radically honest with ourselves and others, that level of authenticity permeates everything we do. For example, we always encourage students in class to do less repetitions of a move if it means that their body is in proper alignment. We definitely value quality over quantity. Being out of integrity can lead to a plethora of complications, including illness. Our philosophy is that showing up with integrity creates more potential energy for the positive, and that positive energy is boundless in terms of how it can affect real, enduring change. What do your typical morning routines look like? We have different morning routines, as they are based on our personal truths that day, but they seem to share a common thread of waking up after sleeping for a decent amount of time, practicing gratitude and meditation for at least 10 minutes, and enjoying a legit breakfast. Breakfast is obviously super important for having enough fuel to get through the day. What’s your go-to fuel? There are so many fresh, locally-sourced meals in our cafe that we don't have to travel far to feel nourished for the rest of our day. Currently our favorite breakfast options are avocado toast with local Brooklyn chutney, or an Amy's Bread scone paired with a low-sugar cardamom lassi. What are three things you’d never leave the house without? We would never leave the house without music! Currently our playlists are a mix of old school Whitney Houston jams, local powerhouses like Merrily James, and delicious femme-hippie melodies like Aad Guray Nameh by Jai-Jagdeesh. We also never leave the house without taking a "spirit check." How do our bodies feel that day? What does our emotional landscape look like? Any blocked chakras? And how about that intuition, what does she have to say? We are advocates for showing up as our full-spectrum selves (verses always being happy, which can lead to a kind of misunderstanding of misuse of consciousness). A second "spirit check" often happens right before bed as well. SHAKTIBARRE has become such a great success! What’s next for you? We are wildly overjoyed by the response to SHAKTIBARRE already! For now, whats next is growing our existing offerings. We spend a lot of time curating our class sequences based on what our students need, creating new and delicious recipes in the cafe, and hosting tons of wide-ranging events. For example, just next week we have yoga to live drumming, a dance celebration of the Jewish holidays, a reiki party, and are in the beginning talks of hosting a documentary screening and educational series around fertility and sexual trauma. From these conscious efforts to make SHAKTIBARRE everything we both promised and dreamed it will be, we will be looking to scale in the next few years. Already the West Coast is calling, as well as Canada, with women on the other line who crave a wellness empowerment studio to meet them where they are and elevate our collective sisterhoods from that point forward. HBFIT Girls, get your butts to SHAKTIBARRE ASAP, they will change your life.