Living powerfully

Improve yourself and your community through your New Year’s resolutions

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 1/2/2014

Last year was many things: A whirlwind of joys, frustrations, achievements and shortcomings. But 2013 remains one thing for everybody: over. It’s now time to take stock, cut your losses and move forward powerfully. 
The past is the past, and you possess the ability to live in the moment and chart out your future. Your life is yours to create. No more putting off what you really want. All you have is right here and right now.
The beginning of each year is a justifiably easy time to wipe the slate clean and begin anew, because it’s more difficult for most people to follow through on new commitments throughout the year. Popular New Year’s resolutions include getting a new job, managing stress, eating healthier, quitting smoking, saving money and, of course, losing weight and getting in shape. 
So, how do you get — and keep — the ball rolling?
The key is to take an intervening action. A jolt is needed to shake things up. As humans, our default is to slide into what’s comfortable and familiar. If you want results, you have to interrupt the status quo. It won’t happen on its own.
If you’ve resolved to get in shape, it would behoove you to check out Pure Barre, a ballet barre-focused exercise gym with a workout that will seriously kick your ass and give you the jolt you need. A popular franchise, there are about 130 outlets throughout the country. Alexis Hovden, who owns the 76th franchise gym on Fair Oaks Avenue in Old Pasadena, said their barre method tackles the areas of the body that most women struggle with: hips, butt, thighs and triceps. However, it’s not just for women.
“Our main draw is women but anyone can do it,” said Hovden. “Girls like to bring their boyfriends.”
What really keeps people coming back, she said, and therefore supporting people fulfill on their fitness resolutions, is how quickly they see results on their body. 
“You can see results in as quickly as five classes,” said Hovden. “It works all major and small muscle groups of the human body and it has a heightened level of fat burn. People get addicted to it. They keep on coming back because they keep getting results so quickly.”
In the beginning of the New Year, Pure Barre has a new client special, featuring an unlimited month of classes for $99. If you mention Pasadena Weekly, your first class is free.
“It’s fun, it works, it keeps you coming back, the music is fun, it’s a great environment,” said Hovden. “Instructors make it fun while being really motivational and help you take your body to its limits.”
Of course, New Year’s resolutions don’t just have to be about self-improvement. As Jonathan Edewards pointed out on the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association’s blog, improving the health and well-being of your community can be just as rewarding.
“For many of us, a fresh start in the New Year means a renewed determination to live healthier lives,” he wrote. “Improve fitness and health by walking or biking or other exercise. Others desire the satisfaction and clean conscience that comes from making lifestyle choices that are better for our planet’s health, or that improve the well-being of the entire community. Both of those goals — personal health and community well-being — are met in the context of our walkable neighborhood, as folks resolve to drive less and to instead walk or bike more often for their daily needs. The DPNA aims to improve our community’s well-being by making those options safer and easier.”
Check out the DPNA at and Pure Barre at