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Dustin Isom: Breaking Boundaries in Barre
Wellness
Published Friday Jun 29, 2018 by Erica Arvanitis

Dustin Isom: Breaking Boundaries in Barre

Barre
Personal Growth

Dancer by trade, Dustin Isom’s pure talent and positive personality radiates off the walls of Barre3 in Henderson, NV. As a barre instructor and advocate for the LGBTQ community, Dustin leads all of his classes with inclusivity and acceptance—blending confidence and conviction during every workout.

We asked Dustin to tell us about how his life experiences have shaped how he teaches (and relates to) each student who steps into the studio. 

 

What brought you to barre and how has being part of the LGBTQ community shaped you over the years? 

I grew up as an extremely active child. I played sports all through middle school, but as I transitioned to high school, I developed a love for dance. One of my teachers was an instructor at a local studio and invited some of her students to take a class. That was about five years ago. A few years after that, a friend brought me to Barre3 Henderson, and I instantly fell in love.
 
With barre, I am not afraid to test my masculinity. I continue to step into a barre class—even being the only male in the room—simply because of how the LGBTQ community has shaped me. I will throw myself into a class of mostly women, and confidently walk out proudly sporting my Barre3 gear.


 
How has Barre3 championed you and the diverse experiences you bring to your classes?

Barre3 Henderson has become my studio of choice because of their core values. With a focus on balance, Barre3 teaches people how to find harmony in their minds and bodies, which is extremely beneficial to a dancer and athlete like me. 

Being the first and only male instructor at my studio, my goal is to get more men into a barre class. I want them to enter feeling just as comfortable and confident as all my female clients, and leave feeling accomplished. I challenge more men to break barriers, try something new, and dive deeper into what connects their mind and body.


 
Your class schedule changes daily, but what does your day look like when you’re not teaching?

When I am not teaching, I stay as active as possible. I train at a local gym or even take other Barre3 classes from fellow instructors. When I’m not relaxing by the pool, I keep my afternoons light before heading to the Las Vegas Strip for an evening of performances. 


 
Barre can seem intimidating for someone just starting out. If you had one piece of advice for facing the fear of taking a new class, what would it be?

When I have new clients in my class, I like to end with a quote from Denis Waitley, “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”  This quote really resonates because the only thing standing in your way is you. What holds us back and makes us feel discouraged or intimidated is all up to us. Allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and open is the only way we can allow for change in our mind, body, and soul.


 
Pride Month is all about celebrating diversity. What tips would you give on being an ally to the LGBTQ community all year long?

My number one tip is to be open and accepting. Find acceptance in yourself, acceptance in others and acceptance in change. Nothing in life is ever accomplished through denial and self-hatred.
 

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.