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Harmony Exercise Principles

Breathing and full-body timing

Correct breathing and relaxation techniques are an integral part of every StarBarre Harmony exercise, as well as moving harmoniously with correct body lines in full body sync. For this, the body naturally develops good movement foundations and a good look and feel.

  • As with all mind-body methods, StarBarre Harmony regards breathing as a primal element of movement, responsible for all its subsequent benefits.

  • While performing the Harmony sequence, users experience a wide variation of breathing patterns (and emotions) within a time space of a few minutes.

Functional exercises

All Harmony exercises contain critical functional elements, i.e. elements that are normal for typical or expected human daily function.

These include a wide range of regular functional elements like standing, walking, natural running, pushing, pulling, lifting, bending, twisting, reaching in all directions, jumping, landing, kicking, throwing, falling as well as functions like sitting down and standing up, overcoming obstacles while walking, putting on shoes when standing and finding balance during extreme function.

All StarBarre Harmony exercises are functional in their own way, and together as a sequence they simulate a wide and balanced range of human movements required for normal function in the modern world.  Because of this, when practicing these exercises for a few minutes every day until they become harmonious and easy, regular functions of life become easier by themselves.

Standing exercises

This is because people function during the day in standing positions, and many times get injured in standing positions. It is therefore naturally logical that the daily movement exercises for humans focus on functional standing positions. When looking at nature, we see that babies start functioning on the floor however this is transitional period until they have the movement foundations to progress to standing challenges. It is observed in animals like cats and dogs that their daily stretching routine is performed exclusively in their natural standing position. This provides natural evidence for humans also to perform their pre-movement stretches and training in their functional standing position (for them). In the rehabilitation setting there might be exceptions to this principle. For example, and injured tennis player might start the rehab process with floor exercises, but the process is complete only when the relevant standing exercises are harmoniously mastered and practiced daily.

The four exercise phases

StarBarre Harmony exercises are characterized by four distinct phases, which enjoy equal focus and importance: Movement, Stretch, Return and Relax.

Starting position/Relax phase

  • Usually, the starting position is the upright standing position, with arms relaxed by the body, looking at the horizon.

  • The distance of standing from the barre depends upon the exercise.

  • In various exercises the staring position is unique, however always with a functional purpose.

  • At the end of the exercise cycle, the same starting position is returned to as the relax phase.


Movement phase

  • Harmonious movement requires complex multiple full body actions as well as breathing in perfect timing. For example, in Exercise 1a the central area stabilizes the posture while the distant ankle and knee movement move the upright body forward and backward.

  • All movement components of the full-body start moving at the same time, work in harmonious coordination during the movement and end moving at the same time.

  • When the complex movement phase is precise, the body reaches the stretch accurately and efficiently.

Stretch phase

  • A full body action

  • When one area is being stretched, another area is stabilized to enable the stretch, and another area is relaxing in good posture.

  • The correct stretch is felt and recognized only when all of the above elements are performed simultaneously.

  • The stretch should be felt for about one second. As soon as it is felt and recognized, it is time to release and start the return phase.

  • Some exercises involve simultaneous stretches in multiple joints, like exercise 6c.

  • In some exercises the stretch is maintained during movement, for example exercise 8c (circumduction) and 2b (vertebral ‘wave’).

  • In some exercises the starting position involves a stretch sensation, like 4b and 4c.

Return phase

  • Perform the movement phase elements in reverse.

  • Return to the Relax phase focusing on harmonious movements and postures, to complete the exercise cycle already in a harmonious posture.

  • Once back at the starting position, movement is paused for a second in this position to relax the body and mentally prepare for the next repetition.

Body lines

  • Identifying body lines is an easy way to understand how the body moves in a mechanical way, therefore learning and 'feeling' the body lines is an easy way to understand and perform the complex exercises harmoniously.



  • In all StarBarre Harmony exercises, the movement elements are synchronized to start together, move together and then end together.

  • The synchronized timing of trunk and limb movements, together with accurate breathing are essential for the exercise to be performed harmoniously.


  • The exercise tempo is equally measured between the four movement stages, creating a beat of 4:

  1. Movement phase

  2. Stretch phase

  3. Return phase

  4. Relax phase

  • To perform harmoniously, practice the exercises as slow as possible, keeping the same equal beat of 4 between each exercise phase.


  • Body - It has been scientifically documented that in the presence of pain or even fear of pain, as an uncontrollable reflex the brain alters its movement strategy to a deleterious 'survival' mode. Training functional movements in the presence of pain or discomfort is therefore not clinically logical because by default it strengthens the deleterious movement system that is part of the problem. For long term recovery and prevention, the aim is to train normal harmonious functional movements that depend on a pain-free environment.

  • Mind - As with the learning and practicing process of any new art, a pain free and comfortable environment contributes to the sustainability of the project and is attractive for clients.

Part of a sequence

  • No StarBarre Harmony exercise is a stand alone exercise because in life all the body components work together during all the movements.

  • Each sequence exercise is a different 'slice' of a balanced range of important functional movements.

  • Therefore, only learning and regularly practicing all the sequence exercises in a pain-free manner will provide a balanced and healthy workout.

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