A life in balance is a beautiful life, and for Oklahoma City mom and business owner Andrea Mason, the art of movement helps her reach that beautiful life.
As the owner of three barre3 studios in Oklahoma City and a partner studio in Tulsa, Andrea brings that restorative spirit to a challenging workout. She takes her passion for balance and her passion for health, and in barre3, she brings both together for mind, body and spirit. She describes barre3 as more than just a workout, but a getaway.
“When people come here, they feel safe. They expect to be taken care of,” she said. “They expect a blend of pilates, yoga technique and ballet barre work. It’s an escape.”
Andrea met her husband, artist and former NBA star Desmond Mason, while living in the athletics dorm at Oklahoma State University. She was attending college on a soccer scholarship, and the two fell in love. Throughout the years and Desmond’s NBA career, the two traveled extensively, but ultimately made Portland, Oregon, their homebase.
That’s where she discovered the workout that would change her entire life. She found barre3 through her brother and sister-in-law, who had helped build a studio in Portland for founder Sadie Lincoln. Six months pregnant with her second child, Andrea took the barre3 class in 2009 and was hooked.
“It was so sophisticated, so calming, so challenging. It was all the things I wanted in a workout,” Andrea said. “They also had childcare available, so having that hour to myself with my child close by was important to me.”
A workout that blends pilates, yoga and ballet barre work, barre3 uses one’s own body weight for fitness and exercise. The low-to-no-impact workout relies on high reps with low weights, she explained. She loved the workout so much, she couldn’t leave it behind when she moved to Oklahoma City.
“I knew wherever we moved, I had to have barre3,” Andrea said. “We moved here, and our first studio here at Classen Curve in November 2010 was number 10 in the country. Our second studio, which is in Edmond, was the 27th. The franchise grew so fast.”
Opening the barre3 studios in Oklahoma meant facing fears. Andrea had never owned a business before, and she had never taught a “real” class. She faced her fear about being an instructor so she could bring something new to the community when she moved.
They started by offering a free week of classes, and found people were really excited about the workout. With a “killer” team in place, Andrea strives today to maintain her work-life balance.
“I look at life like a pie, a pie that has alone time, kid time, spouse time, business time,” she said. “It’s all about dividing it levelly. Balance is a process, and when you have it, it’s magical. I try to pass that on by living by example and being present with my children.”
With two young kids, Andrea says she likes to give them options for extracurricular activities, but not overwhelm them with too many choices.
“It’s the little moments, like reading to them at bedtime or turning it all off to have that time with them, that really matters,” she said. “I still work daily to find that balance. Balance is key.”
That same balance goes into the barre3 classes, which is why Andrea thinks the studio is so popular. That same belief will go into Andrea’s next business venture, Udander, a spa to be located in downtown Oklahoma City.
“I feel, as a business owner, that it’s always important to decompress, to give oneself a cushion,” she said. “Being in balance is magical.”
She teaches balance for a living & here’s an inside peek at how Andrea balances her own family
How has motherhood changed you? Motherhood has taught me what is most important in life. As busy as I get, I know that nothing will ever equate to my children.
What is your favorite quote/advice about parenting/motherhood? Be patient. (Which is a very hard thing for me to do!)
What is your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate with sea salt.
Describe yourself in five words. Ambitious, free-spirited, Libra, mom, busy.
How do you find balance? This is constant work, finding calm in my crazy.
Of what are you proudest? My children.
What is your favorite indulgence? A really good cheese plate.
What is your biggest challenge? Saying no.
How would you describe your parenting style? Structured but fun.
What is on your wish list? A trip to India.
How do you banish stress? barre3, Kundalini yoga and breathing.
What motivates you? The people around me.
What is on your playlist? Anything with a strong beat but chill.
What is your favorite book? “Rework” for business and “ A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” for my personal life.
What would your friends or family say everyone else doesn’t know about you? That I am an inclusive person.