At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesday”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.
Founder of one of the coolest boutique workout studios in NYC, Alexandra Bonetti Perez opened Bari in lower Manhattan when she was only 25. After traveling the world as a consultant (Alexandra has a degree in finance) and realizing that her favorite hour of the day was going to the gym, she decided to create a different kind of workout that would be “ever evolving, fun and addictive”. With three studios on both coasts (you can find Bari in New York City, Summit, NJ and Newport Beach, CA), she’s an avid traveler, but we caught her in New York to chat about conquering the cutthroat boutique fitness scene in New York, her food philosophy, and beauty regimen.
How did you find that your passion lies in wellness?
Prior to falling in love with fitness (and, naturally, deciding I would quit my job and make it a career), I worked in consulting and traveled a lot. Amid a constantly changing environment and very go-go-go life, fitness grounded me. My hour to sweat was always the best part of my day, and my workouts left me centered and energized in such a positive way.
How would you describe the feeling that Bari workouts evoke, and how’s the offering different from other boutique workout studios?
This is one of my favorite questions that we ask in our annual survey. We ask “why do you come to Bari?.” It’s an open question with no predetermined answers, and still over 80% of people say the same thing! “Bari makes me feel on top of the world, like I can conquer anything.” Or some variation of that–the gist is always rooted in the feeling you get after an amazing workout.
How did you find the fearlessness to turn your passion into a career and open your own studio at the young age of 25? (especially not being a US native)
I think when you’re so passionate/excited about something, you don’t really see the risk and it’s not as scary as it seems from the outside. You believe in yourself, in your product and the need for you and your product, and you just go for it. I think in an entrepreneur’s mind, there’s rarely a chance for failure.
What does a week in your life look like, workout-wise?
I try to work out at least 3 times per week. Sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more, but 3 to 4 is really my sweet spot.
What’s your food philosophy?
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Okay, okay, that’s Michael Pollan’s motto — but it’s a good one, and I’d like to think he doesn’t mind that I borrow it.
What’s on your workout playlist?
Taylor Swift’s 1989. On repeat.
Do you have daily non-negotiable routines?
My skincare. I’m religious about washing my face and applying moisturizer, and sunblock in the morning.
Words you live by?
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
A book that’s affected you the most?
I’m an avid reader and have been since a young age. Many books have shaped me, but it’s hard to pick one that has affected me the most. So I’m going to cheat and give you a few. My favorite fiction book growing up was Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger. Business books: I always go back to 7 Habits, The Power of Habit and Setting the Table. Spiritual books: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Rumi Poetry. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few!