Friday, 22 November 2013

Ballet Beautiful: Dancing towards strength

Uncovering the Ballerina in all of us!
How many of us have at least a little ballet in our past?

I for one, spent much of my youth practicing arabesques, splits and jette's and for that period of my life at least,  I was buff. Well buff for an eleven year old anyway!

Nostalgia for fitness past, was one reason why I was attracted to the Ballet Beautiful concept....surely regaining my ballet chops would not be too difficult? After all the cover promises to 'transform your body and gain the strength and focus of a ballet dancer'. Who doesn't want a piece of that action?

Mary Helen Bowers, the author and dancer who developed Ballet Beautiful, has some serious credentials to back up her programme. Not only was she a professional ballerina with the New York City Ballet by age 16 , she also trained Natalie Portman for her star turn in 2010's 'Black Swan'.

Mary Helen also proves to be thoughtful and refreshingly
grounded in her approach to health and fitness, perhaps as a reaction against the extremes of both required to be professional Ballerina (think rail thin, blistered feet, existing on crushed ice and ibuprofen).

Her goal is that the programme be 'Artistic, Athletic and Attainable', combining mindset, fitness and nutrition to provide a pathway to longevity and wellness.

'Ballet Beautiful' explores Bower's back story giving us insight into her compulsion to create her own lifestyle and fitness approach, one that rejects powering through pain and injury, instead treating your body with 'gentleness and forgiveness' while working consistently towards your fitness and lifestyle goals.

'Ballet Beautiful' proves a little less 'shrill' and 'hectoring' than many comparable books in the fitness and health genre. There is a little wiggle room for reality and the understanding that while being fit and healthy is one half of the coin, being mentally strong is the equally important other.

An interesting and encouraging read, if I have one criticism it is this, like all other regimes that promise much..... if you do it only once, nothing seems to happen.
I might have to give it another go.....

For more on 'Ballet Beautiful', you might like to explore Mary Helen Bowers website Ballet Beautiful.

Ballet Beautiful is available for purchase through via the following link:

'Ballet Beautiful' By Mary Helen Bower

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