Monday, July 9, 2018

Making Ballet a Part of Your World

Hello, dear readers!

Today I want to write about something that I absolutely love!

If you happen to be a naturally athletic person or perhaps you play a sport or you do something for exercise that you're good at and maybe even found it since you were a child, great for you! I'm jelous! But, that's not the case for most of us.

We all know that exercise is necessary to not only stay fit, but also stay healthy. It's no secret that regular exercise does amazing things for your health like reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (nobody wants a heart attack or high cholesterol), diabetes, it strengthens our muscles and bones and improves our mental health overall, etc. That is the short version of the wellness exercise actually brings into our lives. So, it really is crazy if we're not taking at least a few walks every week. I consider exercise as one of the most important things in my priority list and so should all of us. 

Yet, we have to be honest, it's not always easy to follow through with this priority. Most of us are extremely busy people, working full time, maybe raising children, owning a business or just plainly living our lives. Sometimes exercise feels like a chore. And it shouldn't feel this way! I insist! It's something that it's so important that we must make it pleasurable in order to stick with it, to get some joyment out of it.

So, it's no surprise that when we find something that yes, it's challenging, because a good workout has to be, but it's also enjoyable and we actually look forward to doing, well, we basically hit the jockpot!

And that is my situation with Ballet Beautiful.

Una publicación compartida de Mary Helen Bowers (@balletbeautiful) el

I discovered BB four years ago when I read an article on a magazine about taking on ballet after your thirties. (Um, I wasn't thirty at the time yet, not that it matters but, just FYI).

Before I go on, I'll share something about me: I have always loved ballet. Since I was a little girl, everything ballerina, I adored. I had a ballerina doll, an Angelina Ballerina (the mouse) doll, my "What Would You Like to Do When You Grow Up" project book in Kindergarden was: ballerina. Unfortunately, I was never able to be enrolled in ballet.

So, I had never considered that ballet would be a part of my life as more than being part of the audience in a ballet at my local theater, specially not at my age. You're supposed to start when you're young! But then came this revolutionary program created by a former New York City Ballet soloist, Mary Helen Bowers, providing a method in which to make the artistry and athleticism of ballet a part of your life without being a dancer. 

I clearly remember reading the article and my eyes literally opened up in utter excitement and hope. I went online and purchase two of her DVD's and let me say, I was not disappointed, far from it! I have never stopped using her program ever since.

Below I share an Insta post back in the days when I started BB. :)

So, you're curious about what the program actually is. 
Well, it's actually much more than a program! 

They're not actually ballet classes. You can find those at your nearest dance studio. 
Rather, Ballet Beautiful focuses on using ballet inspired fitness, principles, moves, etc. in your workouts that build strength and perfect posture, manage your weight, and tone your body while maintaining your muscles and figure graceful and elongated.
You can choose from an amazing variety of work-outs: targeted, whole body, cardio, etc. The cardio, let me tell you, gets you sweating! And in the targeted, you feel the burn! Yet all in an unbeliavable graceful way! Who would have thought! Mary Helen brings a ballet artistic approach to  her workouts that you won't find in a barre class at a local gym.

A recent picture of me right before a Ballet Beautiful workout (before I started sweating it, of course!)

There is also a wide range of time frames. You can get an amazing workout with 45 to 60 minutes but you also have the option to do quick, comprehensive 15 minute sets, making the program so practical, something we all need these days. 

There are DVDs available for purchase online and, of course, in the Ballet Beautiful website, where you can find and purchase a wide-range of streaming workouts, depending on your needs, to have available whenever you wish in any device with an internet connection. 

I say that it's more than an exercise program because you're provided with additional tools to enhance what you get out of it. For example, all the social media community: there is an official Facebook Group, the #BalletBeautifulFit hashtag where you can get a ton of tips for meals and workout sets, etc., for all Ballet Beauties, like Mary Helen calls us ;) and more!

I also love that there are event-focused programs like Bridal, Pre and Post Natal. 

I worked out through her Bridal series before my wedding and I can't wait to get my hands on the Pre and Post Natal when the time comes. ;) Yeah! 

You may not be that much into ballet and dance, yet I know we can agree on something: it is legit athleticism and art combined together. If we can have the doors to the beauty of this art open for us while staying fit and healthy, why not? And if you do love ballet but are not a dancer yet would like to finally start incorporating it into your life as more than just a spectator, this is something you must try and I am sure will love!

But if all the ballet craze and practicality wasn't good enough for you to maybe give it a try, let me say that BB is one of the exercise programs of choice for celebrities, including many Victoria's Secret's models and we know they know how to get fit. ;)

I do have other forms of exercise activities too. But Ballet Beautiful I know it's something that I kno will stick like many former exercise hasn't. I mean, who wouldn't like to cultivate the grace of a ballerina? Well, I know I do!

I hope you found this post interesting and try BB for yourself. If you do, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about it. 

Until next time,

Love & Light

Sometimes my kitties make it extra challenging to workout, they love to get on the mat! 

photo credit: Le dahu Pointes via photopin (license)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Embrace All of Your Woman Archetypes

The moon is a universal representation of the feminine. 

Hello, dear readers!

First of all, thank you for coming and reading my very first blog post. 
Honestly, there is no particular reason why this is my first blog, but I got inspired and here it goes.

I have often been contemplative about the question What is it like to be a feminine women?
I have struggled with this one, because in this day and age, there is still a deeply indoctrinated ideal of what a woman should be and because of that, I have very often felt inadequate. I'm pretty sure that many of us have felt this way at some point or another.

I bet if I asked you to describe to me what this ideal is, it's likely that both our answers would be similar because we have been taught to believe that. 

A woman's life is typically divided in four main general stages which we can identify with an archetype: the maiden, which is of course when we're young and innocent; the mother, when we're in our fertile years, very able to bear children (or other things, like projects at a job, you get the idea); the wild woman in our middle-aged years and then the wise woman, also known as the crone, where age and life experience make us wise and we take no nonsense.

The sad part is, only two of these stages are widely accepted and embraced by our society, the Maiden and Mother. Our society sends a constant message that is only then when we deserve to be loved and celebrated. The Wild and Wise Woman, on the other hand, pretty much represent what our society shuns: aging, an independent woman able and willing to speak her mind and her own truth, etc.

Though these stages are divided within a lifespan, the archetypes are innately present within us throughout our life. And some aspects are more  prominent in some women depending on our unique personality. Yet, all four are part of us and they come out depending on the circumstances of our lives at the time. Though not always out, all four are always present, as part of the whole feminine. So, it's no surprise that many  of us sometimes feel inadequate or undeserving. This idea is all around us. 

And yes, the maiden and the mother are in essence lovely aspects but the other two are also special in their own merit. We tend to ignore that it is the wild and wise aspects in ourselves that will bring to light truths and needs that must be expressed; insights and convictions that are adopted independently; these two will bring about a type of liberty that only comes from freeing ourselves from the chains of close-mindedness. But these, often times, tend to go against the paradigms thought all our lives of what or how we're supposed to be.  

I believe that we've had enough of abiding to the belief that only the proper maiden and lovable mother are to be accepted, admired and adored. It's been long due that the wild and wise woman are also celebrated.

You see, the beauty in this is that, it's not about shaming the maiden or the mother, not at all! They are a part of us too. All four of aspects should be embraced, loved and celebrated. Not one less than the other.

That is my goal each and every day, because, let me tell you, although my maiden and mother aspect have granted me many delightful and lovely moments in my life, my wild and wise aspects have provided me of freedoms the other two could never have.

This blog is for women that praise and cherish their maiden and mother aspects of themselves, but are also brave enough to, not only embrace, but also acclaim their wild and wise aspects. If you aren't there already, I invite you to come along for the ride with me, and unleash your other two archetype aspects without any apologies. 
This is about embracing the four aspects, about embracing all of you.

P.S. The female archetypes topic it's too wide and doesn't end here, more to come on later posts. ;)

photo credit: Nick Kenrick.. And I will never stop climbing via photopin (license)
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