Information & insights for graceful living.
Love Your Body With BalletFebruary 13, 2017
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to express our love towards others, but what about showing a little for yourself? Although at first blush it may not seem conducive to self-love and acceptance, the psychological and physical rewards of practicing ballet can help you develop a happier and more positive relationship with your body (and whole self!). Here’s what ballet can do to bring a little love to your life!
1. Cultivate a powerful mind-body connection. Ballet helps get you present in your body, literally helping you to feel from the top of your head to the tips of your toes! This body awareness sets the stage for becoming more present to your experience, including the way you feel both physically and emotionally.
2. Shift the focus from “out there” to “in here”. It’s easy to lose ourselves in all the clamor, gloss, and hustle of day-to-day life. Ballet technique brings attention to details of posture, form, and music in a way that helps everything else fall away. In fact, many students tell me that doing ballet is like a “meditation in motion” that gives them a chance to stop all the outside noise for a bit and instead connect with something much calmer in themselves–even as they are working their muscles!
3. Embody a concept of beauty. Ballet lets you move and be moved! It hones the mind-body connection through a concept of beauty rather than the brute force used by so many contemporary fitness regimes. As a result, practicing ballet promotes feeling so much more than just “the burn”. I’m always encouraging students to allow themselves to experience whatever feelings the music may bring up for them and to use those emotions and ideas for their movement. It’s good to feel all your muscles, including your heart! Many students also report they “feel beautiful” doing ballet. Being inspired and cultivating an internal sense of beauty through ballet movements and music provides powerful “body-positive” neural feedback that can help quiet that internal critic and allow your joy to shine!
4. Create new possibilities. Time and again I see people who thought they could never do ballet turn their perceived inabilities into personal strength and confidence. As a technique, ballet addresses every aspect of fitness: strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and endurance. But as a practice, ballet also promotes focused awareness, perseverance, resiliency, and presence. Overall, it’s excellent life training for new possibilities! And for those who are timid about trying ballet, the personal courage that develops from facing insecurities and doing it anyway is the most beautiful and empowering exercise of all!
Show yourself a little Ballet Love!
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Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Dancing!
And here’s some famous Ballet Love music for inspiration:
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