Intent on making 2017 your Best Year Ever? We can help with that, thanks to our 2017 Coach of the Month series. This April, ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland shares some tips from her just-released fitness and nutrition guide, Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You. In her opening installment for the month-each one will be an excerpt from the book-she urges us all to focus on our minds first and foremost, before we move on bettering our bodies.
Here, her three simple strategies to clear your mind and set yourself up for success:
Each morning, when you wake up, or whenever you can carve out a quiet moment in your day, I'd like you to pause for a few minutes to paint a mental picture. Catch a glimpse of your elegant gait as you stroll by a store window. Envision your chiseled legs rippling beneath your dress on a bright summer day. Feel the bounce in your step as you head to a meeting. Bask in a warm breeze as you stay present in the moment, no longer consumed with negative thoughts about your body or your appearance. Seeing is believing and achieving.
After my injury, I worked out every morning with my instructor Marjorie Liebert, who was trained in the floor barre technique known as Kniaseff barre-à-terre, a way of movement that we will draw on to help you shape your ballerina body. Those exercises allowed me to execute moves I would normally have done standing at the barre, while lying down on my living room floor.
I am worthy. I am strong.
I think it's best to start your mornings with an affirmation, but you can speak it at the end of the day or whenever you have a few quiet moments. Just try to do it at the same time every day to create a rhythm, a designated point in the day when you make a promise to yourself.
Keeping a journal can be a great way for you to chart your progress toward your ballerina body. Your journal is your refuge, a private space where you can pour out all your thoughts and feelings. You want it to feel special, so maybe designate a certain pen that you don't use for anything else, and a chair, a corner, or a room that can become a cocoon where you curl up and write. Then, when you are ready, start with your beginning how you look and feel now, and how you want to look and feel at the end of your journey along with all of the reasons you're embarking on this quest for mental and physical fitness.
Excerpted from the book Ballerina Body by Misty Copeland. Copyright ©2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
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