Hi everyone! I’m just now settling back into my groove here in Nashville after a week long retreat with Blackberry Farm that was amazing, still taking it easy though today since I needed a break from work. Anywho, I’m really excited to share with you today a fitness inspired interview with Mary Helen Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful! I first stumbled upon Ballet Beautiful a couple years ago when I heard all the craze of her workouts bringing grace into your posture and form, in combination with being gentle on joints, and a somewhat meditative exercise; I was intrigued and have been keeping up with their team every since. Mary Helen Bowers is most famously known for coaching Victoria’s Secret supermodels and now new moms or mommas to be! Read on below about how she transformed a childhood passion of ballet into a full blown career, how she balances her life now having little ones, and her favorite foods!
Mary Helen Bowers
for Nutrition Stripped
Mary Helen Bowers
If you had to define all that you do in a title, what would you say?
Ballerina, Entrepreneur, Trainer, Mom.
How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
I’m looking at the big picture. An active, healthy lifestyle makes for a happier, healthier life. What’s more important than that? I don’t look at exercise as a punishment or a chore – it’s an essential part of my everyday that always helps me to feel my best. I think people focus too much on how food and fitness make them look on the outside and this can cause a lot of unhappiness and pain. When you are able to focus on how great healthy eating and regular workouts make you feel, all of the pieces start to fall into place.
How did you get started creating your passion into the profession you have today, training some of the most well known models and actors around the globe?
Building Ballet Beautiful has been so many years in the making. It’s been an amazing journey and a very organic process, starting first with my love for Ballet, experiences as a professional ballerina and what I’ve learned along the way about how to strengthen and nourish my body. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with so many inspiring women along the way who recommended me to their friends and colleagues. There’s nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation from a good friend!
Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Natalie Portman, Doutzen Kroes, Liv Tyler, Miranda Kerr-are just some of your clients; what are your top routines and suggestions to keep them in tip top condition and looking lean year round?
We are training all year round but will often intensify workouts before a big event or premiere. I love a combination of very focused toning work to build beautiful, lean muscles along with low impact cardio and ballet inspired standing exercises to take it all to the next level. Most clients are training 3-4 days a week throughout the year to maintain and more like 5 or 6 days when prepping for a major event.
You’re not only classically trained, but practice ballet daily and like so many of us (I know me especially), I’ve always been fascinating and hypnotized by the grace of ballet; how did you decide to make teaching your career?
It all started with the desire to find a workout for myself as a ballerina, and then to create a program to help me stay in fantastic shape even without being in the dance studio every day. The process of teaching and training has been so rewarding! I love sharing Ballet Beautiful with others around the world, and making fitness more graceful and fun!
Who or what gives you the most inspiration?
My clients! I work with so many inspiring women who are carving out their own paths and achieving incredible success in so many different fields.
Fueling your body from workouts and living lean takes work, what’s your typical meal for…
- First thing upon waking: Slow cooked oats with fresh berries and raw walnuts or almonds
- Morning: An organic apple as a snack
- Lunch: Organic greens with grilled salmon and fresh local veggies.
- Supper: Whole wheat pasta primavera, a fresh green salad and sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic.
- Snacks or sweets: Homemade popcorn popped in olive oil and sea salt. Dark chocolate and sharp cheddar cheese!
- Favorite beverage: Lots of water.
If you could pick one meal to eat over and over again, what would it be?
It depends on the season! With summer coming I adore fresh farmers market tomatoes, mozzarella and basil sandwiches on while wheat bread. In winter months it’s more about roast chicken and veggies.
What makes you laugh, smile, and be joyful?
My daughter, family and friends
Most of your clients are women, what do you find women most challenged by in reshaping or changing their body composition/figure?
Each body is so unique, it’s very individual. For some women it’s their legs and butt, for others it’s more about abs and arms. It’s so important to realize that with the right workout you can transform your body, gain strength, energy and rework your health! The idea that all bodies are unique and each client has an individual goal helped to shape our highly customizable streaming subscription service the Custom Workout.
How does your ballet technique differ from other dance routines, what makes it so effective and unique?
Ballet is unlike any other sport. It requires tremendous discipline and a terrific amount of control over the body. It’s important to remember that Ballet Beautiful is not an actual ballet class – it’s a workout inspired by ballet and designed to give anyone a dancer’s long lean strength and elegant form. The main difference is the way that you work the muscles – stretching, extending long through the limbs lengthens muscles and elongates the form. Most fitness and even other forms of dance include a lot more contractions where the muscles never fully extend. The result could not be more different!
What are tips you tell you’re A-list and supermodel clients that anyone can do?
Consistency is everything! You must make your health a priority.
So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
I hope you all enjoyed this interview and be sure to check out their at-home custom workouts!
We’ve been getting a lot of emails about the status of the t-shirts and thank you for being patient as I’m trying my best to get all of those shipped out to you- remember, it’s just me and a few others shipping them out and I had SO MANY more orders than I ever imagined (a great thing), and each t-shirt is hand screen printed. I promise, we’re shipping them out to you as soon as today and next week! I can’t wait to see them on you 🙂