BY LINDA KAY
BRICK WALL, ballet barre, wood floor, mirrors
to the ceiling. One would hardly guess that a
tiny fitness studio in Montreal houses an exercise empire with a worldwide following.
Tucked away on the second floor of a
greystone building, Essentrics Studio is the
nerve centre for techniques developed by
Miranda Esmonde-White, whose Classical
Stretch is the top-rated fitness show on the
PBS network and whose book Aging Backwards
made the New York Times best-seller list.
ALL SIGNS OF AGING can be reversed. That’s the premise
of both Forever Painless and Aging Backwards, by Miranda
Esmonde-White. The exercises prescribed in both books prom-ise to strengthen and lengthen all 650 muscles in the body,
increase mobility, relieve pain and improve cardiovascular
health. Dr. Helene Langevin, professor in residence at Harvard
Medical School, says she is “very impressed” with the program.
Langevin studies the science behind stretching in a laboratory setting, and Esmonde-White attended one of her lectures
three years ago. “We started talking, and I got really interested
in her program,” Langevin relates. She had a nagging shoulder
injury, so she decided to give the program a try. “My shoulder
is 100 per cent fine,” she says. “Not a single time have I had
worsening pain after doing the exercise.”
Langevin believes a key to Esmonde-White’s success is her
gentle approach. “She wants you to push yourself a little, but
not to the point that you have pain,” she says. “I like the common-
sense approach she uses.”
According to Esmonde-White, the exercise program described
in both books can work for everyone. She notes:
; You can do it anywhere.
; You need no equipment.
; You need only 30 minutes (or less) to complete the program.
; You don’t need to be super fit to start.
; You will use every one of your muscles in each workout.—LK
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for a video of Miranda Esmonde-White talking about her new book, Forever
Painless. (See page 7 for details.)
SPECIAL SEC TION
FOR YOUR HEALTH
Miranda Esmonde-White’s exercise
program focuses on
lengthening the body.
No pain gain
Her new book, Forever Painless, provides
new understanding of how chronic pain begins
when muscles become unbalanced and cause
connective tissue problems, and includes simple exercises that people can use to gain mobility and become pain-free.
Her strong connection to movement
began early on. At age 10, Esmonde-White
became the youngest member of the National
Ballet School of Canada when it opened in
1959. “A total fluke,” she says, explaining that
she had no formal training before filling the
last spot at the Toronto-based school.
She went on to perform with the National
Ballet for three years, until she broke her