Liis Windischmann: Celebrate EveryBODY


New Fitness Movement Blends the Best of Several Cultures

Bellyfit Offers a Unique Connection for Mind, Body and Soul

Do you ever stumble across something that is like an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet of goodness...only it's totally healthy? This would describe Bellyfit, a unique fitness movement that addresses the needs of a woman's body, mind, spirit, heart and lifestyle - with some serious moves and ultra cool music thrown in. It is the perfect blend of so many great things I don't even know where to begin.

The first half of a Bellyfit class successfully melds together smooth flowing, easy to learn cardio moves that incorporate the fundamentals of belly dance, Bollywood, and African Dance. It will get you sweating and having fun while relieving stress. The second half of the class involves toning, sculpting, and tightening—incorporating moves from Pilates, a deep yet relaxing stretch from yoga and mudra meditation to unify all energy at the end. And it is fun. Serious fun. I don't recall seeing this many happy, glowing faces at the end of a group jog. Have never seen women look this relaxed after jumping off a long line of ellipticals at a crowded, sweaty gym!

Creator Alice Bracegirdle literally created Bellyfit in her tiny apartment out of the need to reclaim her personal power and the need to change her life. In 2003, as a single mother battling depression, exhaustion, and poverty, she saw movement as the release she was looking for. On a cold winter's day, she slipped a CD into her stereo and her body responded to the memory of movement from having been a dancer, fitness instructor, and yoga student. The more she moved and danced, the better she felt. This created in her the need for a form of movement that would allow women to connect to their feminity and their strength physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally like she had done. Her aim has been to create a fitness experience that blends the power and wisdom of ancient cultures with the research, technology and trends of the modern world. Music is a key part of this experience and all music used in classes and in products is created by DJ Rowan Sentesy. He combines ethno-infused techno, tribal rhythms, and relaxing ambient tracks for a sound unique to Bellyfit. It is completely soothing yet invigorating at the same time.

New instructors are being trained across the world on a consistent basis and there are now classes available in every province across Canada. Classes are rooted in cultural diversity and are open to all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities so if concerns were holding you back from starting a workout or you wanted to try something totally new, this could be the right fit for you. Visit Bellyfit to find a class in your area and if there isn't one there yet, you might want to look into purchasing Bellyfit Elements, a series of videos available on DVD or download including very different sessions under the headings Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Spirit. And if you would love to experience this positivity on a larger scale, plans are underway for the next Bellyfit Conference to take place in Victoria, BC September 26-28, 2014, bringing together over 400 instructors and participants from around the world for a weekend of holistic health and fitness.