Miranda Esmonde-White is a Montreal stretch instructor, an elite fitness guru, a TV personality and in many ways, she's a modern day healer.
The Esmonde Technique Classical Stretch: From Pro Hockey Players to Seniors
Miranda designed an exercise program that not only enhances athletic performance -- Olympic divers Alexandre Despatie, Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion use Classical Stretch as well as NHL hockey player Max Talbot and Cirque du Soleil students -- but it also improves the quality of life of seniors, back pain and fibromyalgia sufferers and breast cancer survivors. It even helps everyday people trim their waistlines. But Miranda's followers -- including your humble guide, a fan since 2002 -- have known for years that Classical Stretch's low-impact program combining elements of tai chi, physiotherapy, PNF, chiropractic movement, ballet and yoga is an effective way to tighten and slenderize the body, reduce and prevent joint and back pain, improve posture, enhance grace and regain lost mobility.
Learn Classical Stretch (and Basic Anatomy) For Free!
The Classical Stretch program is featured on PBS daily. Led by Miranda Esmonde-White, she consistently explains what you're doing and why you're doing it in a way that's easy to understand without underestimating viewer intelligence. I've watched roughly 30 episodes myself (and taped them, and replayed them countless times) and it's thanks to Miranda that I learned tight hamstrings are a common culprit of lower back pain, while lesser known muscles like the tensor fascia latae are linked to some types of knee pain, or how stretching oft-neglected Iliopsoas muscles can also reduce lower back pain. Just discovering these facts and finding out that a sedentary lifestyle can not only causes excessive body fat but so much unnecessary pain is motivation enough for some people to stick to the program. Visit the Classical Stretch website for more information on DVDs and live classes held at the MAA and other Montreal gyms. Classical Stretch DVDs are also available for sale at the MAA.
Essentrics: A New Esmonde Technique
Developed by Miranda Esmonde-White and her daughter Sahra, who hosts the program, Essentrics follows the same principles as Classical Stretch but with new moves and a dynamic, slightly faster pace. A more challenging workout, Sahra explains that "the goal is to help change your body faster than with Classical Stretch." Visit the Essentrics website for more information on videos and live classes.
More About Miranda Esmonde-White
A ballet dancer who had to cut her career short in her early twenties due to a foot injury, Miranda developed Classical Stretch about 20 years ago to heal her own lower back pain. After testing it on herself and feeling results, she shared it with the public. Her students showed remarkable improvement: some were regaining lost mobility and experiencing less body pain, with some reporting superior pain relief benefits than what they were experiencing with prescription medication. Miranda also started to notice people were losing inches from their waist, arms were no longer jiggling, even wattles and saddlebags were disappearing. Her students were developing longer, leaner bodies. Some exercises even seemed to promote staying regular! Eventually, Miranda signed a deal with PBS to present her stretch and strength program on television. And that's when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, with surgery scheduled just six weeks before the show was to begin taping. After the mastectomy, Miranda couldn't raise her arm above her waist so she used her own exercises to regain mobility in time for the show. It worked! She's since developed programs specifically designed to help breast cancer survivors going through the same trauma. Visit Classical Stretch's breast cancer rehabilitation website for more information.