Ordinary Love – Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 65

Simply stunning. Challenging but achievable. Tough and beautiful.

Body Balance release 65 flows from one high to another.  A perfect blend of musical styles and a set of moves that challenge even the most flexible people without the “you are having a laugh” factor.

It’s well known that in my opinion the last Body Balance, number 64, was a clunker. The first dud release in almost 25. Here’s an astonishing return to form. 65 is poles apart from 64. They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum in every respect.

Teaching it is a joy.

And from the start of the Standing Strength track until the end of the Core Back track we see almost 27 minutes of intense hard work. Standing Strength, Balance and the Hips tracks all feel like standing strength tracks – but veered subtly towards their target goals. Relentless is the only way to describe the Core tracks. Only after halfway through the twists do we start to chill out into the final forward bends.

Let’s a look at the tracks.

review of les mills body balance release 65

Tai Chi: Dark HorseKaty Perry feat. Juicy J

An addictive Katy Perry song (“Make me your Aphrodite.) starts us off with tai chi moves almost ballet like. We flow through only two repeated sequences, but keep low with bent knees and you’ll start to feel a burn in your legs straight away.

Simplicity wins and we’re warm within four minutes.

Sun Salutations: Take CareDrake feat. Rihanna

Most sun salutation tracks start with feet together. Occasionally, as here, we start with feet wider than the yoga mat. Lunging back from a wide leg forward fold, and later stepping wide, introduces a hip opening challenge into this second warm up track.

And before each sun salutation sequence we flow through two spine roll ups before folding forward again. Known as the “Shiva” in previous Body Balance releases, this graceful sequence warms and mobilises the spine.

Bonus Sun Salutations: MythDelerium

If you aren’t keen on the Rhianna song, Les Mills provide us with an alternative piece of music by Delerium. Same sequence of moves but trance instead of rap. I could happily flip between the two songs and actually find myself tempted to use both back to back to create a super sun salutation.

review of les mills body balance release 65

Standing Strength: Ordinary Love – Peaceful Gate

A very passable cover version of U2’s Ordinary Love (from the Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom film) guides us through this standout standing strength track.

Your legs will burn in the squats, the warrior poses and the challenging bind during the extended warrior pose. We experience a new pose in the shape of the reverse triangle. The fusion of squat and forward fold in the introductory flowing sequence is exquisite, leading up to the start of the tougher moves once the drum beat kicks in.

I’m sorry but I can’t help singing along to this one. The best standing strength track for ages.

review of les mills body balance release 65

Balance: Strange Birds Birdy

Aeroplane and half moon pose often appear in balance tracks. This time they feel tougher and much more challenging.


It’s because start the pose from low down with hands on the floor and open outwards and upwards. In the vast majority of their previous appearances we start high and aim to lower ourselves down. Such a simple reversal of direction transforms the poses and alters its intensity.

A great tune to appreciate as you wobble!

Hip Openers: Hold On, We’re Going HomeDrake feat. Majid Jordan

A huge hip openers. Just a few seconds short of 8 minutes long. Three legged dogs, wide lunges with the option to drop to your elbows and the always welcome swan pose.

In the few silent seconds when we’ve finished the right side and we’re about to go for the left, I’ve cued, “Take a deep breath. Look at the person next to you. Roll your eyes!”

And then the music starts again for round two.

review of les mills body balance release 65

Core Abs: HappyC2C feat. Derek Martin

The last three tracks have blitzed our legs. We finally lie down for the abs but there’s no respite from the intensity.

Cycling crunch twists, reaching up for the feet with straight arms and legs and “seal feet claps” and crunching between wide legs can be summarised in one word.


The song’s called “Happy.” It will make you smile even if the exercises will make you grimace.

Core back: Counting StarsOneRepublic

A busy core back track. Bridge pose with walking feet, side planks, pointers and the final barrage of chest raisers.

Counting Stars is a great song.

When the music stops you can collapse for a moment, proud at having made it through almost half an hour of hard work.

review of les mills body balance release 65

Twists: You – Nathaniel

Finally the pace lowers. A simple combination of twist lunges and seated twists set our fatigued bodies on the road to relaxation.

Forward Bends & Hamstrings 1: Falling SlowlyGlen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

And now the pace is chilled. I love the contrast between seated forward fold and twisting forward fold. However I would prefer to hold each for longer rather than alternating between the two several times.

Revisiting the tai chi moves brings this track to a graceful and satisfying conclusion.

Forward Bends & Hamstrings 2: How Long Will I Love You Ellie Goulding

We finish with a few more forward bends and hamstring stretches set to this beautiful song by Ellie Goulding.

Relaxation: Open SpacesStanton Lanier

We deserve this relaxation. And Stanton Lanier’s piano music is, as ever, amazing. Lie still and let your body recover with deep breaths.

Meditation: ImberRhian Sheehan

And wake yourself up to face the rest of the day energised and strong. A calming and to what is quite simply one of the best Body Balance releases yet.

Now It’s Your TurnDo you agree with my review of Les Mills Body Balance release 65? Let me know your thoughts. Please leave a comment or post a link to your own review.

One thought on “Ordinary Love – Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 65

  1. I absolutely love it. I joined Body Balance classes a few weeks ago and was unaware they were global and changed on a quarterly basis, so I caught the last couple of the previous rotation before 65 started up. I’ve been going 4 times a week ever since it started and look forward to every single session – I can already feel the change in my core strength, stability and flexibility (though they all still need a lot of improvement!) and I feel like I’m rewarding my body every time I go … I leave relaxed and refreshed. The core abs section murders me (though the music and the ‘seal claps’ make me laugh) and the balance portion is HARD but seeing the improvement session on session has been so encouraging. I’m a true convert!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.