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Lana Condor talks about

Lana Condor talks about “healing” her body and mind during the pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images/Quinn Lemmers)

The Unwind

is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Before Lana Condor became known as Lara Jean Covey, the lovable protagonist of the Netflix trilogy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the actress was a dancer. The 23-year-old tells Yahoo Life that she was, in fact, a ballerina in what she now calls “another life,” before realizing that the dance form wasn’t for her.

“I did ballet for so long, but I wouldn’t say I was happy doing it for so long,” she explains. “It’s very stressful on the mind and on the body.”

While attending dance conservatories at the age of 13, Condor did have a bright spot in her day: Zumba, an exercise fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez.

“They always had Zumba as an elective class that you were supposed to kind of mix into your classical ballet training,” she says of the dance schools she attended. “I was always looking forward to my Zumba classes and my Zumba days because I felt like I could experience more joy moving my body.”

At the age of 18, Condor stopped ballet and has since been open about how her training led to a long-term struggle with body dysmorphia. “You’re really wearing nothing in front of a mirror all day long and you’re being critiqued by the teachers all day long,” she says. “For me, it really took a toll on the way that I see myself.” 

Now,

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