Ultimate contortionist's calendar: Zlata aka Julia Gunthel shows raunchy 2012

Updated: 02 Dec 2011
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Zlata aka Julia Gunthel
Just hanging out in bed: Zlata folds her legs over her shoulders as she eats grapes in bed as she poses for March 2012 in the calendar
 
Zlata aka Julia Gunthel
Sultry pose: Zlata bends her back in bed as she strikes a pose in black lingerie and diamond earrings for the month of December
 
Zlata aka Julia Gunthel
Domestic goddess: Zlata shows off her cooking skills in the kitchen as she lifts her leg over her shoulder for the month of October
 
Instead of the usual Cliff Richard or scenes from the Yorkshire Dales, why not surprise the mother-in-law choose with a more offbeat calendar for 2012 - courtesy of Zlata the contortionist.
 
The rubbery Russian has created 12 wonderfully weird poses for each month of the year, ranging from performing the splits to cooking in the kitchen with her leg over her head.
 
Whether posing on a bed, in the kitchen or on a motorcycle, the 25-year-old makes every shot an opportunity to show off her suppleness.
 
The former gymnast, whose real name is Julia Gunthel, expanded her British fan base after showing off her wiry skills outside the Houses of Parliament, the Horse Guards Parade, and the National Gallery in London last January.

The Russian, who now lives in Germany, discovered her talent when she was just four-years-old and has been bending over backwards ever since.

But in an odd twist to her career, last month she won a Guinness World record for the fastest time to burst three balloons with her back, which she did in a side-splitting 12 seconds. 

The 5ft 9ins blonde weighs eight-and-a-half stone and spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world.

One of her favourite acts is bending herself backwards at a perfect 90 degree angle, virtually cutting herself in half so the back half of her hands touch her feet.

Her talents also include squeezing herself into boxes just 50cm squared.

Zlata has previously said: ‘Doing these poses just feels natural to me. Sometimes it can get a bit uncomfortable if I have to hold a pose for a long time in photoshoots.

'But I think that’s like anyone who sits down for a long time – their muscles get stiff.
 
'I don’t really diet but I have to train very hard to keep my muscles in shape and to be as flexible as possible.’

She does however have a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession.

But she faced jealousy from other girls at a young age in school, due to her abilities.

Zlata said: ‘In Russia being flexible is a very good thing to be because everyone is really into gymnastics.

'Some of the other girls didn’t like how good I was.’
 
SOURCE: Daily Mail
 

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