Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pure Barre On Demand

Pure Barre offers an online streaming membership for $29.99/month.  Your first week is free. With Pure Barre On Demand, you get 24/7 access to a variety of workouts that are categorized as full body, core, lower body, upper body, or a designated time frame to fit your at home workout schedule.  The Pure Barre On Demand service also allows users full access to all the Pure Barre DVDs. 

I decided that since I was unable to commit to a monthly membership at my local Pure Barre studio, I would try out the On Demand feature so I could still enjoy this style of workout in my weekly fitness routine.  I already have all the essential equipment necessary to make the On Demand classes work so I figured this was the best option for me.  (Modern technology for the win! πŸ’ͺπŸ™Œ)

On Demand offers a free intro class that is a 52 minute video where the first 5 minutes is talking about the concept of the method followed by technique and their own specific language terms used during their workouts.  The actual introductory workout starts at 5:00 on the video.  I highly recommend viewing this video and giving it a try if you're curious about starting this style of workout in the studio or at home.  This intro class is very similar to the classes I have taken at the studio.  Sometimes the live classes can be quick and difficult to grasp essential form technique.  After watching this video, I feel like I have a better understanding of some of the things I need to be doing better in each of the exercises I have done in my live classes. 

My On Demand experience has been very positive so far.  I have been using the On Demand classes for two weeks now.  The majority of the classes utilize a wall for support, mat, and/or the double tube resistance band.  I was hoping more classes used the mini ball as a prop since I really enjoy using mine in my workouts.  (I love props when working out). Speaking of props, I have also used my Lebert Equilizer Bars in place of the wall when I need a little more stability. You can also use a chair as a support if you don't have a barre or suitable wall space.

With any type of workout, there are always pros and cons.  Some of the pros for doing the On Demand classes are:
  • being able to do a class at home at any time that is convenient for my schedule
  • picking my workout focus and length of time
  • pausing the video so I don't miss essential cues or rewinding when I need to see or hear something again
  • going at my own pace
  • having access to classes when traveling
  • price - a single class at my local studio is $24 or $99/month unlimited. On Demand classes are unlimited $29.99/month.
Some of the cons for the On Demand classes include:
  • not having the live feedback of an instructor with proper form either when initially performing an exercise or during fatigue phases when I start to disengage my form
  • accountability - this isn't really an issue for me but I have heard others comment on not being able to commit to doing workouts at home because they can't rely on getting themselves motivated
  • not having the space or necessary equipment to adequately participate in the online classes (you really only need a wall or chair for support, band, and light weights- a solvable problem)
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons list for the On Demand.  While this may not be preferable for some people, I personally really enjoy making use of online classes.  I have been a long time supporter of the online yoga and Pilates classes offered with www.DoYogawithMe.com so I am accustomed to motivating myself to the online workouts.  If anything, I highly recommend the free online intro class for Pure Barre as it gives you an idea of what to expect during a live in studio class if you're wanting to jump on the barre workout bandwagon. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

60 Tricks on Static Trapeze Choreography Instructional Cards Review

If you're a regular reader then you are well aware that I have decided to dive into learning the static trapeze.  I recently wrote a blog about my intro to the trapeze apparatus.  I wanted to touch base with my readers about how I was coming along in my progress and discuss some learning tools I have incorporated into my training.

My second session on the trapeze was more of me testing my aerial body awareness and transitioning some moves I already felt comfortable with on other apparatuses.  Since I have a strong base for some movement that would translate well to the trapeze,  I ended up putting together a short routine of moves that I could focus on cleaning up with more practice and piecing together into a performance for an upcoming student/instructor showcase at Cirque Indy.  Unfortunately a few days after this intense and successful trapeze session, the weather drastically changed from warm to near freezing.  My left trapezoid and neck area stiffened up and put me out of commission for the next week.  I couldn't attribute the pain to anything physical and my husband was complaining of the same symptoms so I assumed I must have had a virus.  Once my neck issue resolved, I was back at it in the air trying to make up for lost time. Lucky for me, by this time I had received my latest edition to my growing library of aerial material, Trapeze style flashcards.

In an effort to expand my training, I purchased the 60 Tricks on Static Trapeze Choreography and Instructional Cards from AerialDancing.com.  Please take note that if you're a beginner then these cards are not intended to supplement the expertise and instructional aspects of a true aerial instructor.  I have been training on multiple aerial apparatuses for nine years and have the ability to train in the presence of fellow qualified aerial instructors.  I do not recommend anyone using any printed manuals or tools as a single means of learning aerial techniques or as their only informational training device.  With that said, let's talk about the cards! 

The cards arrived well packaged via USPS carrier.  My initial reaction of the cards were that they are quite large, measuring 8 1/2" x 5 3/4".  They come in a cardboard tuck box with an eight page well written instructional booklet. The tuck box was flimsy and the corners tore right away. I ended up reinforcing the corners of the box with tape.  I may eventually have to move the cards to a large ziplock bag in place of the box as I anticipate the box not withstanding many trips to and from the gym. The booklet covers basic information about getting started and using the card color coded system. The book further talks about some tips to remember when working with Trapeze as well as three basic transitions that should be mastered prior to attempting any of the tricks displayed on the cards.

The cards are in full color detail on both front and back.  The front of the card shows a picture of the move in it's completed pose with the move name in the bottom left corner.  Each card is color coded based on sliding scale of difficulty moving from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, to gold.  Red is easy and gold are advanced.  The back of the card
includes a step by step instruction plus pictures to execute the move.  The cards cost me $89 plus shipping.  After having the cards in my possession and working with them, I feel this price point is fairly priced for this item. 

Yes, they work! I love these cards. I have been working with them consistently to supplement my training.  The color coded system that ranks moves on levels has been one of my favorite attributes as it allows me to set aside certain skills until I have completed the cards that precede it. My initial use of the cards is skills focused.  I hope to progress and utilize these cards to create choreography in the near future as I plan to work towards performing in upcoming showcases. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2018 Pole and Fitness Challenges

🌸 MAY COMBO CHALLENGE! 🌸 May combo challenge with @dredee1983 starts 5-1-18! This month's moves focus on SHOULDERS - flexibility and strength. For each trick listed, use the trick in a combo that is at least two moves in length. The combo can be anything of your choice. Do one combo every other day but combos do not have to be done in order listed - you can do combos on different days other than what’s listed. There will be three videos of yoga sequences and/or exercises to help improve your shoulder flexibility or strength prior to each group of pole tricks. To play, follow the steps below: 1. Repost the flyer and tag two friends to play. 2. Tag me @dredee1983 in all your entries! Example videos will be posted 2-3 days before each combo day so check my profile before each day. 3. Post a video of your combos using the moves listed. Combos do not have to be done in order, but try to complete all the tricks for the month. If the moves are too advanced for you, do videos of prep work for each move - that still counts! Try to do your combo both sides! Optional - post 1 video of each of the 3 yoga sequence or exercises as well to help increase flexibility and strength for this month’s moves. Use the hashtag #maycombochallenge, and don't forget to tag @dredee1983 in all your entries! There are no prizes but I will still be choosing 3 winners! To win, all posts should be completed by June 3, 2018. Winners will be announced June 6, 2018. Winners must complete all combos as best they can for their level, shoulder exercises are optional. Modifications will be posted as much as possible. 🌸🌼🌸🌼

A post shared by Andrea, MHS, OTR/L, RYT, CPT (@dredee1983) on

So many reasons to join us in May for our Instagram Yoga Challenge #Maythewellnessbewithyou2 There are great weekly and grand prizes for participants from amazing sponsor's that include, free yoga classes, jewelry, wreaths, t-shirts, massages & more! But the most important reason is to join because you are Worth it! This challenge gives you the opportunity to instill a practice that is about taking time to invite mindfulness, self care and connect with the yoga community <3 To participate simply follow and tag the hosts and sponsors when sharing your inspired yoga practice! Hosts @potegpguidancecenter @maybeitsmallory @ashleylyn322 Sponsors @photographybyymallory @namasterabbit @sweetescapeboutique @provincialboutique @positivespacerehoboth @jewelsdayspamedicalaesthetics @studioon6 #MayTheWellnessBeWithYou2 #yogachallenge #spring #yoga #potegpguidance #nonprofit #wellness #dailysadhana

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Practice Yoga, Save Puppies 🐢 Join this FREE #yogachallenge for Charity. Link in bio. _ Join the FREE May Yoga Challenge #ArmUpForAnimals with @kinoyoga on @omstarsofficial and help support @animalhopeandwellness _ This powerful charity is committed to ending the dog and cat meat slaughterhouses of the world and making dog and cat meat consumption and production illegal in the U.S. (can you believe it isn’t illegal yet?!). If you want to see how important this mission is go over to @animalhopeandwellness and watch their videos. Our sponsor our @cannapet will donate one supply of supplements per person for everyone who signs up to help rescued dogs recover from severe abuse. _ And you get to practice with me for FREE in my all new Arm Balance Basics course! This 5-class course is available for FREE for everyone who joins the 10-day challenge. Each class in this course will correspond with 2 poses in the challenge, and by the end, each class should be completed twice. After each practice, snap and pic and share. ______ _ πŸ’₯Prizes include: One brand new Tiger Lily OmStars x Liquido outfit One sixth month membership to OmStars One signed copy of Kino’s new Yogi Assignment book One OmStars tank top _ ______ πŸ’₯Here’s how to join: 1. Click the link in our bio to sign up or go here: https://bit.ly/2H9kYXu _ 2. Follow our sponsors and hosts @kinoyoga @omstarsofficial @cannapet @animalhopeandwellness _ 3. Repost this challenge graphic and help spread the word. _ 4. Tag three friends to join you in this challenge!! _ 5. Practice with us every day for 10 days and share your journey here on IG and be sure to use our challenge hashtag #armupforanimals and tag all our hosts and sponsors daily. _ 6. Like and comment on each other’s posts to stay active and present in our community of yogis here on IG. _ #practiceyogachangeyourworld #onebreathatatime πŸ™

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Aerial Class Structure

Prior to having surgery, I was brainstorming ideas about how to change up my aerial teaching style to implement a strategy for injury prevention. I dubbed this technique the "post warm up cooling phase training theory" in my recent blog post: Aerial Silks Teaching Technique: The Mid-Class Warm Up? I've decided that once I return to teaching my aerial class, I am going to use a new format for my teaching that makes use of a class structure that keeps particular areas of the body warm for continuous training and injury prevention.  Since I work best with putting my ideas into writing and working with a format, I've decided to draft out a plan that I can easily enter key elements into based on the skills being worked on for any given class. 

  • WARM UP: 5-10 minutes head to toe dynamic movement
  • CONDITIONING: Climb Drills
  • STRETCH: Mix of dynamic and static based stretches specific to the body areas for skills section
  • SKILLS (The following steps may be repeated for each newly taught skill)
      • Learning: Skills are taught first by observing instructor
      • WARM UP: 2 minute head to toe total body dynamic movement
          • STRETCH: Additional for any areas of focus that cause excess strain particularly for the shoulders/splits skills
      • Active: Students perform new skill set
  • POST SKILLS CONDITIONING: Targets areas not within realm of previous skills focus
  • COOL DOWN: Light mix of head to toe dynamic with heavy static stretches

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Pure Barre Experience

I decided to finally try out a Pure Barre class as part of my post-op back to aerial fitness recovery plan.  My local Pure Barre studio offers new clients a first week of free classes and since I haven't been teaching, I figured now was the perfect time to get in there and see what their technique is all about. 

My first class was a lot of trying to figure out the technique and lingo that everyone was accustomed to.  The class runs with a quick pace from one exercise to the next. It started with a warm up that focused on the arms using weights.  Beginners are encouraged to use the lightest weights available, which are 2 pounds.  After my first two classes, I still think the 2 pounders are a bit much for me and I may actually need 1 pound weights.  If the weights become too much, you can also opt to not use them or take a break from the weights and continue with just the arm movements.  I have yet to perform the entire arm warm up using the weights the entire time. Future goals.  The warm up then progresses from arms to cover both core and legs.

After the warm up, the particular areas of focus each class works on are core, thighs, and seat.  The class runs through a similar routine with slight changes based on who the instructor is that is running the class.  The main equipment used during class are the weights for the warm up, resistance band, mini stability ball, mat, and the barre.  It is also recommended to wear socks and Pure Barre offers sticky socks in their retail area of the lounge.  I ended up purchasing a pair of small sticky socks and since I forgot to bring a hair tie, I got these really cool spiral hair ties that resemble key chain chords called teleties.

To get the most out of each exercise, the instructors prompt participants in form cues that engage particular areas of focus for that exercise.  By engaging these areas, the participant will feel a huge difference in working the targeted muscle group.  Pure Barre's slogan is "Lift. Tone. Burn."  From my experience, I can vouch there is a lot of burn.  And shaking.  When you're doing the exercises correctly, you will experience muscle burning and shaking.  THIS is good.  This is what you want because it's working the muscles and conditioning them for the desired toning and strengthening effect.  The whole reason you're doing the work out in the first place, right?  Although it may not feel like what you signed up for and you're pretty certain the class is trying to kill you, just keep with it.  It gets better.  My second class felt a lot better than my first.  I'm told it takes at least three classes for things to really click. 

By the end of this week, I will have participated in four classes.  I have decided to alternate my Pure Barre classes with some yoga classes at my local YMCA.  After my first Pure Barre class, my hips and glutes were really tight and sore.  I did a 47 minute DoYogawithMe.com Deep Release for the Hips, Hamstrings, and Lower Back online class and that helped A LOT and prepared my body for my second Pure Barre class.  So this week's schedule for me looks like this:

✔Friday (1st Pure Barre class) 4:30p-5:20p
✔Saturday DoYogawithMe.com online class
✔Sunday (2nd Pure Barre class) 9a-9:50a
✔Monday Yoga 5:30p-6:30p
Tuesday Pure Barre 4:30p-5:20p
Thursday Yoga 7:15p-8:15p
Friday Pure Barre 4:30p-5:20p

Throughout the week, I will also be using my DeskCycle stationary bicycle to achieve my 10k+ steps.  Next week, I plan on integrating some Cirque open gym time to work on the aerial silks.  I need to go in to the aerial gym with a plan next week and as this week progresses, I will have a better idea of what my curriculum will look like.  So stay tuned for my next week blog where I recap my progress and my plan moving forward as I get back in the air. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fitness After Surgery

I'm officially one month post-op and I have been having a few set backs.  While the majority of my incisions are healed, I have been having issues with one area that keeps having drainage.  I had to return to my doctor for an unplanned follow up appointment because all of a sudden I started having a lot of drainage requiring an immediate site assessment and change in the plan of care.  I'm now having to conduct daily dressing changes. As of a week ago I was changing the dressing up to three times a day.  Drainage has finally started to slow down and I am now changing my dressing once or twice a day. 

On the fitness end of things, I have started to do some online yoga classes with www.DoYogaWithMe.com.  I also successfully took a yoga class on Friday with my local YMCA. Saturday morning I did a quick at home circuit training routine that focused strongly on glutes and legs. I am also continuing to use my Desk Cycle throughout the work day while I sit at my desk. While my incisional healing has been a slow progress, I have been working towards increasing my endurance with around the house activities.  I couldn't believe how wiped out the surgery left me.  The first three weeks post-op were frustrating because mentally I was ready to get moving while physically I was not.  I've been itching to get back in the air but have been cautious as to not jump back on any apparatuses while having drainage. 

I think the most frustrating thing is that while most of the incisional area is well healed, there is one area that is being stubborn. The reason for this is because of a previous hernia repair that resulted in my surgeon having to make a cut in a secondary location. Obviously the secondary location is not a preferred area and after experiencing the slower recuperation, I completely understand the reasoning why.

While I have not gone into complete details about my surgery and why I had it, I can say that I am feeling so much better than I have in the last 12+ years.  I'm able to tolerate eating certain things better than I was.  I have noticed a difference so I would say my surgery was quite successful.  I think the one thing I keep trying to remind myself is that I need to respect the fact that I just had a major surgery a month ago.  In the big picture, a month is really not all that long ago.  It may seem like an eternity at times but in reality, sometimes our bodies need time for recovery and pushing ourselves too much too soon can have the opposite effect of our intentions.  So I'm hanging in there and continuing to work on my short term goals and hopefully I will be back at it before long.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 2018 Pole & Aerial Fitness Challenges

It's April! Come on Spring! I'm ready for some warmer weather- even though I am probably one of the few people to ever admit that I do love the snow.  I just celebrated another birthday at the end of March and once my birthday has come and gone, in my mind it is time for flowers! I just recently splurged on some cute birthday floral print items to set the season.... (H&M floral cardigan jacket and Agenda 52 Floral A5 planner). As the weather changes, so does the mood.  I feel more energized in Spring weather and I'm ready to kick this post op recovery into high gear (read my previous blog for insight into my post-op fitness hiatus).  So without further a do, here is a list of the current pole, aerial, and yoga fitness challenges for April 2018.

1. This one has already begun but it's never too late to add your entries!

Are you ready??? I'm happy to announce this challenge with @boomkats_polewear πŸ’“ Here is the list of tricks which I'll be posting the night before, so you can see it and film it the day after, but remember: πŸ‘‰ always respect your body's practice πŸ‘‰ take rest days πŸ‘‰ it is allowed to catch up with the challenge or to pre-record πŸ‘‰ you can post a photo or a video πŸ‘‰ you can always choose an easier version of the trick - everything counts! πŸ‘‰ follow @leslielili_pole and @boomkats_polewear πŸ‘‰ always tag @leslielili_pole and @boomkats_polewear, so we can see your post πŸ‘‰ hashtag #favpoletrickchallenge and #boomkats_polewear There will be three winners announced on April 9th. First place gets to spend 60€ in @boomkats_polewear store and second and third place get to spend 10€. Good luck everyone! πŸ’› #favpoletrickchallenge #pole #poledance #poledancer #polechallenge #outfit #dance #dancer #poletrick #flexibility #unitedbypole #poledancenation
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‼️Announcing the #handSTANDforBEAUTY challenge that starts on Monday April 2nd. ‼️In this 7-day handstand challenge we will explore the variety of bendy pole handstands. Don’t have a pole? Use a wall, pillar, tree or anything you want you can lean on! To enter the challenge follow the rules below and participate each day to win a pair of ‘Aztec’ sticky pole leggings by @paradise_chick_ or jump in whenever you can to practice your #pdhandstand πŸ¦‹April 2-8th πŸ¦‹ ‼️Rules and Guidelines ‼️ ✅ Follow @vlada_polefitdubai and @paradise_chick_ ✅ Like this post ✅ Repost this photo and invite two or more friends to join the fun ✅ Post a photo/video of each pole handstand or make your own variation, make sure to use the challenge hashtag #handSTANDforBEAUTY, tag @vlada_polefitdubai and @paradise_chick_ so we can see your posts ✅ Enjoy and have fun! .................................................. I will be posting a video everyday demonstrating the move of the day (see the list below) πŸ¦‹ Day 1 - Forearm handstand πŸ¦‹ Day 2 - Hollowback (hips) πŸ¦‹ Day 3 - Hollowback (bridge) πŸ¦‹ Day 4 - Holloback (chest) πŸ¦‹ Day 5 - Split handstand πŸ¦‹ Day 6 - Chiropractor 1 πŸ¦‹ Day 7 - Chiropractor 2 . . . . #poledancenation #poledancing #poledance #unitedbypole #polespin #spinningpole #staticpole #staticpolecombo #polerina #poleart #polelife #polelove #poledance #poledancer #poledancersofinstagram #passionforpoledance #polepose #poletrick #polemove #polepassion #aerialistsofig #polefitness #polecombo #poleflow #poletricks #poletrickoftheday
A post shared by Vlada Zhizhchenko (@vlada_polefitdubai) on
JUST A FEW DAYS TILL WE START THE CHALLENGEEEEEEEE πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ #ApplyTheFlow CHALLENGE TIME!!!! To launch my new website and blog; www.anjavalkyrie.com I'm hosting a 4 week long challenge in April! I'm so excited to announce that I've teamed up with lovely @bandurskadesign to offer a great prize for one diligent pole dancer at the end of April! 2 months online training (focused on your pole goals) with me and a beautiful set from Bandurska which the winner chooses from their amazing collection πŸ’• The challenge will have four combos to complete in April. I will post them on my feed each monday morning (GMT 00:00) and you have a week to repeat it on video, post the video on your wall and tag @anjavalkyrie and #ApplyTheFlow to make sure I can see it! Winner will be chosen at random from the ones who complete the challenge. Now, we all learn to do all these cool tricks, but often we have no idea how to connect them. This month we'll focus on the flow from one trick to the next! When you do each combo, I want your main focus to be on climbing beautifully, straightening your legs completely, making nice movements with your head, body, hands and hair. Take your moment. Live in it. Don't worry if you can't repeat the combo completely the same. It's the main movements and above all, the feeling in the movement that matters most. RULES: 1.Follow @anjavalkyrie and @bandurskadesign 2.Repost this photo on your feed and in your story πŸ’œ 3.Tag 2 pole friends and have them join the fun πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰ 4.video yourself doing the combo of the week and upload on your feed, tag me and #ApplyTheFlow πŸ™… 5.APPLY THE FLOOOOOW πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’™❤
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7. DoYogawithMe.com: I'm setting a personal challenge for myself as part of my post-op recovery by participating in the 8 week DYWM Beginner Program.