Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Making the Switch to Natural Deodorant

I've been hearing a lot about switching your deodorant to a natural formula lately.  I decided it was time to look more into products that fall into the classification of natural versus my long time use of commercialized mainstream deodorant I've been using since I was twelve years old.  So what is the real concern about my trusty deodorant that prompted me to seek change?  I've heard a lot of rumors about specific ingredients within deodorant not being very healthy.  These ingredients are aluminum and parabens. Parabens have been linked to cancers while aluminum has been suspected of being linked to cancer.  There haven't been any substantial studies that have proved the theories of these ingredients being directly related to causing cancer from a deodorant (Antiperspirants Safety: Should You Sweat it?). While there isn't a definitive word on whether or not these products cause harmful affects to your health, it hasn't kept people from opting to make changes in their hygienic products.

I decided to try out a new deodorant and see if there was an advantage to me using something that is marketed as being "more natural."  I found Tom's of Maine Wild Lavender deodorant to smell the most pleasing to me.  The deodorant smells really good when first applied and the fragrance dissipates after a couple hours.  The formula is clear and goes on slightly sticky.  The odor control is not the best as I notice some break through odor.  The product does not leave a thick residue after showering which is something I have noticed with my previous aluminum containing deodorant.

To combat the break through odor, it has been suggested to do an armpit detox treatment.  A friend of mine shared an article with me on how to detox your armpits when switching to a natural deodorant.  The detox claims to help pull out the odor blocking chemicals that are found within aluminum containing deodorants.  These chemicals work to block sweat ducts and prevent perspiration. I haven't tried the detox because I feel like I'm not having an overly noticeable issue with the break through odor.  It's mainly at the end of the day when I notice it and by that time I am already getting ready for bed.  So far the deodorant seems to withstand my aerial workouts especially when adding another application prior to the work out. 

I've decided to continue using the natural deodorant and see how it holds up over time with continued use.  Have you made the switch to a more natural deodorant?  Please feel free to comment about your experience or favorite brands below.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Aerial Class Structure Progress Update

I've been back to teaching my Aerial Silk level 1 classes at Cirque Indy for three weeks now since my surgery in the beginning of March.  Since coming back, I have revamped all my class lesson plans. I recently covered a new class structure approach in two previous blogs "Aerial Teaching Technique: The Mid-Class Warm Up?" and "Aerial Class Structure." In these two blogs, I basically discussed my idea and the class plan layout for a teaching strategy that allows me to implement continuous movement and focus specifically on all areas of the body.  In aerial, particular skills are focused on in class each week.  Because aerial is such a complex form of movement, these skills are often very isolated in the muscle groups that each class works on.  I wanted to integrate movement to all areas and to eliminate cool down phases while students are grasping the mental aspects of breaking down movement and working through aerial theory. Using the template in my "Aerial Class Structure" blog, I was able to re-write my weekly lesson plans for the first three weeks of the level 1 curriculum. 


Class Restructuring in Action

After my first class, a lot of my students jokingly made comments to me about not being allowed to take any more long periods of breaks off because upon my return, I have too many new wild and torturous ideas for them. I took this as a positive response to my newly implemented conditioning plan. They were getting what they came for: a workout.  My newly reconstructed lesson plans include more conditioning that specifically focuses on engaging muscle groups to be used in the skills set of the main portion of the lesson at the start of class as part of a warm up and then following up with a post skills conditioning portion that targets muscle groups not widely used during the previous 45-50 minutes of class.  I also sprinkle in "Stretch Breaks" throughout class so as not to fatigue areas of the body that have a strong focus on and to also introduce movement and circulation to areas for upcoming skills.  The result was continuous movement and engagement of the body.  I feel like its a cohesive relationship between strength and flexibility that allows for a balanced workout. 


The Results

While its only been three weeks of implementing my new format, so far my classes have been a lot sweatier. The gym has been hotter lately in temperatures due to weather changes which has helped a lot to keep the body warm and primed throughout class.  I feel like the continuous movement aspect has created a flow that adds to necessary endurance that is so crucial to aerial movement.  I also feel like other areas of the body are being worked that aren't traditionally a part of the  focus in my previous curriculum's classes.  I'm even walking away from my classes with next day DOMS that I wasn't expecting.  So it's pretty clear that I am targeting areas of the body that need to be worked on in addition to the areas that we have already developed from our fundamental skills of the level 1 curriculum. 


The Plan Continued

My next steps of this process will be to make adjustments to conditioning exercises and class skills based on the success of performance during implementation due to student's ability and time. Finding out what works and what doesn't will determine what areas of the reconstructed lesson plans need fine tuning.  These adjustments will also lead me into variations of modifications to allow a varied approach that encompasses every student's level of ability.  I plan to continue to update my readers on this process throughout the progress of this transition, 

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! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ™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! 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
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
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. 


USING THE CARDS
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

๐ŸŒธ MAY COMBO CHALLENGE! ๐ŸŒธ 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. ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ

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

A post shared by POTEGP Guidance (@potegpguidancecenter) on

Practice Yoga, Save Puppies ๐Ÿถ 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. ______ _ ๐Ÿ’ฅPrizes 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 _ ______ ๐Ÿ’ฅHere’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 ๐Ÿ™

A post shared by Kino MacGregor (@kinoyoga) on

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. 


MOVEMENT THEORY INJURY PREVENTION VERSION 1
  • 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.