Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sensuous Flow & Flexibility Workshop at Studio Venus

Yesterday was my first workshop at Studio Venus in Merrillville, Indiana.  The workshop went very well.  A total of nine ladies participated.  I began the workshop with my trademark sensual dance warmup.  I've learned through my teaching experiences that depending on class size, sometimes my lessons have to be catered to allow everyone the experience of the workout.  Instead of utilizing the poles due to the student to pole ratio exceeding the number of poles, I incorporated simple floor work moves that got everyone's muscles warmed up in order to avoid stretching cold muscles.  The ladies appeared to really enjoy learning some of the simple floor work moves.  I wanted to make sure with every move we were doing as a workout, that I pointed out to them that these moves can also be used as dance moves while dancing with the pole.  I try to make my workouts useful in the actual workout as well as serve as a pole fitness lesson.

Once we completed the sensual dance warmup- which lasted the duration of one song length, we began the relaxation and flexibility portion of the workshop.  Studio Venus has pink ambient lighting installed which helped set the mood of the workshop.  With a pink dimly lit room and relaxing music courtesy of Peter Kater's Element Series and a mix of Massive Attack, I began guiding the ladies through a series of stretches working from head to toe.  The group was very comfortable in sharing what they felt during the flexibility routine- many said that the routine hurt because of the tight muscles in the areas we were stretching but all agreed that even though it hurt, it still felt good to be doing the stretch.  I tried to incorporate props within the routine and explain to the ladies the beneficial uses of the props to assist in stretching and how they can use them at home in their own stretching regimen.

During the flexibility routine, I was posed a question that I had never considered before.  A student asked if during my stretching routine if I ever felt my body being detoxified.  I'd never actually taken time to process how my stretching routine made me feel.  I knew it was deeper stretching and a routine I compared to a form of Yoga, however my stretches were all catered specifically to increase flexibility for pole dancing. By focusing on areas I've learned from experience and research I was able to form the flexibility routine dancers desired for beautiful clean lines during various pole poses and maneuvers.  After considering the question for a moment (actually while in a downward dog pose) I admitted that I did feel rejuvenated after my classes or post stretching at home.  This rejuvenated feeling, as I have come to research further now while sitting in front of my computer, is what was meant by the term of "detoxification."

Detox is often thought of as ridding the body of unwanted waste or toxins.  To achieve a detoxifying effect within the body with stretching, as you stretch and move your body into different poses and deep breathing, your blood is moving and carrying essential nutrients and oxygen throughout your body to organs and muscles.  Your organs and muscles are fed by the nutrients and oxygen.  The experience of detoxifying the body ultimately leads to the feeling of rejuvenation post workout.  Any literature out there regarding yoga will explain detoxifying effects of the exercise.  The rejuvenated feeling is a welcoming feeling that is enjoyed.  Anything that is enjoyed we want to repeat because it makes us feel good.

That is the beauty of pole dancing and pole dancing for flexibility routines.  They make us feel good thus posing a discipline within us to continue the regimen.  I sincerely hope that my class awakened that feeling of rejuvenation within my students.  I encourage them all to proceed down the path of exploration within pole dancing in hopes that they too find a healthier being and the benefits of pole dancing as a discipline within their lives.

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