Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Aerial SMART Goals

In my previous blog, I introduced the concept of the SMART curriculum for putting together a plan to achieve a goal.  In this blog I am going to break down a couple of my own goals which will serve as an example for how to go about using this system in your aerial fitness agenda. Looking for a way to plan your week or month and stay accountable?  Check out my February 2017 blog about Fitness Planning for tips and templates to help you stay organized. 


SPECIFIC: I will be able to complete a basic climb on the silks twice on each leg with at least five increments up the silks after a twenty minute warm-up within 2 minutes. 

MEASURABLE: Time myself completing this task via video.

ATTAINABLE: What do I need to do to attain this? Practice my climb drills in a cardio style endurance building manner using the 2 minute marker as addressed in my goal. 

REASONABLE/REALISTIC: Yes. I have a solid basic climb bilaterally. I am working on building endurance in my climbs and have no limitations that would prevent me from achieving this goal. 

TIME-BOUND: 2 minute climb drill set by 4 weeks. 


SPECIFIC: I will attend 2 or more Trapeze classes in the next 4 weeks.

MEASURABLE: Write classes in my day planner to track my progress.

ATTAINABLE: Trapeze classes are on Wednesdays.  For the month of November, I had 4 Wednesdays that did not have any after work commitments. 

REASONABLE: Yes, my schedule will allow me to attend classes. Trapeze is an apparatus within my skill set.

TIME-BOUND: 2 classes in a 4 week time frame.


SPECIFIC: To write a routine for Trapeze that I can perform in the upcoming student/instructor showcase on December 16th. 

MEASURABLE: Video documentation will determine my progress and readiness to perform.

ATTAINABLE:  Choose a song and write a routine using skill level appropriate trapeze moves.

REASONABLE: I am giving myself 46 days to prepare a routine on trapeze. 

TIME-BOUND: At the time of this goal being made, I have 46 days until the performance on December 16th.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Aerial SMART Goals Planning

Yesterday I attended a meeting with my fellow aerial instructors where we discussed how to proceed with attaining and staying on track with our aerial goals.  As an instructor in the aerial movement arts, it can be easy to let your own progress fall to the wayside while you attend to assisting your students and everyone around you in their goal progression.  You come to the gym with the intent to workout but by the time open gym is over, you realize you haven't gotten in the air or checked anything off your list you came prepared with.  So how can you make efficient use of your limited time all while staying focused on your own aerial goals?

Before I dive into SMART goal planning strategies, I think it's important to touch base on setting some rules for yourself to attain your goals.  First and foremost if necessary, set limitations with anyone at the gym that you are there to work out on your own goals.  Or have a gym buddy (fellow instructor or significant other that can buddy-sit you for safety) that can go with you when no one else is present (from an instructor stand point this may or may not be feasible depending on your gym rules).  If your only opportunities for personal work out are when others are present, then you will have to set firm limitations that you cannot answer any questions or help spot anyone while you are there on your time.  This may be difficult but students and fellow instructors should understand that it is just as important for you to be able to accomplish your goals and to stay in shape for your ability to continue to lead your amazing classes. 

Let's talk about SMART goals.  SMART is a mnemonic acronym utilized as a means to guide towards an objective (Wikipedia).  The letters of SMART broken down stand for the following:

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Achievable
R: Relevant
T: Time-Bound

In relation to setting aerial goals, first start by listing the desired achievements you'd like to learn or become better at in your own practice.  You can further divide these goals into categories such as STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY, STAMINA, and/or CONDITIONING. Once you have divided your list into categories, plug each goal into the SMART system to develop your plan of action. 

S: Specific - This is your goal and what you want to achieve.
M: Measurable - You can measure your progress by pictures or video. 
A: Achievable - Is this goal within your current skill set level?  Is it attainable as a short term or long term goal?
R: Relevant - Realistic?  This also falls into the previous "Achievable" area as you must take in account your own physical limitations. Take into account anatomical limitations that may or may not prevent you from acquiring specific skills.
T: Time-Bound - Set a time frame that allows your goal to be trackable.

I'll be breaking down some of my aerial goals using the SMART planning curriculum in my next blog post as an example for your own goal setting initiative. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Aerial Challenge #Fit4theHolidays

We are pleased to partner with Paper Doll Militia in announcing #Fit4theHolidays aerial fitness challenge! As aerialists, it’s hard to take time away from flying, but when the holidays come it’s easy to get swept away with travel, parties, and start to loose those calluses and bulging biceps. So we’re here to encourage fellow aerialists to keep in shape during the holiday season! We hope you join us! * * #Fit4theHolidays 3 week challenge! All the exercises in this challenge are designed to help keep us conditioned for aerial arts, but without using the equipment itself. We’ll share fun and creative ways stay in shape during the holiday season. So, are you in? * * * HOW TO JOIN: 1) Make sure you repost this flyer and tag at least 3 friends to join us. 2) Follow your hosts: @PaprDollMilitia, @aerialdancingdotcom @Cirque_physio @BornToFlyAerial & Sponsors: @AerialEssentials @AnnaCiconePhotography, @VisualLaszlo, @CircqueSoul & Cirque Art at @Lauryn9831 and tag us all in the captions once the challenge begins. 3) Participate daily by posting a pic or video of the challenge of the day 4) Make sure your profile is set to public so that we can see your wonderful holiday posts! 5) Be encouraging and leave “likes” and comments on other challenge participants posts 6) Make sure you use #Fit4theHolidays for challenge posts * * We have some fantastic giveaways from our amazing sponsors, stay tuned for more information on those. We’ll also be giving away some Paper Doll Militia swag, including our hand-drawn t-shirt design, and pendant necklaces with photos from our aerial theatre productions. So HAVE FUN! Follow other aerialists’ accounts, make new friends and get #Fit4theHolidays! * * Holiday Pic with Paper Doll Performer and Instructor @LenaAlani

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pole Dancing and Aerial Gift Guide 2017

The holiday season is here!  Every year, I like to put together a Pole Dancers and Aerialist gift guide for those that love to get fit in the air.  If you're looking for items to add to your list or you're the one purchasing, you'll love these go to aerial specific gift ideas.

1. Class gift card! Find out your favorite aerialist's go to workout establishment and get them some classes.  You can always call to inquire about adding funds to their existing membership or purchase them a gift card pre-loaded with funds they can apply for future activities themselves.  If you're local to Indianapolis, here are my top picks for Pole Dancing and Circus style classes.

Be You Fitness: http://beyou.fit
Cirque Indy: http://www.cirqueindy.com

2. Leg warmers! An all time favorite for BOTH pole dancers and aerialists!  You can never go wrong with leg warmers. 

3. Journal. A notebook journal for documenting moves learned in classes and overall fitness goals. 
Etsy Aerial Fitness Journal

4. Burn Bar.  Pole dancers and aerialists know all too well the phrase, "No pain, no gain."  Apparatus burns or "pole kisses" or  "aerial kisses" are just a part of the lifestyle.  The Burn Bar was developed to help ease and heal those pesky areas that have turned kiss into bite via your favorite apparatus. 

5. Aerial Silks Coloring Book.  Coloring is a very relaxing past time.  Ease away stress with this book full of beautiful goal worthy aerial poses.  Perfect for those beach vacations away from the gym. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

December Pole Dancing and Fitness Challenges

❤️馃挌❤️December Combo Challenge❤️馃挌❤️ December combo challenge with @dredee1983 and @kristen.bethanie starts next week! We will be giving away 3 prizes again this month! This month's moves focus on multi-step combos. Because we know most of us are traveling or have limited quality pole time during the holiday season, we designed this challenge to help keep you conditioned through the holidays with combos that can be done for all levels. You also have the option to participate in pole conditioning workouts that don't require a pole, posted on Mondays by @dredee1983. To play, follow the steps below: 1. Repost the flyer and tag two friends to play. 2. Follow the hosts and sponsors and tag in all your entries! Example videos will be posted 2-3 days before each combo week so check the host profile before each combo. It is best to watch the example videos we post before each combo so you can see how to do the moves in sequential order. Pole conditioning workouts are optional but not required to earn prizes. 3. Post a video of your combos using the moves listed in the order they are listed for each week. Don't forget to do each combo on both sides. The combos are designed to start easy and get more advanced so just do as many steps of each combo as your level allows - even if you can only do 2 parts of the combo that still counts! Use the hashtag #decembercombochallenge, and don't forget to tag the hosts and sponsors in all your entries! All entries must be received by January 3, 2018. Winners will be announced January 6, 2018. Winners must complete all combos as best they can for their level and will be chosen based on fluidity of transitions and good form. . 馃弳PRIZES馃弳 1st place will receive a pole set from @galepolewear 2nd place will receive a shirt from @darkside.fitness 3rd place will receive a jar of Dry Hands ✨✨✨✨✨ Happy poling!

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Are you ready for CHRISTMAS POLE CHALLENGE?! 馃巹☃️ #christmaspolechallenge ❄️ Hosted by @melania_poledance and @diamondpolewear 馃拵馃尐 This challenge includes many pole moves with the letters of Christmas is coming! ⛄️ Here is a list 馃摑 of the pole tricks, but you can do any other move with the daily letter. Everyone can join this challenge and win an amazing sport bra from Diamond Pole Wear! 馃拵馃槏❄️☃️ 馃尐馃巹❄️馃拵⛄️❗️ To join in ❗️ 1. Repost this photo on instagram and tag some friends who may want to join the challenge. ✅ 2. Follow me @melania_poledance and @diamondpolewear so we can see you joined the challenge. ✅ 3. Post a photo or a video every day and tag #christmaspolechallenge @melania_poledance and @diamondpolewear in your post description so we can see your photos. ✅ ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ Be sure that your profile is public or dm me 馃拰 to follow you. In the end of the challenge, we choose a winner 馃弲who will win a sport bra from Diamond pole wear! 馃拵 Can't wait to see your amazing photos! Do your best and be creative! 馃巹❤️ #poledance #poledancing #poledancing #poledancer #poledancenation #polechallenge #poledancechallenge #polesport #polefitness #polefit #poleaddict #poleart #poletrick #poledancersofinstagram #poledancersofig #polelife #pdrussianlayback #pdbutterfly #stargazer #pdallegra #pdcapezio #pdscorpio #pdgenie #pdseahorse #pdteddy

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馃挋馃挋馃挋 馃啎➡️WEEKEND POWER POLE® PROJECT! ⬅️馃啎 11/24/2017 ALL LEVELS! Project: #PowerPoleSkirtWorkWeek Move: #pdskirtwork 馃挋馃挋馃挋 It’s BAAAAAAAAACK!! Power Pole® Skirt Work Week is back just in time for the holidays! This week's #weekendpowerpoleproject is an awesomely fun #pdskirtwork project!! If you've seen the photos and videos and you've always wanted to try, now is your chance!! And if you don't have a skirt yet, now you have your excuse to go out and get one!! Any skirt will work, and we'll be giving you plenty of all levels inspo with tons of different ideas ALONG with who's wearing what so you can find your very own favorite. We are accepting still photos and videos. We'll share with you some of our favorite stills as well as spin pole, static pole, and slo-mo video. We are looking for jumps, sits, spins and inverts in skirts!! Be sure to include your skirt info in your post so other polers can find your beautiful skirt if they love it too! 馃挋 We’re looking forward to all the beautiful skirts flowing across our page this week! TAG YOUR POLE FRIENDS TO PARTICIPATE WITH YOU!! 馃槏馃槂 馃挋馃挋馃挋 For feature in this week’s project, YOU MUST SHARE THIS PICTURE and YOU NEED 3 TAGS IN YOUR POSTS 馃憠馃徏馃憠馃徏 @powerpolesports #WeekendPowerPoleProject #pdSkirtWork. 馃憠馃徏馃憠馃徏 ALL 3 TAGS must be in your original post description, and not in comments. And be sure you are following @powerpolesports. 馃挋 BEGINNER: Sits on the pole, Kicks and jumps with the pole INTERMEDIATE: Spins on static pole or spin pole ADVANCED/ELITE: Inverts on static pole or spin pole BONUS: Add friends, add lights, add holiday themes, and how about outdoors??!! 馃槂馃槏 馃挋 MORE PHOTO AND VIDEO SKIRT WORK INSPO TO COME!! This stunning model is @_mariya_dobrovolskaya_ 馃挋 We do a new Weekend Power Pole® Project every Friday, complete with breakdown and slo-mo videos and tutorials. You have ONE FULL WEEK TO ENTER. (Each project runs from Friday to the following Thursday.) 馃挋 www.powerpolesports.com 馃挋 #powerpole® #polechallenge #poleprogress #pdnewmoves #polepose #pdtrick #pdtricks #ig_poledance #contemporarypole #polecombo

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Anyone interested in yoga - I'm creating a December challenge for myself and anyone else. Beginning Dec 1. The challenge is seemingly easy: roll out your mat every day in December. Whether you practice yoga for meditation, exercise, muscle recovery, flexibility, or other reasons. Whatever gets you on the mat. You don't need do to fancy poses, even just taking the time to sit and think/mindfully breathe is yoga (to me). You can take a picture of you or your mat every day and post it to your feed/story of what yoga is for you. Or you don't have to post at all! I ain't picky. If you do post, use #DailyYogaInDecember. Use this challenge to make some time for yourself every single day, it is possible. You can be on your mat for 5min or an hour. Whatever floats your boat and clears that monkey mind. Let me know if you want some good online references for yoga classes/sequence ideas. Or meditation ideas. 馃

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• #SelfPracticeChallenge • 1-10 December 馃檹馃徏Hosts @arigadoryoga @ainania_yoga ✨Sponsors + 馃巵 prizes @shambhalabarcelona (Leggings from the new collection) @live_simple_uk (Meditation cushion) @foodspring_es (Vegan raw energy bars) @gaudiumvitayoga (Half day in our retreat) @potionsbcn (Mat cleaner) @yogisurprise (Yogi Box) . During this 10 day challenge we will explore the different elements need to develop a personal practice at home馃彙.Yoga is not only about asana馃じ馃徏‍♀, so we will go from basic asana to bandhas馃棟, pranayamas馃尙 and meditation馃摽, including aspects as important as creating a nice enviroment馃暞... Everything you need for a conscious self practice. . 馃How to join? 1⃣Follow hosts and sponsors 2⃣Repost this banner and invite 3 friends 3⃣Post every day . 馃搯Calendar 1 Tadasana with Anjali mudra - Motivation/Moment of the day 2 Uddiyana Kriya/Jala neti - Kriyas 3 Purvottanasana + Kapalabhati - Pranayama 4 Anjaneyasana - Pratyahara 5 Chapasana - Drishti 6 Sirsasana - Bandhas 7 Adho Mukha Svanasana - Fundamental asanas 8 Dolphin/ Pinchamayurasana - Objectives 9 Uttana Shishosana - Teacher/Studio/Self study 10 Sukhasana / Padmasana - Meditation . 馃嚜馃嚫 En comentarios 馃憞 . . . #yoga #gaudiumvita #gaudiumvitayoga #yogachallenge #challenge #practice #selfpractice #yogaselfpractice #asana #pranayama #meditation #kriyas #december #yogaeverydamnday #yogalife #yogalifestyle #yogalove #yogaunestilodevida #yogabarcelona

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Hello dear yogis❤! . Are you ready to spend the last month of the year sparkly eyed with us on the mat and in the air 馃槏☄馃挮? . We’ve created a special festive yoga challenge #YogaAllWays which will happen 1st-10th December 馃巹馃帀❄馃槏 . The idea of the challenge is to provide a pose each day with aerial yoga and mat yoga variations for the given day. You will be able to choose which option you want to do. It will be a really versatile and fun challenge you shouldn't miss!馃巹馃帀❤馃槉. 馃挮 馃挮 HOSTS: @stardivakhushi (mat yoga) @omniyogagirl (mat yoga) @kaitlynpatrizia (aerial yoga) @pielattesandpilates (aerial yoga) 馃巵 馃巵 Sponsors: @Liforme @Yoga_democracy @Ohhellohair @Bohemian_treasure ▪ ▪ Poses for those who need to plan ahead: Low lunge Shoulderstand Split Bow Pigeon Scorpion Backbend of any kind Camel Dancer Any inversion 馃巹 馃帀 All you have to do to participate is: 馃憠(1)Repost this flyer. 馃憠(2)Follow all hostesses and sponsors. 馃憠(3)Tag a couple friends join the fun. 馃憠(4)Tag all hostesses and sponsors in your daily posts to we can see your beautiful pics! Don't forget to include the hashtag #YogaAllWays so we can find your posts! 馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿馃崿 . . . . #yogaphotography #yogapose #yogagirl #yogisofinstagram #instayoga #yogafit #yogainspiration #poseoftheday #yogafitness #yogaeverydamnday #yogi #feeltheyogahigh #practiceandalliscoming #instayoga #yogacommunity #iloveyoga #yogalooksgood #inspiredyogis #yogamotivation #yogaposes #myyoga #yogaeverywhere #practiceyoga #yogachallenge #igyogachallenges #decemberyogachallenge

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Ego in Aerial

In one of my Facebook subscriber groups, I came across a post about the ego.  This post was a focus of the day post where the writer talked about their internal battle with their own ego during a yoga class.  Yoga classes can often place us into a mindset where we believe everyone around us is watching.  This is something my husband struggles with and why he will not go to a yoga class alone (or basically without me.)  He also hates working out at the gym because he feels like people are watching him.  I try to assure him that no one is paying any attention to him and they are all too busy focusing on themselves and what they are doing.  But as I ponder into the internal struggles with the ego, it reminds me that some of my time on the mat has been an experience where I suddenly feel compelled to strive for being the best and fall into competition with my fellow classmates.  Am I truly paying attention to what and how they are doing on their mats?  Yes and no.  I may glimpse and see someone performing a move far better than I am capable physically due to anatomical limitations or for body readiness reasons. So yes, I do slightly pay attention to others but when doing this, I am viewing this comparison in relation to my own self.  My ego checks in.  This example of discussing the ego in yoga really got me thinking about how prevalent this need to compete with our peers is very noticeable and a huge part of the pole dancing and aerial circus arts/fitness world. 

Social media is where a lot of us in aerial apparatus fitness connect and draw inspiration for our movement.  Social media can be a positive attribute for the movement arts in this regard.  However, social media can also cause one to internalize what they are seeing and focus more on what everyone else is doing and what we are not doing for whatever reason.  The dictionary defines the ego as a person's self esteem or self importance.  Our ego can have greater expectations for our physical abilities than we are ready or have trained for.  This is an important concept to self realize.  Know you are doing well regardless of your ability to perform amazing jaw dropping movements on your chosen apparatus.  Give yourself credit for your achievements and your determination for your goals.  Try to put your ego into check and ponder more on these feelings of inadequacy when they arise.  Mind mapping these feelings can help you develop a plan to work towards your goals.  Remember, it's about the journey, not the destination.  Once you check off another item on your list, there will always be another goal to strive for.  Be patient and be kind to yourself.  Some solid advice I think we all need to be reminded of time and time again. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vacation Aerial: Destin Pilates and Aerial Center

Last month for Fall Break I took a week vacation to Destin, Florida.  It was a lovely trip where I spent my days lounging on the beach, drinking some wine, coloring mandalas with my colored pencils, and throwing down some tarot cards.  Amongst some of my lazy day shenanigans, when I remembered what day it was, I did make sure to get in some daily workouts.  I put together a plan for staying active during my travels by incorporating some of the ideas I came up with in my May 2017 blog post: Staying on Track with Fitness During Travel. This trip I packed up my yoga mat, laptop for DoYogaWithme.com classes, mini stability ball for my current Pinterest Fitness series I was working on, and my Workout Labs exercise cards.  I decided I wanted to take a class and as I always do, I searched for pole studios in the area.  Unfortunately, there weren't any local pole studios but to my surprise, there were some aerial classes right down the street from my beach house! I immediately signed up for a class via my mindbodyonline app.  (Okay as much as I hated MBO as a business owner, I am really starting to love it as a customer.) 

I signed up for a Beginner/Intermediate Aerial Silks class with Destin Pilates and Aerial Center.  The studio was located in a City Market shopping complex.  The outside of the studio was very clean and the signage was easily visible from the street.  I used Google maps to find it and had no problems arriving to my destination.  Inside the studio I walked into an open space that had privacy partitions placed to allow customers/students privacy while they work out on the various pilates reformers or while attending a pilates or aerial class.  The front of the studio had reformers while the back area was an open space.  For the aerial silks class, there were three rigging points with three mats below them.  The silks are tied up and hung along the wall to keep the open space free of the fabric for the non-aerial classes.  When I arrived I introduced myself to the classmates and instructor.  I told the instructor that it was not my first class and I currently teach classes and was visiting their studio on my vacation. 

Upon arrival, the other students were on the floor stretching and conducting dynamic warmup moves.  I took this as the cue that our class was not going to have an instructor lead warmup.  Once everyone stated to the instructor that they felt they were ready, class began.  We first started with a shoulder stretch that I typically refer to as the twizzler stretch.  We then moved on to climbs.  Some of the students were working on a new inverted style climb so they incorporated that climb once they completed a few of their basic climbs.  After our climbs we moved on to egg inverts or what I call the ball.  I did my ball upright then inverted repeatedly without tapping out for 4 in a row.  After climbing, it was evident that my endurance was lacking and I decided once I got home I was going to have to start participating in my own classes a little more than I had been.  After our conditioning portion, we broke up into groups and those of us that were a little more advanced went to our own silk while the instructor mainly focused her attention on the beginner students. I was fine with this as I said previously, I was actually out of breath and surprised my endurance was as poor as it was. My group then began to work on tying a knot with the feet in the air.  A move I had recently seen one of our instructors at the gym I work at working on.  Funny how with the distance between our two aerial facilities that everyone seems to be working on the same skills at the same time.  I attribute that to a social media win for the day- HAH! 馃槀 So I some-what learned how to tie the knot with my feet- going to have to work on that one.  I then started to pay attention to some of the beginners as terminology peaked my interest.  I learned that they call the splits roll up from a double footlock a rotisserie chicken (I let spell check take care of that one, I can't spell rotisserie.) After being amused by the food reference, my group proceeded to work on whatever we could think of. After failing miserably at my attempt to demonstrate a skin the cat flip from a cross back straddle pull up, I decided to take my tired self down and stick to hip keys- which they term fan kicks.  I watched one of the students in my group do a mind boggling twisty flip thing and decided it was too much for my body and brain to grasp.  I did do a few progressions from hip key and my favorite cyclone/tornado spin from hip key.  By the time we worked some more with the beginner students and having them try to master their hip keys, it was time to cool down and head home. 

I really enjoyed my class at Destin Pilates and Aerial.  Everyone was so nice and easy to get along with.  The locals even had cute southern accents. (I'm pretty sure I had an accent to them as well.)  My husband and I really enjoyed the vacation destination and have decided we will be returning for future trips.  I look forward to returning to more aerial classes on future trips as I felt the studio was a very warm and welcoming environment.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kindara Wink Thermometer Review

Hello lovelies! I am back with the promised review of the Kindara Wink basal body temperature thermometer.  I recently introduced to my readers that I had purchased the Wink thermometer in my blog about Castor Oil Packs, a holistic approach to women's health. The Wink thermometer was developed for use with the Kindara app, a comprehensive tool for women to track their monthly cycles and reproductive health by adhering to the Fertility Awareness Method system. As a long time devoted user of the Kindara app, the new Wink thermometer has been very much appreciated in the even of me having to remember to enter my daily temperatures. The Wink thermometer also has some features that I have found to be much more appealing compared to my old thermometer which I will discuss more in detail. 

First off, what is Fertility Awareness Method?  Kindara has a quick description on their website depicting the science of the system. There are numerous resources available online for learning more about the FAM system as well as reputable texts including the highly recommended book by Toni Weschler, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Basically, FAM is a system of charting your monthly cycle to determine the optimal time for achieving or avoiding pregnancy.  Most women begin using the FAM system as a means of natural birth control or as a supplement to additional non-hormonal birth control.  As those women's lives progress, they may decide they are ready to begin their family and having the knowledge base of the FAM system, they find their ability to conceive much easier and less stressful.  Or if they have found cycle abnormalities by the use of FAM, they have that information at their disposal to present to the appropriate doctors for treatment measures.  Learning FAM can be overwhelming at first, especially if you have never been taught the fundamental concepts regarding the female body.  After learning and using the system, it constantly surprises me that as a woman, I was never taught these very basic concepts about my own body.  It's a shame our society does not place an importance on this very natural and healthy way of how a woman's body functions. A little education for developing young girls can go a long way. 

Kindara is an app that allows women to track information and incorporates it into a chart that serves as a tool for women to determine their most fertile days of the month and when ovulation has occurred.  Our cycles are comprised of a Follicular Phase and a Luteal Phase.  The Follicular Phase is the egg maturation and ovulation phase. The Luteal Phase is post ovulation and can be visualized on a chart by the change in basal body temperatures.  This is why a thermometer is used and temperatures are taken and recorded every day around the same time upon waking after at least three hours of consecutive sleep.  The basal body temperature is your "resting" temperature or the lowest body temp.  Once you begin moving around after waking, your body's temperature will rise which is why you must take your temperature immediately upon waking. 

I've been taking my temperature every morning upon waking for about five or six years now.  I got a thermometer from Amazon and have used it religiously.  I loved this thermometer and never thought to change it.  It had it's own case for travel, was easy to clean, would beep when the temperature was ready, had a light up screen to view the temperature, and overall worked pretty well for me.  As I got into the habit of temping, I sometimes would neglect charting my temps into the Kindara app and once my thermometer exceeded it's daily records amount in it's memory function, it would cease to save temps.  This often lead to me missing temps in my chart.  Another downfall was when I first wake up, it's often because I have to urinate.  This thermometer could easily take three to five minutes before it would beep signally my temp was done being taken.  Sitting in bed and waiting for a thermometer when you have to pee is not the best feeling.  Despite the fact my old trusty thermometer did the job, it was time to move on.

The Wink thermometer enticed me because it synced the temperatures into the app without me having to manually enter them.  It connects to your phone via Bluetooth technology.  While the thermometer was much more pricey compared to my Amazon purchased thermometer, it has proven to be quite the investment.  The following list are reasons why I am loving this thermometer and why I would recommend the Wink thermometer:

1. Portability. Small and discreet.  It actually looks like a makeup item which made it very easy to throw into my makeup bag when traveling. 

2. Battery charging capability.  My previous thermometer required me to get out some screw drivers and take apart the back panel of the thermometer to replace the battery.  The Wink thermometer allows you to charge up via USB.  The Kindara app also enables you to view the battery life on the Wink thermometer easily.

3.  Syncs temps to Kindara.  I don't have to remember to log my temps daily for fear of losing the data if I don't.  The thermometer syncs my temps into my chart for me. 

4. Quicker temps.  This little device is so much faster.  It takes about 30 seconds or less to acquire my temp. 

5. Silent temp notification.  The thermometer vibrates to alert you the temp is complete.  This is nice for those who co-sleep with spouses or others that would be easily awakened by a beep. 

Overall, I am LOVING my Wink thermometer.  It does what its supposed to and does it well.  I have been more consistent in taking and recording my temps now that I have this thermometer.  It has certainly added a convenience factor to this daily task of being responsible in my reproductive health.  For more information about Kindara's Wink thermometer, check out their website at https://www.kindara.com/wink

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

November 2017 Pole Dancing and Fitness Challenges

Fall in love with fitness this November as the days grow colder here in the Northern Hemisphere (or Spring into fitness in the Southern half of the world!) 馃槈 Below are the current challenges available via Instagram or online. 

I want to be like a sunflower So even on the darkest days I will stand tall And find the light. 馃尰 Come and join us for #StandTallForFall November 1-7. Seven days of poses to help ground and center us. To participate and be eligible for some of our sponsor love: 1. Follow all hosts 馃崅: @_monette @pigeatsfish @shiziks @zenbeeni 2. Follow our generous sponsors 馃崅: @dharmabumsactive @onzie @yogisurprise 3. Use the hashtag #StandTallForFall and tag us every day so we can see your lovely asanas! Make sure your profile is public so we can show you some love! 4. Repost this flier and tag some lovely friends to join us 馃尰 ________________________________________ Poses: Nov. 1 ~ Tree Nov. 2 ~ Wagtail Pose Nov. 3 ~ Hand To Big Toe Nov. 4 ~ Triangle/Pyramid Nov. 5 ~ Eagle Nov. 6 ~ Any Warrior Nov. 7 ~ Yogi’s Choice

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EMPOWER YOURSELF 30-DAY YOGA CHALLENGE (for subscribers*) You heard right! We are launching an exclusive 30-Day Yoga Challenge for our subscribers, starting November 1st! It will feature both beginner and intermediate options. One class each day for 30 days, featuring our best classes from our most popular teachers. We want to help you Empower Yourself! *If you are not a subscriber, you can still do the challenge by being 1 of 5 to WIN the opportunity to join! Here's how to enter: 1. Film yourself answering the question 'Why do I REALLY want to do the Empower Yourself 30-Day Yoga Challenge?' 2. Post the video on your facebook page and tag @doyogawithme before October 23rd. We will be announcing 5 winners on October 27th, of a 1-month subscription to do the Empower Yourself 30-Day Yoga Challenge with us! If you are currently a subscriber and would like to join, choose one of the following: 1. Bookmark either the beginner page (http://bit.ly/2zfdM7X) or the intermediate page (http://bit.ly/2xJDksK) to find your daily class. Each class will be posted by 8pm EST the day before. 2. To receive the daily classes by email: Subscribe to receives daily emails with the beginner classes (http://bit.ly/2gmE709) or the intermediate classes (http://eepurl.com/c7t8H9) #30dayyogachallenge #30daychallenge #yogachallenge #yogachallenge2017
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馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜馃挜 Attention Pole Ladies and Gentlemen! Are you ready for an awesome #polechallenge in November? We prepared something challenging for you! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thanks to our sponsor @backbone.polewear we are able to choose 3 winners after our challenge! The winners will be chosen randomly! What are the prices? 2 Outfits and 1 Leotard from @backbone.polewear !!! They also have amazig polewear for men! So boys don’t be shy and participate too! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ How to play: ☀️Follow our sponsor: @backbone.polewear ☀️Follow the 2 hosts @maja_pole and @sarahoffi - we will post a video every day, so you can see how the tricks or the combos are done! For the more advanced tricks we will give you an easier variation or an easier trick! ☀️ Use the hashtag #polefitnovember so we can find your videos and see how awesome you are! 馃槏 ☀️ Repost this Insta-Flyer so we can spread the word about this challenge! 馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐馃懐 Our goal is to have tons of fun and a great poleworkout!!! With all of you!
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✨✨ NOVEMBER CHALLENGE! ✨✨ November combo challenge with @dredee1983, @kristen.bethanie, and @tara.renelle.roxy starts next week! Excited to be giving away 3 prizes again this month! This month's moves focus on BACKBENDS. @tara.renelle.roxy has joined us to give you a weekly yoga sequence or exercises to help improve your backbend for that week's pole tricks. To play, follow the steps below: 1. Repost the flyer and tag two friends to play. 2. Follow the hosts and sponsors and tag in all your entries! Example videos will be posted 2-3 days before each combo day so check the host profile before each combo. @kristen.bethanie will demo the first half of the moves and @dredee1983 will demo the second half of the month's moves. Also watch @tara.renelle.roxy weekly videos for your back exercise or yoga sequence for each week. 3. Post a video of your combos using the moves listed for each odd numbered day of the month. If the moves are too advanced for you, do videos of prep work for each move - that still counts! Also post 1 weekly video with the yoga sequence or exercises provided by @tara.renelle.roxy. Use the hashtag #novembercombochallenge, and don't forget to tag the hosts and sponsors in all your entries! All entries must be received by December 3, 2017. Winners will be announced December 6, 2017. Winners must complete all combos and weekly exercises as best they can for their level and will be chosen based on fluidity of transitions and good form. . 馃弳PRIZES馃弳 1st place will receive a pole set from @galepolewear 2nd place will receive a shirt from @darkside.fitness 3rd place will receive a jar of iTac ✨✨✨✨✨ Happy poling!
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Static Trapeze

I've decided to take my aerial training to a new apparatus in order to draw inspiration into my training.  After doing aerial fitness for the past nine years, it comes as no surprise to me that I have been feeling unmotivated in my training.  So many outside distractions have taken precedence in my life when it comes to the kinds of activities I have been consumed with.  After having spent two years as a business owner completely absorbed in everything pole and aerial studio owner, it has been a nice break to get lost in the world of the daily mundane.  I was very grateful this past year to return to teaching aerial silks classes after having a little over a year away.  However, as every circus junkie knows all too well, the addiction can't be overcome that easily and one who has been bitten by the circus bug is forever infected. 

I recently decided to start working with a new apparatus, the static trapeze.  I hadn't ever been exposed to the static trapeze until I started my current teaching position at Cirque Indy.  It started out as a flirtation really.  I walked by the trapeze, eventually I touched the trapeze, then I sat on the trapeze.  Before I knew it, I was mounting and performing moves in the trapeze.  I'm taking things slowly and working on building confidence and aerial awareness in this new to me apparatus.  I'm getting that excited newly discovered feeling all over again- one I felt nine years ago when I first touch a pole and recounted again and again with the silks and lyra.  It's a happy feeling to be excited and driven to explore a new apparatus.  It's the feeling that keeps an aerialist coming back for more.  I'm hoping to explore more of this apparatus and share my journey here on my blog.  So as they say in show business, stay tuned for more! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Benefits of Castor Oil Packs for Healthy Living

Over the past couple years I had heard about castor oil packs and being beneficial for women's health issues.  I'd never thought to try them out until recently as I've increasingly been under suspicion of Endometriosis.  I've dealt with very painful menstrual cycles for at least the last five years.  I'd never really had painful menstrual cycles or any abnormalities related to my reproductive health until about five or six years ago when there was a sudden and abrupt change in my cycles.  The change coincided with my stopping hormonal birth control.  I decided I wanted to cleanse my body of unnecessary medications.  I felt like being on hormones was not a healthy or natural state for my body and the medications may be contributing to some of the issues I was experiencing as my thyroid function was deteriorating.  I sought out other means for birth control and discovered the Fertility Awareness Method, which is a natural form of birth control based on a woman's menstrual cycle.  It requires a lot of research, learning, and commitment to tracking your monthly cycles by taking your temperature once a day upon waking and charting some very fundamental factors throughout the month.  It can be overwhelming in the beginning but absolutely worth it.  The amount of information women's bodies are capable of relating when you know how to interpret the information is amazing.  I wish every woman was educated in having to learn about FAM.  It amazes me when I meet women and they know very little about their own bodies.  If you're interested in learning more about FAM, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.  This is seriously the holy grail of FAM books. Charting has also been made easier in the digital age with the wonderful use of apps. I use Kindara for my own charting. I even have the Kindara Wink thermometer which automatically downloads my temps into the app.  I've been using the Wink thermometer for about a week and a half and will plan to write a review on it in the near future. 

So in the world of FAM, castor oil packs (COPs) are very widely discussed as being beneficial to women's health.  Castor Oil is derived from castor seed.  It has a long history of medicinal healing uses.  The COP is used as a topical therapy.  You can easily purchase a kit on Amazon that includes all the necessary items to create your pack.  To use a pack, you can go the less messy route by applying the oil directly to the desired area of your body and then covering with the flannel cloth, then plastic covering, then a heating pad.  The oil can stain so it's stressed to take precautions so as not to get the oil all over anything you don't want ruined.  The oil is also thick and sticky like honey.  You can easily get a little silicone kitchen brush from the local store to aid in spreading the oil over the desired area of your body.  GLAD also sells plastic cling wrap which would work perfectly to seal the flannel cloth so the oil does not stain your heating pad. 

So, I decided to give a Castor Oil Pack a try to see if I personally notice any of the benefits that are widely claimed.  Within 5-10 minutes of my first session, I needed to have a bowel movement.  I marked that as being successful and I'm a quick responder.  I have recently gone low carb with my meals so if you're also a low carb patron, then you know if you have any carb binges that things in the intestinal area tend to slow down.  Like a dietary punch to the gut.  A few days prior to using the COP and the day of, I had indulged in some high carb food items.  I was feeling bloated and just the general carb fatigue.  My COP fixed things right up.  I'm going to work my way up to the one hour increments and use the packs three times a week.  In addition to using the pack, I plan on incorporating my Bed of Nails acupressure mat for total relaxation.  I'm still using the Bed of Nail sporadically to help with sleep.  For more information on the Bed of Nails, read my blog post: "Acupressure Bed of Nails for Pole Dancers and Aerialists?"

After all these great claims and my quick response, I decided to sit down and write out this blog.  I did a little research as I wanted to know more about the claims of COPs and some of the skepticism.  I came across a couple studies conducted that actually support the beneficial claims.  One was conducted in two nursing homes on elderly patients in Manisa, Turkey (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21168117).  The study's focus was on aiding in alleviating constipation.  The study concluded that the COPs decreased symptoms associated with constipation and may be used for controlling the symptoms of constipation.  While there are many claims benefits of COPs, below I've listed a few I have found online:
  • Improves immune function
  • Boosts circulation
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Heals dry, irritated, sunburned, acne prone skin
  • Relieves constipation
  • Helps grow hair
  • Relieves joint pain
  • Supports ovary and uterine health
I'm going to continue to experiment with my COP and keep track of any changes that I notice along the way.  Have you tried castor oil?  If so, feel free to comment and let me know how you used it and how it worked for you. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stability Ball Chair for the Office

My office desk chair disappeared over the summer while my clinic flooring was being waxed.  So as I started off the new school year in the health clinic, I spent the first week on a stability ball that was part of a healthy initiative a couple years ago where students were given in place of regular chairs.  I really liked the use of a stability ball in place of a regular office chair.  The only issue I had was the frequent need to scoot away and stand when attending to my patients. I found my ball rolling away or not being in the position that was conducive to working. I did a little research online and found stability ball chairs with wheels.  After much consideration, I went ahead and ordered another stability ball with it's wheel base.  (It seems buying just the base is nearly impossible unless you want to spend an unreasonable high price).  Once my fitball chair arrived, I took the current stability ball I had been using at my desk and placed it into the chair base.  My current ball was a little on the tall side so I ended up pumping up the ball that came with the base. 

Since using the fitball chair, I haven't experienced the typical hip pains associated with long sitting in an office chair.  My back also feels better throughout the day. I'm able to lean side to side or in different positions for frequent stretching throughout my work day.  I'm not really a bouncy person so I don't typically bounce on the chair all that often.  Fitball chairs claim to build a healthier back, align the spine, relieve pain, and improve overall well being. While I agree with some of the claims, I also found that certain desk modifications can add to the benefits of any office chair scenario such as raising or lowering your computer monitor to allow proper alignment of your back and neck at eye level.

Some major considerations for my fitball chair purchase were whether or not I'd need the back support for my chair.  I opted to order the backless version as I didn't see the benefit of the chair back when I didn't see myself sitting far back enough to make use of it.  I also wanted to make sure the chair could be used with my desk cycle. (For more information about the Desk Cycle, read my Desk Cycle for Your Sedentary Work Day.) I had to test out whether the Desk Cycle worked with the fitball chair once I got my chair delivered.  I did a test run at home with the Desk Cycle and found it worked perfectly. 

I've been using the fitball chair for a month.  I am able to use my Desk Cycle without any issues.  I've also found myself engaging my abdominal muscles for little workouts throughout the day.  I do have to make sure that I don't slouch and round my shoulders. This has been the cause of major neck and upper back pain.  I may need to elevate my laptop computer so this will no longer be a problem.  I have plenty of nursing care plan books that I'm not using in my clinic so I think I will need to play around with those to see if that is truly the issue with my posture.  Overall, I'm really loving the chair alternative. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017 Pole Dancing and Fitness Challenges

✨✨ OCTOBER CHALLENGE! ✨✨ October combo challenge with @dredee1983 starts tomorrow! Excited to be giving away 3 prizes again this month! . To play, follow the steps below: 1. Repost the flyer and tag two friends to play 2. Follow the host @dredee1983 and tag in all your entries! Example videos will be posted 2-3 days before each combo day so check the host profile before each combo. 3. Post a video of your combos using the moves listed for each odd numbered day of the month. If the moves are too advanced for you, do videos of prep work for each move - that still counts! Use the hashtag #octobercombochallenge , and don't forget to tag the host! All entries must be received by November 3, 2017. Winners will be announced November 6, 2017. Winners must complete all combos as best they can for their level and will be chosen based on fluidity of transitions, good form, and musicality. . 馃弳PRIZES馃弳 1st place will receive a Darkside Fitness shirt 2nd place will receive a jar of iTac Pole Grip 3rd place will receive a set of TheraBand resistance bands ✨✨✨✨✨ Will be posting the first video later today! Happy poling!

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馃挜馃挜Are you guys up for another #challenge? Starting this Sunday, October 1st...馃挜馃挜 . Let's get strong in #October! 馃挭 The aim of this challenge is to showcase YOUR strengths. We want to see what makes you feel #strong , #sexy , #empowered . Challenge yourself with new moves, find variations of moves you are comfortable in, or simply take your go-to moves and find more fluid motion. The challenge will be different and personal for each individual! Take time to find music that moves you. 馃幎 Play with costumes, new attire, or props. 馃懐 We want to see your creativity! . . Most of all, have fun, encourage one another, and we hope you find some new #strengths this month! . . You will be submitting three videos per week in each of the categories listed on the flyer. Please use the hashtag #polestrengthchallenge in each post. Don't forget to follow our lovely sponsors, @elizabeth_bfit @rubberbanditz @poledancenation and @pedipleasers, and tag the sponsors and the hosts @forthelove_ofpole and @kristen.bethanie in all your posts! . All posts must be submitted by November 3, 2017. Winners will be announced November 6, 2017. 馃馃馃 . 馃挏 Happy poling! 馃挏

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STRENGTH & DOUBLES BLN LAUNCH 馃殌 TODAY! @anki.amanda @pole_stars_osnabrueck thank you for your awesome videos 馃挜CRACK THE CODE CHALLENGE - VIDEO EDITION We have exciting POLE NEWS and we want YOU to be a part of it! We are building a VIDEO catalogue of ALL CODE MOVES to include the largest and most comprehensive catalogue of FREE pole tutorials! In this IPSF CRACK THE CODE CHALLENGE, we invite YOU to teach pole to a global pole community of millions and growing! Help teach and shape the future the pole! We are looking for ALL LEVELS polers and it doesn’t matter which level you are, or how old you are, only that you can demonstrate the move correctly. _____ 馃帴HOW TO ENTER ___ 馃敼Choose your move from this month’s challenge 1st September - 30th September - FLEXIBILITY & DOUBLES (SYN) 馃敼Film your move making sure it adheres to the challenge rules 馃敼Download the IPSF drawing Stitch your video to the drawing 馃敼Post the high-quality video on Instagram with the following: 馃敽Code number and Code name 馃敽Tag @ipsfpolesports 馃敽Hash Tag #crackthecode & #ipsf 馃敽Your full name If your video is successfully listed in the catalogue on IPSF.TV your video will be credited with a post on Instagram and Facebook ___________ #polesports #polesport #polefit #polefitness #poledance #polemoves #poledancer #polemove #poledancing #poletrick #polechallenge #poletricks #poletutorial #pole #poledancersofig #poledancersofinstagram #polecombo #poleart #poledoubles #doublespole #poleduo #polemen #polekids

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KRAMA TELAS CHALLENGE ¡Krama Costa Rica te invita a participar al primer Telas Challenge en Instagram! Durante las dos primeras semanas de octubre estaremos compartiendo 14 fotograf铆as de nuestra profesora Majo Howell, apreciando el arte y el despertar de toda nuestra creatividad e imaginaci贸n para crear las mejores fotograf铆as! ¿C贸mo participar? -Debes tener un perfil p煤blico en Instagram (para poder ver tus fotos). -Compartir 1 post diario con la foto de la postura del d铆a (p煤blico) o su variaci贸n. -Usa los hashtags del challenge en cada fotograf铆a: #danzaaereakramachallenge y #aerialsilkskramachallenge ¡Expongamos al m谩ximo la imaginaci贸n, abramos nuestras mentes y exploremos los caminos del arte corporal de manera positiva para que el mundo en el que vivimos pueda observar de lo que podemos ser capaces! ¡Exp贸n al m谩ximo tus capacidades! Hosts: @aereayeterea @anincera @kramacostarica Patrocinadores: @origami_cr @macacocr @babyfacecr @Sularawear @KleanKanteencr @Sofisoaps @Cotiluactivewear @Nguvucr Se premia haber cumplido con las 15 fotos, creatividad, adem谩s de usar los tags y los host. POSTURAS: Dia 1: Monito Dia 2: Macaco Dia 3: Variaci贸n del Macaco Dia 4: Equilibrio de llave del pie Dia 5: Cuatro de llave de pie Dia 6: P谩jaro Dia 7: Buda Dia 8: Split Dia 9: Portaja Dia 10: Astronauta Dia 11: Sirena Dia 12: Variaci贸n de Split en la L Dia 13: Esther Williams Dia 14: Escorpi贸n Dia 15: TU POSTURA FAVORITA Nota: El nombre de la postura puede variar seg煤n donde practiquen telas, no hacer ninguna figura que no saben para prevenir lesiones, se pueden hacer variaciones. Premios: Primer lugar Una licra Macaco Un top Sulara Una Botella Klean Kanteen Un jab贸n y 1 exfoliante de SofiSoaps Una Calcamon铆a Krama Segundo lugar Un Short Cotil煤 Un Top Nguvu Una Clase de Skin Care por Baby Face Un jab贸n y Un exfoliante de SofiSoaps Una Calcamon铆a Krama Tercer lugar Un Leotardo Origami Una pulsera YoguiL煤 Un jab贸n y 1 exfoliante de Sofi Spa Una Calcamon铆a Krama

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pinterest Fitness Series: Mini Ball 4 Week Routine

Welcome back for another round of my Pinterest Fitness four week routines! In this blog series I've taken all those pinned fitness ideas that I've been collecting to do "some day" and compiled them into a monthly challenge style routine where I've designated an entire routine for a specific day to be performed weekly for the duration of four weeks. Each month's routine will involve the same theme or piece of exercise equipment. 

To get started, I recommend choosing one day during the week where you can remain consistent for the course of the four weeks. These routines will be performed for four weeks consecutively. For this month's routine I have also included the frequency and how many rounds each exercise is performed.

This month I'm focusing on using the mini stability ball for my workouts.  I was first introduced to a mini ball in a ballet barre class.  I ended up purchasing my own ball from Pure Barre's online shop. You can also purchase a mini ball from Amazon. I'm really excited about this month's routines as I've been wanting to incorporate the mini ball into this series for quite awhile now. If you need to stay on track throughout this monthly routine, be sure to follow me on Facebook for my weekly reminder posts where I will feature the routine of the week. Also, feel free to tag me on Instagram so I can keep up with you progress. Let's get started!

Week 1
Booty Tone
Do 10 reps, 3 rounds
Week 2
Lower Abs
Do 10-20 reps, 3 rounds
Week 3
Inner Thigh
Do 12 reps, 4 rounds
Week 4
Booty Work
Do 10-15 reps, 3 rounds