Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017 Pole, Aerial, Yoga, & Fitness Challenges

Check out the challenges going on in April!

You ready?! Studioveena April Challenge, is April Abs! #svaprilabs2 Thank you @akpoles for making the creative! Hosted by me @studioveenaπŸ’œ and @kupmykakezπŸ‘! This challenge will include both pole moves, and exercises that will help you build abs of steel! As usual I will post a demo the day before with multiple levels of difficulty so everyone can play and WIN! Yes, I said win! πŸ†This month we have @kupmykakez, who will pass out WEEKLY giveaways to those who participate daily with hashtags! You must have a public IG profile to qualify for giveaway. To join in: ☔️ 1. Repost this photo on Instagram and tag friends who may want to join you! ☔️ 2. Follow me @studioveena to see demo clips for all levels and @kupmykakez cuz her pole bottoms rock. ☔️ 3. Beginning April 1st, warm up, then post a video or photo using any variation of the demo I've posted the day before. Just do your best, it doesn't have to be perfect. Please READ my post descriptions. I will include Reps, Sets, tips and lesson links for you there. ☔️ 4. Include #svaprilabs2, don't forget the 2! @studioveena and @kupmykakez in your daily post description so we can see your awesomeness 😎You must have a public profile if you would like a chance to be featured πŸ¦„ ☔ 5. Each week one participant will be chosen at random to win a pair of @kupmykakez shorts! The last week we will randomly choose a winner for a pair of Leggings! To qualify for legging give away you must have posted one time each week. #studioveena #veena #kmkshorts #kmkbottoms #pdchallenge #svaprilabs2 #aprilpolechallenge #poledancersofinstagram #poledance #poledancing #polefit #exoticpole #exercise #poletutorial #poleflexibility #workout #strength #abs #core #fitness #kmk #pdlessons #fitmom

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Our April Pole Challenge is ready!! This challenge includes all the moves from the first level of our pole curriculum - the white garter level. Here at Darkside we use a garter belt system to help motivate our students to progress through the levels in our pole curriculum. How it works is if you demonstrate good form for each of the moves on both sides, for at least 80% of the moves for each level, you earn the corresponding garter belt for that level. Even if you feel you are at a more advanced level than some of these moves, there is always room to improve your form and it is good to fill in the gaps you might be missing in your practice. Anyone is welcome to do this challenge free of charge, but for just $50 we will review your videos each day and offer customized tips to help you improve and then will send you your white garter belt and certificate of completion at the end of the challenge if you pass! If you choose this option what you will do is post a video or photo of you doing the move each day and then we will DM you if you are doing the move correctly or if we have any tips to improve (and then you can DM us a new video with the corrections). All moves should be done on both sides and tricks such as the pole climb and crucifix should be held for at least 3 seconds with good form. You can purchase the $50 training package on our website --> www.darkside-fitness.com --> Workshops/Series/Events but as we said you are of course welcome to do the challenge on your own free of charge 😊 also if you have any friends who have been wanting to try pole, this is the perfect opportunity as we will be building on this curriculum for the next few months. All you need is a pole at home! #aprilwhitepolechallenge2017
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🌠Are you ready for a new challenge?? You know my love for Pole Challenges... So today, i create mine πŸ™„πŸ’– Join us next month, in April for a new challenge divided into three themes : Flexibility, Strength, and of course a lot of Fun : #FSFPoowAprilChallenge17 You could win a beautiful voucher on Mademoiselle Spin website, our beautiful sponsor for this challenge, by joining our #FSFPoowAprilChallenge17 Be sure to post the maximum of moves in the month of april, follow @poowlyne & @mademoisellespin, tag us on your posts and hashtag #FSFPoowAprilChallenge17 to be into win ❤ The list of moves will be online soon !! Until then, like this post and tag some friends who would love this! You can also share this picture if you feel like it! 😘 Can't wait to see yours pic's !! 🌠

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***Aerial Challenge*** I'm so excited to share that @freedomaerial and I have teamed up to host an awesome 15 day Challenge! Anyone and everyone can join in as we use the first two weeks of April to motivate each other to get to the studio and strive to be a better aerialist. If you don't know the moves that's OK you can post something inspired by the move of the day or your own variation (any apparatus including the ground). Feel free to share and tag your aerial friends and studio so everyone can participate! Even better we will feature one of you guys each day and one overall challenge winner will win a pair of #freedomaerialapparel leggings!!! You must be following the hosts and sponsor @freedomaerial @aerialucy and @hannah_in_the_clouds to qualify and must tag #AprilShowersBringAerialPowers so we can see everyone's posts!

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Getting prepped for April challenges! Tagging some lovely yogis in case they want to join - @sarahtheyogi @ghostgem πŸ’—✨πŸ™πŸ» RepostBy @yogajosey: "Balance is grounding, it's clearing your mind and focusing on what is in front of you. It's staring out with an attention to what's important. There is no fear, only full trust in your body and mind, being in complete zen. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ We welcome you to challenge yourselves along side us in #AprilBringsBalance on April 1-8. This 8 day challenge will help us collect our minds and focus on trust and purification. We believe in you! πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ How to play: -Repost our flier to let us know that you are in, and tag some of your favorite friends to play! -Follow your balancing hosts: @yogajosey @thatfitveganchick & @the.bendy.brat and follow our fabulous sponsors: @kyodanactive @babobotanicals @cocoyanafashion @namascray -Don't forget to tag your hosts & all sponsors in your photos/videos, and make sure your account is set to PUBLIC so that we can see your lovely squares! Find your equilibrium with us! πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ #yoga #yogi #yogajosey #vegan #naplesflorida #flexible #yogateacher #yogachallenge #igyoga #igyogafam #namaste #flexibility #balance #backbend #inversion #yogaeveryday #yogaeverywhere #yogaeverydamnday #beachbody #beachyoga #girlswithmuscle #instafit #iloveyoga #fitchick #fitgirl #fitnessmotivation #fitlife

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Join us for the #FlowYourHeartOut Yoga Challenge on April 1-10th! Join us as we open our hearts this spring. We are excited to bring you a 10 day back bending challenge! Odd days we will present a backbend, even days you incorporate that backbend into a flow of your choice. Feel free to copy ours or create your own! Can't wait to see all the πŸ’™ opening creativity! Hosts @jayhay_yoga @mjoyogini @yogibuffcakes @yogachikitsa Sponsors: @almondon @re3life #re3life #re3 @in_the_weeds_apothecary @meddyteddy This challenge is open to everyone and we invite you to have fun. If you are new to yoga, we ask that you use props, and make modifications. We will provide a pose each day. You can either post a video flow or picture. You can choose to do the pose of the day or modify it to fit your practice. Guidelines To Enter: 1) Repost This Flyer and Hashtag #FlowYourHeartOut #re3life and #re3 2) Follow All Hosts and Sponsors 3) Tag a couple friends to join 4) Post daily, hashtag #re3 #re3life and #FlowYourHeartOut with all posts, and tag all hosts and sponsors so we know you are playing along. . #yogaaddict #igyogis #yogamom #yogagirl #yogaboy #yogafriends #addictedtoyoga #yogalove #yogalife #yogainspiration #challenge #igyogamoms #instachallenge #yogamotivation #igyoga #igyogafam #100BackbendsADay #yogaforbeginners #IGYogachallenge #yoganewbie #newtoyoga #igyogacommunity #yogachallenge #meddyteddy #instayoga #bestwaytogetbent #yogachikitsa

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Acupressure Bed of Nails for Pole Dancers and Aerialists?

This past Christmas my sister in law gifted my father in law a Bed of Nails. It was an instant hit at our holiday gathering while everyone wanted to try out this interesting gift.  The Bed of Nails is an acupressure mat made of 100% cotton and consisting of 8,820 plastic nails measuring 14.5"x4"x6.  The mat is best used for acupressure therapy, similar to acupuncture except in acupuncture the therapy uses needles into the skin.  In acupressure therapy, the same pressure points in acupuncture are used but instead of inserting needles into the skin, pressure is applied to the points to initiate similar therapeutic affects. Bed of Nails Inc.'s website states, "Acupressure therapy is used for the following:

  • Improve circulation
  • Increase energy level
  • Relieve pain
  • Activate the parasympathetic nervous system for deep relaxation
  • Improve heart rate variability
  • Reduce cortisol levels for weight loss
  • Revitalize and rejuvenate."
After doing a little research, hearing about my sister in law and her husband's positive review, and experiencing the Bed of Nails firsthand, I decided to order my own Bed of Nails mat and pillow from www.BedofNails.org. After repeated pole or aerial workouts, I have a tendency to get achy in my trapezius muscles.  I've tried focusing my stretches on this particular area pre and post workouts which often leaves me experiencing minimal relief. I was hoping that the use of acupressure therapy in conjunction with my monthly deep tissue massages would aid in alleviating this issue. 

A question I came across in my research was how to clean the Bed of Nails.  On www.BedofNails.org, they have provided instructions for cleaning along with a video demonstration.

My Bed of Nails Experiences

My first session on the Bed of Nails lasted around five minutes. I started on the floor on my back using the head pillow while watching some television.  Needless to say, I didn't make it to the 10-20 minute recommended time.  I started experiencing a warming and burning sensation on my back- all of which I've read and heard from family members as being completely normal.  After coming off the Bed of Nails, I felt relaxed and tired.  My first session left me convinced.

Round 2 on the Bed of Nails was more tolerable. I made it to 5 minutes with a timer and was surprisingly willing to extend my time.  I ended up only doing the 5 minutes as planned and decided to continue adding more time with each session. This session was right before I went to bed and also left me feeling relaxed.

Progression: Throughout the first week of use I made my way up to 10 minutes while lying on the Bed of Nails mat on the floor.  Starting off my second week of use, I decided to change things up and use the mat while in bed.  While the intensity wasn't as prominent as I experienced on the floor, I did end up dozing off and was on the mat for over an hour my first time using the mat in bed.  I remember starting to lie on the mat at 10:19pm and the next thing I knew, my husband was waking me up at 11:39pm asking if I was still on the mat. I rolled off the mat and fell right back to sleep.  It was a very relaxing experience to have drifted off comfortably while snuggled in my nice warm bed.  If I didn't get it before, I got it now. I'm hooked. 

My father in law updated me on his progress and he said he was up to 20 minutes and has found himself sleeping well throughout the night. He said he uses the mat about an hour before he plans to go to bed.  He has a long history of poor sleep and frequent waking.  He said that since using his Bed of Nails, he has had some of the best sleep in his life.  His experience alone made me focus on increasing my time on the mat so I too could achieve the maximum benefit. 

I plan to continue to use my Bed of Nails and experiment with positions and where I achieve the best results in terms of sleep and relaxation.  I will keep you all posted on my results. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fitbit Health & Activity Index and Fitbit Track Exercise Option List

While searching for a master list of all the available exercise options to log in my Fitbit app, I came across the Fitbit Health & Activity Index.  Although it may not be the most exciting content online for most people, I ended up finding it to be quite interesting in the information produced from the data. Per the site, "Fitbit evaluated the average number of steps, active minutes, resting heart rate, sleep duration, and body mass index based on aggregated anonymized data from over 10 million users in June 2015-June 2016."

Did you know the national average of sleep for Fitbit users in the United States is around 7 hours and 16 minutes a night?  And the national average of daily steps is 8,170?  The daily recommended step number is 10,000.  The national daily average for active minutes is currently at 27 minutes.  That's THREE whole minutes shy of the recommended 30 minutes a day.  These numbers say we need to be doing more.

I found it to be interesting to peruse the data and see what different types of activities my fellow gender and age ranges are participating in.  I still wish Fitbit would get on the ball and add pole dancing and aerial fitness to their list of activities to log in their app.  I have petitioned for them to add these activities and if you're interested in joining those in favor of these activities, click on over to view and vote for my proposal. As of July 11, 2016, I received an email from the Fitbip app development team stating my idea had been reviewed and submitted for evaluation.  I have not heard anything back about the addition of pole fitness or aerial fitness to the app at this time and hope that we will see these activities added to the list sometime in the near future. 

At this time, I am unable to find a documented or official master list of exercise options I can log in my Fitbit app.  I decided to go through the search and compile my own list alphabetically.  Below are the exercises you can currently log in the Fitbit app exercise log.


Barre Class

Cardio Kickboxing
Cardio Sculpt
Circuit Training
Cross Country Skiing



Field Hockey


Horseback Riding

Ice Skating

Jump Roping



Martial Arts
Mountain Bike
Mowing Lawn

(No options listed)



(No options listed)

Rock Climbing
Roller Blading
Roller Skating
Rowing Machine

Scuba Diving

Tabata Workout
Table Tennis
Tai Chi

Ultimate Frisbee


Water Aerobics
Water Jogging
Water Polo
Water Skiing
Water Volleyball

(No options listed)



Custom Activity Log Option

After doing a little more research, I discovered there is an option to add your own activities to your Fitbit App.  (This was discovered more recently in the months after I'd written the above content. Note: Almost all my blogs are pre-written months in advanced.) So far, I have only been able to accomplish adding my custom activities such as aerial silks or pole dancing through www.fitbit.com via a desktop computer. 

To do this, STEP 1: log in to your fitbit.com account.
STEP 2: Click "Log" in the menu bar.
STEP 3: Click on "Activities" in the menu option.
STEP 4: Scroll down the activities section to find the Log Activities box.  To the right, you will see another box labeled "Activities" where you can click the link "Create Custom Activity"

Once you log a workout for the newly created activity, you will then be able to see the custom activity on your list of activities for logging in your mobile app.  😊

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Celebrating International Women's Day 2017 #BeBoldForChange

Tomorrow (March 8th) is International Women's Day! So what exactly is International Women's Day all about? International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About).  It is a day that has been in observance in the United States since the early 1900s.  This year's theme for International Women's Day is all about being bold for change which is marked by the social media hashtag: #BeBoldForChange.  The #BeBoldForChange campaign is a call to the masses to help facilitate a better working world among genders. 

I wanted to bring awareness to International Women's Day by celebrating women that are doing their thing within what was once a male dominated career.  To go along with the theme of my blog being about a fit and healthy lifestyle, I wanted to keep my focus for my featured woman as someone making great strides in a sports centered role. Traditionally, male sports have dominated American ratings. The men's leagues have often consisted of men taking on the multiple roles of officials and the various administrative and operational roles of the team.  This is why I felt it was important to feature NBA official Lauren Holtkamp; the third woman in history to become a full time NBA referee (wikpedia.com). At thirty-six years old, Holtkamp is a former college basketball player for Drury University (2000-2004) and a former WNBA official where she officiated four seasons including WNBA 2014 conference.  She has been an official for the NBA since the 2014-2015 season. 

If you search Lauren Holtkamp online, you will find that despite she is only one of few females to work in her current position, she doesn't let that notoriety define herself and her role.  In a 2014 USA Today Sports article, she portrays a confidence with doing her job and doing it to the best of her ability and knowing her training has prepared her to perform in a way that she has earned the opportunity to work as an NBA official. 

As much as there is acceptance in 2017 within society for a female taking on what was once a male dominated role, there are still gender biases that women are subjected to from various sources- reporters, colleagues, and in Holtkamp's case, NBA players.  Whether the media propagates issues to create drama for their stories, there is one issue that seems to be repeating itself between Holtkamp and Chris Paul a NBA L.A. Clippers player.  In a series of technical fouls given to Chris Paul by  Lauren Holtkamp in two separate instances, many began to wonder if there was a beef between the two or just an unfortunate coincidence (or perhaps an official just doing her job?) The first was during a game in 2015 against the Cavaliers where he publicly criticized Holtkamp to reporters about her role as an official.  The NBA fined Paul $25,000 for what was deemed a sexist remark. A year later, Paul received another technical foul in a game against the Timberwolves where he wasn't happy about the call but decided to learn from his previous fine and keep his comments about the incident to himself.  Chris Paul has denied his previous remarks as being sexist.  Whether he communicated poorly to reporters post game or was talking out of emotions, the remarks were said and the NBA acted as they felt appropriate.  It is quite clear that the NBA is taking any gender biased remarks about women within their franchise as a serious matter and won't tolerate anything that disrespects anyone based on their gender and role.  This is just one example of the many biases women have experienced as they pave the way for women entering male dominated roles.  There may be a day where women like Holtkamp being an NBA official down on the court won't be a second thought.  Until then, I commemorate Lauren Holtkamp and all those who came before her for their determination to pursue a career they felt passionate about despite it seeming to be a challenge for them simply because of their gender.