Just adding in a few Youtube Play Lists – Enjoy!
NEW PLAY LISTS AS OF 12-28!
Just adding in a few Youtube Play Lists – Enjoy!
NEW PLAY LISTS AS OF 12-28!
I had a conversation recently with a fellow yoga teacher about the breath. I was explaining to her how insightful it is to work with someone one on one, and specifically, how interesting it is to see breath awareness evolve. (It’s sometimes so much easier to understand this unfolding from the outside in, and to this end I am incredibly grateful to have the chance to work one on one with someone in this way.)
To give you more of an idea of what I’m talking about, a client of mine is learning a very common breathing technique that helps to relax the nervous system and slow down the heart rate as a way to ease the body into a more relaxed state. It’s a breath I learned a few years ago and have been practicing regularly ever since, it’s a breath I don’t think about anymore during my posture practice, it just happens as I need it to. Sometimes when I am working with her, she is reporting to me that she feels very relaxed, very calm and happy during practice; and her breathing patterns and the way her face is held and the way her belly moves while she is in the postures, tells me something very different. I can literally see where she is holding her stress in the body, and I can also see that the breath-work is not yet integrated.
…as a student learning these techniques, I don’t think that I was aware of how my body was held as I was learning them. I know that I wasn’t aware of my holding spots or what my diaphragm was doing. The learning curve is such a cool unfolding!
Anyway, it came up during our conversation something that I had read in a yoga sutra translation – that is, that you cannot teach another person how to breathe. I told her that when I read that, I thought to myself, “that isn’t true! you can teach people how to breathe. that’s what pranayama is…breathing exercises…’ Then she said to me, “You can’t teach people how to breathe. All we can do is teach breath awareness.”
And now I get it. Now that I have seen the beginning of this learning in another person’s body, now I get it. I cannot teach another person how to breathe, but I can teach another person how to become more aware of their breath. The tools and techniques that yoga offers is and always has been a personal practice, one that must be integrated into each individual’s livelihood as much as it is their body. Meaning that, even if the intellectual mind understands what the tool is and how it is used, the body-mind must take-up the technique in it’s own way.
***By Aeriform Arts Yoga Instructor Niki (you can find her at the studio or http://www.yogawithniki.blogspot.com/ )
*reposted with permission from our Instructor Lira’s web site The Sensual University
This body is old. This body is ugly. This body is slow, weak, cumbersome. It gets in my way and pisses me off. It trips me when I’m tired and gets sticky when I sweat. It has rolls and wrinkles, and cellulite dimples. It has jiggly thighs and arms that aren’t half as strong as I want them to be.
I sit immobile at a desk all day and complain when my body gets sore. I work out and dance and stretch and move and push it to the limits. I punish it because I want my body to know how wrong, how bad, how unruly it is.
My body accepts my complaints, my fears, my worries, my aches, my pains, my childish demanding nature that wants it to conform to the tiny girls in the magazines that are 15 years younger than me and photoshopped within an inch of their life.
My body gives me permission. To try something new. To emulate a pretzel on a flat yoga mat. To twirl and spin on shiny poles. To dance until I can barely breathe. To smile and laugh until my mouth aches and my lungs burn. To run until my sweat turns pure. To cry until my face swells and my throat dries up, and I simply can’t scream anymore.
Space to withdraw into myself when I’ve said too much, gone too far, felt too judged. Space to watch the clouds drift across the sky. Space to feel the sun heat my back and the wind caress my belly. Space to be whoever I want to be, whenever I want to be, with no expectations. Space to be held and loved. Space to share myself with the world or just one person. Space to choose.
My body is the one who listens when I rant and rave over something that I won’t remember a week from now. It’s the one who knows all my deepest fears and doesn’t belittle me for them. Who hears me and understands perfectly, even when I’m still figuring out what the hell I’m trying to say.
My body holds my memories, of the past that I’m not ready to let go of. And the future I’m not ready to posses. It holds my dreams, my wishes, and my hopes with hands so gentle I sometimes think I’m floating. It’s the one who holds me until the sobbing stops even if it takes hours.
My body is the one that remembers to breath. Inhaling deeply from the pool of living air that surrounds me. Exhaling and releasing what I no longer need. The loving breath, the angry breath, the shallow breath, the purging breath, the cleansing breath, the everyday breath. My body is the one who takes a deep breath with me, right before I take the plunge that could change my life forever.
And loves me. And loves me some more. Everyday, every moment. Every shout, every tear, every laugh. My body proves it’s love by showing up day after day, morning after morning. I close my eyes in the dark of the night and my body loves me enough to keep me alive until I’m ready to open them again.
It asks for almost nothing in return. Food to feed me. Shelter to protect me. Water to sustain me. And for this it showers me with pleasure, sensation, titillation, emotion, intelligence, understanding, comprehension, nothing less than the ability to experience life over every inch of my skin. My body fills me with boundless energy and lets me ride that fluid wave over and over again.
My body is dedicated to being with me, loving me, living only for me, until I take my last breath.
I’m going to practice loving this body. Moving with love. Breathing with love. Being in love.
I’m going to practice acceptance.
I’m going to practice experiencing this body without judgement while it laughs and cries. While it learns to fly and sometimes falls down.
I’m going to practice giving this body permission to be whoever she is. With compassion on most days and trust on the rest.
Because finally after all these years, I think I’m falling in love with her.
One of my favorite classes at the studio is BUTI. It is a crazy sweat inducing high-intensity workout that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. Each class consists of deep stretching, BUTI shaking and heart-pounding cardio. BUTI dance moves are taken from various dance styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips (and BUTI). This class really encourages individuality, style and eccentricity. The energy is high, the bass is loud – REALLY LOUD. The music rocks and has a tendency to make us shake it around and forget the pain we are in. Our instructor Kristina always has some of the best play lists around. Here is one from her last class. Enjoy!!!
I just can’t seem to get a grip…
My hands are sweaty! So very sweaty and it has nothing to do with being new to pole or not having enough strength or being scared (which by the way are all totally legitimate issues) – I just have tiny little hands that like to sweat when grasping a pole. I am always goofing around with and collecting multiple grip products so when Platinum Stages asked me to test their grip product I said BY ALL MEANS YES! Time to do some comparing and see what really works for me.
There are a slew of grip products on the market and I think it’s really important for everyone to realize that what might work for one person might not be right for the next. That being said these results are what worked for me. 1st off lets start with the constants in all of these tests – ME! Here are my stats:
Here are my results:
Eco Ball - Made by Metolius this ball contains an alternative to chalk which is highly absorbent. Non-toxic and a drying agent that absorbs sweat. I had high hopes for this product as so many people love it.
END RESULT…while I found it to be decent on drying of the hands – initially, there was no added grip or tackiness with this product. The major problem I had with it is that it was a hot mess – got everywhere and all over me/pole & the studio. It wasn’t better than any of the other products and really wasn’t for me – it might however work really well for someone with slightly less sweaty hands and lighter skin!
Prince Grip Plus – This is a quick-drying gel-ish drying product made by Prince (the tennis peeps) and comes in a hard tube/jar.
END RESULT…while I found it to be decent on drying of the hands there was no added grip or tackiness with this product. The problem I had with it is that I had to re apply it roughly every 5 minutes and it left a white film on myself and the pole. It wasn’t better than any of the other products and really wasn’t for me. The nice thing about this is it can be easily found in multiple stores and in a pinch isn’t a bad product – I will keep it around for emergencies but not seek it out.
Dry Hands – My usual go to product is a non-sticky white/clear-ish liquid you apply to your hands to repel water and perspiration. Comes in a small plastic jar.
END RESULT…It is one of my favorites and works really well on my hands! It is however very drying – try not to use it too much. The only real problem I have with it is that it doesn’t work on my body and still leaves a white film on me but otherwise I like its drying and lasting power.
Platinum Grip – Is clear liquid you apply to your hands to repel water and increase grip. Comes in a plastic jar.
END RESULT…I like it a lot. It is one of my favorites. It has good drying power and gives me a little tack. Lasting power for me is a little less than Dry Hands but it is a little less harsh on my hands as well (and it smelled good). The only real problem I have with it is that it doesn’t work on my body but I like its drying and lasting power + it doesn’t show on my skin!
iTAC2 Level 4 -I won a bunch of this in a contest so I had a few levels to test but decided – since I am so slippery to just test level 4 .iTac2 is a grip product that comes in a 45g jar and is a paste substance made of organic beeswax.
END RESULT…Mixed – It absolutely doesn’t work on my hands BUT it really helped on my legs and body and therefore it’s a staple in my pole bag.
Cramer Firm Grip – A spray rosin formula this provides excellent “tack.” for Pole/Lyra/Silks
END RESULT…I love this stuff for Lyra/Pole (working on tricks) and Silks. It does not work for spinning pole tricks – it is too sticky. I live in it for silks.
Mighty Grip Pole Gloves w/tack– I added this one in just for the hell of it – plus it gave me an excuse to buy the gloves. I purchased the fingerless gloves with tack in a pink medium – too cute!
END RESULT…I really liked the gloves, they worked well for me when practicing. I tried a few spins with them and even letting up my grip I couldn’t spin – but that was to be expected. The only thing was they were a little tricky to get off because I wanted them tight as to not have slippage. That being said I couldn’t go from trick to spin easily but who cares – these gloves really did the trick when I used them for aerial stuff – plus they are PINK!
The one thing I really took away from all of this is that while no one item is perfect there are a whole bunch that work in certain situations. For me the best combo I found was…
For regular practices and dancing – Dry Hands or Platinum Grip (hands) / iTac2 (body)
For hard trick practices Cramer Firm Grip Or Mighty Grip Gloves
*** and as an added extra for the moments where you don’t have any grip in your bag and you are at – say a party and there happens to be a pole – a quick spray of hair spray on your hands (the cheaper the better) or a squirt of shaving cream (not gel) or some vodka on your hands to clear any oils (although I would rather DRINK the vodka) can work in a pinch too.
Ahhh PINTEREST…so simple, so perfect, so amazing! Why the HELL did I not come up with this concept?
Not only is it the perfect shopping tool which allows us to save images of things we want, things that inspire us, things that are cool, all in one nifty little place – but it allows us to be voyeurs as well. BRILLIANT!
On that note I have started a Pole Clothing board of items I have and/or want (and/or need). My new favorite love is this flirty little bikini from Lana Guerra of Crude Things on Etsy (Etsy being one of my other great loves).
Check it out and if you all have Pinterest Boards please share!