I don’t just exercise because it’s good for me. I need to exercise. It helps my restless leg syndrome, keeps my weight stable, keeps my energy up, and just makes me feel good. And I like to do fun things – paddle boarding, swimming, yoga, kick boxing… What I don’t like is running on a treadmill or spending 30 excruciating minutes on a stair-master. So when I heard a pole dancing/fitness studio had opened 5 minutes from my house, I was all over it.
Let’s go ahead and dispel some silly myths – pole dancing is not trashy, or slutty, or demeaning. It’s an incredible, challenging, beautiful art form. And when I say challenging – I mean it’s frickin tough! You need strength, grace, balance, coordination…did I mention strength? I’m the first to admit my lack of graceful transitions (I was not a ballerina as a kid), but I’m working on it. Thankfully, I’ve got the strength part going for me. And I’m using muscles I didn’t realize I wasn’t using! When was the last time your forearms were sore? Your pinky fingers? When I say ‘full body’, I mean full body workout.
The other thing about pole dancing that makes it tough is that you’re holding yourself up by your thighs, your knees, your arms…you’re pushing into the top of your foot, your shin, your forearm… I have bruises on the backs of my knees for goodness sakes! ‘Pole kisses’ as my teachers lovingly refer to them. Well, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. In fact, it’s what makes me want to keep at it. But I’m not one for bruises and sore muscles either. (you can’t tell, but I’m spinning in all of these shots)
Enter arnica salve… Arnica is well known as an external pain reliever. It’s good for bumps, bruises, sore muscles, and arthritis & joint pain. It comes in creams, salves, ointments, gels and oils. And boy does it make a difference! There are all kinds of ingredients people add to their arnica salves. I like to keep it simple: Arnica infused olive oil, beeswax, and wintergreen & lavender essential oils. Recipe Here. So now, a bruise that would have lasted a week lasts a couple days and doesn’t look so nasty. My muscles feel worked, but not painful. And I can get on to practicing things like mermaid spin, martini pose, thigh holds, and split grip spins….and pointing my toes – I must remember to point my toes!
If you live in the area and have any interest in pole fitness, I highly recommend checking out Aura Aerial and Yoga at http://www.auraaerialandyoga.com – a fun workout for sure!!