My boss decided we need to get in touch with our inner goddesses, so she signed up the staff for a pole dancing lesson. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
We went to S Factor and I admit that I was terribly nervous. I figured it would be a tough workout and worried that I wouldn't be strong enough for it. There was another major component involved that I neglected to consider. Luckily, despite thinking it merely a workout, I remembered not to put my mother down as an emergency contact. It's a conversation I'd like to avoid should I fall and break something while pole dancing.
The beginning of an intro to pole class has warm up movements similar to yoga, except the language used is quite different.
Sit in a cross legged position on the floor with your hands gently resting on your knees. Take a deep breath in and slowly open up your chest by leading forward with the heart. Push your shoulders back and take a slight arch in your low back. After a breath or two, curve the belly inward and round the back pulling your chin to your chest. Let's do this a few more times working with your breath.
Sit on your mat in a cross legged position. Reach your arms high into the sky and let them fall slowly down your body, taking forever. Feel every inch of your curves as your hands glide down your face and neck and chest and hips to your inner thigh and down to your knees. Push your breasts out and let them lead you down slowly for a stretch over your legs. Push your upper body toward your right hip then curl your way to the back and over to the left. Once you reach forward again you want to do this a few more times, faster each time. Feel that groin muscle dig into the floor and let the breasts guide you around your body.
Let's all lay on our backs and come into Happy Baby pose. Grab your feet with your hands and try to pull your knees towards your armpits. It's ok if it doesn't go that far. Rock gently side to side to open that low back. Open one leg at a time if you're able. Stretch it high into the air and hold there for a few breaths. If you feel like pushing out towards a V you can do that now but remember not to strain. Hold your legs up by the hamstring or hold your hips down, whichever is comfortable.
Let's lay on our backs now and float our legs into the air. Let one leg slowly pull toward the chest, with toes pointed then back down to the floor. Let the other leg do the same and just take forever with these circles. If you want you can lean over to one side and let the leg curl a little behind you. This is similar to the Cat Pounce we'll be going over later. Let your hands run through your hair and glide down your curves. The next time your left leg is up, bring your right to meet it and open them wide. That's it ladies, feel yourself opening wide. Lift your chest and take your hands over to the right foot as far as you can. Slowly touch every inch of your leg as you pull your body back down. You can roll your shoulders one at a time to give your breasts movement here. Caress your calf and your knee and your thigh and then just touch it ladies. Just touch yourself. Now over to the left.
We're going into a modified sun salutation. Let's take a seated position on our knees, resting the sacrum on our ankles. We're going to rise the body up to the knees, pull the arms in a large circle way above the head and look towards the sky, leading with the heart. Shoulders are relaxed. On our way back down we'll bring our hands down to the earth and back into prayer position by the chest. Let's do this three more times moving with the breath.
Ok ladies I want you to sit down on your knees, but have them spread wide apart. Toes should touch behind you. We're going to pull our body up, letting the arms float up, and move our ass up and down, but only hovering above the legs. Don't sit back down completely. Let's do this a few more times. Does this remind you of anything ladies? What if we picked up the pace? Faster! More more more! Yes! Good! Let your hands glide over your curves. Touch your breasts, put your hands on your hips and feel them rise and fall. Flip your hair everywhere! Faster! Oh yes! Reach your arms behind you and stick out that pelvis!
This was where each of us busted out laughing. I had the naive impression that we were in for a strength training course. To be making such a motion in the company of my co-workers is not exactly your average Friday.
We did a "drunk girl walk," and several other dance-type moves that were supposed to be sexy. We learned a stretch to do when you want attention from your mate, which is certainly now in my bag of tricks. I won't explain what it looks like but I will say it's pretty much ass in the air. No yoga equivalent that I know of for that one .
Eventually we spun around the pole which was extremely challenging. I managed a few decent twirls but the instructor said she was a stickler for the way in which you finish the spin. She said you can't just squat and then stand up. You must give some booty action on your way up. Like so:
And yes that is my booty. The studio is dimly lit so women are more comfortable to do all manner of dirty filthy things without anyone really seeing it. I didn't unleash my wild child because I was just too timid and giggly about the whole experience. Since then there is definitely a little more pep in my step and I have found myself doing utterly ridiculous things in front of the mirror.
The next time I saw my co-workers we all greeted each other with an exaggerated hip sway and hair toss. It opened up a lot of conversation about the way we carry ourselves and what we are willing to let go of, or be open to. I guess you could say we got our goddess on after all. We unanimously decided to do this again.