During yoga teacher training I happened to fall in love with the word santosha (sanskrit for contentment). Even pronouncing the word itself brought me a sense of content calmness. Go ahead, try it out for yourself. It feels good right?
That time in my life was anything but calm and content, but amidst everything life was throwing at me I had my little word that magically made me feel grounded and secure. No matter what was going on around me I now had the ability to create a state of peace inside myself.
For me, contentment meant being accepting of life’s ups and downs knowing I was capable of being ok. It was letting go of things out of my control and staying grateful for every little pleasant moment.
I meditated santosha, I journaled santosha, I mantraed (yeah I know that’s not a real word) santosha. I was one with santosha.
So what did I do after teacher training? Teach yoga? Nope! I took my ass back to pole classes with a dedication I never had before, Because you see, as content as I was there was something missing. I missed undulating my hips and flipping my hair and wearing the tiny shorts. I missed feeling more than just contentment. I was missing pleasure.
I, a previous “I just do tricks, I’m not really into that sexy stuff” poler found myself craving all the sexy stuff. I had come to the part of my (very long and ongoing) journey where I discovered my body was all for me and I couldn’t stop exploring.
I felt pleasure as I watched myself learn to do leg waves and wiggle my ass and run my hands and fingers wherever they were drawn to. I felt pleasure as my hands explored and explored without shame. As I started teaching I felt tremendous emotional pleasure watching others discover all of these things for themselves on their own journeys.
Contentment is a beautiful way to move through your day, but pleasure is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Pleasure keeps me present in my body. Pleasure is what drives me to keep exploring and keep diving deeper. Pleasure brought me back to me. And it’s my wish for you all to find pleasure just for you.
Want to explore pleasure a little deeper? Join me in our After Dark Workshops
When you first came to pole, it could have been for a bunch of reasons… a fun new way to exercise, a bachelorette party, to try something new — the list goes on. (In case you missed it, read this post to find out how and why I got into pole!)
No matter what brought you here, what likely keeps you coming back for more is the joy and playfulness that came along with the experience. You found yourself becoming more self-aware and started going through a true-to-you transformation.
Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?
I want to remind you to keep that playfulness and sense of joy in your practice. As you progress, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important. We all start to focus on the next trick or big accomplishment that we gotta reach.
“I’m not gonna be good until I learn ____ / accomplish ____ / etc..”
What are you doing with all that time in between now and reaching that goal?! We all tend to stop appreciating the tiny wins along the road to those bigger goals.
This is gonna sound cliché as fuck, but remember your why.
Why did you start pole dancing? What has evolved for you since then? What is true to who you are when you strip away the bullshit; when you strip away the weight of everyone else’s opinions and expectations?
We spend SO MUCH TIME trying to be something for someone else… even on superficial things, like being attractive to someone else. In every aspect of our lives, we’re being something for someone else.
And in the studio, you get to set that aside. You get to turn that attention inward and really savor the opportunity to be who you truly are. You get to take the time to nurture your true self and really step into that! And there’s so much power in knowing who you really are.
If you’re in a room alone — with nobody there to validate you, to judge you, to have an opinion of you — what do you feel? What do you want to express? What do you want to say?
Use your studio time to nurture that, not all of the other bullshit.
This is a space that is safe and non-judgmental. And when we feel safe and seen, that’s when we can start exploring and nurturing who we are. That’s when we go inwards and get deep… that’s when we become who we were meant to be!
There are days that I need a reminder of the joy and playfulness that pole brings, which is why I’m sharing this reminder!
Over the weekend, I attended a summit where I was witnessed and got to watch others be witnessed too. It’s extremely powerful to be witnessed — and it’s much deeper than being seen.
It’s being seen and being honored for who you are at that moment, without expectations. And it’s not about being seen for accomplishments or what you’re doing… it’s who you are, right now, in that moment.
When you experience that, you can really grow and transform.
At the summit, not only was I witnessed, but I got to see others be witnessed too. There's such beauty in that! You get to see how BEAUTIFUL everyone is. Our ideals of beauty and strength are fed by mainstream media (and it’s fuckin’ bullshit — it’s all a fuckin’ lie!); watching everyone over the weekend cut through all of that shit again for me. It was incredible!
When you witness all these beautiful humans doing things that they never thought they’d be able to do, it changes how you see yourself and how you view the world.
So, let me remind you again:
Strip away the bullshit, the expectations. It’s not going to happen overnight — it’s an ongoing process that you take with you. But it’s safe to be yourself and express yourself.
Take the time to learn who you truly are. Honor it! It’s the most precious gift you can give yourself.
We spend so much time trying to give to others and to BE for others… and when that’s turned back inwards and we give it to ourselves — it’s the most precious and important thing you can do.
When’s the last time you checked in with yourself? Like really checked in? Not for skills — a spiritual and emotional check in.
Who gives a shit how many pole tricks you can do if you’re still disconnected?
And I know looking inside is HARD. But I encourage you not to lose sight of the joy and playfulness that drew you to pole. Tap into it — it’s the most important part!
Do a silly dance.
Forget about what you look like — move your body!
… while you’re washing dishes, cooking dinner, or whatever else is included in your daily routine.
And for crying out loud, don’t take yourself so fucking seriously. Have FUN.
Drop what you’re doing and move your body. Notice how good it feels. Observe with kindness. It’s safe. It’s healthy!
Get back to the path of being you.
You’re SO much more than a trick or a big, audacious goal. You’re YOU! And that’s a pretty incredible and beautiful thing, don’t you think?!
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Ever notice how we tend to dim our sexuality and feminine energy?
We grow up thinking that those are the things that will get us in trouble, that those are the things that will put us in danger.
And so, we put this wall up. Self-exploration is taboo.
That was me, for YEARS. My wall, my barrier, was this super masculine energy. I was a Muay Thai fighter. And in that space, I felt safe. I felt strong.
But there was something missing — a disconnect inside of me that kept growing and growing. And I kept putting out that masculine energy, not realizing that was the disconnect.
And then I tried pole.
Not because I sought it out. Of course not! It wasn’t even on my radar. The only reason I tried pole in the first place was because a receptionist at a beauty salon told me how fun and hard it was. So, naturally, I thought, “Well, I can do that! How hard can it really be?!”
The LAST thing that I expected was how much it would change me, for the better. It had been so long since I got to move my hips; it had been so long since I got to stand with that little arch in my back — you know, the posture that exudes feminine energy! I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, but it felt like I finally found that thing that I’d been missing.
These classes were incredibly eye-opening to me. I realized that I could be sexy and feminine and STILL be super strong. It didn’t have to be one or the other!
But let me be clear:
Transformation takes time and a real devotion to yourself. A devotion to dig deep. Maybe it's relearning who your true self really is when you take away all the influences and bullshit in your life. It's finding what speaks to you, inside. It's a devotion to uncover what you see for yourself in life.
It’s not scary to be sexy! We are beautiful, sexual beings. We spend so much time trying to hide that from the world because the only message we ever get is that it’s bad, it’s wrong, it’s our fault. So, we dim it down.
But for me (and for so many others!) when I turned that switch back on, I had a new confidence about me… a bigger, better confidence! I felt like myself again. Well, a better version of myself, that I had never been before. And it’s because I was embracing the amazing, natural energy inside of myself.
Your sensuality and the way you want to feel and explore belongs to YOU. It’s not up to anyone else to dictate what those things mean to you. And it’s different for everyone!
For me, it’s movement. But I want YOU to find out what it means for yourself. As hard as it can be, try to un-program your brain from the message to “dim it down”. Give yourself some freedom to explore yourself as a beautiful, wonderful, sensual being. Fall back in love with yourself. Play! Have fun. Let the walls fall down and become who you’re innately meant to be.
I’d love to see you in one of my classes. And once you realize just how badass this is, well, there’s no fuckin’ going back!
Sign up here. I can't wait to dance with you soon!! 💃