I was back in my regular Lyra class today, and it got me thinking about the benefits of picking up a second aerial art. Pole is hard on the body. It’s a beautiful sport, but it’s not an EASY sport – the bruises, the conditioning required, the knots you get in your shoulders once you start inverting regularly and going aerial…it’s not gentle. So, adding a second form of aerial seems insane. More pain? More bruising? More stiff muscles? And, with Lyra, you add in occasional scrapes from the hoop, plus terrible calluses – it’s on par with when I started using the 45mm pole more often, but almost worse, because your hands are not only callused, but rubbed raw all over.
Now, I don’t tell you this to dissuade you – because I LOVE Lyra. It has given me more than I expected. For one, it renewed my love for pole and my interest in pole. For a while, I felt like I had plateaued in pole – I was working the same tricks over and over, trying to get them solid, but not feeling like I had clear progress from week to week. Was I better than I was a year ago? Yes, for sure. But even six months ago? I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t loving the process of learning anything. I just wanted to get to the next level. I think plateaus are pretty common – it certainly wasn’t my first with pole.
Cut to Lyra. I found myself LOVING the process of learning (which I found carried over to my stretch and flex class, too – the ridiculous smile I have on my face when I’m in there – that is, when I’m not in pain – is hilarious). I loved that the conditioning from pole helped to make me better. I loved that things just made sense to me. I loved the feeling of success that came with it – the feeling of getting a trick again!
All of that happiness while learning was something that I brought back into pole, and I think it has re-energized me. I’m happier in class, I’m more interested in learning new tricks, and I walk away from class with a higher level of satisfaction. I really believe that I owe that to Lyra.
In addition to the mood and outlook changes, Lyra has also helped to cross-condition me. I started the classes while still healing from my dog bite injury from my day job, and it accelerated my ability to use my left hand in the old ways. I still have some lingering pain or weakness, but overall, it’s great. The grip required for Lyra is different from pole, and there is often less direct pressure placed on the hand, but the strength of grip is better – because the hoop is smaller than the pole, the grip required causes my hand to contract in a way that strengthened it faster. It’s been great.
Lyra has also really helped improve my back and shoulder strength. Prior to the classes, I had a lot of issues with straight leg inverts – my back would tweak whenever I did certain tricks, and I would abort the mission for fear of hurting myself. Since starting Lyra – and getting a pull up bar to do Lyra shoulder shrug conditioning at home – my back is A LOT better. I try to do shoulder shrugs every night, to help with it. The added strength has helped me with going aerial. I’m still not 100% solid, but I’m noticeably better than I was two months ago.
I look forward to seeing what else it holds for me. If I can muster my discipline (oh, to have it…it’s not my strong suit) and be diligent about working on my flexibility, I hope it’ll help me advance in both pole and Lyra. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll keep happily trying new tricks – and, of course, taking photos whenever possible.
In these photos, I’m wearing the sexy tank from our Poleitical Clothing collection – it was great for the class! It stayed in place well, even during inversions, and the length kept my tummy covered for photos. 🙂
[updated with new video 10/12/12]
On Sunday, I was lucky enough to be a vendor at California Pole Dance Championship – not only did we have a great launch for Poleitical Clothing, but we also ended up with killer seats thanks to Anjel Dust! It was such a great night – being a room with that many people who love pole dancing is amazing. The joy for it is infectious – I’m always fascinated to see the differences between the competitors, to see what speaks to me, to see what tricks people bust out. It’s so much fun!
I did a live tweet of the show after seeing Natasha Wang post a shout out, requesting that someone post updates – figured it was an easy thing to do, and the pole gals who were not able to attend might like it! While I missed a couple of the early competitors because I was still selling at our table – and I was without a program, so I butchered some of the names (sorry, ladies!) – I still tried to add a little something about each performer. I created a Chirpstory of my tweets, if anyone would like to check it out! (The embedding isn’t working on here, but if you click on the link in the previous sentence, it’ll take you there.)
Congratulations to all of the competitors – you were all SO inspiring and amazing to watch. For those who missed it, the results were as follows:
- 1ST PLACE – Nadia Shariff
- Runner Up – Mary Kolacinski
- 3rd Place – Sergia Louise Anderson
- 1ST PLACE – Lily Huang
- Runner Up – Stacey Craven
- 3rd Place – Uyen Hoang
Most Athletic – Nadia Shariff
Most Flexibility – Sergia Louise Anderson
Most Entertaining – Nadia Shariff
Most Artistic – Mary Kolacinski
I will post some videos below of a few of the performances!
As I mentioned earlier, Poleitical Clothing had a successful launch at the show! We sold a number of items, actually selling out of one size of the shorts! It was so lovely to meet everyone that stopped by the booth, from David C. Owen to Leen Isabel from Pole Dancing Adventures – we had a blast! Thank you to everyone who came by and purchased something! For those of you who were not able to make it to the event, we do now have an online shop open on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/poleiticalclothing (our website is still under construction). We’ll be re-ordering for what we’ve sold out of and should have it in soon, and we’ll be updating the listings as soon as we have some better photos! We will also be switching up some of our stock to include other styles in the near future! For now, here are our three staples: the comfy tee, sexy tank, and perfect pole short!
And, now for the CPDC videos!
First up is Amateur Division winner Lily Huang. Apologies for the quality of the video – the song is SO gorgeous (the cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” that was used for the trailer of the film The Social Network), but the screaming from the gals nearby is earsplitting. I’m serious. Consider yourself warned. Unfortunately, a head is also blocking the view for a portion near the end, but you can catch what she’s doing on the video feed displayed on the wall in the back. It’s a beautiful performance! I can’t wait for the professional video!
Next is Pro Division winner Nadia Shariff. She was the crowd favorite to win, especially after coming in second the last two years. She’s a ton of fun to watch! I loved her opening combo – such a bitching move.
Here is my favorite performance of the night, from Mary Kolacinski (aka Mary Ashton). Stunning!
And, last but not least, I gotta give a shout out to my pole mama, Drea Roers! We were all so proud of her. She had a couple of costume malfunctions that prevented her from doing a few things in her routine, but she worked around it, gave it her all, and presented a beautiful performance.
Love you, Drea!!