Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekend Crush: Michelle Kwan

Ladies and gentlemen: the lovely and incredible Michelle Kwan. She is sheer determination and is completely unstoppable. What moves me about Kwan is she has so many amazing achievements and, with each one, the excitement and love of life is so clearly written on her face. You can tell how much it means to her. Just imagine all the work she has built into her performances.

Kwan is the ultimate athlete. She has accomplished what she has set out to do, consistently landing amazing jumps (more on this in a bit) and has shined in the spotlight. Like my favorite figure skater, Sasha Cohen, she also shows great care in the artistry of her programs. I like to wonder what a skater, with Kwan's drive and accomplishment, and Sasha's musicality and flexibility, might be like--actually how amazing would these ladies be in pole fitness...?! Well. That would be nothing short of spectacular to say the least!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekend Crush: Anastasia Skukhtorova

Welcome to the first of a series of blog posts we are calling our "Weekend Crush." Every weekend we will blog about someone notable for fitness or flexibility, why they inspire us, and, occasionally, have stolen our flexy loving hearts.

Anastasia's Pole Art 2011 video was featured in the little YouTube stalker-like "recommended for you" column. She was my first definition of poling, with tricks, and she is the first one that made me love pole dance. (Emotioncatcher made me want pole dance and believe it was possible.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Stretch? Ways Stretching Has Improved My Life

Since many of us are pole dancers at Flexines, we all stretch in the hopes that, one day, we'll nail our favorite moves, like Scorpion or Extended Allegra. Stretching has had some other benefits for me, and I hope that sharing them with you might help you enjoy your stretching a bit more.

Stretching & Decreased Back Pain

I spend a lot of time online. Seriously. I work, play, go to school, and stretch here, among many other things. Add that to school days, couch potato time, and my nasty little habit of carrying a side bag, only on my right shoulder, and it is no surprise my lower back knots up. Before I used to have to weedle hubby into massaging out the knots--quite the chore for him because the entire time I squirm and scold him that it hurts lol :) Muscle relaxers work quickly, but I don't like to depend on medication. Tylenol Precise heat patches work amazingly, but take time to heat up.

Enter stretching.

"Cobra" (c) 2009 by Lululemon Athletica,
CC Attribution 2.0 License
Not leg stretching, that seemed to get my back going right away. Aerial Gypsy recommended, maybe scolded a bit (haha,) that I should stretch everything. I half listened and it helped tremendously. I find that back stretches that stretch me backwards, such as cobra or pidgeon stretch (pushing back,) worked faster than pills and helped longer, if I did enough repetitions. A good self-massage method utilizes your pole. Sit with your back to the pole and roll your back hard into your pole. Try from side to side and top to bottom to pinpoint the knot, then push into that spot to knead it out.