Hi Team Athena!
My name is Liandra and I’m a member of #teamathena. I also have the privilege of being trained by our fabulous Athena founder, Daisy. It’s been 3 years since I first took that scary step of attending my first pole class. Since starting, my life has been so wonderfully different and the positive aspects of pole have seeped in to my everyday life, especially around my mental wellbeing.
I wanted to share these amazing benefits with you! If you’re sitting there wondering if trying that pole class would be worth it, these insights are for you…
1. Peace of mind - The Meditative Benefits of Pole
One of the big things pole dance provides me with is ‘peace of mind’, a space to breath and let go of anxious thoughts.
It’s an incredibly mindful activity and takes me away from my day to day ruminating, allowing me to be present in what I’m doing.
Even beginner moves, like a Front Hook, demands that the body engage so many different muscles. The only thing I can focus on is engaging my glutes, thrusting my hips forward and pointing my damn toes!
This is a wonderful way to be in the present moment and find stillness, and can be a great alternative to more traditional ways of meditating.
It can be hard to turn your brain off and simply sit quietly. Pole has shown me that mindfulness is not always about the absence of thought, but an ability to slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in.
2. Focus and Development as a Dancer
I’ve described this as focus rather than goals, because I know working towards goals can sometimes sound like additional pressure or stress.
However, it is good for our minds to have something to work towards, something we can focus our energies on and see tangible outcomes.
The great thing about choosing pole, is due to it’s variety, this doesn’t have to be a linear line of getting stronger and stronger. Or be defined by how many pounds of weight loss you see. It can be specific to a certain trick you want to get, so you make it part of your training programme to practice it at least twice a week.
Having something to focus on is a really great way to stimulate your brain and increase your motivation. And there’ll be great satisfaction as you start to see the results.
For me, what I enjoy most about focusing on a specific element in my pole training is the satisfaction I get just from showing up. Committing to the challenge and being consistent makes the journey equally as good for your mental health as the end result.
3. Pole Dancing and Body Confidence
The key thing I have discovered with pole is how my mindset about my body has shifted.
Pole dancing has completely altered my relationship with my body. No longer am I fretting about the size of my waistline or worrying about my dress size. Instead, I’m much more interested and grateful for the amazing things my body can do!
At any level, pole is a challenging and unique way to move your body. This is exciting, and allows your brain to create new thought patterns.
This translates in to how you carry yourself and the clothes you wear. Everyone talks about pole wear in terms of the practical element, how we bare skin in order to more easily stick to the pole.
But there’s also the fun factor. There’s nothing better than the confidence boost you get from putting on your favourite pole set and being complimented on how you look in class. And they will compliment you! For me, that pole set is my AthenaPolewear ‘Maia’ set. It’s not just beautiful, but supportive too so I know I can get stuck in and train my most challenging tricks in it.
4. The Pole Community
It can feel exposing to try something brand new, you might even have pre-conceptions about the body types and personalities that are ‘allowed’ to pole.
I remember the nerves I had attending my first ever class… Did I belong here, in this space? But even before we’d started the warm up a number of people had introduced themselves and made me feel at ease and excited to get started.
The people who love pole are warm, friendly, and incredibly supportive andl you’ll find all your fears and assumptions dispelled by giving it a go.
You’ll be welcomed in to a diverse and enriching community who love to raise each other up and support each other’s pole and personal development.
The friends you make doing pole will not just be your friends in class, but the people who walk alongside you in your daily life too. Airs and graces are left at the door, as with good humour you navigate together what your ‘inside leg’ is and how you possibly bend your arm in that way.
5. The Joy of Unlocking Your Pole Potential
Of course pole in all its forms is exercise and we know that exercise releases endorphins. So on a purely physiological level you will be accessing joy by training!
But the thing with pole, is it’s so varied. It can push you in down so many wonderful training rabbit holes! Pole is a space where you can be sexy, bendy, lyricial, spinny or static.
You can pole at home, you can pole at the studio, you can pole abroad.
You might go on retreats, you might cross train in another aerial discipline you discover you love, you might have a photoshoot, you might model, you might compete, you might perform in a showcase.
You might find you love to be strong, or you love to dance.
Or perhaps, you love cheering others on and you suddenly find you want to teach
You might be the kind of person who is filled simply by attending your weekly class and having fun with your class mates.
Within this one discipline is a whole world of possibility and ways to express yourself.
It is all possible with pole. It is all celebrated in pole. That infectious joy and comradery can’t help but spill in to your daily happiness.
You might find you love to be strong, or you love to dance. Pole is a space where you can be sexy, bendy, lyricial, spinny or static. And of course, all of the above.
So, if you’re on the fence about starting your pole journey, take this as your sign to give it ago! Uncover the things you love to train and see for yourself the benefits this will bring to your life.
Thanks for reading and good luck,
Liandra - Team Athena