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This Is My Body

THIS IS MY BODY.

I am a movement artist, an aerial dancer, an instructor, a performer… and, I am a woman.

One thing I see in men and women of the world is a tendency to honor our intelligence, attractiveness, kindness and creativity. We embrace our very HUMAN-ness, give warm smiles to others and tell people to be themselves, because who you are is BEAUTIFUL.

I love this way of thinking. I am so grateful that our society recognizes our strengths and flaws and journey. Yet there is still one piece of our human puzzle that is so commonly omitted in the world of public appearances. While the rest of our spirit is bathing in the sunlight, our sensuality and our human figure at its very basic level is often cast in the shadows and shrouded so that not a line or curve can be seen, at risk of offending or drawing in an unwanted gaze. It is our raw bodies and sexuality that we pretend does not exist, that it is not a part of our daily lives in so many ways.

Today, I challenge that body “modesty”. I challenge our society’s sexuality-shaming tendencies. I am human, I am woman, and I am a sexual being with curves, lines, boobs and an ass. Heck, I even have a vagina! *gasp* And while I won’t spill all of my sexual habits and interests casually to any passing stranger, I am not ashamed to have them. To deny that side of me is to deny who I am. I for one, refuse to do that.

Photo by RTP Photography. Model: Emma Reyn.

As a pole and movement instructor, there is a special opportunity I have to see so many wonderful humans come through our studio doors from where they are in life, in need of *something* which has brought them to me, and then to watch as they slowly transform and unfold into new, amazing, and magical creatures.

We all come to these classes for so many different reasons. But one thing I see so clearly when I walk into Aradia Fitness is women (and men) choosing to truly embrace their bodies, to share this little piece of their souls to our community, and to be truly open with each other (and let me tell you, there is no shame when it comes to our body talk!). Maybe this is the only place we feel comfortable with so much openness, or maybe the students that come in are already wild and free and can’t help but bring with them a shine that infects us all. Whatever the case, it fills my heart to see my pole family every night finding new ways to respect their bodies and express their souls, and for many to express that sensual side of themselves which is too often thrown under the rug of shame and guilt.

Never be ashamed of who you are. Life is an adventure.

When I started my personal journey at Aradia Fitness so many years ago, I was a speck of dust in a room full of diamonds. Shy, quiet, and extremely self-conscious. To wear even a bathing suit out in the world made me squirm endlessly, and to even think about sexuality of any sort turned my cheeks bright red like a tomato.

But I found my home that very first night at Aradia Fitness, and for me, it was the first step on my path to feeling like a woman, a lioness, and a magical unicorn.

Pole fitness is not only an awesome workout, but it’s also a great way to make friends that can encourage and inspire you daily.

It was the beginning of my journey to truly appreciating myself, finding my confidence, and shining my brilliance for the world to see. It didn’t matter where I came from or what I looked like, and every piece of encouragement from my newfound pole family challenged those voices in my head telling me that I was not worthwhile. Soon those voices became quiet whispers I could ignore while I conquered the world (and the pole) for a while.

Every hip circle, hair whip, and heel clack became my battle cry for sensuality. Every invert became my defiance to the doubts of my strength. Every turn on the pole was a new expression of myself discovered and actualized. And feeling that sense of self is what led me to teaching, in hopes that I might inspire that same sense of self for others.

My fellow humans, this is my challenge to you. Find that voice in your brain that is screaming negativity, fear, doubt, and shame. Turn your music up, and then turn those voices WAY down. Be yourself. Your whole self. Body and soul. Wherever you are today. At least for a few minutes, or maybe an hour while you’re in your safe space with your pole fam.

You have my permission. Not that you need it. <3

Emma Reyn is an instructor, performer, and figure art model. Come meet your sexy side in her Sultry Pole classes, work on those lines and curves in our FlexAbility class, or get moving with her in Pole and Lyra classes!

Article Written by Emma Reyn, Instructor at Aradia Fitness Cary in Cary, North Carolina

May 30, 2017

This Body, This Journey

There’s a question that constantly has my wheels turning and I’ve always asked myself this question in particular…”How can I be seen as being plus-sized if I’m an athletic and active person?”  Everyone’s definition and meaning of the words “plus-sized” are different.  What one person sees as plus-sized, may not necessarily mean that to another.  Society’s view of “average” has changed throughout the years.  Years ago and even today, women are praised for being thin; however, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education, the average size of an American woman is now a size 16.  Having a curvaceous figure doesn’t have some of the negative associations that it once had.  Women can be proud of their curves, and the world can understand that just because you’re plus-sized, doesn’t mean that you are not healthy or active.

 

Everyone has their own fitness journey.  Part of the journey is figuring out what workouts you enjoy doing best.  Photo by Scott Chmelar.

 

I decided to take a deep look and explore my own workouts.  Within this fitness journey I’ve discovered many ways to motivate my workouts with a more focused mindset.  My “pole sister,” Xenia once told me, “Get motivated and move with focus and a purpose!”  These became my daily ultimate goals…finding my MOTIVATION and deciding how I wanted to MOVE.  I wanted this to be the base for my workouts.

 

I want to encourage others to go a tad further than they did yesterday.  You must have a clear understanding of what you want.  This can influence your attitude when you meet with your coach, when you go to the gym, how you interact with others in your exercise classes, and how you choose to tackle your daily workouts.

 

Most importantly, we must figure out our main reasons for wanting to get up and workout.  Is it for you?  Your spouse or significant other?  Your friends?  Society?  Hopefully, this will be your opportunity to give a selfish answer and the answer is YOU.  If you don’t want it, it’s not going to happen.  With exercise, you must have a desire to work out.  You must also look at the journey of where you want to go and look back to understand and appreciate the progress that has been made.

 

It’s always good to switch up your workout completely.  The same circuits and gym visits can become repetitive and lose its’ luster.  Good things to do would be to explore your neighborhood, try out different types of classes, go for a swim or maybe even a run.  All of these are great options.  Choose just one or all of them…just as long as you stay motivated and you’re getting out there.  Once you see how great you feel, reward yourself with positivity.  Your workouts will now have a purpose.  Each rep will be fueled, just like your desire.  Every workout should be seen as a success and becomes a deposit in your motivation bank.  Set aside the time and be creative.  Don’t limit yourself.  You’re going for that inspiration!

 

Every workout, consider what your goals are.  It doesn’t matter if you’re curvy, plus-sized, skinny, overweight, thin, athletic, or any other body type.  Give it your all and put your heart into it.  Remember that the shape of our bodies do NOT define us.

 

It shouldn’t matter what size or shape you are, fitness is for everyone. Photo by Leen Isabel of Pole Dancing Adventures.

 

I chose pole dance fitness because not only is it a great workout, it empowered me as a woman and as an instructor.  So, I’m not going to just send this message out to the plus-sized polers, but to ALL of my fellow polers and fitness gals…Happy Exercising…because the road to fitness is for a lifetime.

 


 

Aradia Fitness Loudoun embraces all shapes and sizes and together we become strong confident and sexy.

 

Article Written by Chante Smith, Instructor at Aradia Fitness Cary in Cary, North Carolina

February 21, 2017