The Steep and Unforgiving Learning Curve of Beginner Aerial Silks
Beginner Aerial Silks class can be tough but sticking to it will get you results!
Aerial silks is an intimidating class especially intimidating for a complete beginner aerial silks student. I want to talk about my aerial silks journey, from absolute beginner to, well…still a beginner. I am sure there are many of you who have taken a class and not returned, or are too intimidated to try a class, hopefully my experience will ease some of your concerns.
I first came to cherry blossom in January 2016. I came for a six-week aerial yoga session and ended up signing up for a six-week silks beginner class on the way out. Silks were something I had always dreamed of trying, having always been fond of climbing and hanging upside-down. I was pretty good with the aerial silks hammock but how much different could the silks really be right?
My first class was a humbling experience to say the least. I couldn’t climb at all, I couldn’t invert, and I couldn’t hold myself up. I was forced to confront my physical limitations. I have never had a particularly strong upper body so this was a real challenge for me. There were intermediate students in the class who had been practicing for some time and were inverting and doing all of the amazing cool things I wanted to do, and there I was unable to get one climb up the silk. I felt pathetic and I wanted to cry.
Somehow I mustered up the strength to come back for the second class, and the third, and the fourth, fifth and sixth. By the end of the session I could climb with the help of sticky hand spray (which I still use today), I figured out how to do candles by rolling forward instead of backwards, and I could do foot locks. I was still nowhere near the level of some of the other students in the class but this forced me to stop comparing myself to other people. I became more self-forgiving, I forced myself to take the small victories in and not worry so much about what I perceived as failures in my performance.
It took me about three months before I finally rolled backwards into a candle. This was a huge accomplishment for me and for once I felt strong in my body. New skills still take time, a lot of time, but there is a real sense of empowerment when you accomplish something you thought you would never be able to do.
You are stronger than you know and the impossible is possible you just have to be kind to yourself and not compare yourself to others and move at your own pace. I promise you will be rewarded for your persistence.
Come try a Beginner Aerial Silks class at Cherry Blossom Studio and increase your upper body strength and flexibility!
Post Workout Smoothies
Smoothies Part 2 –Post Workout Smoothies
Fuel your body after your tough workout at Cherry Blossom Studio with a post workout smoothie. Feed your muscles with the proper nutrition your body needs after your aerial dance and fitness classes.
I am pretty sure that I look like Popeye meaning that my forearms feel like they are sausages stuffed into a casing that is too tight. Enter the peanut butter and banana chocolate smoothie…
By now you should be somewhat familiar with my smoothie obsession if you read the last blog about the green monster! This time I wanted to talk about post-workout smoothies. Because time is a factor and we cant ignore proper nutrition especially after a tough muscle-building workout. This is another recipe that you can make in a double batch and leave in the fridge for a day or two for a grab-and-go post-workout fix. The concept of this smoothie comes from research on the benefits of chocolate milk as a post workout drink. Compared to plain milk, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. At this point you are probably thinking, “why don’t I just have a chocolate milk?” I mean, you could… but this is more fun and it has more nutrients! Especially for anyone suffering from muscle cramping because it has bananas in it. Give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed!
Funky Monkey Smoothie
1-cup dark chocolate almond milk (or regular chocolate milk if you prefer)
1 large banana (frozen or un-frozen)
2 large tablespoons of peanut or almond butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder of choice (optional)
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
* Feel free to throw in a cup of spinach if you feel you need the greens! I know I do, and I promise you won’t even know it’s there.
A fruitier post workout smoothie variation…
Paypaya Ginger Smoothie
1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
1 cups papaya, chilled and cut into chunks
1 cup ice
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Leaves from one sprig of mint
Fuel Your Day
Smoothies Part 1 – Fuel Your Day with a Nutritious Smoothie
Fuel your day with a healthy smoothie! I am the type of person who is not particularly hungry in the morning. I typically wake up late, after hitting snooze an obnoxious amount of times I run out the door. The downside with my sleep obsession is that something has to give. More often than not, it ends up being breakfast. Sound familiar? A few years ago I discovered the green monster, a smoothie concoction created by Angela Liddon, featured on her ohsheglows blog (http://ohsheglows.com). Total game changer.
The green monster is green because it has spinach in it. I know what you are thinking, spinach… in a smoothie… for breakfast? But hear me out, it doesn’t taste like spinach, its actually pretty tasty, filling and energizing on top of that! It’s basically a miracle in a cup.
I like to make a double batch the night before so I have breakfast for two days. This way I can hit snooze a ridiculously unreasonable amount of times and still get breakfast in, win/win. I just grab and go and still get my extra half-hour of sleep!
1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 cup spinach*
1 large banana, frozen or non-frozen, both work fine **
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of your favorite protein powder ***
Throw it all in the blender and blend away!
*I use the spinach that comes in a bag at the grocery store
** I peel my bananas, break them in half, and then freeze them so I always have some on hand
***I use unflavoured hemp protein powder. I find that flavoured protein powders really change the taste of the smoothie, sometimes not for the better. You can use whichever you prefer, but you have been forewarned!
Written By Talena one of Cherry Blossom Studio‘s Aerial Exchange staff. Stay tuned for more delicious smoothie recipes.
Making New Friends in Your Twenties
How Pole Dancing and being a part of a studio has helped me make new friends in a new Country.
By Brittany Ellis
I moved here from California (await gasp, fast forward through all of the “why would you ever leave?” and “but the beach is there”). Back home I have my family, my friends that I grew up with, old class mates, co-workers and team mates. While getting ready to move the last thing on my list of “what to worry about” was how I was going to make new friends. Of all the problems I have had in this life (self-created or not), making friends has not been one of them. Well it turns out I have not actually had to make a new friend, all on my own since the good old days of recess on the playground. This is not to say I have not unintentionally made new friends along the way in my life, but it is usually through an already established friend. Well, this is a new town, province, coast, and country, I was far from established.
It is so hard and strange to go out into the world as an adult and try making new friends. Like, where do I go? The bar, the library, ask my waitress at the restaurant if she is looking for friends too? Compliment the grocery cashiers nail polish and ask if I can go with her to her manicure appointment? Cruise craiglist, tinder, or bumble? So weird, so awkward, so ridiculous. Talk about getting humbled.
What I did do was cruise groupon and “cherry blossom” came scrolling past my screen. I was intrigued and followed by the thoughts in my head giving me every excuse in the book as to why not to go or try something new. I have always watched the girls pole dancing on instagram being so pretty and flawless on the pole. I always thought it would be really cool to try. So why not now?
The truth is I was afraid to try it. Everyone was going to better than me, they would judge me. I would leave feeling bad about myself, and most importantly this would not help me with my lack of friend situation. I like to admit when I am wrong, like that one time I got married (shout out to my fellow divorce’s) but man was I ever wrong about this.
Pole dancing has lead me to the most wonderful, interesting and beautiful people. The studio is my new playground where there are countless friends to be made. Deep and meaningful friendships have absolutely began to blossom and will only grow over time.
Last year during winter I hibernated, feeling sorry for myself. This year I am part of community that is supportive and loving. The girls I have met here encourage you, inspire you and always help celebrate your victories and accomplishments. We really care about each other here at Cherry Blossom Studio so if you are feeling lonely, and want to meet some new friends this winter season come see us!
Being a Lebanese Pole Dancer
Deciding to use pole dancing as my main fitness routine was the best decision in my life. Deciding to tell my parents about it… not so much. Growing up leb was filled with awesome food and very arab family outings (going on a “picnic” at a public park with your 30 cousins, eating grilled chicken skewers with hummus and tabouli, and watching the adults smoke shisha hoping no one notices how extremely loud we all are), however growing up with Lebanese parents meant never doing anything outside a family setting. And if you ever did anything behind their backs, best believe you got a beating for it.
My parents wouldn’t let me go anywhere until I turned about 17 years old and even then they forbid me from having a boyfriend until I was in my second year of university. However, now they constantly hound me about my love life and my entire family (including grandparents, aunts and uncles) are praying for the day I get married.
I believe my childhood made me stronger and probably more rebellious so I always wanted to try different things that were considered controversial. Now, my parents have chilled out over the years and are a lot more open minded. That is, until I told my mom I really wanted to take pole dancing classes. She was pretty easy going at first but when I said I was going to continue taking classes and wanted to work at the Cherry Blossom Studio, her first words were “YOU BETTER NOT BECOME A STRIPPER”.
It took some time to convince her (by some time I mean about a year) I was not going to be a dancer but that pole dancing was a fun way to workout. I kept showing her the videos I took in class and practice sessions and slowly she started accepting this new way of working out. She will actually tell family members that I take pole dancing classes (If you’re not leb you probably don’t get how insane it is for my mom to tell my family that I’m basically being a fake stripper twice a week) and she is impressed by my progress, enough to give me a compliment every once in a while that doesn’t consist of comparing me to a monkey (That’s also my grandmothers favourite thing to do). To be honest, I consider myself lucky because it could be so much worse!
Even if you have strict parents or think what you are doing won’t be accepted by certain, it shouldn’t be a reason for you to stop or not try. Also, in time everyone starts changing their opinion if they’re exposed to it enough. I would have never tried pole dancing if I decided to let my parents opinion stop me and I’m so much happier for it. Just do you and the rest will follow!