Chair Dance Your Way Into Your Bikini!
Chair Dance is more than a fun and sultry dance routine, it is also a great abdominal workout. Chair dancing very effectively works out all of the stabilizing muscles in your core by requiring you to balance in a boat pose on the chair while moving your lower and upper body in different ways. Your arms and upper body also get a good workout from all of those dips! If you want to amp up your chair routine workout try wearing your heels in class! This will help strengthen and tone your thighs, calves and glutes which will also help strengthen the stabilizing and balancing muscles in your core.
Chair dance is also a great way to get out of your head and into your body, focusing on the sequence and stabilization will have you way too busy to worry about what happened before class or what is going to happen after. Stress is one of the major causes of weight retention in the abdominal area so come join a chair dance class and dance yourself into that bikini!
Chair dance classes at Cherry Blossom Studio run every other Tuesday at 6:30 pm with Daniella and are counted as a fitness class.
When you enter the studio space from the boutique there is a small shelf to your left with pole and mat cleaning supplies. On the top of this shelf is a pile of post-it notes and pens and a sign asking you to create a pole goal and post it on the wall of pole goals!
Have you ever been discouraged by a lack of perceived progress in your workout routine? I know I have, this is why I wanted to take a moment to talk about how important pole goals are. It can be hard to measure your progress in a lot of workout routines. Aerial fitness offers a unique opportunity to see real progression and hitting these small milestones helps build your overall confidence. As you begin to meet your goals on a regular basis your mental barriers will begin to break down and your practice will become more consistent. The mental benefits of exercise are just as important as the physical benefits and the mind is often holding you back more than your perceived physical limitations so set goals for yourself! Start small and work your way up and your pole goals will become markers of progress and a testament to the strength you always knew you had but just didn’t always know how to find.
Make realistic goals
It is easier and more rewarding to check something small off your list than to have something that will take months or years to accomplish. Start with a Short Term Goal, Long Term Goal and an off aerial goal, for example getting 5 inches lower in my splits.
Each week take note of what you have done to help yourself accomplish your goals. Was it helpful? Ask yourself how you can do better to achieve yourself the following week. Don’t forget to keep a book of your training and pole goals if your a real go getter and want the best results! Let your Cherry Blossom Studio instructors now what your pole goals are and let them know when you have achieved them! Cause if you achieve your goal you make it to our Wall Of Fame!
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Andrea teaches Pole, Exotic Dance L1 and L2, Polefit, Aerial Yoga and Flexibility
Daniela teaches chair dance, pole, Exotic Dance L1, Aerial Silks,Aerial Yoga aerial fusion, and Twerkout
Kassandra teaches Yoga
Kristen teaches pole and flexibility
Sassy muffin @sassymuffin
Sassy Muffin teachers Burlesque
Britt is on front desk on Tuesdays!
Motivation – getting here is the hardest part
It can be hard to find the motivation to make it to a work out class after a long day at work, or on your day off. Personally, I love my couch, I long for it when I am not on it. I would live on it if I could. I am hard to motivate, especially when I have to get off my couch and drive somewhere to work out. It is so much easier to just not. How do you do it then? You ask.
Set reasonable goals for yourself
I used to tell myself I would commit to working out every day, this is extreme and hard to stick to. Since it is not a reasonable goal, I end up failing to meet my goals and I get discouraged. Recently, I began to set more achievable goals for myself. I will work out no less than 3 times a week. Ideally I would like to hit 4 or 5 workouts a week, but no less than three gives me wiggle room. Those days when I am in love with my couch, I can still have those and not feel guilty because I can take a day off, I just have to make sure I go another day.
Some people are totally motivated by rewards, if this sounds like you, you might think about making little deals with yourself. On the days you do work out, let yourself have treat, maybe it is a chocolate bar… or something else super awesome. I like to buy Vega protein bars because they are super sweet and chocolaty and they are also full of protein. I look forward to getting to eat one, so gives me a little more motivation to get to a class.
Anxiety and Stress relief
A lot of us work jobs that cause a considerable amount of stress at some point or another. Getting physical allows you to get into your body and out of your head. This is important because when we think too much about what we have to do, what happened during the day, and other things that plague our minds, our anxiety levels increase. Activities like aerial dancing are very helpful for getting us out of our heads because they require a lot of focus, basically, it is impossible to think about a bad boss when you are trying not to fall on your head or when you are trying to memorize a dance sequence. Exercise also releases endorphins; think of these as happy little natural painkillers produced by your body.
Classes at Cherry Blossom are great opportunities for socializing, many of us have a lot going on in our lives and it can be hard to focus on a social life when life happens. Why not kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes, and get in a workout while socializing!
Most of all, working out at Cherry Blossom is Fun! We all need a little fun in our lives, no matter what age.
Now you have no excuses not to get off the couch! You are welcome!
Do you ever find it incredibly hard to pull yourself out of bed or off the couch to get to a class? I know I do! Finding Motivation can be tricky sometimes so here are some tips and tricks to help you get motivated and remember it only takes 30 days to create a lasting habit!
- Take things one day at a time – Set reasonable goals. Sometimes I like to sign up for a whole weeks’ worth of classes and tell myself I am going to make every single one or else. Undoubtedly, this usually fails and I end up missing more than I make it to. I found a better way to deal with myself; a more forgiving way! Instead of signing up for a bunch of classes and creating a rigid schedule that I know I can’t follow, I tell myself that I must make it to a class at least 4 days a week. This way I have 3 rest days a week and if I am really not feeling it, I can take a day and not feel guilty about not meeting my goals.
- Be prepared: I like to go to a 6am yoga class before work, I know this may sound insane, it probably is. I find the most difficult part of going to class is getting there. In order to make sure I make it on time and don’t find excuses, I set out my workout clothes the night before, and I pack a bag with everything I need for the next day. Being prepared takes the procrastination out of getting there. You don’t spend time looking for a shoe or a sports bra only to realize you have no clean clothes.
- Find your fitness tribe – or Girl Gang: Nothing will help you create a lasting workout routine than a great workout community. A strong, supportive community is the key to see working out as a fun social activity rather than a punishment or obligation. Cherry Blossom Studio offers so much support and the primary female environment provides a safe and kind space for all body types. Bonus! You can burn calories and build confidence while wearing super fun shoes!
- Fuel your goals: Plan your grocery list to include healthy post-workout snacks. Rewarding yourself with a snack after your workout is a good thing; however you don’t want to undo all of the work you just did. You are less likely to make a bad choice if you plan your snacking in advance. For example, see the smoothies part two blog for a peanut butter and banana chocolate protein smoothie recipe. Protein bars are also great, just make sure to check the ingredients, look for something that has no refined sugar, and instead go for natural sweeteners like honey, agave, and maple syrup.
Choosing Your Pole Dancing Heels
Have Fun with Heel Clacks, Drops and Walks in Pole Dancing Heels!
Last week we talked about the benefits of working out in heels, this week we are going to talk about choosing your pole dancing heels.
As a beginner it is advised to avoid the shortest heels, the height between the top of your heel and the ball of your foot (arch) is larger in the shorter 6-inch heels. This means an ideal height for beginners is 7 inches. The platforms in 7inch and higher shoes make up for the extra heel height and the heels themselves are slightly wider. 8 inches are a good progression once you get used to the 7-inch.
Ankle straps are a good idea for beginners, especially if you are using your shoes for exotic dance or floor play. They will provide more support around your heel, keep your shoes from flying off and keep you feeling more secure. If you find a pair of shoes you like but they don’t have straps don’t worry, Pleaser makes straps separately and they are available for purchase at the Cherry Blossom Boutique.
The best shoes for heel clacks are platforms with no embellishments on the inner platform; the Adore 708 chrome and clear series heels are a great option for this! We have several different styles of 708 in the studio.
Clear shoes tend to be a good choice, they are the least expensive and there are several styles and colours to choose from. They are made from plastics and pvc. They can be molded to your foot by heating the plastic while you are wearing your shoes with the low setting on your blow dryer. Many people find the clear shoes to be the most comfortable.
Patent shoes are made from leather, they do not expand as much in size as the clear shoes do and they tend to run a little narrower than the clear shoes (although this is not always the case). The patent material is sturdier, because of this, you want to make sure you have the correct shape and width for your feet or you will experience chafing over time.
In the end it is all about personal preference, you may find that a certain material or heel height works better for you than another. It is best to go with something that is comfortable for your foot.
We sell a number of different styles at the Cherry Blossom Boutique so you can try on most of the styles available. Pleasers shoes are very light, they are easy to walk in and easy to perform in. They also fit true to size, they do not come in half sizes though, so if you are a half size you can typically go with the size up, but some find sizing down works better for them. If you can’t find the heel you want in our boutique we might be able to order it for you! There are a number of different styles available in the catalogue so make sure to ask at the front desk if you don’t see what you are looking for.
High Heels Workout
Working Out In High Heels
The fact that you can wear super fun heels while working out is one of the perks of training at Cherry Blossom Studio. High heels workout is definitely more fun than wearing regular gym shoes! Did you know that there are a lot of benefits to working out in heels?
Wearing heels helps strengthen the pelvic and abdominal muscles, in order to counter the elevated angle of the heel, we lean a little forward. This small adjustment tightens the abdominal muscles and tucks the pelvis under. If you recall your fitness instructor constantly saying tilt your pelvis forward or tuck your pelvis, you know what I am talking about. This specific action increases the ability for pelvic muscles to contract. In this way, some have described the benefits of working out in heels as being similar to doing kegels or holding mula bandha during yoga class.
Wearing heels also works the calves and the butt muscles. Just walking in heels engages the calf muscles. The extra weight on the end of your legs helps to improve your spins by giving you extra momentum. They also help you to work on your balance and your posture.
If we are being honest here, and we are, wearing heels also helps build confidence, they make us feel sexy and powerful! So grab your heels and come for a class at Cherry Blossom Studio!
Here are some of the fun high heels workout classes that we offer at Cherry Blossom Studio:
Exotic Dance Level 1 every other Tuesday at 6:30pm
every other Thursday at 7:30pm
Exotic Dance Level 2 every Wednesday at 5:30pm
Floor Play every other Thursday at 7:30pm
Stay tuned for choosing the right pair of heels for you next in next week’s blog! Choose from a wide selection of pole dancing heels in our online Boutique!
Why Every Woman Needs a Girl Gang
Not too long ago women spent the majority of their lives with other women, helping each other raise children, gathering and preparing food, and in many other daily tasks. In today’s society, as we get older and our lives become more complicated, full time jobs, children, other obligations, we tend to have less time for social lives and less quality time with other women. Our relationships with other women are often the first thing to give, however, these are some of the most important relationships in our lives; they are something we really need to make an effort to nurture. This is why you need a Girl Gang!
I have come to realize that my friendships and my time with other women has evolved into a safe space for me. I find I can relax more, be myself more, and overall worry less. I like to believe it is because we are hard wired this way, to seek support and comfort from other women.
With all of the pressures each of us deal with each day, it can be very hard to keep up with a self-care workout routine, let alone find quality time with friends. This is where Cherry Blossom comes in! I, like many others, hesitantly stepped through the front door for my first class and had no idea what to expect. What I found was an enormously supportive, non-judgmental group of women. It became my safe space, a space to get a good healing dose of girl gang while getting a good work out in at the same time.
Other compelling reasons to find your girl gang:
- Women instinctively nourish each other; just being with other women is restorative.
- Research has found that the hormone oxytocin is the panacea of friendship, and by extension, health. This hormone is released when we spend time with other women.
- The hormones released from women to other women are healthy and do away with the stress hormones
- Women’s friendships are like a renewable source of power
- Women always need other women; from the moment we understand how different the male species is.
- Women understand things men will never understand
- The visceral need for chocolate
- What it feels like to almost bleed to death every month
- Giving birth
- Crying at the Ikea commercial where the lamp gets abandoned on the curb because you feel bad for the lamp
- The list goes on!
Always remember we are stronger when we lift each other up, not when we tear each other down. Find your girl gang (there is a great one here at Cherry Blossom Studio) and hold on tight!
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.
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