How Pole Dancing Helped This Suburban Mom Learn To Love Her Body

Written by Lisa O'Brien

Three years ago, I was fresh out of yoga teacher training, practicing six days a week and in the best shape of my life. Yet, I didn’t think I was a good enough yogi because I couldn’t do crow pose. And I still can’t.

Today, I’m much more comfortable in my body. I feel more sensual. And it’s all thanks to pole dancing, believe it or not. Here’s how the “sport” changed this suburban mom’s take on exercise:

1. I loved yoga, but I wanted to move my hips more.

I was always drawn to yoga and after a long career in politics and education reform, I decided to become a certified yoga instructor. Hoop dancing followed, fueled by the discovery of something that got my hips moving, feet rooted and elevated my sense of possibility. Buoyed with confidence, I mustered the courage to take my first pole dancing class. I’d been reading about Sheila Kelly’s SFactor studio and dreamed of going to New York City to learn, but I needed to get a taste closer to home.

One of the most powerful things that you can do for your looks and your life is to love the person you are right now.

2. It was easier than I anticipated it to be.

I walked into my local dance studio, shy and glad that I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know how to sit, stand or carry myself at first. Then the warm up began, and to my delight, it was doable. Our teacher, also a mom, eased my stage fright.

3. It was fun and less intimidating than yoga.

Slow, swaying movements with a gentle head cock here and a hip shift there. I realized, I can do this. Then we got into the real instruction and it was fun — no intimidation factor whatsoever.

4. Pole dancing helped me learn to embrace my body.

Even though I have a stomach pooch and a little extra weight all over, I wasn’t thinking about that. I was caught up in the feeling of gracefully flinging my leg out so my body could twirl around the pole. Feeling into the movement, and what felt good.

5. Pole-dancing classes provide a safe space where you can explore your sensuality.

I am completely hooked on my pole-dancing classes now. I want to learn and practice more. I want to bring more of the pole dance, wall dance, rock and roll and lusty vibes into my yoga practice.

Practicing a strip tease in a safe, no-judgment zone to wake up your shakti energy helps me tap into my sex appeal. It feels great to let my muffin top just be there and not worry about pulling my shirt down to cover it up.

One of the most powerful and glorious things that you can do for your looks and your life is to love the person you are right now. Pounds are going to come and go, but it’s really all about how you feel in your body.

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