Back Bend Challenge | #IBendSoIDontBreak

For the last set of the #IBendSoIDontBreak challenge we chose to focus on our back bends! This challenge is sponsored by Push and Pole, hosted by PoleAsana!


If you’ve participated in our previous two #IBendSoIDontBreak challenges for the splits and shoulders, we hope you’re excited to join us for the backbend series!

So many of you have requested stretching videos and I’m so excited to announce this new challenge and video series! I recently partnered with Tiffany, the amazing illustrator behind all the Push+Pole artwork. Together, we wanted to bring you a new flexibility challenge series to start off the new year for what ever your flexy goals may be 😊. We named the challenge the #IBendSoIDontBreak Challenge after one of her cute design collection. We will be publishing a few full length stretch sequence videos for you to follow along.

Build your own stretch sequence

The sequence will contain five parts for you to mix and match, and create your own playlist on YouTube depending on what you would like to work on. Since everyone needs to warm up and cool down, but may want to work on different stretches, I thought this will be a great idea for you to personalize your work out. The 5 sequences will be:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Splits *January 2018 Challenge*
  3. Shoulder Stretch *February 2018 Challenge*
  4. Back Bend *NEW*
  5. Cool down stretches

#IBendSoIDontBreak Shoulder Challenge for March 2018

For March, we will be focusing on our back bends! The sequence starts off with some simple but fundamental poses to help strength and warm up our backs before we finish off with wheel pose. Feel free to use props such as yoga blocks, straps and pillows to help you in these poses. Oh, and did you know, we’ll also be giving away🎁 3 x $40 GIFT CARDS 🎁 to keep you motivated!

Here’s what you need to do! Take a photo of your wheel pose today (for reference, this would be pose 14). Follow & tag @poleasana@pushandpole, and #ibendsoidontbreak in your post.

Over the next two weeks, spend at least 10 minutes on your backbends by following the YouTube video below. You will be working on all the poses everyday but you just need to post a photo of the pose of the day to enter the giveaway.

 

Each photo you tag with #ibendsoidontbreak will count as one entry so the more you practice the more chances you have to win! Winners will be announced after the last day of the challenge, March 17, 2018!

Best of luck and we look forward to seeing all your submissions!

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you stay updated with our challenge. 💗💗

PoleAsana: Instagram | Facebook
Push+Pole: Instagram | Facebook

Shoulders Challenge | #IBendSoIDontBreak

For the second set of the #IBendSoIDontBreak challenge we will work on opening our shoulders! This challenge is sponsored by Push and Pole, hosted by PoleAsana!


If you’ve participated in our previous #IBendSoIDontBreak Splits challenge, we hope you’ve had a nice 2 weeks break! If you’ve just stumbled here now, we welcome you to join us in the new challenge where we will be working on our shoulder flexibility!

So many of you have requested stretching videos and I’m so excited to announce this new challenge and video series! I recently partnered with Tiffany, the amazing illustrator behind all the Push+Pole artwork. Together, we wanted to bring you a new flexibility challenge series to start off the new year for what ever your flexy goals may be 😊. We named the challenge the #IBendSoIDontBreak Challenge after one of her cute design collection. We will be publishing a few full length stretch sequence videos for you to follow along.

Build your own stretch sequence

The sequence will contain five parts for you to mix and match, and create your own playlist on YouTube depending on what you would like to work on. Since everyone needs to warm up and cool down, but may want to work on different stretches, I thought this will be a great idea for you to personalize your work out. The 5 sequences will be:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Splits *January 2018 Challenge*
  3. Shoulder Stretch *NEW*
  4. Back Bend
  5. Cool down stretches

#IBendSoIDontBreak Shoulder Challenge for February 2018

For the month of February, we will be working on opening up our shoulders! The shoulders are a rather complex joint and we may have several reasons to focus on them. For one, we may be looking to gain flexibility to improve our pole and yoga moves. Other people may actually be looking for stretches to relieve pain and tension in the shoulders. Whatever your reasons are, we hope you enjoy these stretches. Oh, and did you know, we’ll also be giving away🎁 3 x $40 GIFT CARDS 🎁 to keep you motivated!

Here’s what you need to do! Take a photo of your shoulder progress today – this could be a mermaid pose, king pigeon pose with or without straps (for reference, this would be pose 13 and 14). Follow & tag @poleasana@pushandpole, and #ibendsoidontbreak in your post.

Over the next two weeks, spend at least 10 minutes on your shoulders by following the YouTube video below. You will be working on all the poses everyday but you just need to post a photo of the pose of the day to enter the giveaway.

Each photo you tag with #ibendsoidontbreak will count as one entry so the more you practice the more chances you have to win! Winners will be announced on the last day of the challenge, February 17, 2018!

Best of luck and we look forward to seeing all your submissions!

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you stay updated with our challenge. 💗💗

PoleAsana: Instagram | Facebook
Push+Pole: Instagram | Facebook

Splits Challenge | #IBendSoIDontBreak

Introducing the #IBendSoIDontBreak Splits challenge, sponsored by Push and Pole, hosted by PoleAsana!


Hello everyone,

So many of you have requested stretching videos and I’m so excited to announce this new challenge and video series! I recently partnered with Tiffany, the amazing illustrator behind all the Push+Pole artwork. Together, we wanted to bring you a new flexibility challenge series to start off the new year for what ever your flexy goals may be 😊. We named the challenge the #IBendSoIDontBreak Challenge after one of her cute design collection. We will be publishing a few full length stretch sequence videos for you to follow along.

Build your own stretch sequence

The sequence will contain five parts for you to mix and match, and create your own playlist on YouTube depending on what you would like to work on. Since everyone needs to warm up and cool down, but may want to work on different stretches, I thought this will be a great idea for you to personalize your work out. The 5 sequences will be:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Splits
  3. Shoulder Stretch
  4. Back Bend
  5. Cool down stretches

#IBendSoIDontBreak Splits Challenge for January 2018

For the month of January, we will be working on the splits! While we might not be able to get into a full splits after 2 weeks, we do want to introduce a stretch sequence to help you get there eventually! Plus, we’ll be giving away🎁 3 x $40 GIFT CARDS 🎁 to keep you motivated!

Here’s what you need to do! Take a photo of your splits today! Follow & tag @poleasana, @pushandpole, and #ibendsoidontbreak in your post.

Over the next two weeks, spend at least 10 minutes on your splits by following the YouTube video below. You will be working on all the poses everyday but you just need to post a photo of the pose of the day to enter the giveaway.

Each photo you tag with #ibendsoidontbreak will count as one entry so the more you practice the more chances you have to win! Winners will be announced on the last day of the challenge, January 20, 2018!

Best of luck and we look forward to seeing all your submissions!

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you stay updated with our challenge. 💗💗

PoleAsana: Instagram | Facebook
Push+Pole: Instagram | Facebook

Super Fly Honey Tutorials | Pole Diaries

Hello my lovely pole dancers! Ten weeks ago I partnered with Super Fly Honey to create 10 tutorial videos for you. As crazy as it sounds, I chose TEN moves that I’ve always wanted to learn (aka. moves I haven’t even mastered) and practised them every week to make these tutorials.

It’s been a busy 10 weeks for me as you know my style of teaching is a little different than most online instructors where I share the trial and errors of the moves. There are times I wondered why I chose moves I can’t even do yet, and thought… “Hmm… maybe I should just teach a move I’m good at already”. I stuck through it despite a shoulder injury, technical difficulties (all my raw videos were deleted by accident!😭), and challenged myself to keep making better tutorials for you!

While we called it the #SuperFlyHoneyChallenge on our Instagram (PoleAsana | SuperFlyHoney) and Facebook (PoleAsana | SuperFlyHoneypages, it was truly a challenge for myself. 

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with Sheena from SuperFlyHoney. It was really a dream come true for me when we began this partnership since I’ve always adored this brand since her very first collection. She’s an amazing woman to work with, a social media whiz, and a new friend with whom I can have a heartfelt conversation.

I also want to thank everyone that have been so supportive of me! I can never stress enough how much your comments, likes and shares on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook mean to me. Your DM’s remind me why it’s important to publish these embarrassing fail videos in an online world of perfection.

Sorry for the long post and sappy message. I just wanted to share how much I love you all!

Here are the 10 tutorials all in one post! Don’t forget to bookmark it 🙂

SneakyDeez Wrist Support | Product Review

SneakyDeez, the wrist support for pole dancers. Available in many styles!

Lately I’ve seen a lot of pole dancers wear wrist supports when they are on training on the pole. And of course, myself as a pole dancer on Instagram, I spent a whole 2 seconds of detective work and found out they’re #sneakydeez. Ok. They’re what?!

Sneaky Deez is such a catchy and funky name but I wasn’t entirely sure who/what they are. Their own Instagram page features a lot of user photos and I simply love brands that engage with their fans and repost customer photos! In these photos, everyone is sporting a colourful and fun-coloured wrist bands and I wanted to a pair too!

SneakyDeez come in a lot of fun colours and bold patterns. Their photos are just so vibrant and full of character!

What is SneakyDeez?

SneakyDeez are wrist wraps designed for gymnasts, yogis and pole dancers to help minimize sore wrists while training. They’re great for any activities that may put strain on the wrists such as pole fitness, handstands, push ups, strengthening exercises and arm balances.

Masha Pinner is the brilliant designer behind these wrist supports. They’re designed, produced and handmade in Slovenia, EU. I love supporting small businesses and especially those that are eco-friendly too! All their products are made using Lycra and Polyester Jersey samples from big fashion retailers, reducing the amount of fabrics heading towards landfills. As a result of using sample fabrics, most of her designs are limited edition and literally one-of-a-kind!

They come in three sizes (S, M, L) for different wrist sizes, and also different widths (6cm or 8cm) for varying support. Prices are $22 for regular colours and $25 for limited editions. The patterns and colours changes often as they sell out and restock, click here to check out what’s available now!

I chose the Black Paisley (Limited Edition) SneakyDeez because I wanted something subtle but still beautiful.
I think they suit my personality and style quite well!

My wrists are fine… Why do I need wrist support?

At first I wasn’t sure how SneakyDeez wrist supports would complement my training. My wrists have generally been pretty good to me despite all the abuse I put them through. Yes, I love practising handstands, arm balances and pole moves where my wrists would have every right to hate me for! But I normally take sufficient breaks to give them time to recover.

Prior to receiving my SneakyDeez for this review, I actually used my wrist band from badminton when I practice spins on my static pole. I wasn’t using the wrist band as support (even a brand new XS was too loose on my tiny wrists), so it was primarily to prevent wrist burns from the reverse grab.

Since my wrists never gave me problem, wrist supports were not really on my wish list this Christmas… Yet.

 

Upon receiving my SneakyDeez, I wore them for an hour and did my normal training routine. Oddly enough, I didn’t notice any difference and I felt slightly disappointed. Then the next day I felt SO sore everywhere… what is going on?!?!

Before training with SneakyDeez, I would take a break whenever I begin to feel sore in my wrists, Because my wrists were likely the limiting factor, I don’t usually push the rest of my body to train as hard. However, with the wrist support, my endurance and tolerance for wrist soreness was a lot higher! In fact, I became really sore in other parts of my body instead because I was able to train much longer. I can only say I’m really impressed with them!

For me, I personally have been blessed with healthy wrists but already saw immediate benefits of using wrist supports. I could only imagine what a god sent gift SneakyDeez would be to someone that is currently suffering from sore wrists!

Preparation for chest press, handstand variation. This feels so scary!

What I love about SneakyDeez 💜

  1. The pole community is pretty small so I love supporting small businesses, eco-friendly brands and designers that are passionate about making a difference for fellow pole dancers.
  2. They come in different sizes, and the velcro closure allows you to make sure the wrist supports fit you perfectly.
  3. Loud bright colours? Subtle sophisticated colours? Whatever your style is, there is bound to be something for you!
Slightly jealous of the opportunities to pole outdoors… why is it always so cold where I live?

What are you waiting for? If you haven’t checked out their page yet, please do and make sure to tag #sneakydeez to be featured on their page!
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Masha from Sneaky-Deez has kindly sent me a pair of her limited edition wrist supports for this review. The links included in this post are affiliate links and help support this blog 🙂 

Rose Gold and Unicorn Heels by Ellie Shoes | Unboxing and Product Review

Unboxing video of my first pole heels! Rose Gold Chrome and Unicorn Heels from Ellie shoes 😍😍

Why I never poled in heels…

I started pole dancing in 2011, which makes it almost seven years! Friends have casually asked me, ‘Oh, you must be really good at walking in those super high heels right?’. No, I actually can’t even walk in normal heels.

I’ve seen girls at studios with 7 inch heels or higher and they seriously looked so elegant in them. I knew being able to invert with straight legs while there’s extra weight on your ankles is no easy feat either. Now the question is, will I look like those girls? Or would I look like bambi?

I wasn’t going to take any chances. Nope.

What changed my mind about pole heels?

One word: Instagram.

When you follow a ton of pole dancers and your feed is graced with elegant spins and combos showing off beautifully coloured pole heels, you want some too! I’ve seen sparkly glitter heels, light up heels, glow-in-the-dark heels, ombre heels… the list goes on.

Now choosing a pair was the hard part!

Ellie Shoes just released two versions of these rose gold chrome ✨✨ heels and they are absolutely gorgeous! Then they also had these super duper cute unicorn 🦄🦄 heels. Then I thought, “Well, even if I can’t wear them, at least I can stare at them?”

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome in Clear & 777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear
Ellie Shoes

First Impression

Quality (5/5)

Upon unboxing the shoes, I noticed both pairs of heels are very well-made! The plastic used in the heels were sturdy and high quality. The padding on the shoes were comfortable and slightly grippy to prevent your feet from sliding forward too much, which is so important when wearing heels! The plastic straps were a little harder than expected but I believe they do soften over time with wear.

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome by Ellie Shoes

Style (5/5)

I’m definitely biased here! I got them mainly for how they looked, so of course I’m in love with them!

The rose gold chrome is super shiny and I can’t stop admiring the beautiful shade. Because of the chrome finish, the platforms are a huge fingerprint magnet. It’s not noticeable but I did have to wipe them clean for the pictures.

The unicorn heels look really cute and I feel like a fairy/princess when I wear them. The clear heels don’t really show up in my videos (they’re clear, obviously!), but you do see this unicorn horn which looks funny/cool at the same time. If I ever feel creative, I think I can also cover the clear parts with glitter!

777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear by Ellie Shoes

Fit (4/5)

I’ve never ordered from Ellie Shoes before and I didn’t know any shops/studios that carried them so I did a bit of research on sizing. A lot of people have recommended to size up from their regular shoe size because Ellie Shoes do fit tight and narrow. They also only carry whole sizes.

I normally wear a size 7, sometimes 7.5 to accommodate for my slightly wider feet. I’ve never had to size up to an 8 before so was slightly hesitant. But chances are, it’s better to have slightly bigger shoes than shoes you can’t even wear right? I also chose the clear straps because they are more flexible than the patent coloured straps, so they can fit better over time.

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome by Ellie Shoes

Luckily, the 709-BRIA fit perfectly! The clear straps at the front are a little hard and tight to fit in at first. With PVC plastic, they can be warmed up with a hair dryer to fit better on the feet.

Unfortunately, the 777-DASHING did not fit as well. It was a bit bigger than the 709-BRIA (I ordered both in size 8). The front straps were more comfortable and looser, but the front tip of the shoe extended much beyond my toes did. So, for the 777-DASHING, I would recommend ordering your true size.

Overall Impression (4.5/5)

Walking and poling in these high heels weren’t as bad as I would have thought! I practiced walking around the pole and used the pole for support if I needed it, but turns out I was OK! Like wearing any new shoes, my feet did hurt slightly after walking around the house for an hour in them. I also noticed my calves ached a little too which meant I was working those muscles out! Yes!

I absolutely love them and these beauties are sitting on my shelf like a piece of art work right now!

777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear by Ellie Shoes

Special Thank You to Ellie Shoes!

Thank you for designing such beautiful heels! They were definitely love at first sight and I just knew I wanted these ones for my first pole heels. The heels in this review and the videos are graciously gifted by Ellie Shoes, so please visit their website to view all the other beautiful designs, then follow their Instagram and their Facebook for daily doses of heels inspiration. 😍😍

How I Met My Videographer

I’ve been filming and posting on YouTube for years, so why does filming with a professional videographer make me so nervous?

I make YouTube videos as a hobby. I do pole tutorials/fail videos. I would barely call myself a professional – not in pole, and definitely not in film-making. But, ironically, I share pole tutorials on YouTube. So first and foremost, many thanks to YouTube for allowing an imposter like me to take a stab in this realm of the online world.

Why I decided to film with a videographer

What started as a side-hobby slowly became an integral part of my life. I’ve certainly gotten more comfortable with poling in front of other people but that also came gradually. Actually, let’s take a few steps back.

Years ago, it might have taken me many tries to get a move perfectly, worst part is, it might not even be replicable! By chance, I fooled the world into thinking I’ve got this! Well, if you filmed 1000+ hours of your fails, surely you will get one decent looking clip. I would never subject any photographer or videographer to that torture as they watch my horrific struggles.

Typical folder containing my raw footage for one pole move, ~5GB in size for an intermediate move.

However, as I improved, my repertoire of moves expanded, my stamina increased and my techniques are more refined. I have a few go-to moves that I know I can pull off effortlessly and still look nice on camera.

I envied YouTubers with beautifully filmed and professionally edited MV-quality promotional videos. I’ve always wanted one too! But being your own videographer while filming pole videos is next to impossible – I mean, I don’t think I can operate a camera, get it to pan, while spinning upside down on the pole.

Then one day, I finally thought, “Ok, I think I’m good enough to collaborate with a videographer for a promo video!” Who knew serendipity was actually spelled “c-r-a-i-g-s-l-i-s-t”?

Finding the right videographer

Ideally, the best avenue to find a videographer would be through friends or referrals. Depending on the type of video you are filming, it makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable when you can relate to the person you are working with. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not know the person who basically would have physical copies of me in every angle possible, including the most unflattering facial expressions! Oh god… yes, please be kind to your photographers/videographers, they hold more power than you think!

Unfortunately I didn’t know any videographers.

The Otion Pictures website looks very clean and professional. He also worked with a lot of different clients!
Sounds legit 😊

I’m sure we all heard the saying, “Don’t talk to strangers!” and maybe, “Don’t talk to strangers online“. I definitely am guilty of the latter! Did I mention I found Otion Pictures through Craigslist? (For those who don’t know, Craigslist is an online classified ads site.) Amongst the slew of sketchy ads, his stood out as the most legit. Maybe I can feature him in a blog post on ‘How to write legit ads’, because he definitely nailed that one.

To summarize, Ocean from Otion Pictures (such a clever name!) was looking for another Cantonese-speaking (✓) girl (✓) who is interested in filming (✓) or has an active YouTube channel (✓✓✓) to collaborate in film-making tutorials for his Ocean Video Tutorial channel. I’m like, “Hey, that’s totally me!” and promptly sent out a email to reach out. Seeing samples of his previous work and his current projects made me optimistic about our collaboration.
I watched a few of his YouTube tutorials and noticed how well-spoken he was.
Then I spent the next few days worrying that I might have to talk on camera if we collaborated.

Meeting Ocean, the videographer

As millennials, we exchanged our contact information through our online portfolios – website, our YouTube, Facebook and IG handles. I think that gives a pretty good summary of a person’s work, don’t you think?

We met up in-person to discuss the projects we could work on, and detailed the logistics of the most relevant one. We decided to do a promotional video for me, Pole Asana, to let my readers and subscribers put a face and voice to the nameless girl behind the tutorial videos.

Ocean’s main audience was on Facebook and YouTube, whereas mine is focused on YouTube and Instagram.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Since we are filming Kimmy/Pole Asana in her natural habitat (aka, my home), I needed to clean out my already-empty place. At the end of the clean up, it was only the pole and 4 walls! Since my place was tiny, every little bit of space was needed for all the equipment.

 

Selfie video with the equipment set-up

Ocean came and rolled out 3 boxes equivalent to over-sized checked baggages. He claimed these were already “top of the line, lightweight and compact versions”… 😒 I can’t imagine what the full-size would look like… With the full set up, I can’t help but feel nervous. Seriously, we set all this up for me? I felt overwhelmed!

Check out the gear in the bottom right hand corner!

For our video, we had 3 major components: the interview, the pole portion, and the yoga portion. One of the three are not like the others, can you guess which?

I absolutely dreaded the interview process, it took much much much longer than I anticipated. I was really hoping to do the pole/yoga parts first since it would help me open up more. Unfortunately because my make up and hair was ready, it made more sense to do the interview before my face starts melting…

The interview took around 2 hours, simply because I didn’t know what to say, I kept stumbling on my words, and laughing uncontrollably at how funny I sound on the camera. Nonetheless, it was definitely a learning experience and I can say I’m more comfortable with speaking on camera now. The pole and yoga portion was the most fun, and most relaxing part for me. Despite never having filmed pole/yoga videos before, I only had to show Ocean the move once to let him figure out how to film it, then execute it 1-2 more times for the actual clip.

While the shoot was physically exhausting, I’d much rather do 5 hours of pole/yoga than 2 minutes of interviewing! Of course, Ocean thought that comment was insane.

 

Overall, this experience was so fun, educational and rewarding! I have learned a few things and wish I could have prepared a bit more in advance. I’ll be writing a blog post soon on how to prepare for a videoshoot!

In the meantime, please take literally ONE minute to enjoy the video that we spent 5 hours filming! And if you haven’t already followed/subscribed, please do so as it means so much to us!

Pole Asana’s links: YouTube | Instagram | Facebook
Otion Pictures’ links: YouTube | Instagram | Facebook 

MPG Sport x Julianne Hough Fall 2017 | Product Review

Fall in love with the beautiful MPG sport fall collection this season. What’s your obsession?

Fall is debatably one of my favourite seasons! As the weather starts to get a little cooler, I love being able to add layers to my wardrobe and choose richer colour palettes. I’m usually a very bubbly person but bright summer colours just don’t really match me. My favourite colour is this deliciously dark purple burgundy, and luckily it comes back every fall! I was super excited when MPG Sport released their fall collection, with gorgeous purple pieces like the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra and the Carmin Mesh Panel Bra.

Sports bra in raisin
L: Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra; R: Carmin Mesh Panel Bra

Being a yoga instructor, I basically live in my leggings (I don’t even own a pair of jeans, if there’s a super stretchy pair of jeans out there, please recommend me one!). I was in search for a pair of capris with subtle designs and I think MPG had just the one! The Audition Capri comes in a denim-like pattern (maybe this can be my jean alternative?), and the Audition 2.0 Capri comes in raisin and black.

Mesh panel capri
L: Audition in denim; M/R: Audition 2.0 in raisin/black

As much as I love purple, getting both top and bottom pieces in the purple would be a little too much. Thankfully, the stylists at MPG Sport sent me a well coordinated outfit for this review.

Thank you MPG for the handwritten note!

Receiving my first MPG Messenger package was seriously like Christmas. I actually didn’t know what outfit was selected for me and I just prayed for something purple. When I opened the package, there was this lovely handwritten note from MPG, and I jumped for joy when I saw the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra in raisin and Audition 2.0 Capri in black. I got something purple!

I quickly tried on my garments and I fell in love.

The Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra is a very trendy high-neck piece with a deep-V mesh insert for both style and functionality – it’s great for ventilation and breathability. It provides excellent coverage; there’s really no way anything could fall out regardless of what poses you do (check out my ‘tetris block pose’ in the photo above). The sports bra comes with removable cups for light support, so it’s perfect for yoga and looking super chic while hiking.

I was actually a little worried about how this piece would fit on me. I have a relatively petite frame but also have super broad shoulders, weird right? I’ve always been told to avoid high neck cutting since it accentuates the shoulders, and I would prefer less coverage under the bust to elongate my torso. This piece is probably one of those pieces I thought would only look nice on models, mannequins, and everyone else except me – it’s high neck, and the length is more like a crop top. After I tried it on, I stood in front of the mirror and admired how beautiful the top looked on me! I actually felt glamourous and sexy in this top, and these two words never appeared in my dictionary before. It was the perfect top to use in my yoga photoshoot!

Photo by Alex Schotzki (IG: @schotzkis)

The Audition 2.0 Capri was also a lust-worthy piece, featuring super light weight and quick drying fabric in a flattering fit. The high waist design and gentle compression helps hold your tummy and everything else in place so you can focus on your breathing and asana. The most attractive detail in these capris are the mesh panels and transparent seams at the bottom that adds a unique focal point. While being a gentle compression pair of capri, they did leave a very slight, albeit very cool mesh pattern on my leg after taking them off. So just a heads up for those who plan to take a run in the capris before changing into a cocktail dress, unless of course you want cool patterned legs for the party! The quality of the fabric, seams and design are the fine details MPG really nails and I really don’t think photos do them the justice they deserve!

Photos by Alex Schotzki (IG: @schotzkis)

Even though I previously said I lived in leggings, I usually pair it with a decent top so I don’t look like I just stepped out of yoga class. With this outfit, I felt very well put-together and chic. I wore this outfit to meet with friends a few times and got some beautiful stop-drop-and-yoga shots! Pair this ensemble with an over-sized cardigan and I look street-ready again.

If you aren’t following me on Instagram, please do! @poleasana

If this post isn’t convincing enough to say how much I love the top, just take a look at this magical shot taken with the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra and a tulle skirt!

 

Photo by barepixel (IG: @barepixel)

What’s your thing to fall in love with this fall?

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Thank you so much for MPG for providing the outfit in this review! The opinions I shared in this post is in no way influenced by the sponsorship and my affiliation with MPG Sport. 

Hello, my name is Kimmy

Social media is a beautiful thing. It allows us to curate the best image of ourselves and portray it however we want, all in the comfort of our own home, behind an anonymous, perfected profile. Some people use it to live the life they want to live, for others, it becomes a journal of their everyday life. For me, social media became my safe haven to escape the judgement I may face if real people knew who I really was.

 

*In this rather sentimental post rant, I also wanted to pay tribute to all these beautiful strangers that left their kind words on my YouTube page. You’re the reason I do it! 

 

If you haven’t noticed…

For the longest time, I never used my real name in my blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook and Instagram. In fact, you can’t really see my face in them either. I can’t really explain why, but I didn’t want people to know who I was.

A voice kept telling me, “You’re a pole dancer, you share pole videos online… when employers search your name and your YouTube page comes up, it’s not gonna end well.” At least that’s what I’ve managed to convince most people, but deep down, that wasn’t the reason. I just didn’t want to be known and made sure it stayed that way in the past 5 years.

What is Pole Asana?

When I first started writing and vlogging, I didn’t have a goal in mind. I grew up in an extremely conservative family and always maintained a ‘good girl’ image. Pole and me? No way. When I first started pole I felt empowered because I found something I loved, but at the same time I also felt very alone because I was afraid to tell anyone. In the first few years, I’ve recorded so many videos of my pole practices, videos I never thought I would share. Of course, there are days when it just feels like nothing is right – you feel weak, exhausted and defeated. On one of these days… I dug up my old videos. The ones where I can barely invert? What straight legs and pointed toes? You mean the ugly frog legs? Ya, those embarrassing videos. As I went through each of them, I saw so much improvement!

The first video I ever shared was my scorpio.
On the left: beautiful cocoon (super advanced pole move) – not me
On the right: a barely there closed inside-leg hang, while slowly sliding down the pole – me circa 2011

The uplifting effect these simple videos had on me made me wonder if someone else could benefit from this. I searched through YouTube and actually couldn’t find too many videos of people showing their fails. I mean, ya, I get it, it’s ugly and no one genuinely wants to see fail pole videos if they’re not funny (the world is pretty cruel sometimes!). I gathered up the small amounts of courage along with the non-existent video-editing knowledge I had, and uploaded my first Pole Diaries video on YouTube, ready for the world to judge. I clicked upload. I clicked published. And waited for something to happen… Of course, nothing happened! The world didn’t stop spinning because I decided to expose myself in the most vulnerable way. In fact, I think I got a record-breaking 20 views and 3 subscribers in 5 days! Good job Kimmy, job’s done.

My intent was never to gain any publicity for what I do. I only wanted to share and inspire others and so I just kept publishing more of these videos. I can’t say I get a lot of views or subscribers, but every comment that I got reminded me that if I can be a positive influence to anyone, it’s all worth it.

TL;DR version:
Pole Asana is my diary to document my pole and yoga journey. It’s meant to inspire other people and hopefully change the public perception and stigma associated with pole dancing.

Why are you so afraid to use your real name?

I didn’t want online people to know the real me, and I didn’t want people in real life to know what I do.

It took a few friends a very long time to convince me to start a Facebook page for Pole Asana. I hesitated because I knew it could eventually trace back to my personal account.*gasp* What if someone finds out??? Well, I finally did it, and it wasn’t so bad! I was happy to “come out” and let my friends know that this is what I do. Honestly, I think most people don’t really care and those who did were very supportive! All that worrying was for nothing! But for some reason, I still had a mini heart attack when my best friend left a comment on my photo: “Kimmy, you’re amazing!!” Irrationally, I deleted the comment in panic and apologized profusely to her. I could tell she was hurt and a little confused… To date, I still regret it (I’m so sorry, Estie!)

When I started teaching private lessons, I was still hesitant to share my name again (no surprise right?) and instead used a nickname, Kay. I love my students and I loved the connection I built with each of them. But a part of me still wanted to keep my pole life separate from my real life. But what’s to say pole is not already a big part of who I am already?

In this reflective time alone, I scrolled through all my past photos and videos on my blog. None of them clearly portrayed my face. At least, if anyone saw those photos/videos of me, they would never recognize me if they bumped into me on the street. Was that deliberate? Yes. I wanted to share a part of my life with the world, but only anonymously.

It’s been a long journey since those days when I still hid from the world. Competing in my first pole competition was an item off my milestone checklist. My parents’ perception of pole changed when they knew I was training to compete on stage. They also became super supportive of me when I finally showed them my YouTube videos. Oh ya, they shared it with their friends and family on Whatsapp too! When you’re Asian and your parents praise you in front of their friends, rejoice because that definitely doesn’t happen often!

 

Hey Kimmy, what’s next?

I always thought being personable and professional is mutual exclusive. I didn’t know if it was appropriate to show those silly happy dances at the end of my videos (ya, I cut those out), since that’s the real me but not the professional me. There was a clip where I smiled after getting one of the moves and someone actually commented on how they loved my smile. I literally basked in that comment for days!

I also decided to post a few selfies on Instagram – which is not very me at all! In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’m very self-conscious and would be happy just being a wallflower. But I loved seeing the occasional non-yoga or non-pole selfies my role models share on their IG feed since I can really put a face to the amazingly flexible and strong bodies.

Lastly, I’ve been slacking off on updating my YouTube channel but I promise I will start posting more videos soon! It’s been on my agenda to start doing voiceovers but I just lacked the confidence to do it. An exciting collaboration is coming up and that was just the little motivation I needed to step out of my comfort zone.

Thank you again for everyone, virtually and in real life, who had been so supportive of what I do. A small comment really goes a long way! Hopefully, you will all like the new me. Okay, it’s not really ‘new’, but more the real me. It’s hard to just throw myself out there waiting to be judged, but I’ll do it anyway! Just be nice 😉

Thinking about competing? Here’s 5 reasons why you should

On August 11, 2017, our pole troupe from Redefine Fit competed at the Great White North Pole Competition 2017 in Hamilton, ON and we placed 2nd! I’m so proud of us!

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Whether you’ve just started pole or have been practicing for years, there is no doubt video footage of jaw-dropping pole performances have at least inspired your decision to pole! With pole fitness becoming so popular, you’ve probably entertained the idea of performing or even competing when you found out a local event was coming up. So what’s stopping you? The nerves? The doubts? The oh-I’ll-do-it-when-I’m-better thoughts? You’re not alone!

I’ve been doing pole on and off for 6 years and have only recently ever so slightly wanted to experience what it feels to be on stage. During my one-month yoga teacher training course in India (review here), I received a newsletter from a pole studio regarding a pole troupe competition. Was this my calling? I’ve always wanted to perform and the choreographer is my pole idol LeeAnn Ball from DoublePoleTrouble (I fell in love with their IG page a few years ago!). Struggling with the intermittent internet in India, I managed to sign up – Poor Joanne from Redefine Fit probably received an email notification at 3:00am!

If you’re on the fence on whether you should sign up for the competition, I would say go for it! It’s my very first competition and I have so many positive reasons why you should. I’ve narrowed them down to FIVE reasons why you should perform or compete!

We were so lucky to have a photographer shoot and film our practice sessions.
Garon C. also does amazing portraits, so be sure to follow him on Instagram @photobygaron

1. Work towards a goal

No matter what got you interested in pole, a journey is always a journey. Remember when you first started and even a fireman spin left you with bruises? You’ve come a long way thanks to hours of practice and you even have numerous pole kisses (aka. unsightly internal blood clots) as proof of your hard work. But… is it enough just to share cool tricks on YouTube and social media?

Part of me needed more than just cool pics and video to show friends on my phone. I wanted to experience what it takes to prepare a routine for stage, I wanted to know what it feels to be on stage, with all eyes watching. Yes, it’s very daunting for an introvert! Once I committed, it felt invigorating to tell friends and family that I’m preparing for a competition. Coming from a very traditional family, it really changed my parents’ perspective of pole sport (they realized it’s actually a thing!) and their support for me meant everything!

Beautiful shot of our performance at Bay City Music Hall by Peter Y.
(Instagram: @peteryeungphotography)

2. Meet amazing people and be inspired

Whether you are performing solo, as a couple or in a troupe, you will likely need guidance from a choreographer or pole instructor. These are the people that will inspire you as you come up with your routine.

I already knew LeeAnn was talented from my daily IG-stalking therapeutic sessions, I didn’t know she was THAT amazing. There are probably many times during practice that I completely zoned out just from admiring how she moves, teaches and practices. As a choreographer, she is so creative and inspiring! Even when we as a group were terrible and out of sync (and we know it), she would throw in genuine words of encouragement.

Being part of a troupe was an amazing experience and it’s really the best way to ease yourself into a performance/competition! I got to meet 7 other incredibly talented girls of varying different personalities. The positive energy and encouragement is so contagious! I especially loved discussing costume ideas with them and doing each other’s hair and make up together. Meeting these girls and being able to share the stage and whole experience with them is a memory I won’t forget!

The Redefine Fit Pole Troupe and our choreographer LeeAnn Ball.
Photos by Garon C. (Instagram: @photobygaron)

3. Perfecting a routine

There may be some things you are particularly good at, and some that you sort of avoid… For me, I love being on the pole and nothing scares me. Floorwork and any dance component? Nope, somehow my arms and legs don’t connect to my brain for any choreography once I’m on the ground. Did I also mention I can’t count beats? Throw in a group dance and that instantly became the most stressful component for me.

For this particular routine, LeeAnn already had a magical vision in mind – Alice in Wonderland themed story/pole/group dance. With that being said, she gave us the freedom to design our own short 30s combo. As for me, I had two pole parts to work on: my doubles routine with my twin, and my solo combo. Since the doubles routine was already choreographed, I spent a long time figuring out what to include in my combo. Thirty seconds isn’t a long time!

By the 10th week of practice, I still didn’t have my combo perfected. I wanted to do too much with not enough time. LeeAnn only had to take a look once, gave me a few suggestions and voila! I had my combo! Which goes back to point #2, you meet the most amazing and inspirational people.

In the end, everything will always work out! You learn what you like and don’t like, you learn what you’re good at and what needs more attention.

My allegra on stage!
Photo by Peter Y. (Instagram: @peteryeungphotography)

4. Push your limits

Throughout your pole practice you might have learned countless number of tricks and have a few favourites. While you may be able to execute each move flawlessly, stringing them into a coherent combo may require some more work.

In pole practice, I always practice each move on both sides to balance things out or try another move to let certain parts of the body rest. However, when practicing for a routine, you subject your body to practice the same move, on the same side, repeatedly. For the 12 weeks, I’ve abused my thighs, shin, ankles and foot practicing the same moves repeatedly. Stock photo for domestic violence awareness poster? Check. I’ve never bruised this much in the past six years of poling. Does this mean it’s also the hardest I’ve ever practiced?

Had fun doing a mock up poster with my battered legs.
Who needs dresses, skirts and shorts for the summer anyway?

You will likely get nerves the few weeks leading up to the competition. For me, I had the most terrifying nightmare – succinctly put, let’s just say, half our troupe had stage fright and dropped out last minute, our choreographer wasn’t there when we performed, DJ played the wrong version of our song, we totally bombed our group dance (in the bad way)… Thank god it was only a dream!

Waking up early Sunday mornings for 12 weeks was no easy task, but practicing with these beautiful ladies made it worth it!
Photos by Garon C. (Instagram: @photobygaron)

5. You’ve been inspired, now it’s your turn to inspire

Time is ticking, you’re waiting for the previous contestants to finish their routine. You anxiously pace around, do some last minute stretching while waiting for the MC to call you onto the stage. You walk into the lights, and your nervousness becomes excitement. All the past few months of work boils down to this – 5 minutes.

You hear the music and your body just effortlessly moves. Your brain no longer needs to think because the movements and dance embodies you. As you go through the challenging parts of your routine and perfect it, you can’t help but smile. You smile as you enjoy the process, you smile because the audience is watching and you can hear their applause. The applause continue and you bow, grinning ear to ear. You did it! You earned these recognition so just enjoy it!

If anyone were to ask me what I felt while on stage, I think the correct term would be ‘euphoria’. I enjoyed every moment of it and really hope everyone can feel this way at least once! I can finally say, I’ve been on stage, and I’ve competed. Even if we didn’t win anything, we won!

Redefine Fit owner Joanne was so sweet in preparing these framed photos with signed plaques to commemorate our achievements. Such a thoughtful gift!

Final words

If you’re ever on the fence about it, find a studio that offers troupe performances/competition, it’s an amazing way to build up confidence to go up on the stage! In Toronto, ON, Redefine Fit constantly organizes troupes, so be sure to check them out!

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Still not sure? Let me know what’s stopping you!