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!
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, 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 💜
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.
They come in different sizes, and the velcro closure allows you to make sure the wrist supports fit you perfectly.
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!
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 🙂
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
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
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
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. 😍😍
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.
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 😉
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.
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!
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!
Happy holidays everyone! Thank you to everyone for your support in the past year, all your sweet comments and messages really mean a lot to me. ♡♡♡
To wrap up the end of 2016, I wanted to do a tutorial on one of my favourite pole moves: the Jade and some of its variations.
Before we start, there are some pre-requisites you should be extremely comfortable with before trying the jade.
Frontal splits – you should be relatively comfortable with the splits although it’s ok if you couldn’t do a completely flat one (I can’t either!).
Outside leg hang – some regions call this the gemini/scorpio, but I’ll call it the outside leg hang so there’s no confusion. You need to be pretty secure in this, otherwise you may start sliding down while you set up for the jade.
So now, let’s break down the steps to getting the jade!
Stretch: Warm up your hamstrings and hips by doing some stretches for the splits. I used a yoga wheel to help deepen the stretches, you can use pillows, cushions or blocks.
Duchess: The duchess is a jade variation, great for those who are not as flexible.
To get into the duchess, start with an outside leg hang, bend the inside leg and bring it towards your core. Squeeze the leg with your outside arm/hand!
Wrap the inside arm around the pole. Squeeze the pole with the armpit area and use your hand to support your butt.
If this feels secure, slowly straighten the hooked leg and bring the hip down.
To exit, wrap the outside leg back onto the pole to go back to the outside leg hang.
Straighten the front leg: No matter how flexible you are off the pole, it feels a little scary to be stretching while hanging upside down on the pole! From the outside leg hang, bring the inside leg to your head and straighten. I find it easier to first bend the leg first (it also makes you spin faster!) and then straightening out the leg. Alternatively, you can just swing the leg around and keep it straight.
Combine Steps 2 & 3 to a Jade: Practice the previous two steps until you’re super comfortable with them. Straighten the front leg, make sure it’s secure, then drop the back leg like you did in the duchess. Ta-da!
Jade Passe: Another variation on the jade is to bend the back leg and grab it with your inside hand (instead of supporting your butt). This variation is also great for those that are less flexible. If your jade is not flat enough, this is something you can try!
If you’re having trouble with the duchess, jade, or other variations, here are some tips:
The main contact point for the jade is the skin between the waist and the inner thigh of the inner leg. You can add additional contact points from the armpit. There are also no-handed jades (not shown in the video)!
Using the hand to ‘support’ your butt pushes your hips up onto the pole while making your armpit squeeze tighter. This is optional but helps quite a bit.
The jade split requires flexibility. If you’re having trouble flattening into it, you can ‘cheat’ by rotating your hips instead of keeping them square. To do this, look over your shoulder so you can see your back foot and actively push the leg downwards. This positioning will help open the hips quite a bit to give the illusion of a flatter jade.
I hope this helps! If you have any questions or tips to share, please leave a comment here!
I want to thank everyone for being so supportive of my adventures in 2016! This year, I began practicing pole and yoga more seriously, dedicated much more time into creating YouTube tutorials and publishing blog posts, reviewing yoga studios and products, started my online shop, and finally, began teaching private pole lessons. Throughout all this, I realized this is what I realllllly enjoy doing. Despite having a very stressful day at my 9-5 work, coming home to teach classes, editing videos or doing anything related to my business immediately makes me so happy!
Two exciting news I want to share:
1. Rebranding: From Kaybbt to Pole Asana
Kaybbt (pronounced Kay-B-B-T) was a username I picked for my blog back when I first started writing. Kay is my nickname and since that username was taken already, I chose to add something else I really liked: yes, bubble tea (BBT). Back in 2013, I didn’t think anyone would read my blog so I regrettably did not spend too much time thinking of a better name! To date, a few people have asked me what the name meant or how it’s pronounced. When you start feeling embarrassed having to explain your nonsensical branding, that’s when you know it’s time for a change!
I spent a few weeks thinking of names I want to call my pole and yoga business, and bounced ideas off a few close friends. The ideal was a memorable name that conveyed the marriage between pole and yoga. We came up with a few that I liked (I even started designing a logo for it!) but I had to admit I didn’t love them. Out of nowhere, I had an eureka moment and the name ‘Pole Asana’ came to mind.
Pole Asana was the perfect name for me! In yoga, ‘asana’ generally refers to poses or postures such that Pole Asana literally translates to ‘pole poses’ with allusions to my love for yoga. Whether it is for blogging, social media, online business or teaching, I already feel so much more confident with this new brand!
2. Next Stop: 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training in India!
The previous news might have foreshadowed this announcement since I’m trying to rebrand to a pole and yoga business. I’ve been doing yoga for almost 7 years now and have always wanted to become an instructor. Timing, costs and all sorts of excuses got in the way but I finally decided to just do it! I got a scholarship from the yoga school, paid my deposit, booked my flight, and will be spending 4 weeks in Rishikesh, India in March 2017 for my 200YTT! This will be a very exciting journey for me and I look forward to sharing this experience with you in my blog!
I’ve been trying to find more information on what it’s like to do a YTT in India but haven’t been able to find a super detailed blog for it. If you or you know any friends/family who have gone, please let me know! Also, this will be my first time visiting India so any tips would be super helpful!
I only recently started using Instagram and I must say it’s such a great source of inspiration from pole dancers all over the world! A few months ago there is this new move called the ‘garbage grinder’, I kid you not, that was pretty popular on Instagram. I’m not 100% sure who came up with the move but found a demo on Cleo’s Rock N Pole by Brynn Route.
I decided to give this move a try, starting from a handstand instead of pole sit. This entry method is pretty beginner-friendly provided you are comfortable in a wall-assisted handstand.
Steps to get into garbage grinder
Start in a downward dog position with heels in one line with the pole. Begin with feet together on one side of the pole.
Lift the inside leg up around hip level, bend the knee and grip onto the pole. As you do so, tilt your hips down towards the floor away from the outside leg.
Once your knee grip is secure, lift the outside leg up and over your head.
Straighten your bent leg and extend into a split.
To exit, bend the leg that is on the pole to re-grip and gently bring the outside leg back on the floor.
Tips for the garbage grinder
Take some time to figure out how far your hands should be on the floor when you begin the pose, as well as how high to hook your knee.
Moist skin (aka slightly sweaty) is ideal to grip onto the pole. If you’re having trouble gripping the pole, do some warm up exercise or use some grip aids.
It’s important to tilt your hips away from the outside leg so you are secure in your knee grip.
As you get more comfortable bringing the outside leg over, try doing this with straight legs and pointed toes!
This is not necessarily the smoothest move to transition into and out of, so practice some combos to make it flow.
I’m interested in your progress and what routines you can come up with! Please follow me and tag me so I can see your move! As always, if you have questions or trouble with the move, please leave me a comment below.
Amazing pole grip in a genius glue-stick inspired dispenser!
I recently reviewed the iTac 2 grip that I purchased many years ago (read review here). At the time of writing that review, I was aware the product was repackaged and the formulas have been improved from user feedback. I reached out to the CEO of iTac2 to ask for samples of the newer products for review and received the iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo. The combo is available on their website includes the StickIT in regular and extra strength, the pole cleaner solution and microfiber cloth and retails for 40AUD+21AUD shipping (approximately 29USD+16USD shipping).
If you’re interested in this combo, keep reading for a giveaway contest at the end!
StickIT Regular and Extra Strength
iTac2 StickIT in Regular and Extra Strength
Let’s start off by talking about the gorgeous repacking of the product! The products are wrapped in a beautiful holographic sticker in metallic pink and purple. While the difference between the regular strength and extra strength is hard to tell at first, you will notice the one with the pink on top is the regular, and the purple on top is the extra strength.
It’s hard to talk about how great the StickIT is without comparing it to the jars, so let me explain! The previous iTac2 (45g) I purchased was housed in a plastic jar with a narrow mouth. While the grip itself was great, the tub was not the most user-friendly; the product was hard to scoop out and would often get stuck under my fingernails. The jars in 20g and 45g are now modified, featuring a wider mouth to scoop out the product.
With the StickIT, this eliminates scooping the product out with your fingernails. The product was probably inspired by the ease of use of deodorants, chapsticks or glue sticks. Think tube of product with plastic twisting mechanism at the bottom. Simply genius.
Close-up of the iTac2 StickIT
How to Use
To use the product, you simply remove the cap, twist the product up and apply the product where needed (hands, inner elbows, back of knees, thighs, feet, etc). I would however caution to twist only a small amount up at a time since beeswax is rather soft and the stick might break if it’s twisted up too much. When you’re done, twist the product back and recap. Rub palms together or against parts where the product was applied. The heat generated helps distribute the product evenly. Wait a few minutes and then pole!
Touch and Feel
One word came to mind after I used the StickIT and it’s clean. I’m not sure if the formula is different than the old iTac2 I had, but this one gave me the grip I needed on the pole but did not leave a sticky feeling on my hands after. With the old iTac2, I found myself spending copious amount of time scrubbing the grip off my hands AND the pole. With the StickIT, it may be a combination of improved formula and the way it was dispensed since it was easy to control how much I applied on my hands.
I decided to tackle the Janeiro for the first time once applying this grip. To my surprise, I felt completely at ease and comfortable in the pose, no slipping, no fear of falling onto my face. I got my Janeiro! *victory dance* After a long pole session with the StickIT, my chrome pole was super sticky. I made the mistake of trying to spin on the static pole and it made a loud resonating noise enough to scare my neighbour’s dog. I actually smiled because I’ve never had a grippy pole before! Contrary to my initial belief, the grip wiped off easily with my regular pole cleaner (Windex) without any struggle.
The iTac2 fits perfectly in the palm of your hand!
I wasn’t able to find an ingredients list for the product, but was able to find this description on what the iTac2 is made of:
iTac2 is a mixture of organic beeswax and high grade plant based esters. iTac2 is made low allergenic and balanced pH. iTac2 has a coffee and vanilla aroma fragrance. We blend this together with a little love and produced a good reliable sports grip named iTac2.
The products are made in Australia using all natural and organic ingredients from clean Australian forests. Great to know the ingredients coming in contact with our skin is as natural as possible 🙂
Should I Use Regular or Extra Strength?
I generally have pretty dry skin and occasionally find my hands and feet can get a little sweaty/oily for some moves. The regular strength has been more than enough for all my pole needs. One application would last me throughout the whole session, with plenty left over on the pole for next time if I’m lazy to clean it off. I’ve also tried the regular strength on inner elbows, thighs and back of the knees and they work extremely well!
Some of my students have complained about very sweaty or oily hands. When they tried the regular strength, they said it helped a little but they found it rubbed off fairly easy for them. With the extra strength, they felt much more confident with their lifts and inversions.
The iTac2 Pole Cleaner can be used to clean any metal surfaces
The new and improved iTac2 grip formula was very easy to clean off the pole with my existing microfiber cloth and trusty bottle of Windex. While Windex works very well, I do find the ammonia can leave a residual smell overtime (yes, sometimes it could smell like pee). Gross, but usually a quick wipe down with soap and warm water solves the problem. Despite the occasional offensive smell, it still remains a very cost-effective way of cleaning the pole.
The packaging label is consistent with the rest of the iTac 2 Pole Grip product line, featuring the attractive pink-purple gradient and clean typefaces. The solution is housed in an amber plastic bottle with a spray nozzle. A super soft pink microfiber cloth is also included with the cleaner.
Looking for a less stinky alternative? iTac2 has a solution (ha, get it? *wink*)! The ingredients list contains two items: non-regulated hydrocarbon and Native Australian lemon myrtle essential oil. I’m not exactly sure what the first ingredient is as it sounds very vague and I do wish to get some reassurance that this is safe to use. On a positive note, the lemon myrtle oil has anti-bacterial properties and smells really refreshing!
iTac 2’s Pole Cleaner comes in 125ml(12AUD) and 250ml (22.50AUD) bottles. The website claims the smaller bottle can be used over 400 times so it’s quite economical!
The StickIT hand grips are such great products! The new packaging is beautiful and functional. I love the deodorant/glue stick-inspired dispenser since it effectively helps control how much product is applied and prevents waste/over use. The products can be quite pricey especially with international shipping for relatively little product. However, looks can be deceiving since you only need to use so little and each tube can last up to 40 applications!
If you’re interested in the products, I would highly suggest getting a few interested friends to share the cost of shipping. The iTac2 StickIT grip formulas are perfect for beginners and more advanced pole dancers. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Official iTac2 Giveaway Contest
iTac2 is currently offering TWO sets of the iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo reviewed in this post! Simply follow @iTac2, repost the image and tag @iTac2 and #iTac2 for your chance to win! Contest ends November 14th, good luck!
My apologies for the lack of updates in the past few weeks! I’ve just returned from a two-week vacation and I’m busy catching up with a list of reviews and requests.
The one-handed cartwheel took priority because it was a tutorial requested from someone who wanted to use this move in her upcoming competition in mid-November. I hope this still gives her enough time to practice and perfect!
Here are some steps to getting this move:
Shoulder stretches: The cartwheel requires some mobility in the shoulders so spend some time stretching it out. A yoga wheel is a great prop to open the shoulders and chest. Arm circles and shoulder rolls are also good options.
Practice kicking up to a handstand with the wall: Kicking right into the cartwheel and potentially landing on your back/breaking your arms is a very scary thought. Try kicking up with the wall there first. Start with gentle kicks and use your core to bring your legs up rather than using momentum. Kick a little harder under you’re able to reach the wall with your feet. If you’re hitting the wall with a loud ‘thump’ you’re kicking too hard!
Use the pole and a yoga mat: Once you’re comfortable with the wall, try it on the pole. All that practice going up to the wall with control means you are not kicking hard into the cartwheel and potentially falling over. Line the landing spot with the yoga mat to cushion the falls.
Using just the pole: With practice your falls should be controlled so you will no longer need the mat.
Fine-tune: work on shortening the amount of time it takes to set up the move, pointing your toes on your way up and down, smiling, etc
Disclaimer: My move looks far from perfect since I only had a few days to practice it. The sample given to me looked graceful, entering the cartwheel with relatively straight legs, almost in a split, pointed toes, smiles and all. With practice, it will happen! I hope the video was able to get you started!