eek Three – Pole
After sustaining a little muscle pull in my last pole class, I couldn’t wait to get back in the studio and try again. This time around, everything went much better!
Hannah checked with all attendees for new injuries that she should be aware of then warmed as all up as usual. Honestly, I’m getting better at following the warm-up, but I’m still not perfect (maybe week four is my lucky week?).
We launched into a short routine, which included a Step Around, into Falling Lady/Man/Person (however you identify, that’s cool!), into Shoulder Roll, then Chair Spin and finally a Pole Climb.
Step Around was familiar to me from week one, so that felt pretty easy. Falling Lady/Man/Person was a little bit trickier (it kind of felt like a reverse Attitude Spin?), but I think I got there in the end.
The Shoulder Roll was not my friend! I think because I’ve been so inactive for a long time (see the inaugural blog in this series), I found it hard to roll over myself and land gracefully without banging hard onto the floor. After a quick assessment from Hannah, I realised I wasn’t spreading my legs wide enough and I wasn’t “pushing through” with my hand to make the roll a bit more graceful.
The Chair Spin element of the routine was incredibly fun, it’s another thing I have seen so many times at shows and competitions, so actually getting to do it and nail it after just a couple of tries was really satisfying.
I had been dreading the final part of the routine, the Pole Climb. This is what had caused my little injury the previous week, but I was determined that this time around I was going to nail it.
Hannah first had me do a single lift, then try removing a hand at a time. After a few tries I got it! The key I think is trusting in yourself and breathing correctly. Hannah makes it look absolutely effortless and I have an even greater respect for all the volunteer pole cleaners at shows and competitions, they deserve a medal/trophy all of their own! I then tried to climb further up the pole and get my rhythm down, so it was smooth (I was trying to do this in basketball shorts, pole shorts are on order!). I managed three climbs before I had to give up, but I was surprised at how far off the floor I was.
Tying this all together and then running through it made me feel like I’d really learned something in the short time that I have been attending classes at Aerial Attic. I can see why people get so into pole, there’s an instant validation of what you’ve been working on when you nail a move, plus the support and encouragement of both the instructor and other class attendees is a huge boost to your confidence.
No Aerial Yoga this week, as I was a little bit behind on writing up this post, but hopefully I manage my time a little better next week and get back into my “zen space.”
Week Three – Aerial Hoop
After having a great session in Aerial Hoop the week before, I was keen to get back in the studio and push harder to get some new moves in the bag.
We started off with our usual warm up, moving onto some conditioning on the hoops, shoulder shrugs, seat, pike and straddle lifts (week one I hated these and have weirdly grown to love them now!).
Ellie started off by showing us a combo that involved Double/Single Knee Hang, Peter Pan, transitioning to Mermaid and then Bottom Bar Mermaid.
Getting in and out of the hoop felt even easier than last week and Ellie commented that I looked a lot more comfortable and at ease in the hoop.
Double Knee Hang actually felt fairly comfortable compared to when I first tried it. Taking my left leg off to go into Single Knee Hang was a bit of a challenge and I did feel like I might fall, but it was great to up the ante a little. I did try it with removing my right leg instead of the left too, but this didn’t feel quite as secure and I couldn’t straighten my free leg (something to work on next week).
The Peter Pan seemed to click in my head very quickly and within a few tries I think I had got it down pat.
Mermaid on the other hand felt very uncomfortable on both sides (rolling on to my left felt a bit easier than the right). The end result of this move felt really unstable to me (maybe it’s a mental thing), like I was going to fall right out of the hoop, but I did get there in the end.
I only got the chance to try Bottom Bar Mermaid once during the session, as there was a lot to get through this week, but again, I think it something to pick up next week to make sure I really get it.
I did want to revisit Man in the Moon to Amazon transition, to really make sure I had understood it from last week and this week it felt a lot smoother. Ellie did make me raise my legs too, as you can see from the photos, I’m a bit taller than most of the students so it did look like I had my feet on the floor in the Amazon (I promise I didn’t!), see the picture below as proof.
I have literally been raving about my classes to anyone that will listen, telling them all about what I have been doing and how good I feel for days afterwards! I cannot recommend pole and aerial hoop enough to my friends, it’s so different to any work out or class I have ever done before, so much more interesting and satisfying. If you already do pole or hoop, I strongly recommend you take up the whichever one you’re not already doing.
Joey heads up the UK and European marketing efforts for X-POLE (www.x-pole.co.uk). He is a career marketer, with previous experience at some of the biggest global brands and award winning marketing agencies. His expertise stretches across creative strategy, digital marketing, public relations and marketing communications.