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Appreciate the Genius of You With 3 Celebration Dares

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 Photo Credit: Tresemes37

Gratitude may be the simplest tool we possess to increase abundance in our lives. The field of Positive Psychology grew out of the ‘gratitude visit’ that Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, gave his students. It turned out that expressing gratitude and savoring blessings profoundly increases health and happiness.

Imagine what would happen if you included yourself on your gift list this holiday season? And instead of buying presents, you expressed heartfelt love and appreciation with these Celebration Dares.

 

Celebration Dare 1: 101 Treasures + Traits

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List 101 treasures and traits you love and appreciate about YOU.

If this makes you want to run for the hills, begin with ten or even just three.

For example:

  1. I adore my passion
  2. I admire my creativity.
  3. I appreciate my strong muscles.
  4. I’m thrilled with my signature scent (lusty jasmine) that wafts from my hair, neck + wrists compelling compliments of, “Mmm, you smell so good.”

See what happens when you get going…?

What do you love about your personality? Are you compassionate or bold?

What do you appreciate about your body? Your cute toes, long legs, firm abs or belly streaked with the beauty marks left behind after she made a baby?

Perhaps it’s your curious or analytical mind? Or your generous or indomitable spirit?

Approach the activity with the same attitude towards yourself that you have for a grandparent, parent, child or spouse/partner.

You can even make a simple list.  I love + appreciate you because…

Immerse or take your time. What feels best to you?

  • Carve out an hour or so to take advantage of an inspired muse.
  • Make it a daily ritual upon awakening (or before bed) with a cup of tea while curled up with your journal.
  • Start a new note in an app on your phone to capture self-love on the fly.

Once you complete a list of 101, give it to yourself as a gift.

  • Create a fancy PDF. Print it in color. Send it to yourself tucked in a holiday card signed with love.
  • Make picture art using your favorite online (Canva) or mobile (WordSwag) app. Print, frame + wrap it up. Then stick it under your tree, if you celebrate Christmas.
  • Hand write it on simple or stunning paper. Read it aloud to yourself on New Year’s Eve while sipping a glass of champagne. You can even record it on your phone (or with vocaroo) to listen when your critical voice comes haunting.

Savor the love and appreciation.

Celebration Dare 2: Be One With LOVE

"self love" - bodybinds.com

 All we are is love. ~ Larisa Stow & Shakit Tribe

Buy or cue up the song Final Moment: Love by Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe on your mobile music device.

Take it with you (don’t forget headphones) to your favorite spot in Nature. Take it to one that awes you and makes you feel connected to all living things.

Get warm, present and embodied with a short hike, swim or dance. Play, if you dare. Skip through the grass, ride a swing, build a sand castle or climb a tree.

Once you’re smiling and glowing get comfy. Lay or sit on the ground (on a towel or blanket you brought) or stand at the edge of the ocean or stunning hilltop view.

Put in your headphones and start the music. Play it loud enough to feel enveloped by its vibrations, yet quiet enough to hear the hum of nature surrounding you.

Feel the love vibration. Let the expansive energy of the music, her voice and the lyrics fill you and lift your spirit.

At some point as she chants, all we are is love, stretch out your arms and soak up the light from the sun—whether direct rays, filtered or reflected.

Feel loved by the universe. Soak it in by giving yourself a hug. Feel loved by YOU.

Revel in connection. And listen to the song anytime you need a boost.

If this feels too ‘woo woo’ for you, watch the documentary, I AM. It could change your mind. And if you live near Ventura go to this playshop with Larisa Stow.  I wish I could.

Celebration Dare 3:  Celebratory Parade

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Dance to a song that feels like a party or celebratory parade in your house or during a freestyle dance during your weekly dance class, if you take them.

Adorn yourself in an outfit you love, with your Bodybinds, of course! Add jewelry that jingles and jangles when you strut and twirl. Hip scarfs with dangling coins are my favorite. Anklets and charm bracelets or bangles are a close second. Even dangle ornaments or lights from your Bodybinds.

If you’re not a dancer, sashay and strut through your house. Or better yet, down your street or a grocery store aisle. Carry and shake a tambourine, egg shakers, gourd drum or any percussion instrument you have lying around.

This dare was inspired by my recent dance to Trumpets by Jason Derulo in my regular pole dance class after my teacher said, “You filled the room like a one woman parade.” That’s exactly what it felt like!

Every woman, man and child deserves to dance or move like a one-person parade at least once in his or her life!

More Song Suggestions:

  1. Adorn by Miguel
  2. Freedom! 90 by George Michael
  3. Swing by Savage
  4. Party (ft. Andre 3000 & Kanye West) by Beyonce
  5. Wild for the Night (ft. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam) by A$AP Rocky
  6. Bailando (ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona) by Enrique Iglesias

Rejoice in celebrating YOU!

PS If you enjoy this and want more come join me on my blog from Dec 31 thru Jan 2 for a 3-Day Love Growth Spurt Challenge for daily prompts to celebrate, cherish and dare ourselves to increase the size of our heart’s.

Lisa Faulkner is the passionate + playful pole dancing professor. She also writes for PDBloggers and Bad Kitty. Come learn and play with her at poledancingprofessor.com.

The Importance of Sexy: Why You Need It And Why It’s So Hard To Get It In The First Place

In the comfort of a pole studio, with it’s dim lights and body positive mantras, it shouldn’t be hard for women and men to find their sexy, but as a fellow pole dancer that is the first place I started to really realize how uncomfortable people were with finding themselves sexy. These gorgeous creatures who had no problem performing death defying tricks now shrunk into themselves at the idea of dancing “sexy”.

So why is it important to find yourself “sexy” ?

Certainly there is more to life than being really, really good looking.(bonus points for those who get the reference) First lets disabuse ourselves of the idea that “sexy” is only appearance based – it’s not. We all had a crush on a guy or girl who so wasn’t your type or couldn’t be considered traditionally beautiful, but their demeanor and personality put his or her sexy rating off the charts. We also know people who you would normally be drooling over, but their general vibe is a big enough turn off that you’d never call them “sexy.”

I propose that while on the surface “sexy” is, well, surface, really when we use it to describe ourselves it has a depth of meaning. To be “sexy” is to know your flaws and still love yourself. To be “sexy” is to take ownership of your body. It is taking pleasure in ones self, both physically and mentally. It is seeing sex as natural and not to be feared. It is not needing the approval of others to be sensual or in touch with your body. It is self-confidence and self-awareness. Yes, “sexy” is surface, it’s physical, it lives in your muscles and skin and you share it with others in the sway of your hips, the gestures of your hands, and the glint in your eye. Yes, “sexy” is surface, but that doesn’t make it shallow. And all that, that is exactly why you need “sexy” in your life. 

Why is “sexy” such a scary word?

For the same reason we need “sexy,” it is the reason it is feared. “Sexy” is unapologetically you and your sexuality. It is authentic and unique. It does not bend to societal norms and can not be controlled by fear. And there in lies the problem, because there is nothing that scares our culture more than those who don’t fit into easily defined and controlled boxes. And if you do not fit into those “boxes,” our culture sets out to use shame, taboo, and panic to control and manipulate.

From a young age we are taught the evils of our bodies and the dangers of sex. It is pounded into our brains, specifically as women, that to enjoy our bodies is bad. Sex and sensuality is for the slutty girls and you want to be a good girl don’t you? We are inundated with messages of what our body is supposed to be, what “good” bodies are. And yet that is not true. “Sexy” is not a small box only a select few with specific predetermined traits can quietly fit into. It is nebulous and ever growing to contain new definitions and interpretations.

If society can make you fear and hate your body, it can distract you with ways to improve your body, sell you products to fix invisible problems or at the very least shame you from reaching your full power. Did you know that you at your full “sexy” power is an unstoppable force?  When you aren’t wasting time hating your body, your sexuality, and yourself, the culture that brings people down and keeps a select few in control starts to lose it’s power. Those who profit off of our fear and shame start to get scared themselves because you can’t bend fully empowered and yes, “sexy” people to your will. “Sexy” is scary to our culture and so, in turn, it does it’s best to scare us away from feeling and experiencing it.

Why is it hard to be and feel sexy?

Well, because we are set up not to. We might fight against the messages of our culture, but often it is so deeply ingrained that while we may shout “I AM SEXY” from the rooftops to actually believe it and show it through actions is much more difficult.  It takes real work and introspection to discover and work on our hang ups. We also have to realize that while we may be adults we are not immune from the judgement and influence that others have on our perception of ourselves.

Returning back to the pole dancers, I believe that part of their (and I know my) anxiety dealt with the boastful nature of “sexy”. To dance “sexy” can feel like you are performing an “Aren’t I Hotttt” dance. Most of us have it drilled into us, again specifically women, that we do not give ourselves praise, we praise others, and when others praise us, we must assume they are just being nice and praise them even more. Being “sexy” is like giving yourself a compliment and then telling everyone else what you said. We have been hardwired against that action and so ultimately hardwired against finding ourselves “sexy”.

So how do you start the journey to “sexy”?

I like to think that I have always been secure in my “sexy”, but I know that is not true. Over the years it’s strength has embed and flowed, but as I have gotten older I have made a concerted effort to make sure “sexy” is here to stay.

Here are 3 of the most helpful ways I started (and continue) my journey:

1. Give ZERO FUCKS. Seriously anytime you see or hear something that makes you feel bad about you being you, say in your head “I don’t give a fuck” (say out loud if necessary). Start saying it enough, your immediate reaction to being told you’d look prettier if you lost weight or you should really wear more make-up will be to give ZERO FUCKS! (this  really works, I promise)

2. Find a physical activity that you love. Clearly I’m Team Pole Dance for a journey of “sexy” self-discovery, but I don’t expect that it will be everyone’s cup of tea. The most important aspect of this physical activity is that it will help you become more in touch with your body and what it is capable of. Take your time with this one, because you also want to make sure you truly love it and are able to create a positive association between a healthy activity and your body.

3. Define “Sexy” for yourself “Sexy” is unique to everyone, in fact if you don’t like the word “sexy” change it, but what is it to you? Is it dark, mysterious, even a little scary? Is it fluffy, pink, and feminine? Or is it brooding, sharp, and masculine? You create your own “sexy”. Discover what yours is and don’t waste your time chasing after someone else’s definition.

Where are you on your journey to “sexy”?

What do you struggle with? What tips would you give to others looking to feel more comfortable with being “sexy”?

 Jillian is an avid pole dance student, accessories and costume designer, rhinestone aficionado, and a PDBloggers Executive Committee Member. She also writes at PoleGeek.blogspot.com.

Dance Like An Animal, Don’t Eat Them| 4 Vegan Quick Meal Options

“Eat Clean and Dance Dirty”

That’s the phrase stated boldly across the tshirts my home dance studio sells.  The phrase takes on many meanings but I love the implications especially since I take pole dancing classes at the studio.  Considering the phrase, it wasn’t long before I began noticing a lot of my pole dancing friends, including myself adhere to one version of a clean diet; many of us are vegans.

There’s just something about those veggies that fuels our bodies and makes us look and feel so incredibly sexy….especially as we dance. Oh, right. Nutrients! Knowing the value of a clean diet, I have tried eating mostly vegetarian or vegan foods, on and off, over the years. In addition to the way clean eating physically makes me feel, this summer I was also influenced by a book I read about the ethics of animal rights. It inspired me to be more consistent with making plant-based eating choices.

QUICK & EASY MEAL INSPIRATION 

Quinoa Veggie Salad - I cook a lot quinoa inspired meals. I usually throw something together like:

  • Quinoa
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Kale
  • Beans (I like to experiment and try all different kinds, like pinto, red, black and others)

Vegan Tacos - I also like to make this as a quick meal. Ingredients include:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Avocado
  • Black beans
  • Vegan Shredded Cheese

I’ll use extra-virgin olive oil in the pan while preparing the tacos, for the antioxidants and healthy fats. Or, I’ll drizzle olive oil over my quinoa and veggie plate.

SUPER SIMPLE SEXY SMOOTHIE - I LOVE making smoothies! I usually combine the following ingredients in a blender:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Almond Milk
  • Acai (They sell them in convenient one-serving packets at health food stores)
  • Flax Seed or Hemp Seed. (Bonus ingredient I sometimes add for extra nutrients.)
  • Kale or Other Greens (Another bonus ingredient I sometimes add! Drinking my veggies is one of the most delicious and quick ways to get my nutrients)

SWEET SUCCULENT SNACKS - When I’m craving sweet food, I go for:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Slice the strawberries and bananas, combine them with the berries in a bowl, and eat them just like that. Sometimes I drizzle agave on top of them, but the fruits are naturally sweet so adding sweetener isn’t really necessary.

DELICIOUS DRINK OPTIONS 

I’ve become a big fan of beverages with health-boosting properties. I’ll drink alkaline water, lemon water, beet juice, carrot juice, veggie juice that includes ginger, kombucha, chia seed beverages and apple cider vinegar beverages.

Nourishing my body in these ways gives me clean, sustained energy. It gets me through taking three or four dance classes in a row on most nights, after busy days of work. When I stray from eating this way, I notice that I get crazy breakouts. Sometimes in place of fruits and veggies, I might have a lot more starches (like bread and pasta), empty carbs and desserts. I’m trying a lot harder these days not to stray. I’d much rather eat clean and then dance dirty.

Have you seen benefits from trying a plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diet? What are your favorite easy recipes for plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diets?

Tinie writes about sexuality, open relationships and pole dancing at DanceTinyFox.com. Her favorite hobbies are conducting life experiments and writing about them. Tinie is also an active member of the #PDBloggers.

Editor’s Note: This blog post is how Tinie personally feels about healthy eating options. If you find you are able to eat clean by eating a meat based diet or strictly fruit based diet or any other way, your experience and views are just as valid as her’s. The Bodybinds brand is not trying to tell you how to eat. Tinie has found her own way to eat clean and dance dirty and if it inspires or helps you, how very awesome!