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Pole dancer executes a spin on stage.

Re-Train the Brain, Re-Train the Body

I want to stop here and breathe for a minute.  In my past articles I have walked you through the self-activations for your breathing, Psoas and Glutes.  These activations are known as Zone 1 in the Be Activated principles.  Zone 1 is the area mostly related to our selves and it is also the most important area of our body to get back into a rhythm.  Due to the pressures of relationships, family, work and other stresses our Zone 1 (breathing, Psoas and Glutes) even though the most important for a normal functioning body/mind, is also the very first area we lose connection with.  By activating our Zone 1 we are beginning the journey to come back into ourselves, feel our body again and learn the art of putting ourselves and our harmony before others.

This is hard.  Especially as women, because we are taught from a very young age that to be “good” we have to put others needs in front of our own.  We hurt, so others don’t have to.

This is why we have so much dysfunction in our movement.  We physically disconnect from our bodies in order to fulfill the idea that others come first.

This leads to all the reasons so many of us found pole to begin with:  we hate ourselves, we hate our bodies, we don’t feel sexy, we don’t feel loveable, we don’t feel worthy, we are going through a breakup/loss and are trying to figure out who we are.

Don’t believe me?  Go to your studio and just start asking the ladies why they started pole?  I find that a vast majority will cite one of the reasons above.

What Can Be Done?

Activating your Zone 1 will begin to connect your BRAIN back to your BODY but you have to do some WORK to stay there.

My friend has been reading the book How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal From Your Past and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicole LePera.  In this book she cites a study done at Harvard in 1979 by psychologist Ellen Langer. The study went something like this, two groups of elderly men were recruited from nursing homes to move to a monastery.  One group was asked to live like the clock had been turned back 20 years.  She wanted them to try and actually live like the person that they were 20 years ago.  Their living quarters were decorated as they would have been 20 years prior, magazines from the era were out to read, the TV only ran shows from 20 years earlier even the furniture was from the correct time period.  There were no mirrors in the living quarters only framed pictures of the men as their younger selves.  The second group was encouraged to continue to live normally but reminisce about the past.  They stayed themselves and only talked about the bygone era when they were younger.

This study was short, it only lasted a week, and when it concluded all the men in both groups were noticeably more flexible, less stooped in posture and had an increase in cognitive abilities and physical abilities.  This is amazing!!  But even more amazing, the first group, the one that was asked to “live as if they were 20 years younger” all noted an increase in their 5 senses.  They could see, taste, smell, touch and hear BETTER.  They were more aware of themselves, and where they were in their surroundings.  In pictures taken of the men, many of them more closely resembled photos taken years earlier to the photos taken just before the study began.

This is how powerful the mind is.  Can you imagine being 20 years youngers, just by thinking you were 20 years younger?

What Does This Have To Do With You?

Activating your Zone 1 is the first step. You can do it once a week, every day, just before class.  There is no prescription, just do it.  Once you do it, once your body begins to integrate what it feels like to feel “good” then you have to start LIVING IT.  You have to start living into a body that feels good.  Living into a YOU that is more connected to yourself.  Living into a YOU that is more connected to your surroundings.  Living into the version of YOU that you were before life started to wear you down.  And as we see in the study I cited, it is as easy as changing your thoughts.

Let the Be Activated principles make your body feel better and then let that filter into your brain so that EVERYTHING starts to feel better.

Next stop on this crazy train activating your hamstrings.

Susan Bartley
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