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Am I the only one that has ever asked this question? I would always see so many of my favorite dancers and entertainers that are equally talented in both. When I first started pole, what drew me in was the ability to combine strength and flexibility into one workout. I was so intrigued by all the beautiful lines and intricate shapes that I could make with my body. During my first class I left feeling empowered, strong, sore and honestly a little discouraged. Why couldn’t I too drop it down into a straddle split like all the pro polers I watched for hours on Instagram?? To put it shortly, I wasn’t very flexible. Now I could do your basic stretches but when it comes to the ease and elegance (and MAJOR strength) it takes to do all the things like #pdjadesplit I was just not there…yet.

My world changed when my instructor suggested I try yoga. What? Why do I need to meditate to do pole? She explained to me that, like pole, yoga is combination of strength and flexibility that enables you to not only get a great workout but feel sexy and strong at the same time! I have to admit it took a couple yoga classes for me to grasp this concept. When I first started going my one and only goal was to get flexible so I could do all the pretty pole tricks. Obviously that takes time and is still a work in progress. But what I ended up getting in the long term was so much more!

Not only was gaining flexibility and strength but I was becoming a better at life in general. It made me more aware and conscious of my thoughts and the impact that has in my training on and off the pole. Yoga and meditation taught me patience. Something I desperately needed if I ever wanted to fly among the Instagram pole gods. Prior to my regular yoga practice, it seemed I was so caught up in all of the things I couldn’t do, that I wasn’t enjoying the journey to becoming better at pole. Which, in my opinion, is one of the best parts. Think about the first time you landed a trick that seemed impossible to you. How joyous and accomplished you felt in that moment. You wouldn’t have gotten to that moment if it weren’t for the bruises, slips, and falls that came before it. THE JOURNEY!! That’s what yoga taught me. To trust and enjoy the process. Success and splits do not happen overnight hunnyyy!

I’ve been drinking the kool-aid of yoga for 5 years all thanks to my goal to be a better poler. I even got certified to teach it! I got HOOKED hooked. I say all this to say that in my very biased opinion, pole and yoga have to be some kind of close-related cousins. I mean the proof is in the pudding here. Without getting into all the more intricate aspects of yoga like sanskrit, pranayama, chakras etc. I’ll keep it basic for the sake of proving my point. PATIENCE! Let’s be real, you have to learn patience if you want to be halfway decent at honestly anything. I learned patience when I wanted to get into forearm stand just like I had to learn patience when my instructor suggested I try a trick I knew I had down on my “bad” side. FOCUS, STABILITY, SEX APPEAL 🙂 I could honestly go on and on. If you haven’t tried a yoga class I highly suggest giving it a try. See if you can find any similarities. Maybe it can also help you to drop it down into a straddle split with more ease and grace.

Check out the free and paid workshops that feature or include elements of yoga at PoleCon!

Kira Porter
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