Thursday, September 5, 2013

Expanding Horizons...

Greetings after such a long hiatus! I have finally graduated medical school and started on the treacherous though exhilarating path towards becoming a doctor. The lessons I have learned and continue to learn from pole remain timeless, however.

I recently was lucky enough to have a little break in my work, enough for me to explore pole studios in my new home in Connecticut. I happened upon The Girl Spot, a little treasure tucked away in Trumbull, CT. I had been eying this studio for a while, alas my 80-100 hour work-weeks prevented me from doing much else aside from sleeping outside of work. The minute I had a break, however, I decided it was time to break my 3-month hiatus from pole and try a class. I started with the intro class, being nothing if risk-averse, and had an amazing time. The method taught at the Girl Spot was completely different than the Climb and Spin method I’d been taught in NYC. They opted for teaching grips required for the more gravity defying- spins and inversions earlier rather than later. I had some difficulty switching my brain over to these more complicated grips but as soon as I tried them I could instantly feel the potential for more impressive pole tricks stemming from those grips! I left that class pleasantly surprised about pole classes outside of NYC and LA, with the firm resolve to return next week to the suggested intermediate class.

A week passed, and I had procrastinated going back to class due to sheer terror. What if I was horrible? What if I couldn’t execute the maneuvers these other girls had learned in beginner classes and could now do with their eyes closed? My procrastination was aided by an illness likely picked up at the hospital where I now work, and at home I watched videos of Alethea at her new studio in Nashville while feeling sorry for myself.
Eventually I decided going to dance class is always the right decision, so I picked up my phone and scheduled a class for later that same day. Immediately I had panic-filled visions of me completely messing up choreography, not understanding the push-pull grip integral to so many parts of pole, and other such disasters. The most important part of pole, as I have learned time and time again is that you have to overcome your fears. As Bonnie at NYPD would say to us in every class, “pole is no place for pussies!” So I faced my fears head on and went to a class full of people I didn’t know and techniques I didn’t know. And it was incredible. So many of the tricks were new to me, but I took to them like a fish to water! With some re-configuring of my pre-existing pole knowledge I managed to get my hands and legs around the pole in a satisfactory manner, and felt quite wonderful at the end of it! My only regret is that my work schedule prohibits me following the rigorous course of 5 dance classes per week such as I was used to before college in order to make me proficient in the art form that I am so enamored with! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Crystal Meditation

I've always been captured by beautiful crystals and stones, since I was a little girl. I used to collect rocks, gems, and crystals, and name them and talk to them. (I was an only child until I was eleven, no judgements!) Recently I rediscovered this latent passion of mine, but with a metaphysical twist. Putzing around on the internet one day, I came across an amazing website ( which listed all of the stones, with gorgeous pictures and ample descriptions of which chakras they are purported to help and what properties they inherently have. Most of you probably know rose quartz as the "love stone", but did you know it dissolves anger, fear and jealousy as well? And the love is not just limited to attracting romantic love, but it promotes self-love as well as compassion for oneself and others. Knowing the properties of the stones makes them excellent media for meditation. Gazing upon the surface of the stone, imagining oneself inside of it, travelling through its planes and exploring it, all the while repeating whatever mantra or affirmation fits with its intrinsic properties, can be a very powerful thing.

For example, I recently acquired a lovely sample of sodalite: ( With it I used the affirmation "I have meaningful and uplifting communication with those I love." Gazing upon the crystal surface, noticing all its intricacies and idiosyncrasies  I felt the affirmation to be true, and felt extremely peaceful. Whether or not there is any science to this, I doubt, but as a future neurologist I will say never underestimate the power of the human mind.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Community. No, not the television show.

Life is beautiful. I truly believe this. Over the past few weeks, friends, some of whom I didn't even know I had have been making themselves available en masse to help me out when I was in a rough spot. One thing the Church teaches us is that God Himself is a community- the Trinity. Being a part of so many amazing communities- Redeemer Presbyterian, my medical school, and New York Pole Dance, has shown me just how good people can be, at a time when I most needed it. Remember that movie you all cried your eyes out to, Les Misérables? Yes, I mean you. The part that got me the most was when the cast sung "To love someone else is to look upon the face of God." Truer words were never spoken.Or sung, I suppose. I really think God makes Himself and His love known through other people He places in our lives to remind us that we are not alone. I've had friends call me, text me, come visit me, email me, and answer my 3 AM "I can't sleep" calls, and their love has truly touched my heart. It has given me the strength to move forward with my life, taking up crystal meditation (see my next entry!!) and to redouble my efforts to advance to fancy pole tricks and getting to know more about this Being who made us. For all of my dear, wonderful friends reading this, grazie mille. Je vous aime.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Push Past

For those of you who know me, you probably know that my favorite dancer is Alethea Austin. Her style and music choices are to die for, but recently what I've begun appreciating about her is her motto- "push past". Push past the pain to the other side, where you will find strength and amazing things.
Since this is a blog about physical, emotional, and mental health, I feel like this story belongs here. I have recently had my heart broken. The person I thought would never leave me did, and left me alone to try and pick up the pieces of my bleeding, shattered heart. It's been beyond hard, but one day as I was dancing in class, Alethea's motto came to mind- push past. A little voice in the back of my head told me to breathe through the pain, to feel it, own it, and not fight it. I was reminded of a stretch class I took with my favorite instructor at NYPD, Bonnie. She pushed us to our limits, telling us stretch as far as we could on our own then working with us to push us past what I had even thought possible. My initial reaction when she came to push me deeper into the stretch was to resist, to fight back and push her off of me. But she's not going anywhere. Eventually you learn to breathe into where it hurts- your hips, your hamstrings, your quads, and the pain goes away or becomes something tolerable. I decided to try this in my everyday life. Whenever I feel the waves of anguish coming over me, rather than avoiding them like the plague, I try to accept that they will happen, and breathe into and through them. Now this is much easier said than done. My tolerance for physical pain is through the roof, however my tolerance for emotional pain is slight, if any. But I am finding ( and this is only day 3 of trying this technique) that I have hidden emotional reserves that carry me through the times where I feel like the pain is so much I can't bear it any longer. I imagine the pain of stretching for increased flexibility, and just try to breathe through it. Accept it. That which you resist persists, as a famous Buddhist saying goes.