When did you last try a new activity? One that called on parts of your body that aren’t used to being used?
Last weekend I met up with 5 other newbies and, leaping out of our comfort zones (the only kind of leaping we managed), tried pole dancing! I have a new-found respect for people who can do this. Our instructor made it look so easy. And we couldn’t help but notice (apparently it’s better to wear as little clothing as possible to keep you safer on the pole) that she had some very impressive shapely muscles to show for it.
Ah yes, muscles. I mean, I knew my body had to have muscles, to keep me moving and functioning. It’s just that I’d never really felt some of them before now. Pole dancing (also known as pole fitness) is a full-body workout. It's really challenging. So I knew I was going to be feeling it in the days afterwards. That night a few of us (separately!) soaked in the bath, with lots of added SO:Active* to help with muscle recovery and to make sure we could move without grimacing the next day!
Other than feeling those new muscles, what else happened during the class?
We laughed. At ourselves and the situation in general, not at each other. We were too busy making sure we didn’t fall off the pole to notice what anyone else was doing! So there were definitely some happy hormones released.
We were impressed at what our bodies could do. I didn’t think my dodgy shoulder would cope with lifting my body weight off the ground, but it did! It was great to have a feeling of accomplishment and strength.
Body awareness, balance and coordination. Of different standards it must be said. But whatever point we each started from, we all improved in a short space of time.
We worked our brains and memories. Building up with one new move at a time, we managed to put together a little routine by the end of the session. And because we had to focus so hard, there was no time to worry about anything else – very freeing for a stressed-out mind.
We felt joyful that we had gone out on a rainy Sunday afternoon and made some time for ourselves to try something new.
If you’d like to find out more about pole dancing, burlesque, aerial hoops and more, and how great they are for your fitness and general well-being, check out The Studio website or just give ‘pole dancing nz’ a Google. You don’t need to be fit or strong to start it. It will help you get fit and strong!
* SO:Active recovery bath soak. This is the one that sports players use after their matches and training. But it’s for anybody and everybody that has muscles and would like them to feel better! Also, more relaxed muscles are less prone to injury.
SO:Active contains Natural Epsom salt and organic Sodium Bicarb (yep, baking soda) that both help soothe tired, tight muscles and ease tension. It has a blend of 5 essential oils that are chosen for their muscle-soothing properties. It smells a bit like a muscle balm (that’s the wintergreen for you) so if you prefer a less scented bath, go for our plain Natural Epsom salt or unscented Magnesium Flakes instead. Your skin will absorb some magnesium and your muscles will be happy!
Why? Magnesium can relieve muscle cramps and spasms, as well as enhance sleep, which is so important for physical recovery.
Magnesium is also necessary for your body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, one of your brain's mood-elevating chemicals that helps create a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Some athletes and sports players use magnesium BEFORE their event to help calm their nerves and ready themselves to focus.
If you'd like to try some muscle-relaxing, mood-enhancing yourself, use code ACTIVE to try SO:Active for yourself with 25% off (pouches only).
At Salt & Oil we make magnesium-filled bath soaks and magnesium oil sprays to help you relax and feel good. And we support other NZ businesses by stocking their well-being gifts.
If you'd like to find out more, and receive a welcome special offer code (NZ only) please sign up to our Weekly Soak email for offers and info: