I f*cking love novelty sh*t.When it comes to trying new badass stuff, Im an impossible flirt. If its weird, I want it.
So I decided to trypole dancing meditation at City Pole, because… pole dancing mediation? What the actual f*ck, amirite?Those two things seem so counterintuitive. How can you dance like a stripper while finding your center and inner peace? Riddle me that one, maestro.
What is pole dancing meditation?
It’s just what it sounds like, actually. Instead of just focusing on pole dancing, it’s about engaging your mind too. According to the City Pole website:
“Taking an internal approach to pole fitness, we welcome clients to feel vulnerable and explore their sensuality while strengthening their bodies and sharpening their minds. The mind-body connect is important to us and we prioritize nurturing your mindfulness.”
I asked my co-worker Celine to come with me, and off we went. Weclimbed up the slippery subway stepsat Canal Street totheoutskirts of TriBeCa, nearly crossing into Chinatown territory. Thisneighborhoodwasrather grim compared to the area where Taylor Swift calls home. It’s riddled with tiny stores that sell semi-new suitcases and cheap, neon iPhone covers.But that’s New York.
The studiowas in a run-down, industrial-esque apartment building on Beach Street with a janky elevator and molding fixtures.It looked eerily similar to the house where “Hey Arnold!” lived.
Any skepticism I had melted away when Kylee Sallak, the founder ofCity Pole,met me and Celine outside herstudio. Her cheery disposition put us at ease immediately.She’s a bubbly dirty blonde who looks like your childhood best friends cool older sister that you looked up to.
We took off our shoes and made our way through the small studio. It reminded me of one of those early 2000s ultra trendy boutiques I shopped at in middle school, all hot pink and black details. The full-length vanity mirrors and black velvet decorative couches tickled the fancy of the adolescent inside me.
Kylee said there was a reason for this. “I saw a need for a studio that embodies warmth and compassion, rather than an intimidating element,” she said.
We then made our way to theRejuvenation Roomin the back. Kylee saidthis room is meant to connect mind and body. Itwas going to be the peaceful haven where we would meditateafter a long hour of working thepole. I was definitely intrigued.
She told us:
“I wanted to encourage my students to honor and acknowledge whatever comes up by giving a structured opportunity of self exploration via the Rejuvenation Room. Meditation, both movement meditations as experienced in the 5 pillars, or silent meditations as experienced in the Rejuvenation Room, are both excellent ways of actually being present for yourself.”
Kylee has seen women cryingafter meditatingin the Rejuvenation Room becauseof all the tension and stress they released. “Light bulbs went off for them,” she said.
Inside theroom,there were punching bags, bubble wrap and a rose petal water basin. There was soft, calming music and a lavenderscent floating through the room, all of whichmademe feel like I wassitting in a relaxing spa, not the back room of crumbling building near Chinatown.
You have two minutes until your class! Kylee proclaimed, shooing us back into the studio and into the hands of Sam, our pole-dancing instructor.
We started class with a series of Pilates-like stretches.
“Swim like Michael motherfucking Phelps!” Sam yelledover his Adele and Sam Smith-infused playlist as we reached our arms to stretch out our lats, muscles we’d need greatly in the hour to come.
Sam wasevery nervous, inexperienced girl’sfitness wet dream.He’s a glorious lean man who is pure perfection from the top of his man bun to his chiseled ass, the cheeks peeking out the bottom of his white shorts. He isalsothe sassiest man you will ever meet.
We then moved to the poles to get down and dirty with our badass woman selves. Before we actually began, Sam explainedthe five pillars of confidence, which are the keys to connecting the mind and the pole. Pole dancingwasn’t just about getting that burning workout and being a sassy ass biatch on the outside. It was aboutworking out your insides as well. You know, inner peace and sh*t.