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August 27, 2011

Putting A Different Spin on Yoga. ~ Cathy Weiss

Can Pole Fitness be a Yogic Path?

A recent email in the inbox for Yoga Flirt®:

Subject:

which path is this………Hmmmmmmmmm
Message Body:
This should not have the name yoga in it. Not against what you are bringing to woman, but as a woman who has taught yoga in San Luis Obispo area for some time, students bring this studio up and don’t understand the yoga concept here. Why do you have yoga in the name….i will drop in and find out. bless.

In recent years there have been many new expressions of yoga created out of practitioners’ souls, divine gifts, as a way to bring even more students onto the path of yoga. The beauty of the physical practice of yoga is that there is no one right path, but rather all paths lead to the state of yoga: union of the mind, body, breath, and spirit.

The definition of yoga as stated in Sutra 1.2 Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah, or the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff, is yoga. Knowing that the goal of yoga is to have a still, quiet, one-pointed mind, students of yoga often use asana, the physical practice, to create this union of the mind and body. Additionally Sutra 2.46 states Sthira sukham asanam, or Asana, is a steady, comfortable posture.

Much like AcroYoga uses partners, Yoga Slackers use a slack line, and Yoga Trance Dance uses dance as the physical practice which prepares the body for meditation and the state of yoga, Yoga Flirt® uses a vertical pole as part of its asana practice. It is simply a part of the growing trend that yoga practitioners around the world know to be true: yoga is not isolated to a mat and can be practiced in every present moment, from doing the laundry, engaging in conversation, preparing a meal, driving a car, to spinning on a vertical pole.

Another part of the Eight-Limb Path of Yoga as described in the foundational text of yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is Dharana, or concentration. Pole fitness is a perfect platform for this part of the practice as well.  It takes great amounts of internal connection, focus, and concentration to gracefully hang 12 feet above the floor, upside down, and holding on to a pole just two inches in diameter by only the feet.

Yoga Flirt® was created and founded by nationally recognized expert on yoga and pole fitness, Cathy Weiss, to meet women where they are and teach the true meaning of yoga and asana. Many women who practice Yoga Flirt® have tried traditional forms of yoga asana but for various reasons didn’t connect with what it had to offer.   The women-only environment allows students to truly and deeply release self-deprecating thoughts about themselves and others, to simply tune into the feeling tone of their body and breath, to concentrate and focus their mind and, ultimately, experience the state of union that yoga strives to create.

While the environment inside a Yoga Flirt® studio or at a Yoga Flirt® workshop can get quite alluring and sensual, the heart of the program is yoga. The women, ranging in age from 18 to 60-plus, who attend classes refer to it as yoga, and each day instructors and students alike witness the transformational power that yogic philosophy provides.

As a result of this yogic practice, women state that they have found their voice and become more expressive, discovered their authentic self, learned to love their body, and no longer see life as a success or failure but rather a journey to be celebrated at every moment.

And that, my inquirer, is yoga.

                                                                                                                                                                            

Cathy Weiss is a yogini, pole dancer, wife extraordinaire, mom to multiple cats & dogs, the Queen Flirt, and Nationally Recognized Expert and Founder of Yoga Flirt®. Her passion and enthusiasm has been supporting women to embody their femininity by becoming bona fide Yoga Flirts since 2009. You can find her at www.yogaflirt.com

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