The Dance Demons

The Dance Demons

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Ever go to a dance class, and halfway through, swear you will never again return to another dance class ever?

That was me this week, lol.

I love trying different workouts and being that I’m currently in NY, I’m blessed with access to basically any movement class my heart desires.

Recently, I came across an amazing lady who trained a HUGE celebrity we all look up to. Her class looked like a great hip hop fitness class and with a nudge of a friend, I signed up for a single class. I love trying new things!

When I got there, I instantly realized it was the type of class where everyone was dressed in their cutest neon workout clothes and there was a 70-30 ratio of model to average woman. And I was in a worn down h&m tank with holes.

Still, it was great. We got free towels.

And, I soon realized why.

The second the music started, we were asked to create angles with our legs that I’m pretty sure I never have and never will be able to do.  Instantly, my inner critic voice turned on, who I’ve decided by the way, is an old Jewish Hollywood producer.

“Oh god, this is one of those classes for the super flexi ladies.”

I tried to gain solace by glancing over to the one other newbie in the class, hoping that seeing her struggle would help me get through the next 54 mins of my life. But nope, the tall beautiful model was molding her playdough body into every insane angle asked of us.

Time to call on the inner cheerleader:

“It’s ok Nadia. It’s not what it looks like in the mirror. Close your eyes and just focus on the burn. Burn = success.”

As we continued at this frenetic pace that can only be kept up by New Yorkers working on 5th avenue (which is where the studio happened to be located), I kept repeating pretty unconvinced:

“Burn = success

Burn = success

Burn = success”

But I continued to operate at about half the pace of everyone else. My body was in complete rebellion.

What I should probably also mention at this point, is that I’m like 3 days before my period – a time when I advise all my clients NOT to take workout classes at this pace because it severely messes with your adrenaline & cortisol levels and works against your body’s natural rhythm to slow down and bleed.

But hey I’m human too. I had no idea it was going to be this intense and I had originally signed up for the week before but life happened and I ended up at this class because I didn’t want to flake on my commitment to my friend.

The inner critic had lots to say:

“You call yourself a dance instructor. That’s funny”
(…As I huffed and puffed in the back)

“How is it possible that you are in worse shape then every single person in this class when your work is about the body?”
(…when I found myself pretending to sip water halfway through the reps.)

“Nadia, this is the sixth time you are doing this choreo. It’s left foot first, c’mon!!!!!!”
(…As I pranced in the opposite direction in the choreography section of the class.)

My inner cheerleader kept trying to console me but her 25 year-old voice kept being drowned by the 60 year-old producer yelling into the phone.

Needless to say,, I somehow made it through the class.

And on the way home, I had time to reflect on all that just went down.

As much as it was not fun for me, it was incredibly valuable.

It was a reminder that…
I am not immune to self-judgement.
That I still have an inner perfectionist that likes to control everything.
And that I still have fears around being a fraud.

But that on the flipside, I also realized how far I HAVE come.

I’ve learned to listen to my body.

I learned that I’m simply uninterested at functioning at this pace in my life right now.

And that I am here to give permission to all the women in the back of the class who are judging themselves in the mirror to stop trying to follow the choreo and instead walk the other way if their body wants to.

To stretch and tune into their muscles at their own pace.

To take as long as they need to connect to their body voice before forcing her to move at a pace that the mind sees as successful.

So this is to you,

The girl in the back of the class wanting to burst into tears

This is to the woman respecting her feminine cycle

This is to the goddess who knows that a sensual life is richer than a perfectly manicured life.

I love you. Keep dancing.

My article in Elephant Journal

My article in Elephant Journal

We’ve heard it over and over again—the laundry list of meditation benefits:

Stress relief, mental focus, stamina, happiness, better sex life, better health, better cognitive function, more empathy, more love, more bliss, more presence.

Whether it’s the latest study, the most recent fortune 500 CEO’s testimonial or our mother, everyone seems to be shouting it from the rooftops:

“Meditation is the answer.

But if you’re anything like me, you might occasionally wonder, “Why on earth does sitting down to meditate actually stress me out?!”….

To read the whole article, head over to Elephant Journal or click on the picture below.


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