I was inspired to start a new health regime which is very normal for me. A forty-day boot camp was being offered at my daughter’s work, so I hopped on board. It was wonderful because it included unlimited access to other local fitness places. I did my usual extreme approach by creating a full-on schedule and daily lifestyle program for the forty days. One of my commitments was Zumba three days a week at the Chair Tease Dance studio.
Completely clueless on what to expect, I showed up for my first class. The owner and instructor Natalie showed me around. She asked if I’ve done Zumba before, and I said yes, but long time ago. She then said well we do it a little differently here, we are a little more aggressive in our approach. And here I was wondering if I’d get much of a workout at a Zumba class? Little did I know what I was in for. If I was paying more attention (just looking at their logo alone would have been a clue) I would have realized I was about to participate in a seductive class at a chair tease dance studio.
Naive and ready, I stood in my spot waiting for the class to start. The large room is dimly lit with small white lights strung along the ceiling. Mirrors were along the wall like most exercise studios. The instructor and her smiling face steps up front, the loud club like music comes on, and the fun begins!
I’m not sure what completely happened in that first class, I went into a mild shell shock once we started moving. I never felt so awkward in my life (okay that’s not true, but almost). I am not a clubber, dancer, partier, or socialite. I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life happily focused on my family and home. It’s not in my nature to just let loose in public, I have the planet Saturn in my first house and a twelfth house Moon in my natal chart.
So, the twerking, body rolling, shoulder shimming, and dropping it to the ground all begins. I kind of wanted to run out of class, but decided it was okay for me to be awkward, it being my first class and all. When all was said and done I headed home. With pancake eyes and delirious enthusiasm, I repeatedly told my story to each family member about my first day at Zumba. Being pretty much ripped out of my comfort zone I had no choice but to feel exhilarated.
My son asked me if I really planned on going back the next day. My OCD said I had to because it was in my schedule and a part of my commitment. Thankfully the second class was a tiny bit less awkward. A few more classes later and I stepped into the “I got this!” zone. I was beginning to do the moves at the right time and closer to the right way. I realized how stiff I had become over my adult years.
The part that I personally loved about this class was it gave me permission to dance and move in a way that didn’t rely on my own skills or imagination. I could follow the instructor which pleased my personal need for structure, yet I got to explore a kind of body freedom that I had unconsciously suppressed over the years. It was a safe way for me to liberate my spirit in motion through my physical form.
Slowly I began to relax enough that I could allow myself to swivel more freely without looking like it was my first day in a new body. I took on the challenge to get better at the class, to remember to have fun, and oh yeah get a great workout while doing so. I think I forgot to mention how intense the actual workout was, because it was the least of my focus, but according to my Fitbit it got my heart rate up to the peak zone and brought me over 6000 steps in one class!
The journey doesn’t end there though. Once I became comfortable enough to be fully participating, something else happened. I started looking a little closer at the image in the mirror that was doing all these crazy moves. I saw someone who became way too comfortable with being comfortable. I was wearing my super used and stretched out Hot Yoga shorts that went just past my knees, ugly old cream coloured indoor runners, and a baggy t-shirt from a flooring store (which sadly is a part of my everyday wardrobe). Here I was doing all of these sexy moves realizing how my frumpy look was not helping me participate in this new image I was trying to embrace. I know, I know…feeling and being sexy comes from the inside out, but since I had to take on the “fake-it until you make-it” approach I desperately needed to do something about this.
Luckily for me my birthday was around the corner. I was given money from my family so that I could go on a shopping spree. I used it to buy clothes I would feel more comfortable in while doing my Zumba. And even though they are far from anything sexy, they are more form fitting and much cuter than what I was wearing. It was a step in the right direction for me, even if it was just a baby one.
I had no idea that showing up to a Zumba class at the Chair Tease Dance studio was going to contribute to my Souls evolution. I am someone who is always learning and growing. I have studied many topics, been certified in many different areas, and take on consciously participating on this journey seriously. Even though I do Bikram Yoga and love to meditate, this kind of class seemed to have awoken a different kind of spiritual connection to my body. It supports my recent adventure of needing to live out loud and to remain pure without care or worry. I believe that moving energy and moving our bodies, is crucial to raising our vibration. It helps us live lighter and more connected to this experience in a holistic way.
Natalie’s Zumba class has liberated my beliefs on how I’m supposed to use my body. I’ve shed about 9 pounds since starting and have shed some inhibitions that I’ve been carrying around for far too long. Every day is an opportunity to grow and evolve, you just need to put yourself out there, out of your comfort zone, and into new places. Showing up for a Zumba class was another one of life’s moments that invoked my presence and awareness.
My call to action was to get out of my over analytical mind and just be in my body. I was pulled to stop attending at one point because of all of the things my mind told me I wasn’t. Not to mention the anxiety to make sure I got there early enough to be in the back row, but then being stuck longer in the large social group situation while waiting for class to start, which I’d rather avoid. But being in the back row wins over avoiding sitting awkwardly waiting for class to begin (I’m much more of a small group or one on one kind of socializer).
I have now let go of all my busyness and fuss around this crazy new Zumba thing I’m doing. No longer do I need to tell everyone I come across about what I’m doing in class that I never thought I’d be doing [insert awkward demonstration here]. I can now just focus on doing this for me and will continue to remind myself to let go of everything else around it.
I’ve accepted that my Mars in Libra loves to dance for exercise and also love that this class does not require any prior pep talk. There are no “I should go exercise” speeches in my mind because I actually want to go. I am getting more fit in the process, which was my goal all along when I first put it in my workout schedule. I guess I just needed a little evolutionary detour through the world of Zumba to recognize that this aligns to my truth, and yes exercise can be fun!