I do not remember how many other women were in the Yoga Flirt intro class in April 2009. I think it was held during the day but I’m not certain. I don’t recall much about what happened or how I felt during the warm up. It was such an internal experience that none of the outside happenings mattered! I don’t even know when my skepticism turned into certainty that, regardless of how others might perceive it, I was going to pole dance at any and every opportunity I got. I had no idea at the time that my passion to fly was going to be so insatiable.

I took a Saturday morning 6-week long level one session with Cathy, and met some gals in that class to bond with. There are three other gals I remember because they were at the same level of obsession that I was. Class was held late mornings on Saturday in the springtime, but the room being flooded with daylight didn’t stop us from diving in and giving it our all!

I had no doubt I’d be continuing on, but the prospect of the short shorts suggested for level two gave me serious anxiety because, since adolescence, I had issues with exposing my thighs and rump in public. I was that girl with the surfer trunks at the pool. Suddenly, I was confronted with the fear that had prevented me from wearing women’s bikini bottoms in public in my adult life. Not only was I going to be wearing short shorts, in full daylight, in front of women that I had grown to like, I was going to have to move around in them. There was going to be jiggling and cellulite, and as the ladies in class saw it they were going to reject me for being imperfect. I just knew that was the truth.

Thankfully, Cathy dispelled the fear with a small anatomy lesson and a large dose of empathy. She shared her own story and assured us that all of us were worried about our own tushes too much to think about anyone else’s. It was like magic. And you’ll never catch me in men’s swimming trunks again. I have bought bikini bottoms every summer since then!

Wouldn’t you know it, the first day of wearing those short shorts, we cheered each other even louder. We all knew how much courage it had taken us to step into vulnerability like that… it was a celebration of being loved despite perceived imperfection and (maybe just a little) thumbing our nose at the society that had told us we weren’t flawless enough to wear those short shorts.

Today those shorts represent a lot of things. (I am suddenly, unexpectedly tearing up right now… a mixture of relief and gratitude) They are faded from black to a dark gray now, from so much use and washing. It just occured to me that I’ll never get rid of them, just as I typed the first sentence of this paragraph. Because they mean faith. They mean hope. They mean I pole dance. They mean acceptance. They mean female solidarity, breaking “the rules” and being fiercely, rebelliously okay with ourselves exactly how we are right now. They mean yoga, in the true sense of the word. My spirit, your spirit and The Spirit.

I think that’s enough for today… Namaste for now.

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