By Cara Van Dijk
Five women, ranging in age from 16-50 years, came out of the reclusive pandemic world and entered a new and safe space to learn more about themselves and how they can thrive. By name alone, “pole fitness” may not seem like a practice of self-discovery, however, that’s exactly what these women – once all strangers – found by the time they graduated from the eight-week course at Hot Yoga Plus Palm Springs.
“We were all feeling a little lost and not connected with ourselves,” said Kylie Sedillos, a 25-year-old, who is pursuing a career in health and wellness. “But, we bonded with each other. The class really showed me my potential strength and that I can pretty much do anything.”
Pole fitness combines aerobic and strength training with self-awareness to burn calories quickly, improve flexibility, develop kinesthetic awareness and reduce stress. Although pole fitness is not a new way to exercise, it is fresh to the Coachella Valley, as Pole Fitness Discovery is the only offering like it in the area. Annmarie Lynn, owner Hot Yoga Plus Palm Springs, happened upon adding pole fitness to her studio’s varied schedule, when she was offered a dance pole that was removed from the former Zelda’s Nightclub as it was being transformed into the new Desert Rose Playhouse.
“At first, when they offered me the pole, I just thought it sounded kind of novel,” said Annmarie. “But I had done some pole fitness, so I researched it further and saw the potential of this full discovery experience that isn’t offered anywhere else in the area.”
Annmarie partnered with Leslie Gerber and Chelsea Carter, additional pole fitness instructors, to create this special eight-week course, which introduced students to pole fitness as well as body expression, chakra awareness, meditation, dance, trapeze yoga and more. Students enrolled in the workshop are able to participate in all other classes offered at the studio, which allows them to learn more about their fitness interests and keep them moving and motivated during the two months.
“Once students embrace pole fitness, the physical strength transcends into an amazing inner strength and self confidence that supports people in all areas of their lives,” said Annmarie. “The past eight weeks have been amazing to watch these women find themselves. We have all learned something during this journey.”
Each student joined the class for different reasons and goals. Most women who joined the first session were looking for a fun way to get active again, after being more sedentary during the pandemic. After the eight weeks, all students admit that Pole Fitness Discovery health benefits go beyond strength training.
“There was a good energy in the class,” said Abby Galindo, a 16-year-old student who drove from the east valley to participate. “I enjoyed every session and every class I took, like meditation and yoga as well. It was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about myself.”
“It’s a very mind, body and soul experience,” said Sedillos, who enjoyed the classes so much that she purchased a pole to install in her own home. “It’s one of my passions, I found.”
Recently wrapping up the first eight-week workshop, Pole Fitness Discovery held its first graduation ceremony on July 11. Family members and friends were invited for a final performance by each of the participants and an official graduation ceremony to mark the women’s achievements. Rajashree Choudhury, world-renowned yogi, who taught several meditation sessions during the course, presented the graduation certificates with Annmarie.
As one session wraps, a new Pole Fitness Discovery session will begin on July 25. The workshop is limited to only 10 people, who will meet on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. Applications are now available at https://hotyogapluspalmsprings.com/pole-fitness. After the application is submitted, Annmarie speaks to each potential student to discuss whether the Pole Fitness Discovery is a good fit.
Private pole fitness classes are also available by contacting the student. Hot Yoga Plus is also offering private burlesque classes, taught by Caitlin Litzinger. These classes as well as other offerings at Hot Yoga Plus have become popular themes for bachelorette parties, birthday parties and other special occasions. Hot Yoga Plus offers various party packages, all hosted at the Palm Springs location.
Two poles are installed in a beautiful studio space that looks out to Mount San Jacinto through a full wall of glass. At night, the room can change dramatically with colored, disco-style lights and high energy music on stereo surround sound. The exercise space is equip with a unique padded, sweat-proof floor that is easily sanitized. A state-of-the-art steam room, well-appointed locker rooms, a shopping boutique, plus private yoga and massage options are just a few elements of the spa-like studio.
Hot Yoga Plus Palm Springs is located at 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive (in the same shopping center as the Revivals resale store). For more information about Pole Fitness Discovery or Hot Yoga Plus Palm Springs, visit https://hotyogapluspalmsprings.com or call 760-832-8655.