Under Armour Wants Women to Win

Misty Under Armour

I’m super late posting this but I love Under Armour’s recent marketing campaign targeted toward women. Before I began noticing Under Armour ads featuring women like Misty Copeland, Lindsey Vonn, Gisele Bundchen, and more for its “I Will What I Want” campaign. The idea behind the campaign is that even when you are told no, you can make what you want to happen come to fruition. Copeland, for example, was rejected from a prominent ballet academy for “not having the ideal body type for ballet,” but look at her now. Each of these women in the campaign continued to work toward making their goals happen. Check out the nifty video below, where some of the company’s executive’s explain the vision behind targeting women:

Like I said, this is a late post as the campaign launched in the summer but I just had to do it. Speaking of Misty Copeland, I once got to interview her and she seems to have such an amazing spirit. You can read about that here.

Beyonce Teams up With Topshop to Release Athletic Gear

Beyonce Visual Album

Beyonce teamed up with Topshop to release an athletic streetwear brand, and if the items look anything like I imagine I am excited. The brand is in the works but nothing has actually been created yet, and there aren’t many more details that what I just mentioned but check out Topshop’s CEO Sir Philip Green explaining why he chose King Bey.

I hope we see lots of sequins, because I sure would go to the gym, yoga and especially pole class (the latter is a given, though) in sequin shorts, a sweatshirt, sneakers, pants, whatever! Other imagery in my mind about what this collaboration could look like takes me back to Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” video, which was inspired by African dance and style.

Grunty Workouts: The Low Down on Gyrotronic


The picture you see above is not a torture device although every time I look at it, my mind drifts to this classic Method Man skit. Now that that’s out of the way, what you’re seeing is my feet inside of a gyrotronic machine. What the heck is gyrotronic, you ask?

Gyrotronic is an exercise method that combines swimming motions with Pilates techniques and it’s pretty darn cool.

According to Gyrotronic.com, this is an exercise method developed by Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian professional dancer, that falls under the Gyrotronic Expansion System. Horvath suffered a series of debilitating injuries during his dance career, and began developing the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods as a way to heal himself and regain his strength and agility.

I’ve only taken one class with my friend (because we got Groupons) thus far but it was really cool and although my class was an intro to the system, I can tell that this is a method that is great for building strength, stretching and lengthening muscles and for preserving muscles and ligaments. I was extremely stiff and sore from pole the day that I tried gyrotronic and working myself out on these machines felt amazing. It’s not easy but you will get results if you’re consistent so I recommend giving it a shot. Keep in mind that you will feel absolutely awkward on these machines, but it’s because you’re a newbie and all newbies feel awkward when they start something. Plus, it’s not natural for your body to use machines so don’t panic.




I did my intro class at Body Evolutions on New York City’s Lower East Side. It is suggested that you take at least two intro classes before moving on the level one. Body Evolutions is a small studio that promotes a very zen like environment, which I love.





What are you waiting for? Grab your friends and go!

Grunty Crush of the Week: Adesina Dowers’ Major Shift Inspired by Happiness

Adesina FINAL 76

I met Adesina Dowers when she was a publicist in the music industry. She stood out because she was very warm, friendly and always had a radiant aura about herself. Little did I know, she was developing a yoga practice that would set the foundation for a major career shift in her life.

Eventually, she shifted careers and is now a full time yoga instructor who teaches Power Yoga, which is a vigorous style of yoga based on Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Power Fusion, a deep meditative combo special of Hot Yoga and Power Yoga, restorative yoga and Yoga Sculpt, which is Hot Yoga with weights. She also leads a Yoga teacher training program at her home studio, CorePower Berkeley, is a holistic health coach and most recently, a Lululemon ambassador.

I know, there’s a lot going on. That’s why I caught up with her to get her inspiring story about leaving a hectic industry and even her home city behind to start over. Here, she chats with me about how she began designing a more fulfilling life. She was also nice enough to include a free smoothie guide that features nine recipes complete with information about how to build your own smoothies as well as why they are good for you. Keep reading!

What caused the aha moment for you that made you decide to relocate and shift careers, and what steps did you take to make that change happen?

It was a combination of things. I was feeling unfulfilled in my life and my work, I wanted to have a greater positive impact, I was over experiencing freezing cold winters every year and I realized I had not found my true calling, my special purpose.

I was 100% aware that I wasn’t going to achieve any of those goals living the life I was living. I’d known for a while that I needed to create change in my life. Actually, I’d been thinking about moving for a couple of years before I did. I was toying with Miami, LA–somewhere without a freezing winter. Then I fell in love with a landscape designer. Watching him work with plants, making our world more beautiful and more alive, empowered by creating his own schedule and selecting only the projects he wanted to work on really had an impact on me. I was inspired. I wanted to create a life that I LOVED.

So after I decided to join him in the west, I quit my job, sold my stuff and rented an apartment in Berkeley and shipped everything else I had left to my new California digs! I did not have an actual plan when I left, I just had confidence that I was making the right decision and I went toward fulfilling and creating my new dream life.

How does your new career path sustain you?

In every possible way. I have the best job ever! I help people get happy, healthy and comfortable in their bodies and their lives. Watching the transformation as people begin to step into their power and shine their light to the world- it’s indescribably fulfilling! I know for sure I am helping to bring about positive change in the world!

Adesina FINAL 88

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned about yourself during your shift?
I learned to to trust my inner voice and let that serve as my inner compass.
I learned to embrace who I am, with all my quirks and all and not to apologize or dim my light.
I learned anything you really want in life comes with lots of hard work and you have to be prepared to be scared (terrified) and move through your fears to find your bliss.
You will have to make sacrifices and you might find yourself with a ton of support around you but at all costs you have to believe in yourself. No one can take that from you.

What are some of the things you love about teaching?

Watching a student gradually come into and find their bodies. After a few weeks of regular practice, you see these amazing transformations, people get a spring and a little more swagger in their step. It’s amazing. I also love it when a student has a personal breakthrough on their mat, gets a challenging pose for the first time. You can’t beat the smile and expression on their faces. Remember when you were a kid and did something awesome and looked around to see if anyone saw you? Yes, I get to be a witness to that every day. People who are mothers, fathers, executives, assistants get to really let loose and actually have some fun for themselves, with themselves! Ok, this will be the last piece–making my playlists and sequences for class–I get to create a unique experience for students every time they walk into my yoga room! I make my classes fun, playful and challenging and use the music to increase the experience! I love sharing my love of movement and music with my students!

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Explain some of the benefits of yoga.
That’s a long list! But here’s a top ten:

Stress Management: A regular yoga practice will help you decrease stress and anxiety!
Improved strength and flexibility: Oh yes! You will get strong and lean!
Better sleep: Adding a vigorous practice during your day will have you sleeping through the night!
Weight loss: Yes, sweat, breathe, hydrate regularly- you can expect to drop a few pounds.
More energy: You take care of your body- it will take care of you!
Body detoxification: Breaking a sweat, all the twisting helps rinse all of your internal organs!
Improved brain function and connectivity: Yoga will stimulate all the major systems of the body, regulated your central nervous system!
Inner peace, Tranquility and increased happiness: It’s true. Trust me!
Increased mental awareness and intuition: You will dive deep into your body and your mind. Get ready to know yourself better than ever before.
Balance Hormones: Yoga has been proven to aid in pregnancy, breast cancer management.

Also, Yoga has been proven to help with depression, post traumatic stress disorder, cancer, carpal tunnel and the list goes on!

What’s your diet like and why does it work for you?

My diet is very simple. I pay attention to what I put in my body, it’s all about eating clean unprocessed foods. If I have animal protein (only a few times a month, mostly chicken and seafood) it’s going to be clean, organic, grass fed, cage free. The way I see it we only get one body let’s use the best fuel possible. I have a garden where I grow some of my own veggies and also get the freshest organic veggies from the grocery store. I don’t have dairy too often, I find I get congested when I do. Basically I listen to my body, I eat what makes me feel good after. If I eat something and immediately want to go to sleep afterward- it’s going to get pulled out of my heavy rotation dishes. I find thats a common misconception about how you are supposed to feel after you eat–you should be energized–not sluggish or tired. The same rules apply for me with having sweets- I love dark chocolate and I stay away from processed refined sugars. Well I live in Northern California…so wine makes this list too!

This simple diet works for me because I am eating what I want. I found the right fuels for my body. I feel good, my body feels good and I never feel deprived.

How can people get in touch with you for your services?
For sure!
If you are interested in coming to take one of my yoga classes you can find me at CorePower Yoga Berkeley.

If you are interested in joining me for a Holistic Health Coaching Program check out my website- LifestyleByAdesina.com, you can get all of the details about my two online programs, Dare to Detox and Upgrade 28, or schedule a free 1 on 1 Lifestyle breakthrough session and we can talk about your health goals and concerns.

If you want to get interesting health news and great easy to make recipes got to: Facebook.com/AdesinaDowersHealthCoach.

Is there anything you want to add?
Here are two quotes that I love and keep me inspired when I’m forging new territory. I hope they can inspire your readers too:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”  – Martha Graham


For Adesina’s “9 Smoothies that Will Change Your Life”

Fitstagram Love: 6 Instagram Fitness Accounts to Follow For Inspiration

Instagram Fitness Accounts

I have fallen off the fitness wagon but that doesn’t stop me from keeping up with some of my favorite resources–primarily on Instagam–for motivation, tips and tricks. I plan to get back on at some point soon but in the meantime, check out some of my favorite Fitstagram accounts for fitness inspiration.

Fit men Cook

Warning: This account will make you hungry. But it’s cool, he posts healthy food. Fitness is probably 80% what you eat, so this account is a good guide for recipe ideas. You can find Spanish and English tutorials detailing how to make delicious, quick but whole foods in 15 second videos.

Poleitical Clothing

Not only does this company make bad ass pole apparel–and they’re fellow PD Blogger–but they host photo challenges and cool flicks of customers doing epic pole dancing stuff.

Koya Webb


Koya Webb is a holistic health and nutrition coach who eats primarily raw vegan. She also appears to be the happiest person on Instagram, seriously. Most of her flicks involve yoga movements, happy frolicking, enticing pics of vegan food from her travels and inspirational quotes.

Chelsea Loves Yoga

Chelsea really does love yoga, judging from her pics. I like that she gives instructions on how to execute certain moves on some of her photos.


Tashinator001 is a fly polerina who gives #thickfitchicks like me that I too, will one day be just as nice on the pole.

Follow the Lita

Follow the Lita really does follow Lita’s fitness journey. She’s big on building muscle and strength, and provides demos and tips along the way. She is also big on being a #thickfitchick as you will find the hashtag all up and through her feed.


Why is This Skinny White Chick in my Yoga Class Staring at me?


Now that I got your attention, let’s talk about pathological racism. It’s rooted in thoughts so deeply ingrained in our psyches that sometimes we don’t realize it until we’re confronted by a trigger that throws us off our equilibrium. That seems to be the case with Jen Caron, a woman who wrote a piece for XO Jane entitled, It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes And I’m Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It

The piece was Caron’s attempt at acknowledging her privilege as a “skinny white girl” and how she had been so self-absorbed that the thought of true all-inclusivity hadn’t occurred to her until a “fairly heavy” Black woman appeared in her yoga class–something that according to Caron happens almost never–and sat down behind her.

She writes:

It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous. Within the first few minutes of gentle warm-up stretches, I saw the fear in her eyes snowball, turning into panic and then despair. Before we made it into our first downward dog, she had crouched down on her elbows and knees, head lowered close to the ground, trapped and vulnerable. She stayed there, staring, for the rest of the class.

The writer continues explaining that she “had no choice” but to look at the woman every time her head was upside down (Side note: If you’re truly involved in your practice, you’re not thinking about the next person). She has seen people freeze in class before but it was impossible for her to stop thinking about this particular woman. Eventually, the Big Black Woman began staring at Caron, and her frustrated despair and resentment was now allegedly directed toward she and her “skinny white body” (Another side note: Big Black Woman probably wondered what the hell this weird White girl was looking at).

This is where the author gets really uncomfortable:

I thought about how even though yoga comes from thousands of years of south Asian tradition, it’s been shamelessly co-opted by Western culture as a sport for skinny, rich white women. I thought about my beloved donation-based studio that I’ve visited for years, in which classes are very big and often very crowded and no one will try to put a scented eye pillow on your face during savasana. They preach the gospel of yogic egalitarianism, that their style of vinyasa is approachable for people of all ages, experience levels, socioeconomic statuses, genders, and races; that it is non-judgmental and receptive. As such, the studio is populated largely by students, artists, and broke hipsters; there is a much higher ratio of men to women than at many other studios, and you never see the freshly-highlighted, Evian-toting, Upper-West-Side yoga stereotype.
I realized with horror that despite the all-inclusivity preached by the studio, despite the purported blindness to socioeconomic status, despite the sizeable population of regular Asian students, black students were few and far between. And in the large and constantly rotating roster of instructors, I could only ever remember two being black.

Girl whut?

Tamar Face

Yes, this is a blunderfuck. The piece reads in summary like a spoiled rich White (and skinny) girl who was so sorry that the fat Black girl struggled with yoga (as if yoga isn’t a challenge for everyone), but even more contrite about the fact that the girl was probably intimidated by her beautiful white splendor, and she didn’t take the edge off by doing her om’ly duty by helping out, whatever that would have entailed.

I have been the only Black girl in a yoga class on occasion and have been stared at and found myself wondering if the constant gazes I got from a few patrons was because of my race and/or because my body type was different from that of the other girls. In my culture I’m considered “thick,” which is a good thing (think along the lines of Biz Markee’s line, “9/10 pants and a very big bra”). In some other cultures, I’m probably fat. It’s all subjective but I digress. I don’t struggle with yoga so if anyone were to stare, that wouldn’t be the issue but I mean mug sometimes when I suspect that someone is perceiving me as this Other to be pitied because yoga isn’t for “us.” I’ve found myself wondering if I was just being hyper sensitive in such instances but this XOJane piece validates my suspicions.

I was exasperated after initially reading the piece, and not just with Caron. Where was the editor in this? Editors are responsible for seeing the writer’s vision and helping them to convey it in ways that are thought provoking and informative yet this seemed more vapid, arbitrary and along the lines of…click bait.

But let’s take the armor off.

Most people probably practice the more popular forms of  yoga (It wasn’t made clear in the XOJane piece but I think the writer in this case does Vinyasa) for vain reasons i.e. they focus more on the body not the mind, but yoga’s universal ideologies are all-inclusiveness, harmony, kindness and patience.

I think Caron’s point in this essay is to acknowledge that this Black woman’s presence in her yoga class forced her to confront the Lily White safe bubble she had been living in. It seems that the writer was regretful about the fact that she had been ignoring anything seemingly Other and that she had never allowed herself the chance to learn about life from another perspective.

She concludes her tale with:

The question is, of course, so much bigger than yoga—it’s a question of enormous systemic failure. But just the same, I want to know—how can we practice yoga in good conscience, when mere mindfulness is not enough? How do we create a space that is accessible not just to everybody, but to every body? And while I recognize that there is an element of spectatorship to my experience in this instance, it is precisely this feeling of not being able to engage, not knowing how to engage, that mitigates the hope for change.

Admittedly, I forced myself to continue reading beyond the second paragraph and when I did, I couldn’t stop hearing it in my head as if it were coming from Cher from Clueless. It came off as offensive and condescending and my initial reaction was, “Here we go with White people trying it again.” Then I got over my ego, read it again and I appreciated the writer sharing her perspective. There are several people who have these thoughts but they usually don’t share them out of fear of getting backlash, because they don’t know how to get the words out, or they don’t care enough to be enlightened, and so they just stare at the Others in their classes. The only way we can actually have a progressive conversation about race is by being honest with our conditioned way of thinking, and by listening…really listening to each other and using opportunities like this as teachable moments.

It’s disheartening that several of the responses to this woman have been snarky attempts to roast her. Yes, her message could have been conveyed better and again, the editor is partially to blame for that but now is the time to educate.

It’s important that we open progressive dialogue with those who seem willing to learn, even narcissistic racists. It doesn’t make you any less self-serving as a so-called progressive when you use what could have been a genuinely teachable moment to ridicule someone so let’s all keep that in mind in our efforts to make progress in how we all think in terms of race.



I’m still working on my salamba sirsasana (headstand) but damnit, I am arriving!

Brown Girls Burlesque Needs Your Help to Keep the Shimmies Going

Brown Girls Burlesque Sacred Brooklyn

First, let me say that I love this group of bad ass brown girls not giving any damns about what people think. The core of their performances and the classes they teach is to break stereotypes, educate and explore society’s ideas of race, gender and body politics. They even say it themselves that their mission is to entertain, titillate, educate an liberate!

I have seen them perform and they are quite entertaining, fascinating and unlike most burlesque groups out there for obvious reasons. All of that being said, BGB has a Kickstarter campaign going in an effort to raise money for their cause and they are 81% funded and seven days away from reaching their goal.

If you are interested in burlesque, more specifically supporting Brown Girls Burlesque, please donate anything that you can by following this link.

If you’re still skeptical, then watch what they’re working with:

In related news, Brown Girls Burlesque teaches “Bed-Stuy Burlesque” classes at Sacred Brooklyn. They have an extra special workshop series entitled, “Tassels & Assels”–yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like– coming up just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Thursday February 6th
Cost – $25, plus $5 supply fee.

Go to Sacred Brooklyn   to get down. I’ve been meaning to take a burlesque class for the longest time now. I think it’s time to make that happen, for real, for real.

Fate of Brazilian MMA’s First Mixed Gender Fight is in Limbo

The idea of a male vs. female MMA fight has come up before still hasn’t come to fruition. It seemed like it would happen last week, when it was announced that Emerson Falcao and Juliana Valesquez would spar on December 20 in Rio de Janeiro. There’s even a promo for it however, mmafighting.com announced that Shooto Brazil isn’t so sure anymore.

I love that Velasquez ain’t scurred but I’m not sure that this is a good idea, so I can see why it’s still in limbo. Men have a strength advantage over women–you know, all that testosterone–so even if they’re matched by height and weight (it looks like they are), Falcao may still have an edge over Velasquez but I digress.

It’s still under review for now but if it happens, I hope Velasquez kicks his ass.