Written By: Jackie Chemelli
Prom. Frilly dresses, awkward slow dances and crunchy up-dos.
Prom. Memories galore conjured with the mention of this word. Perhaps memories that one would love to leave in the pile of taffeta and tiaras hidden in the closet behind the oh-so-sassy, grown-up black blazers and red-bottomed pumps.
Here is a thought: How about we scrap all of those end-of-an-era schemas and find ourselves a new meaning for the word ‘prom’? A connotation that leads us to use the word in a way that would empower, care for, and strengthen ourselves.
PROM: Personal Range Of Motion.
As unstoppable, 21st-Century women who make the time to get our sweat on, amidst the hectic timetable that is our existence (i.e., work, Instagram, sleep, repeat), let us apply PROM to the world of our workouts and body movement. An acronym that will change the way we approach any group fitness class.
How many times have the phrases ‘listen to your body’ or ‘leave your ego at the door’ landed upon our ears only to be met with the tiny devil on our (ever-toned) shoulder. That competitive, mischievous sprite reminding us of all of our so-called inadequacies; especially when ‘Little Miss Gummy Bear’ plants beside us in class… ‘She is waaaaaay better at this than you are’ or, ‘If you kick as high as her, you will be just as amazing’ or maybe, ‘Don’t let her show you up! Kick, kick, kick!’
Pfff! Listen to that little nymph and you are undoubtedly going to limp out of class or, worse yet, defeat the petite angel on the other (ever-toned) shoulder. The sweet cherub who whispers, ‘Wow, you are so strong’ or, ‘Can you believe how far you have come?’ or maybe, ‘You are beautiful just the way you are’.
Personal Range Of Motion: Four simple words that combine together to enforce a concept as integral to our group fitness regime as toe-socks and lemongrass yoga mat spray. Imagine a moment in which the awareness that we hold of our OWN body’s abilities takes precedence over our need to impress. A moment where we go only as far as our own muscles, fascia, bones, skin, strength, and energy will safely allow us. A phrase that would guide us through those sixty sweaty minutes, knowing that we are doing OUR best and not our neighbour’s best.
How does one ensure that they are moving within one’s own PROM? Three simple steps:
Initially, give a mini (inside voice) pep talk to yourself before class begins. Remind yourself to bring attention to the angel on your shoulder. Unfriend that irksome devil. You are amazing and the only person that you need to be better than is yesterday’s you!
The second step involves imaginary blinders. (Warning, this step can prove difficult in a room full of mirrors). Regardless, resist the urge to let your eyes wander during class. So what if ‘Little Miss Gummy Bear’ has her ankle behind her ear. So what if your legs are quivering like a pouting lip and you need to take a quick lactic-acid-releasing break. This is YOUR workout. Ignore your classmates’ abilities. Better yet, give your neighbour a reassuring smile that shows you are a supportive presence in the class.
The final step in obtaining PROM is listening to the cues that your body is telling you. Work to your potential and have the strength to realize your limitations. That subtle knee pain, lower back tinge, or crippling cramp is your body’s natural way of protecting you. Adjust if the movement does not feel right. Ask your instructor for clarifications. Stop if you feel pain. All of these actions will enable you to uncover your body’s abilities and feel the freedom that comes from trusting that you will only move as far as your body declares.
Being safe and mindful while physically-active, particularly in a group setting, involves a hidden element of mental discipline and self-assurance. Each one of us is built inherently (and often invisibly) different. Provide yourself with the present of being present and vowing to move your body only under the guidance of your self-reflection.
You are the queen of your own PROM.
The path that led Jackie to teach at Barre Body Studio is one filled with a passion for movement, interconnected friendships, and kismet. Jackie has always held an innate passion for dance and grew up taking jazz, tap, and ballet classes in Calgary. Her curiosity of movement continued to expand as she discovered new forms of dance as an adult student, becoming especially fond of Modern, Lyrical, and African styles. Always eager to uncover new ways to incorporate movement into her life, Jackie became a student of yoga in 2008. Appreciating the intuitive philosophy behind yoga and falling in love with the respect that the practice of yoga has for one’s mind, body, breath, and being, Jackie chose to complete her 250-hour Yoga Teacher Training during the summer of 2011 at Yoga Passage in Calgary. With the combined background of dance, yoga, and her ‘day job’ (teaching Kindergarten), alongside her belief that body awareness is a gift that is realized through mindful movement and education, instructing Barre classes was a natural road for Jackie to travel. Through positivity and gratitude of movement, Jackie approaches Barre with contagious energy, a reverence for proper alignment, and respect for one’s body. She maintains that there is a beautiful (hardworking) ballerina inside us all!