Thursday, June 12, 2014

For the Love of Animals...

I love animals.  I mean, I REALLY love animals.  Reaching back to my memories as a young child, I have always had a strong connection to them... I wanted to be around them... care for them...  have them around me at all times... I even had dreams of being able to talk with animals, "Dr. Doolittle" style... Animals were then, and are now, an incredible comfort to me. They are beautiful living beings - That is why I fight for them.

Mid-1970's surrounding myself with animals - as usual...

I started to grasp what cruelty towards animals was probably around the age of 6 or 7... It started with a fishing trip with my family when my cousin was in town. I was all for the trip and was having fun UNTIL I caught a fish and my dad pulled the hook from its mouth. There was the struggle from the fish. There was blood. There was death. I didn't like this, not at all. I spent the rest of the afternoon in tears begging my family not to kill the fish and to release all the fish we caught back into the lake. Then, there was the realization that these fish were dinner. I think I really lost it then.

For me, as a child raised in the suburbs of Southern California, you got food at the grocery store. There was no mention or real connection made that the hamburger on the grill was once a cow, the fried chicken your mom made on special occasions was once a bird, and the tuna salad you loved so much was once a fish swimming free in the ocean. And then there were those tanks of live lobsters at Market Basket, remember those? I thought they were for your aquarium... You ate, and you were grateful for the delicious food. However, as I got older, my connection to animals became deeper, and the fact that we ate them was the worst to me.  I went vegetarian (to the disappointment of my parents) at the age of 15.

Have you?

Vegetarianism "back in the day" was really unheard of in my town and not understood by anyone I knew, especially my family. "It's just a phase", they all said. "She is just wanting attention", etc. etc. And try eating at Denny's with your friends and wanting pancakes and eggs at midnight after a show with NO bacon or sausage on the side. The look on the server's face was always as if it were pure blasphemy.  Now sure, I was a bit on the extreme side of things in my teen-age years, with my hair in a blue mohawk at one point and wearing all black, shopping at thrift stores and spending my weekends at backyard punk shows, but this not eating animals thing was important and NOT a "phase".

I can go on, and on, (and on!) about being a vegetarian as a youth, getting rid of my leather shoes and jackets (again to the disappointment of my parents), reading all I could about animal rights and animal welfare, ordering anti-fur and anti-leather propaganda from PeTA and sneaking them into clothing pockets and shoes at all the stores at the mall...  Yeah, that was me, such a rebel...  But here's the thing...  I am still strong in my commitment to animals and their welfare, in fact I have never been stronger.

Volunteering at NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles)

I am now vegan and very informed about the exploitation of animals, and do all that I can to inform others of the animal cruelty that is still rampant in our society.  Now before you get all on the defensive, please check yourself at the door. I am what is considered an "arm chair activist". I use the internet and social media to share information with the hopes that those who feel the same way I do will find their way to a compassionate lifestyle. I go out of MY way to shop consciously, boycotting companies that test on animals (still, in this day and age!!) and leather hasn't been in my closet in decades (and for the record, fur has NEVER been a part of my wardrobe - EVER)... I support vegan products, compassionate companies, and shop extensively in the organic produce section of the grocery store. I keep tabs on local and foreign animal cruelty cases, signing petitions and networking constantly to get the truth "out there". I volunteer with multiple animal rescues donating my time and I help others by networking to find loving homes for the animals they have in their care.

No, I am not better than you, that is so NOT the point of this writing. It is to let you know that I am here for those who wish to enlighten themselves and commit to a compassionate lifestyle - It's not as hard as you think, I promise.

Enjoying my dinner at Veggie Grill in Long Beach, CA

Oh, and one last thing, if I may be so bold to ask of you: "Please think before you eat." We CAN change the world for the better - One bite at a time.  ♥

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Politti's Pilates

I did this write up for my Pilates Mat classes I offered for a workshop weekend I just did and wanted to share... If you are a dancer and are wondering how to become stronger and more connected in your dance, I promise, Pilates is the way to go!

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise regiment that elongates and strengthens the muscles. By correcting posture, Pilates can strengthen your body against future injuries and help to rehabilitate injuries already present. Developed in the 1920's by physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates, Pilates is an exercise system focused on improving flexibiltiy and strength for the total body. **Pilates is an invaluable asset for every dancer and every body**

Why Politti's Pilates?

I have studied Pilates for over 8 years and in 2008, completed and passed my BASI (Body Arts & Science International) Comprehensive Teacher Training Program. My Pilates passion is teaching Pilates Mat classes and I am a firm believer in using your own body as resistance for a complete full body workout. The word "workout" may scare you - Please don't let it! Pilates Mat exercises target the muscle connected to the bone, a.k.a. the deep muscle tissue that is incredibly important for dancers to strengthen for our BALANCE.

Why Pilates Mat Before Politti's ATS® Bellydance Workshops and Classes?

In my Pilates Mat classes, I will guide you through my favorite Pilates Mat exercises that I feel are the most beneficial for dancers. In my many years of doing and teaching Pilates, I can honestly say it has made me a stronger, more connected dancer, with increased stamina and regulated breathing. My Pilates Mat classes are for all levels (even if you have never done Pilates before!) and there are ALWAYS modifications to every exercise for those with physical limitations. Pilates Mat work is primarily done lying on your back with lots of stretching - And who doesn't love a good stretch? Our Pilates Mat hour together will fly by and leave you feeling invigorated and ready to dance the day away... So, come on...  won't you join me?  ♥