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The pleasure principle
Picture this: Sultry Romani music fills an expansive space with its richly sensual rhythm, a gaggle of taut and confident women gather around in a variety of movements. One moment their arms reach up to the sky and softly trail down their bodices as if in performance, the next second their bent over, buttocks drawing up, making slow, measured circles in the air. They squat, they spread, they dance and all the while they touch, not each other, but themselves. And despite what one might think, this scenario isn’t dreamt up by a Harlequin writer looking for work. Rather, this lusty portrait of femininity simply describes Halyna Natalia’s enticing new exercise program – Kama Aerobics, a potentially empowering (both in the Gloria Steinem sense and in the fitness sense) exercise course. Its aim? To tone the neglected pelvic floor muscle group area– the sexual core, responsible for pleasure, fertility and child birth – and eventually to reconnect women with their bodies and their sexuality.
Although the term aerobics may summon up notions of somewhat unflattering bodysuits riding up on ’80’s-ladies’ jiggling behinds, don’t let an archaic word throw you off of the Kama Aerobics program (available at select locations of Extreme Fitness). It is a modern interpretation of the old school fad: a commingling of yoga, pilates, dance and sex. (Yes, that’s right. We went there.) The revivifying regime aims to strengthen and tone women’s problem areas (buns, inner thighs, tummies, hips) through a focus on working – thrusting, swaying, lunging etc. – the pelvic floor – an area which Halyna has dubbed “the sexual core.”
“In the Ukraine there was so much pressure to be beautiful. From the age of twelve, girls didn’t leave their homes without full makeup and heels; a trip to the grocery store could mean meeting the man of your dreams, ” says Halyna. “When I came to Canada I realized there was another way of ‘being,’ and I wanted to learn how to love myself from the inside out – that’s how I came up with Kama Aerobics.”
Of course, Kama Aerobics does not place itself outside of the culture of beauty; the goal of the program is to make women feel more beautiful. But Halyna claims that through her months of research and a degree in Psychology and Sexuality, she has learned that increased blood flow to the pelvic floor propels women to be more connected to “what’s happening on in the inside,” more available to orgasm, and more closely tied to a sense of inner beauty. The fact that a more idealized physical “you” is a bi-product of this discovery is just a bonus, the butter on the popcorn so to speak.