Be prepared to be inspired! I adore ALL the women featured as Goddess of the Month – but I am very excited to share with you Krystle Hope’s story. She epitomizes everything I hope The Goddess Workout will do to transform your body, mind and spirit AND after she became a certified Goddess Workout instructor in April 2012 – she embodies everything I hope a GoddessLife instructor to be.
Now I will let her tell you her SUCCESS story:
Becoming a Goddess Workout belly dance instructor has transformed my life. Not too long ago, I was just like my students: battling with my body and myself. (Many of the women in my class have suffered from fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, old injuries that never healed properly and severe back and joint pain.) I had gained 70 pounds with my pregnancy and I hated my postpartum body. I felt ashamed of it and disgusted with myself for looking this way. For a while, I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be able to belly dance again.
Although belly dance is a safe exercise during pregnancy (as long as your doctor approves it, of course), I didn’t keep up with practicing like I should have. And so when I started to dance again, it felt as if my postpartum body had ruined me. Even the simplest of moves had become difficult and any stamina that I once had was gone and I felt like giving up.
But I didn’t give up. I kept dancing. Then, something changed in me and I began to love my body again. As soon as I felt this confidence and joy, I discovered my true path: a desire to help other women feel the same transformation. I contacted Dolphina and I got right to work. After tons of preparation and hard work, I was ready. It was a tough journey, but Dolphina and the GoddessLife community showed me that I was a strong and beautiful Goddess, ready to take on the world.
As I continued to teach the Goddess Workout, I continued to change, unleashing more and more of my inner Goddess with each class. There’s nothing like that feeling of empowerment and the best part about being a Goddess Workout instructor is helping other women discover that feeling.
I love belly dance and I love to teach. It has become my mission to bring belly dance and the Goddess Workout to other women in my community. I have seen so many women be transformed by the Goddess Workout, and I have felt that transformation firsthand. I have watched women discover their bodies and find peace with themselves – whether dealing with a physical ailment such as a disease or injury, wanting to lose weight or just needing to break out of their shell.
I have used belly dance and the Goddess Workout to take back my body and regain control over my life. I’ve traded in the maternity sweats for skinny jeans. I stand taller and I’m proud to have the body I have. I used to scowl at my stretch marks, but now I embrace them. I’ve been empowered to be a confident Goddess that loves and respects herself, and it is my mission to empower other women to feel the same way.
I believe: No matter your spiritual preferences, there is a Goddess somewhere in you. All you have to do is find her. Unleash your inner Goddess!
Favorite Indulgence: I am in LOVE with chocolate covered strawberries! Luscious, juicy strawberries dipped into chocolate fondue or covered with a milk chocolate shell. If my sweet tooth isn’t biting, grilled cheese with tomato soup always brightens my day and puts a smile on my face.
Favorite Goddess Workout move: My favorite move is definitely the shimmy. It’s fun, sassy, and super versatile – you can just shimmy or layer it with practically any other belly dance move!
Dream Job: My dream job is to own my own studio (Serenity Haven Studio) where I will enrich the lives of the Goddesses in my community through the arts of belly dance, yoga, and pilates. I dream that Serenity Haven Studio will be an open and welcoming sanctuary for women to dance, laugh, love, and connect with their inner femininity.
Krystle's First time teaching The Goddess Workout:
I was so nervous; fidgeting with my hands, checking my notes, watching the clock, and anxiously peering at the cloudy sky. I had taught before, but somehow this was different. It was the first class of a brand new session I designed and I hadn’t taught in over a year. I had several people sign up, but didn’t know if anyone was actually going to show. I had this gut feeling that this wasn’t going to be easy.
And I was right. About an hour before class, it started to rain. Not a big deal – except the theme of my class Belly Dancing in the Grove was “shimmy under the summer sun!” to be held in my mom’s very large and scenic backyard in northern Illinois. A slight sprinkle, I could handle, but this was on of the few torrential downpours we had during this drought of a summer. It sucked, but the house with a large backyard also had a large basement. Shimmying under the summer sun could wait until next week. It wasn’t ideal, but it would have to work.
With the help of my mom and brother, we cleared out the basement, moving the couches and popcorn maker to really open up the space. It would definitely work. We headed upstairs to wait. My brother played with my baby girl while Mom and I posted final reminders about the class on Facebook.
And then the lights went out.
This was a bigger problem. There was only one tiny well window in the basement where I was teaching, and it didn’t offer much light. If anyone showed to class, they wouldn’t be able to see. I really didn’t want to have to cancel the first class and now I didn’t really have time to cancel, either. The ladies would start showing up soon.
Mom had an idea. As an avid candle-lover, the basement and upstairs was decorated with all sorts of candles, from tiny votives to large pillars with multiple wicks. We gathered as many candles as we could and placed them all around the dim, half-lit basement. As we lit the candles, a soft, enchanting glow waved throughout the room. It would definitely work.
I set up my laptop to use for music, since without power the surround sound DVD player was out of the question, and laid my extra hip scarves out on a spare TV tray. Now all there was to do was wait.
A few minutes later, a car pulls in the long driveway. A family friend interested in taking the class. As she fills out her registration and liability release and pays for the class, a few more cars pull in. I greet the newcomers graciously, make introductions, and direct them to the paperwork. A few more cars, a few more ladies. There were a couple of faces that I new, two family friends and an old coworker and friend, but many that I didn’t know. The new faces were shy but excited, and I knew this was going to be an interesting class. All together, I had eight women come to this first class, and later received emails from three others that joined late and a couple of one-time drop-ins from a few family friends.
After the paperwork and a few minutes of introductions and getting to know each other, I lead the ladies downstairs with a couple of flash lights. I thought I could feel the anticipation dripping off the basement walls, but it might have just been my own nerves getting at me. We walk down a dark hall, guided by the lights, and into the main room.
The response was incredible, and so much more than I could hope for.
“This looks awesome!”
“I love the candles!”
“Wow, the candles are great, so ambient!”
“Belly dance by candle light? How cool!”
The nerves washed away and I grinned, taking the front spot of the room. I introduced the class, answered a couple of quick questions, and started the music on my laptop (which fortunately had been fully charged when the power went out).
I couldn’t have asked for a better class or a better group of women. We stretched, danced, and laughed, and there were even some tears (good tears!). These ladies, even after just one class, were discovering so many new things about their bodies, and for some, it was godsend.
There was such a variety of women, real women from their mid-twenties to their mid-fifties. Some just wanted to try it out for fun, while others were desperately seeking a workout that fit their bodies. Many of the women in that class had been battling with their bodies for years, fighting with fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, old injuries that never healed properly, and severe back and joint pain. Each of these women left the class with a renewed sense of hope and confidence that they could reconnect with their bodies. Over the next couple days I received several private messages, as well as public posts on my Facebook pages, from some of the women in my class, ecstatic that they weren’t in pain and learning to love their bodies again, instead of fighting with it.
This class reminded me why I wanted to do this, why I was here. I was no longer nervous or doubtful. These ladies helped me as much as I had helped them and I wouldn’t have come this far if that class was cancelled.