• Maëlys Renaud

Pole dance and healing, a holistic approach: Interview with Zen Oasis, founder of Total Reset

Zen Oasis and I met at the International Pole Dance Convention 2022, we instantly connected! As a pole dance and fitness coach, she approaches movement and healing with a holistic way. She introduced me to the Total Reset, a 5 days retreat that includes pole dance and aims to create a space where individuals are given the tools to reset their mind, body, and spirit. I’m grateful to have met her in Atlanta and to share with you our conversation about her pole dance journey and inspirations, her views on our planet, and the upcoming Total Reset retreats.


credits. @ocularimagery

In a few words, what is pole dance to you?

Pole dance is a connector of people from all walks of life. It is the perfect way to connect with yourself.


I love that. Tell us about your pole dance journey!

I have been pole dancing since 2016. I started because I had just ended a relationship and was looking for ways to feel sexy. I started with no dance background and was so very frustrated in the beginning because it was so hard! I also found such a great community within the women that I met. I competed heavily between 2017-2019 pre-pandemic. In 2020 I made the decision to take a leap and make pole dancing my full time job. It was a difficult decision but the best one I’ve ever made. Now I travel to certify people to instruct with Xpole/Xpert Fitness, I do 1-on-1 coaching, and curate retreats that combine pole dance with wellness.


It is a bold move and an inspiration to many! How do you see your own evolution as an artist?

I’ve spent the past 2 years or so working on refining my flow. As I see myself grow, I see myself working to become more well rounded as an aerialist (using different apparatus) and refining my style to make it even more my own.


Whose work has influenced and inspired you?

I am influenced by many artists in the community. I would say that the strength of my teacher Heidi Coker, the silkiness of Crystal Belcher, and the poise of my original pole mom Bunni have heavily influenced my style.


I believe that healing the individuals is directly connected to healing the planet, our mother Earth. What are your thoughts on this?

I 100% agree with this. An elevation of each individual consciousness is required in order for us to make better decisions for ourselves and the planet as a collective.

credits. @ocularimagery

When did you first become aware of the environmental challenges (climate change, pollution, climate justice etc) and how does it reflect in your life?

I first became aware of environmental changes when I was in grade school. “The hole in the ozone layer” was always mentioned and I remember having a mixture of curiosity and fear surrounding what that meant. I am also someone who loves watching nature documentaries. The docuseries Nature’s Great Events really opened my eyes as to how we as human beings affect earth’s natural cycles.


Now being more conscious, I notice that I have a greater understanding that all things are living things. I take littering very seriously, and promote more plant based lifestyles to hopefully decrease the necessity of these massive food processing plants.


Is there an environmental issue that you care about the most? Why so?

This probably has something to do with my vegan lifestyle, but it grinds my gears to think about the amount of pollution that meat processing plants cause. And then to simultaneously think about the amount of this meat that is thrown away, versus being given to those with food insecurities.


What are the ways pole dancers can show up for the planet?

Pole dancers can show up for the planet by first understanding their connection to the planet. Understanding that the Sacral energy that we use while expressing our sensuality is mother earth energy.


You are the body, mind and soul behind the Total Reset Experience: pole retreats known to go beyond the pole dance art form. The retreats include movement practice, aerial fitness, dance, spiritual wellness forums, meditation, and crystal sound bowl/energy clearing. How would you describe this experience to the audience that is not familiar with it? Can you tell us when and why did you start the Total Reset Experience?

Honestly, I believe that the people who have participated in our retreats describe the experience best. We bring in pole dance instructors with different skill sets to deliver amazing workshops but we’ve been told that pole dance is just the bonus. The healing focus, getting to work 1-on-1 with our healers and experiencing the guided meditations has been the most impactful part for people. What we’ve been told is that the experiences have helped them see the beauty in themselves, helped them feel free, and helped them recognize the power they hold. We’ve also been told that they’ve found having the space to be themselves absolutely invaluable and that seeing pole in such a positive light, being a part of this side of the community has shifted their perspectives of what pole dancing can mean.


I started The Total Reset Experience in September of 2020 with our first experience happening in May of 2021. I was in a life transition at the moment (again ending a relationship, seems we have a theme here), and I wanted to create space for women who felt like me (those who just needed to breathe/ needed a life reset). I wanted people to have the opportunity to immerse in an activity that they love (pole dancing) but simultaneously connect with their spirituality.


It sounds really soothing! When are the next retreats and how to sign up?

Our 2022 experiences are all sold out but we have plenty of opportunities open for 2023:

Dominican Republic: Feb. 8th - 13th 2023

Playa del Carmen, Mexico: March 1st - 8th 2023

Big Canoe, Georgia: June 2nd - 7th 2023

Dubai, UAE: Sept. 14th - 19th 2023

People can sign up and find more information about us at www.thetotalresetexperience.com.


What is one thing that you wish someone had told you/taught you a long time ago?


I wish someone would have told me to just “do it afraid”.

Fear has kept me from doing a lot of things, and now I understand that it's okay to be afraid.

Just do it anyway.


For those who would like to start or continue their healing journey, do you have any book recommendations?

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer - This book taught me how to let go. The way that the author frames our existence is amazing. He made happiness sound very simple.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - This was the book that kicked off my spiritual journey. It delivers the lesson “you have everything you need” in such a simple but powerful way.


Conversations with God by Neal Donald Walsch - There is so much knowledge in this book about how to just BE. It debunked so many things that I learned growing up and helped me to feel more free.


Awesome, thank you! What’s next for you?

Currently I am working on spreading the word about Total Reset, curating local events in my city, Atlanta, and working to integrate experiences that do not involve pole dancing so we reach a wider audience.


Thank you so much Zen Oasis for sharing with us your projects and wisdom!

 

Zen Oasis is a proponent of the transformative power of movement, a mother to an 11-year old, and she likes to describe herself as a master manifestor. As an artist, her movement style exudes qualities of the woman she is, powerful, graceful, and sensual. As a coach, she believes in coaching with compassion and leading people to be able to work independently. She is an award winning competitor, Xpert Fitness trainer, and reiki master in training.


Zen Oasis' website and instagram

Total Reset Experience's website and instagram

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