Saturday, 22 March 2014
I've got into the habit of hooping for the first 15 minutes of every day.
I get out of bed, get dressed, make a cup of tea, and go outside [or clear the furniture in the lounge, if it's raining] to hoop.
I've never been much of a morning person. I hate waking up. I struggle to talk coherently before 7am. And physical activity? Forget about it. When I practised yoga regularly I was always in envy of those people who could roll out of bed and straight onto their yoga mat. I tried, but it made me feel like I was going to vomit.
But in this, as in so many other ways, hooping is different.
I may be only just awake when I step outside with my hoop. The sudden burst of fresh air makes me a little more alert. The first birds are singing, the sun hovering on the horizon, the air crisp. I mumble my hoop prayer and begin to move, slowly at first, but as the familiar rhythm settles into my body I wake fully and move with more confidence.
I always dance this first dance of the day without music. I prefer the sound of the birds, the wind, Monty barking at something I can't see.
I wish I could say these 15 minutes guarantee I'm going to have great day, but it's not always the case. Still, I can't think of a better foundation to my day than this. Before all the clamour of my day begins, I take 15 precious minutes for myself to dance, to reconnect with myself and the Divine.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
This month marks my two-year hoop anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been only two years - is that all?! I spent 40 years of my life not hooping but now I can't remember what I did with my time before I discovered the hoop!
Hooping is the first thing I do when I get up in the morning, and I often hoop during my lunch breaks and when I get home from work. I hooped right before my wedding to deal with my nerves. I express all my joys and work out all my frustrations inside my plastic circle.
My attitude to hooping has changed a lot since my first hoop anniversary. Hooping used to be something I wanted to achieve. I used to practice at the gym, wearing gym clothes. Each week I wrote out a practice schedule that I stuck to. I was all about getting fancy new moves under my belt, and I was always watching hoop videos, especially tutorials.
I was passionate about hooping, but, although I acknowledged its deeper aspects, I saw it as merely as form of exercise.
I still want to get better at hooping - I'm always looking to improve. But that's so I can express myself better within the hoop. I still love the physical exercise hooping gives me, but these days the spiritual and psychological aspects interest me more.
I am totally addicted to how good hooping makes me feel, and to the connection it gives me to the Divine.
I wish I could express a little of this to the women I teach. I teach hooping purely on a physical level, mainly because I don't know how to do it any other way. I don't want to be all born-again about it but I think there's no harm in letting people know that playing with a plastic circle can be more profound than giving you hard abdominal muscles - it can actually be good for your mental health, it can help quieten your mind, and give you self-confidence.
Maybe learning to communicate my truth about hooping could be my hoop challenge for the year ahead.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
I love capturing stills from my hoop videos, like this one above.
I have never been a physical or energetic person, usually preferring to sit down with a good book than be physically active.
And yet, here I am in my forties, learning to fly like this.
What a gift.