Hooping. I love it. I truly do. Hooping has giving me more than I could have imagined. Last summer, I was toying with the idea of poi. Through researching poi, I discovered hooping and hoop dance. I thought it would be a cool, quirky thing to play with so I gave it a whirl. I ordered my first adult size hoop from Hoopnotica and signed up for beginning lessons with the St Louis Hoop Club. And my love affair was born.
From the first moment, I found hooping to be this amazing, zen thing. I would start the hoop around my waist and the cares and troubles of the day fall away. I found peace in the rhythmic movement. I hooped outdoors so it meant I spent a greater amount of time outside and with nature. I have hooped to some amazing sunsets and a couple of incredible sunrises. Each one was a gift to behold.
Hooping challenges me in many ways. First, it is great physical exercise. It tones and shapes your core like nothing else. It has also given me a flexibility and suppleness of movement I have not experienced for two decades at least. Another challenge is the myriad and infinite variety of tricks to be learned and mastered. Some are quite easy, others are hard, and some are downright painful to learn. The final challenge hooping has presented me with is the ability to let go of my inhibitions, lose myself in the music and the dance, and just hoop unfettered by fears such as someone could be watching or judging. Just open my heart and let my soul sing with the rhythm it finds. Amazing.
I attended a Fusion Movement Seminar today. It was an experience I shall savor in coming days. A group of forty or so people that were willing to look like fools, drop props, and be silly all in the name of discovering movement. Hooping and learning with this group was freeing. We played with hoops, mini hoops, staffs , and finally, at long last, my poi. I played with poi for the first time today. Of course, the first thing I did was smash myself in the nose...really hard. Pain gave way to numb which turned back to pain and then dissolved into laughter. You get bruises playing with flow toys. You get bruises when your neighbor flings their toy into you. It is the way of learning. I now of a cool floral Hawaiian looking pair of poi to play with.
The greatest gift my hoop practice has given me is a comfort with myself that was fleeting before now. I am more at home with my own physicality than I have ever been. I am more assured being the person I truly am. I am far more comfortable in my own skin. There has truly been a fusion in my life bringing many aspects together to progress further on the path I am meant to follow. So I will continue my journey to find my place in the circle.