Baxter of The Hoop Path is here to teach us all about the Balance Technique, which is a pretty cool thing to learn with thanks to Jaguar Mary of Sacred Circularities for making this tutorial. Balance technique is a new expression of hoop dance meditation that Baxter has been developing for several years. We learn how this technique originated and how to begin our own practice, offering an opportunity to deepen our relationship to the hoop as a tool for focus and quieting the mind. They live in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA.
The hooping bug has hit Long Island, New York and the hoopers there are thrilled to talk about its health benefits. Jami Goleski of Hip Mama Hula Hoops credits her hoop practice for her bounce back to shape after pregnancy. Goleski told Long Island Newsday, “Finding hooping was the best thing that has happened to me since I became a mother. Hooping is what a person wants to make of it . . . It’s not structured like an aerobics class or any other fitness class that follows a structured routine with the sole purpose being strengthening muscles and losing weight.“ In Greenport, New York, Rachel Reich, owner of Five Branches Wellness is happy to have a hooping class at her fitness center. Reich gives credence to the total body and mind benefits hooping offers, “You use the hoop on the body as well as off, so it’s really a full-body workout, strengthening deep core muscles as well as arms and legs. Hooping increases flexibility and balance, and has a positive effect on mood and self-esteem.” And Reich personally vouches for the fitness advantages of hooping, “After a few classes, I was already doing several techniques. I’ve noticed an increase in overall flexibility and sense of pride in being able to master new techniques.“
[Hooping.org Assistant Editor Bonnie MacDougall shares her thoughts on hooping as meditation]
Why do you hoop? For fun, fitness or as a way to release your mind from everyday worries that hinder you from staying in the present moment? There is no right answer to this question. Over the years I have found that at different times I have hooped for all of these reasons. In fact, sometimes all of them simultaneously. What keeps me coming back into the hoop, though, is the peace I encounter with each spin. For me it becomes a type of movement meditation unlike any I have experienced before. I become lost in the cradle of the hoop’s touch as it rolls around my body. My mind sinks into a place where there are no thoughts but the present moment. I am in a state of mindfulness throughout the hoop session, and feel refreshed and calm when I am done. Sure I have frustrating times within the hoop, but when my goal is meditation, the hoop works wonders as a tool for this end. So how can you find this tranquility in your hooping practice as well? Here are some tips:
My friend Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach and I were talking the other day about the effects that hooping has on one’s life. We are both big proponents of the transformative qualities of hooping – but lately I’ve been wondering about manifestation or creation. Is it possible that intentional focus created during one’s hooping practice can be used not only to change something, but alternatively, to create something new? My conversation with Anah got me very inspired, so much so that I’d like to try a little experiment…and what better group to conduct this experiment with than the members of Hooping.org! So here’s what I’m inviting you to join me in doing.
Choose: First, let’s try to think of something that you would like to create or manifest in your life. For the timeframe of this hooping experiment, let’s start small. Reaching for something small that doesn’t totally intimidate us can help us gain confidence in our ability to manifest good things in life, allowing you and I to be able to look at tackling more challenging goals in the future. It can be anything you like – getting your new herb garden to thrive, a date, five new students in your hoop class, nailing that challenging yoga position or hoop move, taking a fun weekend trip, etc. Make sure that your goal is specific and measurable so we can know if it is achieved or not. Let your imagination roam, but make sure your goal is both realistic and exciting.