This weekend Jonathon Livingston Baxter taught his fourth Hoop Path workshop in Edmonton. You can see him hooping in the background, blissfully unaware he is being stalked by the T-Rexing Snowzilla behind him.
Baxter has been hooping for over 10 years and maintains a daily personal practice where he hoops for about 2 hours.
2 hours a day for over 10 years, plus countless workshops and festivals. Now I haven’t done the math, but that’s a lot of flight time. Oh, I should also mention, he often hoops blindfolded.
Suffice it to say, he’s a hoop ninja.
During opening circle he posed the question ” Why did you come this weekend?”
Honestly, I didn’t have a specific answer like to improve my technique, or spend time with the community. It was just that I couldn’t imagine missing it. I had been there for the last two workshops (Open Air and Deep Water) and both were epic. I know that’s an overused word, but really, they were epic. Transformational. Mythic, even.
Spending a weekend in your hoop will always improve your hoop dance, but this is a different kind of leveling up. Baxter not only gives techniques to work on, but he introduces us to ideas and forms that you can play with and explore, including very personal and archetypal concepts.
The technical focus of Earthquaker was footwork and folding (two of my favorite things)- which you can get a little taste of here:
The meditative focus of this tour is Earthquakes and rebuilding. He sees our Truth, the deepest, most authentic parts of us shaking down the aspects of our lives that no longer serve us (UnTruths) and destroying them! This may create momentary chaos, but allows us the space and freedom to rebuild a more stable and beautiful structure. He used the silly but apt metaphor of our Truth as The Incredible Hulk to explain it further on his website: http://www.hooppath.com/cms/2012/12/01/the-earthquaker-tour-details/
The EarthQuaker theme builds on the previous two themes of introspection through movement meditation and opening to our own personal truths. It’s also perfect timing considering the global shift in energy consciousness. Truth with a capital T is tearing down all sorts of old systems in the world right now and we have the chance to rebuild with integrity and far more awesome.
Another focus of the workshop was to build openness and trust. On Friday night, we were all having a great time in flow (dancing our hearts out) but we were all looking down, lost in our own little worlds. He wanted us to engage with each other, so he had us make two lines facing one another and had us each stare into our partners eyes for quite a while. A minute or two at least. It was amazing and I know for many people, it was way outside of their comfort zone. I personally loved it. We switched partners three times and each time the beauty and peace in my partners eyes was astounding. I felt as though I could see the universe observing itself through my own eyes reflected in theirs. After that, the energy in the room shifted to suddenly being so much more open, free and trusting.
This is the kind of life changing stuff he throws in to the weekend as he whips us into baddass hoop-ninja shape.
This is why the thought of not attending didn’t even cross my mind!
All weekend, he kept mentioning that this year had the best vibe and energy of any Edmonton workshop to date and we could definitely feel it.
Our community has grown so much over the last few years, both in numbers and in sheer awesomeness. So many friendships have developed. When I looked around the room, I felt surrounded by love and awesomeness.
But it wasn’t just our community that has grown (both in size and awesome).
I mentioned in closing circle that a big part of why the vibe was so great this year was due to Baxter’s own growth as a person and as a teacher. The energy he was holding for us felt so grounded and centered, light and responsive (It was ninja energy really). He created a sacred container where we all felt safe enough to open to our own authentic personal expression and spirit through movement meditation and hooping. He said that someone had said the same thing to him, in similar words at every stop on the tour so far. That’s so rad, and such a beautiful thing. I’m glad that other people can really appreciate the energy he brings.
When I teach classes or facilitate movement meditation this is exactly the kind of energy I aspire to hold for the room.
I could go on for hours about all the inspiration at the workshop, and all the breakthroughs I had hooping, but I should also mention how much fun we had after class too! We’re pretty social creatures and love any excuse to party so we definitely took advantage of the weekend and spent a lot of time together: going out for dinner and drinks on Friday, there was the house party on Saturday night that featured Youtube videos of baby sloths, and our little pizza party on Sunday while watching Ace Ventura Pet Detective. We capped it all off with a trip to the pool where we did a some hot-tubbing, and splashed about in the pool. No one even noticed when I almost lost my bikini bottom after diving in.
All in all, the whole weekend rocked my world!