I’ve had a hoop crush on Brecken for years. The way she moves is absolutely incomparable to anything else on the planet. Watching her makes makes me feel like anything is possible. I also have a teacher crush on her, ever since she came to took her waves and barrel rolls class last year. She is one the greatest, most eloquent teachers I have had in any subject, and her passion really helps you take the subject material in to yourself in a visceral, rather than purely cerebral way.
Brecken has been breaking ground with floor hooping for a few years and has been teaching us how to move with the same safety and fluidity in her floor workshop, which I talk more about here:
There was a lot of fun action today at the retreat, but my favorite part was definitely Gail O’Brian’s Rolls and Catches class. If you’ve ever seen me hoop, you’ve gotten a glimpse of my love affair with body rolls. I wax on about them and the class here:
In other news, I’ve made some fantastic friends already, and eaten delicious Indonesian food, and just generally had a lot of fun. It’s hard to describe everything, so I’ll just leave you with this baddass stone carving.
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.
Back in November while I was doing the dishes. I had been absorbed in the moment, perfectly present and at peace it was like a moving meditation. The silence of my mind allowed a beautiful epiphany to shine through.
Now is the time to relax and let go of all your worries. They no longer serve you. Everything is OK. Everything has always been OK. Everything will always be OK.
I’ve always known intellectually that everything always works out. I often say “If it’s not OK, it’s not the end!” But as much as I believe that with philosophically and spiritually, I still wind up worrying. Usually about money, which is stupid, because it’s never been a problem for me in my life. I save $$ every month, and still have more than enough for a comfy life. There really has never been a reason to worry, but it sneaks up on me sometimes when I’m feeling particularly tired or vulnerable. I also realized I worry far more whenever I have caffeine. The slight raising of my blood pressure seems to create this feedback look where I feel like I’m stressed, so I must be stressed and I find things to stress about. This is one of the reasons I’m sticking to green tea and chocolate as my biggest sources of caffeine these days.
With that message though, I felt as though my body finally caught up to my mind, and my cells finally accepted that there really wasn’t any point to worrying or stressing. I felt blissfully calm and peaceful for the next month or so. The buzz of that epiphany has worn off slightly, so I wanted to write about it to remind myself. Worrying about vague undefined potential future issues wastes energy, and does nothing constructive. If there is a problem, then I need to let myself feel the emotions surrounding it, and work towards fixing it, but just worrying for worry’s sake is unproductive. Actually it’s counter productive.
Don’t worry, everything little thing is gonna be alright!
At the end of this video there is a little proof of my own optimism… This is called Kacie Hooping in March Snow (Facewash). From March 2011 (back in the day).
In this Ted x talk, Theresa Rose exemplified what this blog and my life are all about. In 14 minutes she distills the very essence of how life changing and enriching joyful movement can be. She also hoops through the whole thing, as she explains how the hoop revolution is part of the joyful movement movement where a growing number of us are finding peace and happiness through playful movement. Not hard core exercise, but allowing our bodies to move freely and have fun in any way that brings us joy.
The happiest moments in my life have always been when I am joyfully moving. Skiing, tobogganing, running around and being silly, rolling down a hill, dancing under the stars at a festival, or just dancing where ever I am with my hoop. This joyful movement brings so many physical, mental and spiritual benefits it’s mind blowing. Since introducing more moments like this in my life by sustaining a hoop practice, my entire life has gotten better in innumerable ways, just like Theresa’s. I have more energy because I am physically active. I have more patience because I have that physical release and I have more joy because joy begets joy. I move joyfully every day, and that joy resonates so deep within my soul that it changes me. It makes me better, and inspires me to make the world a better place. My mission in life is to share this joyful movement with others through dancing, teaching, performing and writing.
Theresa calls joyful movement a cosmic alarm clock, waking us up to our own divinity. When we find flow in our movement, we are fully inhabiting the present moment with our bodies, minds and spirits in complete unison. She also says “In this spiraling, sacred container, we realize we are enough.” This realization is how we awakening to our divinity, to our connection to everything. When we feel we are enough- that we are good enough, that we have enough, that this moment is enough- we find peace and joy. When I dance, I am enough… I am complete, and I live in joy.