What is Hoop Yoga? by Rebecca Halls
Hoop Yoga is a fusion of new and old forms of somatic education; a marriage between systematic structures of asanas and pranayama and the dynamic qualities of hoop dance which stimulates our subtle anatomy. Connecting to one's own respiration, and being aware of one's central axis allows this practice to be an energising and fun dance between control and surrender.
Class begins with breath work and meditation, then transitions into a series of vinyasas where the hoop serves as a playful assistant in deepening the surrender to asana and one's own rhythm and flow of breath. Hoop Yoga stimulates our head-tail connection activating the life force (Prana/Qi), waking up the fluids and nerves in the spine to circulate new energy into organs, muscles and bones and extremities.
With our core physical and subtle anatomies stimulated a strong yet relaxed state of movement is born. The spinning of the hoop effortlessly reminds and reflects all that spins in our internal and external environments. From atoms and cells and bodily systems to the cycles of nature and our solar system, all are in a process of constant cyclical undulation of expansion and contraction.
As the hoop rhythmically touches the fascia, muscles and meridian points, the body is called to respond while maintaining it's own core alignment and rhythmic breath. From this conscious state of listening to sensations and rhythms it becomes possible to advance into combining asanas with the use of different hand grips, spinning from different angles and planes and integrating tricks.
Please be mindful however that Hoop Yoga is about the journey more than the destination. To focus only on the tricks, or aesthetic beauty of Hoop Yoga is to miss the opportunity to have a huge amount of fun and endorphin release in the process of gaining a resilient core strength which allows the tricks to effortlessly happen.
More about my own experience coming soon…