Hooping as a Spiritual Practice
It may seem strange that someone is able to find inner peace and spiritual practice with a circular piece of plastic that was made popular as a toy in the 50’s but I assure you, it’s possible. When I first started playing with the hoop I spun it around my waist and had fun just keeping it from falling on the floor. I immediately realized what a great exercise and calorie burner this was. It seemed a little silly but the hoop was pretty and sparkly and it made me smile. I started doing some investigation and realized that there were all kinds of different people who were having fun with a hula-hoop and they danced around beautifully and performed different tricks. I started practicing more and more and then eventually I found myself in this place of “flow”. Flow is a state one enters where the whole world falls away and all that’s left is a quiet stillness of peace and bliss. My personal practice is to be able to increase the length of time I am able to stay in flow and to work to find ways to be there even without movement with the hoop.
Hooping is a community builder and a great way to get people to be active. And, you burn 400-600 calories an hour! The hoop doesn’t care your age or size, just your determination and interest in fun and exploration. Anyone who is able to move some part of the body may find a way to play with the hoop. The hoop is even used in some physical therapy programs to decrease back pain and strengthen and rebuild muscles.
I’m completely convinced that hooping actually makes us smarter. New neural pathways are created in the brain when we learn new ways to move our body in order to manipulate an object in space. We learn to wake up the weaker side of our body. We learn to connect our mind to our body to our spirit. We learn acceptance for ourselves and where we are in life, along with acceptance of others around us. We learn that we are unable to muscle and bully our way through life but must come at everything we encounter with love and gentleness. We learn that making mistakes is ok and that dropping the hoop just means that we are attempting something new, not failing. We learn inner strength along with physical strength that carries over into all aspects of life. Hoop dance, along with yoga, is my meditative practice, the way I work out problems and become inspired to create new things, my physical workout, my self-expression to others and my gift to that which is Higher than myself.
Kimberly Spivey, Cincinnati hoop Goddess, yogini, and Registered Nurse specializing in psychiatry and orthopedics is a fun, loving, joyful community builder and all around amazing being. Through searching for spiritual practice and a conscious community, she was drawn to the practice of yoga and hooping.