I consider this video to be one of the more important videos that I have shared on my YouTube channel, so make sure that you get cosy and snuggle in, because we’re about to go deep on the subject of hoop dance flow.
You might notice that the title of this video is not “how to find your hoop dance flow” or “how to search for your hoop dance flow”, it is how to access your hoop dance flow, because I believe that hoop dance flow is not something that we search for, it’s not something that you’re going to find on someone else’s Instagram account, it’s not something that you’re going to find externally.
Hoop dance flow is an internal sensation.
If you have your hoop journal there with you or maybe you want to leave your notes in the comments below, I want you to answer this.
What does hoop dance flow feel like?
Your answer will be entirely unique to you. There is no right or wrong.
If you’ve never felt the feelings of flow before, then I want you just to imagine what flow is.
What is hoop dance flow?
I’m expecting that some people might write things like; it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, it’s energising, it feels like the dropping out of all of my thoughts, it feels like moving tricks together.
And yes, all of those things are perfectly beautiful, and the sensations or feelings that come with hoop dance flow.
FLOW itself is a positive psychological state.
It’s a state that we get into or that we feel when we are active with something. When we’re fully immersed in it, and most importantly, when we are enjoying the process.
Here are five ways that you can access that hoop dance flow
These practical techniques come from my personal experience, and then also experiences that I have had through teaching tens of thousands of hoop students all around the planet, and having the beautiful experience of being in some of the workshops of some of the greatest hoop dance facilitators in the world.
- Trick Restriction
There’s a misconception that you can’t access hoop dance flow until you have a tonne of tricks, and you have to know them all perfectly, and only then will you access this sensation of full immersion and flow.
I’m going to challenge that.
In fact, I am going to encourage you to use a practise that I often use, and that has been inspired by the greats, like Anna Hoopilicious and Baxter from the Hoop Path, and that is to restrict your tricks. Concentrate on the movement and the connection between you and your hoop.
If you look up the hashtag #trickrestriction on Instagram, or you check out this blog post about trick restriction, then you will see some examples of what I mean.
Just for a moment, release the thought processes of trying to nail tricks. Knowing that it’s okay to take yourself away from always trying to learn trick after trick after trick after trick.
Trick Restriction is simply choosing either one trick; it could just be hip hooping, or it could be holding onto your hoop just with two hands and moving your hoop around, never letting go of those spots, but moving through as many different variations as you can, simply by holding your hands in two positions. Maybe it’s just one hand grip or position, moving the hoop around in various shapes using only one hand grip or position on the hoop. Whatever you decide, your one trick/grip/position is, give yourself one, two, three, however many songs, and just restrict, hold back on the tricks.
This practise will allow you to feel connections with your hoop, but you’re not thinking through any trick nailing processes, your brain is not saying “okay, what comes next, what comes next?”, because, really, all it is, is full embodied movement with you and your hoop.
I have had the most incredible breakthroughs of flow sensations beyond my wildest hoop dreams simply by hooping on my hips, and that could be for a number of reasons, and depending on what your belief system is or wherever you’re at with your thinking with hoop dance flow, it could be Kundalini activation or Chakra alignment, or just hot sweaty beautiful hoop dance, and just sticking to one trick on the dance floor, pumping music, hip hooping, waist hooping, in this area, based chakra, BLISS.
2. Move your body more than your hoop
Try the practise of moving your body more than you move your hoop.
If you’re a beginner, that might just come really naturally, because when we first start hooping on our body, our movements are very overactive, and so, you’re probably going to be feeling those sensations of flow and full focus, really immersed in it.
Once you start to drill tricks, which are awesome, and they look and feel great, you might find yourself getting a little bit more stuck in the mud. So your body tends to stop, your brain takes over, especially with a lot of the off body stuff. So give yourself the practise every now and then of moving your body more than your hoop. Taking your hoop along with you, taking up space in the room, and that doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing any tricks, but really just getting out of your tiny space.
It might mean that you have to take yourself to the park or maybe you rent a studio and give yourself a beautiful afternoon of hoop pleasure, whatever it is that works for you, but really taking up extra space, and seeing how that can help you to focus in on the action, immerse yourself, and then access all of this beautiful sensation of dance, flow, and beautiful connection with your hoop.
3. Create sequences
Number three is to create a sequence and practise it over and over. You might pick a trick or a few tricks, and drill them. That means to repeat them, rehearse them, over and over again. Create a structure and when you repeat that, you’re going to heighten all of the sensations.
It might be quite difficult to begin with, so you’re presented with a challenge, but you’re going to meet that challenge and push yourself through that challenge. It is actually an awesome thing, because often, to access that psychological, positive state of flow in the mind, we need to have a challenge. Boredom blocks flow; a new challenge ignites it. You come out the other end with something that feels very connected and very flowing.
Pick 5 – 10 tricks or maybe you want to choreograph a piece to a song that you love right now, and in the beginning, the challenge is going to be there. Create a sequence, write it down, write it on the board, maybe record yourself on a video and watch it over and over again. But you must take action on that sequence, repeat it, drill it, and the sensation of doing that over and over again will help you to access flow.
And, also, you get really good at the tricks or the sequences that you are practising .
4. Shut off your senses
Immerse yourself in movement and ultimately flow, by shutting off some of your senses.
If you have been lucky enough to attend a workshop with Baxter of the Hoop Path, then you will likely have been through his personal practise and journey of blindfolded hooping. By shutting down some of the senses, either blind folded or for me, personally, when I was starting to learn how to hoop, I really didn’t have many tricks, but I could drop into a sense of flow very easily, because I was often in the park after dark, with headphone on. I could not hear what was going on around me, I was really in that world of those beats and those sensations, and I couldn’t really see anything, because it was dark.
So, make sure that it’s a safe park or that you have someone with me, often my husband would be sitting there with me, so it was fine. Or, if I couldn’t go to the park or in the winter it was really cold, then I would have a tiny hoop space. I was living in Japan at the time, so a really small hoop space, and I would turn off the lights and always have those headphones on.
I would really be in that world, very immersed in the movement. And nothing else really mattered, there were no distractions, no phones were going off, no lights and pings coming from social media, it was very much in that world. I wasn’t thinking about external factors, I wasn’t thinking like, oh I wonder what that really amazing hooper that I love like, she does this and this, it was very internal, and that is exactly where flow exists, it’s in here, it’s not on Instagram, it’s not on YouTube, it’s not out there, it’s not when your mind is being distracted, it’s when you can come into this positive state of feeling really into the depth of immersion in your hoop.
Shut some stuff down, maybe it is a blind fold, maybe it is headphones, maybe it is closing your eyes, try that practise and see how it feels for you safely.
5. Don’t stop
This is a huge one. How many times do we all drop our hoops? All the time. It’s very easy when you lose connection with your hoop to go into instant negative thought spirals of like, “oh man, I suck,” or “oh I’ve lost my hoop”, or “I’ll never get that trick”, or “it’s so annoying going to pick up my hoop”. It is very easy to attach to this kind of negative inner talk, so you have to catch that chatter, and in that moment, when you have that awareness and that awakening, you can be like, “oh, this is a moment for pure exploration”.
If you’re not dropping your hoop, then you’re not challenging yourself enough, you are not pushing yourself enough.
Allow yourself to see dropping the hoop as a moment, not to stop, but to continue to explore your body’s movement. So if the hoop does go flying across the room, dance to it, move to it, whatever emotion comes up, express that emotion as you move towards your hoop. And you might feel a little bit wild if you’re in the park and the emotion is pure anger, and you’re crossing the park, crawling along the floor as a wild woman, but hey, it’s totally fine.
It’s definitely a moment for you to explore more movement and really test your own hoop dance flow access in those moments when you drop your hoop. Do you get distracted and really down on yourself? Do you let all that flow that you were experiencing drop away? Or do you continue to immerse yourself in the movement, in the play, show yourself complete self compassion, and dance over to your hoop and continue to move and grow?
Ok hooper, my hope for you from this positive rant is that you come to a greater understanding that flow is actually inside you, it’s a state that you can create through play, practise, and immersion in movement with your hoop. Take some of these ideas, play with them, mess around with them. I hope that when you’re practising , the next time you drop your hoop, you think of me, and you just continue to groove on over to it, and just have fun.
After all, it’s a hula hoop, so we’re meant to rock it! Just know that flow is right there with you all the time, and you are the most incredible, amazing being on the planet whether you know seven million trillion tricks, or you just rock one.
Big hoop love from me to you!