And the wheel turns... life goes on... we are all here to heal... and live... the love... that is this life. Greetings from Bali. I've been here for almost two weeks now, with another two to go. Somehow the prospect of leaving feels unfathomable as the power of the now is just so incredibly captivating and strong. The mountainous areas of Bali are a magnetic home for this galactivating spinner of the light as sourced from the dark that is the void and beyond. The 13th year of the 13 year cycle is about to come to a close as I approach my 38th cycle around the sun. Ah Yum, Hunab Ku, Evam Maya E Ma Ho! I came here to create and heal my heart only to discover that the wilderness of the imagination is the only place where the heart truly heals purely by higher navigation. It's an intense journey this one, bridging worlds with serpentine intent and the power of the mirror as a tool for alignment. Where to go from here? I have come to a full stop.
Rewind two nights back lying in a dream circle re-entering the previous night's visions to inquire what else can I discover from the subconscious story? I am in a temple on a clifftop yet again. The walls are red, the light is warm and ambient, Kit is there spinning hoops all over, red ones especially and I am keen to capture her amazing beauty on video so run off to find my camera only become distracted and when i return the light has fallen and she needs to rush off for lunch but somehow i hold her and shoot the video as intended. Nick is there and we are all very happy. It's a blissful dream. As I re-enter I pick up a hoop and throw one to Nick - we all begin to spin and play and laugh having a great time. Then I am cleansed by water running over and through my body all my cells and organs are purified I am ready to lie down where i can feel the coldness of the ground and just relax. As i lie there straining to see further all of the muscles in my body and face surrender to the nothingness that they desire as I drop into the void it is black no more vision no more inquiry no more desire simply nothing. I fall further into the dream and become a snake lying on the ground. I am grounded and it feels good to move as one muscle slowly against the cold ground. I stand up and move within the temple walls to receive a visit from a guide who entered my dreams long ago, he has walked paths with me and given me gifts, a gentle old man who i adore. I am reminded of the serpents and spiders as my dream totems and press forward with the journey as i want to see more. He shows me the dream as The Dream itself as in this vision is precious and not something to inhibit with poor sleeping and waking life practices. I must remain clean to maintain the clarity of the vision which amplifies the creation that is.
Fast forward to that night waking up in bed in extreme pain in my right ankle. I have no idea why, wondering if I had accidentally fallen into a ditch which is easy enough to do where I am although not something that one would forget so easily. I realise this is impossible and try to fall back to sleep, I will deal with it in the morning. I wake up and the pain intensifies as I realise I have been bitten by a spider which has injected poison into me making my ankle swollen and sore. Grandmother Spider, what is it that you wish for me to know from this? Right ankle points to the magnetic tone or spiritual intent. I am initiated into the Unknown through the Moon. I am warned to reconsider my allies. I have been warned similarly before under different circumstances. As I draw toward the magnetic tone I wonder if this requires my relinquishing of Spider as my ally - she is tricky to be sure but powerful and all creative. Perhaps I just need to be paying closer attention to who and what I let in. Thankfully the poison quickly left my body leaving wisdom as its only trace.
As I journey further I slow down the pace and become more like the snake as i tune into the vibration of the land i am on. As the web spans outward my gaze falls inward to the only place that i truly know that which is my soul inhabiting this human experience. I am feeling out the territory, allowing time and space to sit and listen and watch. I am sensing my own inner territory in a completely new way. It wants space and air and liquid goodness. I give so much thanks to my beautiful soul family who visit me in my dreams both sleeping and waking reminding me that no matter how far we travel we are all still connected within this breathtaking web of creation. I bow before Grandmother Spider to show me the way and set my intention before I dream.
When a dream is upon us it is difficult to do much else other than be in it. Unless there is an awareness within the dream that it is just that, a dream, in which case we can not only start to engage with it in more dynamic and conscious ways but we can also start to program it. Just like the hoop. When you first get your hoop on there's a whole lot of effort and focus on what you have to do to keep it going. But when you relax and release the mind a symbiotic relationship appears between the hoop and the body where one doesn't necessarily control the other but both show each other the way at which point the body develops the ability to channel. Tantric hooping? Bring it on. Then there's the DreamSpell - a 13 moon Mayan calendar cosmology that traces cycles of time drawing consciousness from the centre into multilayered spirals of perception about the self, life and waves of being. The story of creation becomes cosmic when wheels spin within wheels connecting galactic centres with our own, awakening a consciousness that allows co-creation of a dream which transcends the personal.
This past March at the Sacred Circularities hoop retreat in Bali I discovered a whole new way of life on so many levels. The timing of the retreat fit in well with the end of my first 8 week teaching term of the year offering a space for personal practice. What that practice appeared as was quite different to what I had expected it to be. At the moment there are so many amazing hoop retreats being held around the world that there really is no shortage of divine destinations to beam into where you can seriously get your hoop on and learn as much as possible from a broad selection of rokstar hoopers in a concentrated boiling pot of hot hooping action which feels a lot like a home coming. Such retreats are worth reflecting on for their outstanding good times and pure brilliance - Hoop Camp in Santa Cruz, Harbin Hoop Retreat in Northern California, the ongoing and epic Hoop Path journeys, Hoop Convergence in North Carolina, the UK Hoop Gathering, Spin Matsuri in Japan, Australia's first ever Hoopy Happening coming up in November of this year and a Hoop Dreaming visioned for 2012 in the Australian desert. The global hoop community is stepping up to the dream of expanding our hoop print as far and wide as possible. The Hooping Family Tree Project appeared recently online - WOW. So, leaving Burning Man aside which is a little easier to do when you don't live in California, it makes it quite the challenge to decide on where to sets one's sights when thinking about traveling in the hoop. Sacred Circularities struck me as yet another distinct dreaming of what it is to explore, expand and celebrate the hoop within community - it had a spiritual flavour to it which focused on the sacred using sound, geometry, yoga, energetics and essence as portals of discovery. Switched my galactic buttons on. It was also a little closer to home. I was sold.
It wasn't until I was struck down by the tropical heat and humidity on the very first day of the retreat that I realised why I was there. Head spinning, heart pounding, stomach churning... I realised in shock that I had to stop. Not in a Hoop Camp sit out a workshop to make room for the many more later kinda way. In a sit down, don't move, put your hoops away for a significant moment or two until the space opens to take the hooping beyond the hoop. It was time for a different kind of practice. The journey continued to provide several more amazing demonstrations of Spirit in full force. Not least the news of a dear friend's departure from the third dimension. What it is to grieve outside of a circle of grief. Refreshing actually. A powerful and quick release from one's own deeply imbedded pain and suffering triggered by the passing of others. As we hooped and discussed and stretched and danced and played and rested for several more days a new layer of life's story presented itself to be listened to and heard. Interestingly, this story is about time.
Time is a concept and a tool that we use for what? To make, to create, to express, plan, nurture, worry, wonder... In the Mayan Dreamspell focus is shifted from the 12:60 paradigm of Time is Money to the 13:20 Time is Art. In one system you have the mechanical clocking in and out that supports an economy of finance and mental domination; in the other you have a resonance of numbers that tunes into the harmonics of nature which in turn supports an economy of well-being, encouraging and allowing the mind to expand. The Story of Creation reveals itself for what it is rather than what we insist or resist it to be. We were fortunate enough to be gifted the Dreamspell stories by a Monkey Goddess in the land of those adorable ancestral creatures. As an avid astrologer looking for more always, this new layer of perception has amplified my experience of life. It takes it beyond the planetary influence, surfs along the electromagnetic waves, plugs into the quantum plasma and switches on the Galactic Source centring that we are all being invited to activate as 2012 rolls around the corner. The time is now. What and how do you wish to create?
Speaking of time, I've discovered a wonderful new technique for more vivid and memorable dreaming where I set my alarm 2-3 hours before I intend on getting out of bed so that my head is much lighter when I go back to sleep to watch the subconscious stories. I highly recommend it - it allows you to see what your mind REALLY thinks about life, if you can decode it.
So I returned to Sydney after Sacred Circularities feeling invigorated by an exciting new cosmic system to study but confronted by old ways of being that needed to be released for the full potential of the new level of learning to unfold. Hello transiting Saturn Uranus Jupiter Pluto T square sitting on my natal Moon Pluto Jupiter T square. In a hyper state of awareness of the 13th cosmic year of a 13 year cycle the wheel continued to turn at a speed and intensity that would make the best of us grab the rails in a mild to extreme state state of panic bordering on nauseating despair and full vertigo. It was like riding a tsunami in high heels as a tween that has no idea what it is to balance in such atrocious instruments of fashion but desperately wants to because thats what our culture and conditioning tells us to do. Not my style. Hit the eject button. Time to step outside of the circle as the second term of the year came to a close. The lesson points in a lot of ways to an ability to become less involved to simply observe. When you step on the spiral highway there's just no turning back and when the benchmark is set, well its a step up or step out kind of situation. Sometimes that means fearlessly rejecting it all simply to find out what truly is in a state of complete acceptance and the willingness to allow life to effortlessly be.
Enter Byron Bay - Australia's portal of all things galactic and beyond. The town itself is an odd representation of the rampant unfoldment of culture throughout time and space but the essence of Byron exists beyond the walls of the main drag. For me it's in the hills and the people. I drove far and wide to lands I have lived and danced in before and those that are new to the journey. Meeting friends over fires, dancing to the beat of a drum, sitting in stillness by the full moon, watching the ocean play out its own story, connecting with a community of people interested in conscious community which necessarily means making time for each other in meaningful spaces. Sitting in the temple. Learning, hooping a little, activating a lot, releasing, realising, discovering, watching more and more of the great mystery unfold. When you allow Spirit to guide you decisions are made and delivered with clarity. I blew out of town with a kitty kat in a cage, a new bag of life's tricks and beamed back into the big smoke for another term of the spin.
I've lost track of the weeks, maybe three or four more left, I am in it and enjoying being fully immersed. In October it all changes again as I am guided back to Bali hoops and wheels in tow. This time for longer. If Time is Art then more time must be made to create without distraction. This life we live is precious and must be shape-shifted accordingly. The dream is to live like there is no tomorrow as there truly isn't in the paradigm of the now. The dream is to create something so beautiful that you can't take your eyes from it. It captivates and enthralls, leaving you little else to do but be of service and allow it to lead you where you must be. It is divinely inspired and crafted. Resistance is futile.
As potentially tormenting as it was not to do the Californian hoop camp circuit, not to mention Spin Matsuri in Japan this year the decision feels like it was made for me by an overriding need to do something different or to have the difference done to and through me by forces beyond my control. When you clear and create space for something fresh and new the breeze blows in and there it is - right in front of you staring you in the face. Often in situations like this you have absolutely no idea of what lies ahead as it is an invocation of the void. This is the fun part.
Create the dream you want to live and discover that you are living the dream.
So where this year leads is anyone's guess... Sacred Circularities is gathering again in Peru in November and South America is calling on many levels. These things seem now to only become apparent in feelings, signs and affirmations rather than thoughts. In the dreaming all will be revealed as it is to be shown and life will continue to be the mirage of reality that it is. Everything feels perfectly right as it is. Even if it does feel WEIRD... but *that* I put down to the planets. Now that's another story!
Heart opening makes way for heart connection plugged into Source where Consciousness DOES YOU. For better or worse this is our ultimate partner in Time Space SOURCE As some might say suck it up or simply bask enjoy allow embrace welcome witness. The space behind our eyes is informative. It speaks of the void where Nothing is the reality. Surrender to stillness, silence, a space to simply be in consciousness guided by breath, the gaze is soft and inward. Beautiful colours emerge from the dark and light frequencies activate a level of absolute truth before and beyond words although ESSENCE describes it well. KALI power insight transformation through creativity and destruction. To be is to watch and listen and love. Sit in the centre and observe. The 13th integral step. Unification awaits. LOVE XO
PROGRAM Throughout this two-day teacher training course you will learn the fundamentals of Hoop Empire's Hybrid Hooping Instructional Program. The key elements of this course include hooping for fun, fitness, dance, creativity and therapeutic purposes. You will learn to teach a combination of both circus hula and contemporary hoop dance as well as discover your own individual style that will shape your own classes. The course will include daily warmup and hoop practice, designing course content, practical teaching exercises, troubleshooting, problem solving, discussion and question time.
The types of classes that you will learn to teach are: 1. Beginner’s Workshop 2. Beginner’s Course 3. Intermediate Intensive 4. Intermediate Hybrid Hooping Course
You will learn how to navigate your way through teaching absolute beginners through to intermediate hoopers, depending on your own skill level. You will also learn a few of the added extras involved in teaching hoops such as: • The types of hoops to teach with and to sell • How to incorporate instruction into performance (i.e interactive entertainment) + vice versa • Differences in teaching children + adults • Teaching people with learning difficulties • Requirements you will need to teach such as insurance, equipment and space • Costing classes, performances + manufacture of hoops
IDEAL TRAINING FOR: * Experienced hoopers wanting to share hoop joy! * Newbie hoopers who are competent and confident in teaching other beginners * Fitness professionals looking to diversify their training repertoire * School teachers wanting to add fun and exercise to their curriculum * Those looking for a fun and exciting career change
PHILOSOPHY You've probably noticed how hooping, and the teaching of it, has started to spread on the international circuit, particularly in the United States. While we live in a market economy we are too often confronted with competition as a potential threat to our business. I prefer to see humans and in particular, the hooping kind, as a global community who can assist and inspire each other with the intuitive understanding that the more you give, the more you will receive – it’s universal law. So what we are left with is how to create complementary businesses and business practices with confidence, integrity and respect for our own individual natures as teachers and lovers of the hoop. Discover your own personal style and strengths and translate this into your classes. Learn the foundations then teach and develop what you love!
I welcome and congratulate you on taking this exciting step. It will change your life and probably already has. As a teacher you have chosen to pass on your skill and talents to those who need or want it. As a hooper you are sharing your passion for a practice that is all about fun, joy, health and creativity. You are helping to create a different currency in this world – that of happiness or should I say hoopiness.
YOU WILL RECEIVE:
14 hours of on-site teacher training + hoop practice A comprehensive 100+ page hoop manual to take with you Lesson plans + rescources A certificate of completion A link and promotion on the Hoop Empire website Access to my library of experience in hooping Employment opportunities with Hoop Empire The skills and know-how to set up your own classes! WHEN: Saturday 1 + Sunday 2 MAY 2010, 9am-5pm (1 hour lunch break) WHERE: Sydney TEACHER: Bunny Star COST: $600 or SPECIAL PRICE $500 if you book and pay in full by MARCH 30, 2010
So yesterday in the throws of hyper-visual cyber saturation I sat transfixed to my computer trawling through Hoopy Award nominations, videos, pics, blogs, astro readings, FaceBook social news and general cyberland happenings. I have reached a rare point in the year where I am pretty much on top of my emails, still avoiding my bookwork, holding a small amount of space to chat online and generally pretty relaxed in week 4 of the annual 6 week sojourn. Life is cruising. Strangely as Yoga O'Clock approached I was hit with an overwhelming urge to blog which essentially requires a clear state of mind, a whole amount of solitary space and good dose of inspiration that had hit my hood. A competing zen bender. I sat in front of my computer tossing up my options noting that after a recent elongated writer's block it may not be the best thing to do to walk away when the flow was calling. On the other hand, I had been on the Yoga train for 5 days running and after a 3 day break it really was TIME to get back on or the momentum would be slowed. A split between the body and the mind - hello the answer should have been obvious. As a Libran I often throw most dilemmas out to the peeps and thank God for the love and support of decisive friends - the collective said DO BOTH and let one filter into the other - i.e "blog the yoga" ... thanks Ms Linguini :) So here I am post yoga mid blog fusing body and mind into one. The integrated whole.
Yoga entered my life when I moved to Sydney 14 years ago. Like writing it had for a long time been sporadic but always invigorating and ultimately soul food that I kept coming back to for more. My dedication and commitment to regular practice reached a turning point when I connected with a wonderful teacher about four years ago. It's an interesting dynamic that between teacher and student and one that deserves some contemplation. What was it about that teacher? It was about an essence. He would say, don't come to class because you think you should, come because you want to. Or, there's no point in giving up your vices in life if you're going to be schizophrenic about it - if you want whatever it is that you reach out for, go for it, until you no longer truly and authentically want it. This dude is a dude, for real. He beamed love and light, he oozed a chill that everyone wanted, he demonstrated an astonishing level of strength, flexibility and balance that one could only dream of and he was simply absolute beauty personified. We all fell in love and then he left the country. Like most things in life you don't gain a full appreciation of what you have right in front of you until it's gone. Aside from his stunning person and that wonderful exotic accent that somehow got me through the stretched out counts of leg-crushing warriors and reality defying twists and balances, he set me and my fellow students up with a solid foundation that catapulted us all I'm sure into a zone of what feels like a regular lifetime practice. He also challenged my attachment to The Teacher and what it is to find self-directed practice.
So I moped around town in search of another pining for the loss and wondering how one can replace such an experience. The reality is I couldn't as it was unique. This has happened before actually. With hooping. Once I had made the decision to dedicate myself to the practice 6 years ago my teacher had already left town. I mentioned this to my beloved yogi once over tea to which he smiled and suggested that perhaps it is simply part of my karma. Oh the simplicity. So as a teacher I am intrigued by what it is that we represent to our students and how we connect or not. He would say, students don't just come for the teaching they come to connect with your energy and your emotional self. He drew my attention to a responsibility that I now hold with a sense of sacredness and grace - as teachers we attract students who want to know more than just the skill set, whether we (and they) choose to acknowledge it or not. Together we create an experience that seems to exceed reason and words - it's a feeling that often effects us at a very profound level. After he left, as a teacher, I accepted the challenge of becoming my own teacher and took on a solitary practice down at StarLand last Summer. But when I returned to the city the physical space to practice in my own home was reduced and all the urban distractions thundered in, leaving me with a very strong desire to get back to class. Lucky my new yoga studio is less than 100 metres away from my home!
In honour of the class, I have to acknowledge its attributes - it's about synergy, a collective raising of energy, inspiration from others, the guidance of a teacher outside of the self, a structured format to follow that locks me into a disciplined time and a beautiful big sacred space that has been shape-shifted specifically for worship. I also experience the luxury of having someone else tell me what to do and when to do it knowing that the end result is a happy and healthy body/mind/spirit. When I'm in a class I don't have the cat running around my feet protesting that I'm pretending to be a dog! I don't have the distraction of phones and computers and fridges and all else that tempts one in the work from home zone. In class I am anonymous, I am silent, I am directed, I am safe, I am one of many, I am reminded that I am a small part of the whole, i am that I am. In class I sing and chant and stand on my head and hands and stretch out and go beyond my limitations just a little bit each time to progress with someone on guard watching, guiding and adjusting my development. I can almost do the splits! It's taken years... maybe this Christmas coming. I can feel this is the year. In class I am allowed to just be. I don't have to think. I don't want to think. I dream in colours and see shooting stars and at times am flooded with light as I feel prana coursing through my entire being. In class I feel alive and so relaxed and strong and balanced. In class I can practice breathing like the ocean and then barely breathe at all. In class I understand the power of the breath.
Beyond the spiritual and sacred nature of yoga, which I admit is its strongest drawcard for me, I am given the opportunity to shape and strengthen my body in a way that no other exercise has ever offered. Often I am amazed at how I need not practice something like the splits in each class but by practicing all the other poses that loosen up my hips I can return to Hanamanasana over time and it magically seems to have come along. It's an integrated form of exercise. Then there's the abs - everyone wants killer abs right so the belief is just bust out those thousand or so situps and get the Pilates classes going on for full effect and it's true such focus is sure to be met with success but with the moderation and holistic foundation that Yoga provides, abs are constantly working in all kinds of poses that at the same time strengthens and tones your back, legs, arms, butt and so on. The integrated whole. On a very personal level, in part I use yoga as an experiment on myself to defy genetics. Both of my parents and some of my siblings experience the pain of arthritis. History and science says I should expect to experience this pain myself. Interestingly I feel like I have defeated an ongoing shoulder / neck issue that plagued me for many years during which time I worked in front of a computer for most of the day and practiced yoga irregularly. As a full time HoopStar I cannot do this job without the support of regular yoga practice. When my practice falls off I can feel it in my back, my neck, my shoulders, my wrists sometimes just everywhere. Hello Dr NeedleHands! Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic treamtment - all wonderful things and essential top ups but with regular yoga I need them less and less. So the challenge is on. I refuse to become arthritic without taking on the challenge and giving it my all. My intuition says yoga is the key to longevity. It's my mantra actually. So an eternal child of the universe it just becomes more and more fun and never a chore to rock it out in class OHMmm!
So I am brought to the notion of self-directed practice which is something I wish to elaborate more on in a range of creative areas of life. I used to think that if I couldn't be my own task master that I was a pussy ^_^ and that until I had my own home practice sorted I was somehow dependent on the other, The Teacher, the guru to kick a butt that I am personally responsible for. It was interesting to watch my approach to my current yoga school which has a whole bunch of teachers. Initially I made sure I shared the love around to avoid said attachment to beloved yogis. But then there is *the energy* that connects us to an individual Teacher that takes us beyond the beyond. It seems hardly a coincidence that at this point in my life where I am living in an open relationship that I have discovered we receive (and give) many things to many people and that you can't *get* everything from one person. It's holographic. It's emotional maturity. It's wild! So Dharmashala you have hit the spot. I give sincere thanks and deep gratitude for this incredible journey, experience, feeling and love that the practice of yoga has to offer. It has changed my life, supports my work, my hooping, my heart, my head, my body, my relationships. It takes life to another level - that of the Divine.
I dedicate this blog to my beloved Yogi who I adore and miss but feel eternally hovering counting those asanas with a cheeky grin making it go oh so slow to elongate the joy and to all my other teachers past present and future who inspire and guide me throughout my practice, including me.
The Hoopies 2010 are now open for voting. Support the Hoopaholics and our ever expanding community by casting your votes. We have been nominated for two awards - Pic of the Year (shot by Nick Coppins) and Local Hooping Community of the Year... that's you! This is the third year in a row that The Hoopaholics have been nominated. Visit hooping.org to make your mark. Voting closes Friday 22nd Jan 2010.