The hula hoop craze seared its way into my seven year old memory. Everyone had one and when I wasn’t roller skating that plastic was circling my hips endlessly. I played with this toy on and off through the years and as an adult, cursed/blessed with a more analytical mind, I became intrigued with clockwise vs. counter-clockwise. I found that everyone has a strong preference for directionality when it comes to circling the hips.
And it somehow felt therapeutic to work at coordinating moves in the more challenging direction.
This weekend my grandson proudly showed me his new found ability. First time I’d played with one in maybe five years. Still could do! After we each showed off our moves, I asked him to try circling the other direction. He had to place his feet wider apart, put out way more effort and, after a few valiant circumnavigations, the hoop circled on down to the ground. He tried again. Same. It looked like my own prior experiences. With a lot of effort and a substantial deficit in coordination I used to be able to keep it aloft for maybe a minute.
So I was totally surprised when it was my turn to go the hard way and it was totally easy. Fluid, effortless, simple. Obviously something had shifted in this body. And here’s what I know for sure. In the fall of 2015, after a painful bout of left hip pain, I became serious about addressing the asymmetrical deficits at my core. Up until then I trusted training symmetrically despite increasing evidence that my body was not symmetrical.
Exactly three years later, in the fall of 2018 I moved with uterine cancer and a full hysterectomy. This loss served to deepen my relationship with this asymmetry and gave me access to feeling sensation at an even more subtle level. I continued to refine this subtle core toning, working centrally, unilaterally and on the diagonal. The time necessary for this was surprisingly small—5 to 10 minutes, but the consistency was everything—3 to 4 times a week.
Now it is fall again and another three years have passed. I find myself bounding up the long flight of stairs that lead up from the beach where we are camped. Balancing on the roller with total ease (pictured above) while gazing at Mama Ocean. And I can hula hoop to the right or the left. I feel the best I have felt in many years…maybe ever. And I know the physical is just a part of the whole. But it is the physical that supports me in continuing to open my heart, quiet my mind, find full expression for my soul and touch into spirit in all ways possible. And sharing this route to self-care is what Essentials is about.
Maybe you’re curious and have yet to dive in. This Saturday at 10:00am, for the first time on line, I’m offering Essentials: the introduction. If this time does not work for you, pre-enroll to receive the recording. In two gentle hours learn all the basics of release via foam rolling and double tennis balls; above mentioned subtle core toning—symmetrical and asymmetrical; stretching spine, rib cage, arms and legs. Want a visual sense of that?
So that’s what’s Essential in October where we continue our journey from the feet up. If you missed the first two foot-focused classes, especially if your tootsies are giving you grief, both those classes are in the library now. When we start again on October 8 we’ll move up from the shins and slide into the knees. These sessions are 90 minutes and I hear from many of you that they so easily break into segments of 20-30 minutes, allowing you to create shorter sessions from a single recording.
Circling and circling…so much love coming your way…❤️Bella