Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Circle Yoga

Circles in yoga
Before the start of any yoga practice, I like to survey the premises for possible yoga props. Walls, tables, belts, sand bags, and chairs are among some of the usual yoga prop choices. I rarely miss the chance to use steps, boulders, trees, shelves and anything else that can help expand or support a yoga posture. When I spotted a hula hoop from across my friend's living room, I knew it would be the guest prop for my practice that day. It was the perfect size for holding above my head, which made for nicely energized arm raises. Then, it became a noticable stablizer for First Warrior pose, as I lightly touched the hoop at my side for greater balance and strength. The hoop helped me to avoid over efforting. I felt encouraged to find a deep place in the pose. This deep place wasn't overly concerned with outside appearance or striving for perfection. This deep place was where sensations were noticable. At the sensation level, there is nothing more to "do". I finished the hoop practice with some twists. As I held the circle at shoulder height, parallel to the floor, my sitting twist was encouraged to spiral honestly and evenly. Nothing to prove, nowhere to go, the hoop seemed to say.
I wondered why it felt so natural to make use of the hula hoop in yoga. Maybe the symbolism of a circle brings a needed balance to all of the lines, rows, rectangular mats, and angles that typically stand out in yoga poses and class settings. I'm inspired to bring more circles and spirals onto my mat and into my visions. Circles represent infinity, unity, and wholeness. At the end of my practice, I sat inside the hoop, feeling a welcomed reminder that we are all in the circle of life.

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