Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Be Alone

What is being alone with the phone or Facebook offering perpetual connectivity? What is alone in a house full of children? For me, alone is a delicious escape into Coyote's country. If, on the other hand, you experience solitude as alien or frightening, Tanya Davis offers some advice on "How to Be Alone."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Hooping Body

Groovin Megz, founder of the Hooping Body, strives to remind hoopers that “we are athletes of the circle.” As athletes we have an obligation to strengthen and protect the bodily vessel that carries our dance. Megz has experienced first hand both the bliss and drawbacks of a life sustained by ecstatic dance. She’s rocked the stage alongside musicians like EOTO, Sphongle, Beats Antique, and Keller Williams. She’s traveled across the continent teaching and inspiring with her unique, high energy hooping. Unfortunately, for Megz, “January 2008 was a major wake-up call. My hip pain hit me like a bag of bricks... throbbing, stinging, jabbing, grinding pain in my right hip joint. I hadn't felt anything like this before.” She spent a year in search of healing. “I tried Yoga, exercise and lots of stretching but I was in so much pain nothing was tolerable. […] I tried various massage therapists and chiropractors, but no one could tell me exactly what was wrong or why I was in so much pain. I felt helpless and depressed.” Finally Megz found a personal trainer who “used several innovative techniques which relieved the pressure in my hip joint and taught me many basic exercises to strengthen my glutes and core.” Now a stronger, pain-free Megz hopes to pass her knowledge on to others.

Drawing upon her hoop dance history, as well as her training as a corrective exercise specialist, a certified personal trainer, and group exercise instructor  Megz launched the Hooping Body “to educate hoopers on proper hooping practices.” If you’re in the Portland area, you can attend her weekly classes. For global hoopers, you can access useful information on her website. She’s created a questionnaire to help hoopers identify their trouble spots. Perhaps even more immediately useful are two video guides that walk hoopers through a series of strength and flexibility building exercises. However, Megz cautions there’s no substitute for working with a certified healthcare professional. Megz urges hoopers to seek out a posture assessment “to make sure they are in correct alignment before engaging in practice. Also, hoopers need to be mindful of how they feel before they hoop, if there is any particular tightness or soreness, those muscles should be stretched before and after hoop practice.”

The Hooping Body’s message is simultaneously cautionary and uplifting. Megz celebrates all that is athletic, fierce, and beautiful within the hoop, while urging hoopers to never compromise their health. With more videos in the works and dreams of taking her program on the road, the Hooping Body is an essential resource for healthy hoopers.