Friday, May 27, 2011

Interview: Lindsay Love

The half-stated purpose of this blog is to share ideas for embracing an inspired, happy, and creative life. On my own journey I've met a host of brilliant people who create 'the good life' through their art and community service. This week's interview with Lindsay Love is the first in a series of profiles that showcase artists living their dream.
Lindsay and her inspiring daughter, Baila
Lindsay Love is also a certified children’s yoga and meditation instructor and is a member of multiple local community organizations. Lindsay is joined in her journey by her daughter and inspiration, Baila (3 years) and their dog, Bea.

When and how did you discover hoop dance?
Lindsay: I was introduced to hoop dancing in 2006, as it was becoming increasingly popular among the summer music festival scene. I was always intrigued but it wasn't until I watched Spiral's Earth Dance video in the Spring of 2008 that I felt inspired to pick up a hoop myself.

Spiral's Earthdance video is a hooping classic! What about that  video changed your intrigue into inspiration?

Lindsay: Spiral wasn't just hooping, she was DANCING! I was spotting chaine turns, deep grande plies in second position, sustained spins, etc. much different than I've ever seen before.

You studied modern, ballet, and tap dance for 13 years before discovering hoop-dance. What are some of the similarities and differences between hoop-dance and more 'traditional' schools of dance?

Lindsay: Studio dance and hoop dance share many similarities in the art of expression through movement, performance and flow. In the fall of 2006, I walked away from studio dance with little inspiration and motivation remaining. With the hoop came a new challenge, less boundaries and infinite possibilities in discovering how to utilize this prop to ignite my desire to dance again. Hoop dance has allowed me to tap into my unique free flow, without direction or limitation.

How has your extensive dance background informed/impacted your hooping?

Lindsay: My background in dance has served as great preparation as I now spin in my ultimate joy in the flow arts community. I was a very shy child and am grateful to my mother and dance teacher for all they contributed to my experience in dance. That opportunity gave me confidence, built incredible self-esteem and sparked the creative fire within at a very young age. I still enjoy creating choreography, only now with props and tools (generally on fire!) and love sharing my art through performance, both of which I learned during my years in the studio.

Do you have any suggestions for hoopers who want to incorporate more dance into their spinning?

I strongly believe that the hoop has a way of finding

 you  and when that connection between yourself and
 the hoop is recognized, you will begin experiencing
 your unique flow.
Lindsay: My advice to hoopers who wish to incorporate more dance into their practice at home would be to JUST LET GO! I strongly believe that the hoop has a way of finding you and when that connection between yourself and the hoop is recognized, you will begin experiencing your unique flow. If it is technique that is desired, utilize resources such as dance tutorials on YouTube and discover the multiple ways to integrate your hoop with specific moves and combinations. Do not limit yourself as your body will intuitively guide you through your expression!

I think the freedom to just let go and dance draws many people into  hooping. It's so liberating. At the same time hooping draws a lot of  attention --though it may be different in Lawrence than here in  rural MO. Most of its very supportive, but there's sense of being on  display. How do you balance the pull of performance with the desire  to just experience the dance?

Lindsay: I feel like experiencing the dance in your highest excitement is what draws people in. To see someone having fun and being playful brings a lot of smiles, my advice is to dance as if no one is watching, even if you are on display. Be in tune with yourself and it will be radiant.

That's a great way to look at it! So tell me about your yoga-practice. When and how did you discover yoga?

Lindsay: I began practicing yoga in 2006. Stretching was a huge part of my dance practice growing up but I like to refer to yoga as "conscious stretching". I began setting intention, focusing on breath and listening to my body during these stretch sessions. Deepak Chopra's "Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" is a book that found me early on in my yoga journey. This book has accelerated my practice over the years by opening doors to healing, meditation, compassion and Love.

What styles/schools of yoga do you study? 

Lindsay: The majority of my yoga practice consists of Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. Hatha Yoga includes the basic poses that contribute to flexibility and strength. Kundalini provides for a more intense spiritual connection, navigating through your chakras and finding balance within. I find Intuitive Yoga very refreshing also as it's very much like my hoop sessions--naturally flowing from pose to pose without a predetermined agenda.

What is Angel Bear Yoga?

Lindsay: Angel Bear Yoga is the curriculum used at my practice, Love~Joy~Harmony: Children's Yoga and Meditation. The program was founded by Christi Eley, a certified children's yoga instructor who wanted to make yoga more creative for children. Angel Bear Yoga teaches children to embody positive character traits through a story-based practice of poses, heart affirmations and active meditations, while discussing nature facts, endangered animals and tips on how to contribute to a healthy, sustainable environment. An overall connection to the Source, the Earth and it's creatures!

I feel that all children are born with the natural 

love of the practice and hope to act as a guide for
many who wish to continue to cherish that tool 
throughout their lives.
How is teaching children different than teaching adults?

Lindsay: Teaching children is my biggest joy as it is constantly a learning experience for myself! I enjoyed the opportunity teaching adults while instructing dance, but the children help me tap into my inner child and I am constantly pushing to be more creative and interactive to make a more positive, lasting impression.

How do children benefit from yoga?

Lindsay: Yoga Journal has a great article outlining the benefits of children's yoga that I have found to be very inspiring. In it, Marsha Wenig states, "Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves. Doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvelous inner light that all children have to the surface." I feel that all children are born with the natural love of the practice and hope to act as a guide for many who wish to continue to cherish that tool throughout their lives.

Is yoga accessible to all children? My pre-school age son, for example, is very high-energy and easily distracted. How do you teach to a child like him? 

Lindsay: Yoga is accessible to all children! Whether setting aside time to do stretches at home with mom or dad before bed time or joining a classroom setting, there is generally little to no cost involved, as yoga is something that is already within us all. Children who are high-energy and easily distracted generally benefit most from the program. Love~Joy~Harmony bases each yoga session around character traits such as Patience, Listening, Imagination and Respect, which I feel will be extremely beneficial if presented effectively. The classes are kept between 30-45 minutes (depending on the age group) and are very interactive to help motivate the children to stay involved in a fun environment.

What teaching/performance events (yoga and hoop) do you have lined up this summer?

Lindsay: I will be hosting free children's yoga workshops in the Kansas City and Lawrence areas throughout the summer and will begin teaching semester-based classes beginning in August. For information on these events as they are announced, you can visit my website or follow Love~Joy~Harmony on Facebook.I will be performing and instructing workshops as part of Helios Fire Tribe at local events in Lawrence throughout the summer, while we are also preparing our piece to perform at the annual Fringe Festival in Kansas City this July.

That's an impressive list of events, plus you also organize monthly Goddess Gatherings. What is the KCL Goddess Gathering? Are men allowed? What are your gatherings like and what sort of volunteer work do you do?

Gatherings are also intended to celebrate our 
unique gift of femininity.
Lindsay: The KCL Goddess Gathering is an organization I created after acknowledging the unity among so many strong, influential and positive women in our community. It serves as an opportunity for us to unite on a monthly basis and share inspiration, bring awareness to the needs of ur community and motivate each other to continually play a part in giving back while still taking the time to nurture ourselves and our spirit. While we hope to inspire and serve everyone, regardless of gender, our Gatherings are also intended to celebrate our unique gift of femininity. Our volunteer work is open to anything that needs attention in our community--from the Boys & Girls clubs to food drives and working with other non-profit organizations to assist where they may need volunteers.

Why are gatherings like these important?

Lindsay: I feel as though gatherings such as ours act as a way to inspire and set example through action. It allows us to serve a purpose in unity and open doors for more people to become involved. Most importantly, a lot of our members are mothers. We have crafts and activities prepared for children of all ages and encourage them to take part in this supportive, productive environment at an early age.

How can folks get involved in KCL Goddess Gathering? 

Lindsay: For information on the KCL Goddess Gathering, you can visit our Facebook page: or email: All Goddesses Welcome!

Service and volunteer projects, like the KCL Goddess Gathering, are often described as dharma in the yoga-community, but you also refer to dance as your dharma. What is dharma? How does it relate to creative-work?

Lindsay: I first became aware of the term "dharma" in my yoga practice a few years ago. This refers to your purpose, your reason for being born. We all have a unique gift to contribute to our environment. I do consider dance (in all forms) to serve as my primary purpose, while continually seeking more possibilities. I have found purpose in motherhood, community involvement, serving as a mentor, being a student, etc. Dharma is often the subject of my conversations and blogs and the source of motivation for my practice as my it continues to reveal itself more and more each day.

So is dharma fixed--like everyone is born with a purpose--or is it fluid?

Lindsay: As a person, you are constantly evolving with every experience and with that, one could assume your dharma is constantly evolving as well.

How can people embrace/discover their dharma?

Lindsay: You can attempt to recognize it on a large scale (your ultimate purpose) or in the moment. We are all born to contribute talents, compassion, and ideas (just to name a few). Everyone is full of purpose, trust in yourself and focus on finding those outlets within.

How do you balance your creative and mundane (work, for example) obligations?

Lindsay: Balancing priorities and "playorities" comes with much practice and dedication. As a sole parent with my family being hours away, I am blessed to have the opportunities to be involved, as many in my situation otherwise would not. I have gained the most incredible support system over the years because of hooping and the community events I participate in. Together, we can accomplish anything and set a great example for generations to come. Behind every motivation and creation is my highest purpose, my daughter, Baila. She serves as my partner in all that I do, my teacher in life. Live in Love!

Thank you for making time between your priorities and "playorities" for this interview. You're an inspiration, Lindsay!

Lindsay: Thanks for the interview, it helped me reflect and find more gratitude in so much! Thank you!

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