The first weekend in August I attended the Hoop Girl Empowerment Retreat in Mill Valley, California. There were about 32 of us including the workshop instructors and Hoop Girl, herself, Christabel Zamor. This picture is from my friend, Julie Greicius’, (aka Aviatrix) workshop on a variety of cool ways to jump through the hoop to spice up one’s hoop dance. Julie was my first-ever hoop dance teacher, whose patience and warm-hearted encouragement made all of the difference for me when I was in the first weeks of training to be first a hoop dancer and then a hoop dance teacher.
The retreat went from late Friday afternoon until late afternoon on Sunday. My friend, Stephanie, and I drove over together not sure what the weekend would hold but excited about meeting the other women and learning some new things about ourselves and hoop dance.
Several of my friends who live out of the area were there, too, so it was a treat to reunite with these women that I have kept in touch with on Facebook or through email, and have time to hoop together, again, share a meal and catch up.
The retreat included a good variety of hoop workshops, a wonderful laughter yoga session, and a couple more non-hooping workshops. There was time for napping, hiking, and shopping at the Hoop Girl Boutique for hoop clothes, accessories and hoops. The food was great and the company was even better.
I’m not a big retreat-goer. In fact, I pretty much haven’t done retreats in my adult life until the Mermaid Retreat that Christabel put on in Kauai in November 2010. I knew I wanted to be at the first Hoop Girl Retreat, and it was great to have it so close to home. It was a real treat to be surrounded by women who share a love of hoop dance and have the time and space to really focus on hooping for an entire weekend. By the time we said our good-byes some of these strangers had become sisters. I left feeling more connected to myself as result of having communed and hoop danced in nature with these gorgeous goddesses.
In the weeks since then life has taken on a fevered pitch, complete with some pretty dramatic ups and downs. I haven’t had much time to think about anything that wasn’t happening in the moment I was in. I have experienced enough to realize, though, that integration takes place in the dark, below consciousness. It doesn’t need our mind telling it what it all means. So despite my busyness and preoccupation, the integration process has gone on. I know this is true because I’ve noticed that my hooping has changed. It is stronger and more inspired, now. It comes from a different place than it did before. Having experienced the teaching styles of my beautiful friends, I have a greater understanding of my own strengths as a teacher, and I am even more excited about what I have to offer my students who are ready to step into their own Goddessness by way of the sacred circle of the hoop. All in all, the Hoop Girl Empowerment Retreat was one of the high points in my summer. There’s no question that it was an enlightening and empowering event.
Have you been to a hoop retreat? If so, I’d love to hear which one you attended and how you liked it.
I hope you are taking advantage of the warm summer weather, so perfect for hooping. Enjoy!