Reverse Directions

Yesterday I was practicing the float up–pulling the hoop off my waist to a halo above my head–in the opposite direction I usually go. I wanted to be able to demo in both directions for my class, and I also wanted to remind myself what it was like to learn the trick. In my normal direction (spinning lefty) the trick feels natural and easy, but the other way around was suddenly quite a challenge.

The day before, when I first tried it, I couldn’t make the float up happen in the reverse direction at all, continually clocking myself in the head, getting twisted up in my own arm and hoop, or flinging the hoop off my body and across the yard. (Whee!) I had to teach myself the float all over again, re-figuring out the keys (like, hoop goes straight up, not around).

It occurred to me how much we get stuck going in the one comfortable direction–hooping, and probably in our lives in general. Sure I can spin the hoop in the opposite direction on my waist, but if I made myself keep at it, I realized it felt awkward, and my tendency was to find myself having switched back to my usual direction without thinking.

It’s nice to be able to do tricks in both directions, partly to gain a fuller skill set and even out the movements of the body. More importantly, it kicks the brain and body out of their customary states.

I managed by the end of my practice session to make the move happen consistently. Even more gratifying, I kicked myself out of my comfort zone, making myself feel suddenly more expansive, less confined to my normal state, and having broken out of the self-limiting, “I can only do it on one side.”

So, go ahead: try it the other way. It may be awkward at first, but it’s worth it just to break out of your usual hooping patterns. Who knows–it may knock you out of other life patterns as well.

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