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Road Trip with your Hula Hoop to Connect with the Earth

The Wheels on the Bus go round and round, round and round, round and round . . .

While the wheels on your vehicle are spinning, you are sitting.  If you are the driver, your legs are slightly active controlling the gas pedal, the break pedal, and maybe a clutch.  If you are the passenger, you might be sitting in any number of comfortable or awkward positions for an extended period of time.  There are little bits of car yoga we can do to keep ourselves from becoming a completely stiff board, but there is thing that absolutely cannot be found without getting out of the car: Contact with the Earth.

There are so many reasons using a hula hoop helps your physical, mental and emotional body, but today I am especially thankful for the way it gets me to connect with the earth.  I have put 10,000 miles on my tour vehicle in the last 7 weeks and that is a lot of time with my feet and my body hovering above the ground in a metal container. When I stop at a gas station or a wayside, I usually get a hula hoop out to practice a couple tricks, loosen up my body, and get blood flowing before getting back behind the wheel.

Recently, though, I have been noticing that using a hula hoop gets me further from the car, and usually onto grass or other natural and unpaved earth.  I seek out extra stops next to creeks or mountains to get out and play.  This afternoon, after practicing some Hoop Yoga Fusion style balancing poses, that connection with the earth brought me right back into my body.  The earth was rocky, sloped and uneven, so I had to try various places to plant my foot.  I was back in the desert for the first time in over a month.  Mistaking a prickly cactus style plant for the softer varieties back east, I quickly realized that I had to wear shoes in this terrain.  Being near to the edge of a cliff, I used a forward gaze a quarter mile across a canyon to help me balance. I had to choose something to focus on much closer to my feet than I might usually use to maintain stability.  The wind along the slope was slightly erratic, so I slowed my own breathing. I focused on the movement of the hula hoop and imagined my foot growing roots and digging into the rocky soil beneath me.

The movements were not about being perfect. In fact, upon looking at photos and video this evening, I struggled to accept how far out of alignment my hips were in these particular yoga poses.  But sometimes that is also what connecting with the earth is all about for me.  The earth couldn’t care less about our human concepts of perfect.  Every goal was achieved:

1.       Exit the car for the sake of exiting the car

2.       Move away from the car

3.       Seek unpaved earth if possible (but wear shoes in the desert)

4.       Play for the sake of play

5.       Move the Body

6.       Breath deeply

7.       Enjoy the connection with the earth

Prior to this mountain side play date with the earth, I thought I was going to run out of gas. The pass through the mountains was longer than I remembered and my trailer was heavier than it was in the past.  It was 102 degrees outside and I had my air conditioning off and windows up because I remember hearing that those things lower fuel efficiency.  I hadn’t had cell reception in 30 miles. My heart was pounding and I thought I was going to be walking down the side of a mountain with my thumb out, waiting for a good soul to pick me up. I had already made note of where my good shoes, extra water, and umbrella were stashed.  I might make it to the next town by coasting down the mountain for 30 miles, but I’m usually not that much of a gambler.

Similar situations must have occurred for other travelers, because as I rounded a peak I saw a sign I hadn’t noticed on prior journeys through the area.  A mountain side resort had a single gas pump available.  It was old and it was slow, but after 10 minutes I had gotten 2 gallons of gas into my car to tide me over and was back on my way.    The gamble was over, I had plenty of fuel to make it safely to another settlement, but my heart was still beating fast and my breathing was shallow.  I was driving slow to make the hair pin turns with my trailer and a motorcyclist was riding my tail.  I took a turn out to an overlook between two especially dicey turns to let the cyclist pass. Only then did I take a moment to admire the beauty of the canyon I was entering, parked my car, and pull out the hula hoop.  Ten minutes later I was back to the giggly, grounded, nomad I love to be.

I have been suggesting that people take a hula hoop on the road with them for as long as I’ve been hula hooping!  We even make multi section hula hoops to keep the travel and space usage easy.  Today the earth just reminded me of one more reason why we get out of the car.  Our vehicles get us to other places.  Our feet connect with those places.

Get your feet out of your car and spend some time with a hoop and the earth. After all, they are my two favorite circular objects.

The post Road Trip with your Hula Hoop to Connect with the Earth appeared first on The Spinsterz Blog.

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