Our youngest HoopYogini™ Certified Instructor, Emily Byllott, of Centereach, New York gives her take on hooping and teaching, and shares a delicious playlist with us.
Give us an idea of your background in teaching:
Emily: I am currently going to school to be an ESL teacher. I didn’t really know I was a teacher until not very long ago. I always found myself trying to help a person connect to something that was important to them. First, it was through the English language, and then I found myself teaching friends and family how to keep the hoop up and maybe some other tricks. With support from my hoopmama, she really encouraged me to be a teacher of the hoop and to recognize that I am a teacher and that even though I am young I can be very influential!
How did you start hooping:
Emily: My hoop journey began when I was inspired by two of the most beautiful women in my life – my boyfriend’s mom and my little sister. They both started to hoop before me and they went to classes together. I remember one sunny afternoon looking out my window and seeing my sister hooping her heart out in my grassy backyard. My little sister is awesome but sometimes she doesn’t always see it, but that day when I saw her it was magical. She looked so beautiful and graceful and comfortable inside herself, inside her personal universe. I was so humbled and inspired…I ran outside and was like ‘okay teach me everything!’. Since then I have been hooping non-stop. My boyfriend’s mom is a hoop instructor and she continues to inspire me to have fun and be myself. We connect so deeply through the hoop, I am so thankful for my hoopmama and my hoopsis
Recount a story from a time when you were a student:
Emily: When I was a student during HoopYogini™ training, that entire experience revealed to me how being a learner of flow arts is more than just learning some cool tricks – it’s about inner and outer connection and transformation. The hoop is this never-ending symbol of love, community, friendship, and life! Though I am a teacher, inside my hoop, I will always be a student; always learning about me and the world.
Share a favorite story from teaching:
Emily: When I practiced teaching HoopYogini™, I had hoopers from all different walks of experience come together and practice with me. When the class ended everyone was hugging and laughing and connecting with people they didn’t know before the class. I stepped back and was like ‘woah, I fostered all this love, this is awesome’. That is what I love about teaching and my students; It is my favorite thing to help people connect to something that makes their heart dance!
What has hooping meant for you:
Emily: What I love about hooping is that it has allowed so much beautiful growth to happen in my life. I have found a place where I feel so comfortable being myself; I have found a sacred space; I have found my home. Plus, it is so much FUN!
What do you love about HoopYogini™:
Emily: I love everything about HoopYogini™! I love the physical practice and how it makes my body feel – strong, stretched, smart and sexy! But what I love most is that it has allowed my hoop to connect with my breath. The breath-linked-movement within the practice allows my life-force to be so connected to the hoop, its hard to explain how magical it is, you just have to try it for yourself!
What bit of wisdom or message would you offer to new Hoopers:
Emily: Get out of your head and into your hoop. My hoop has taught me so much about who I am and it has taught me to love myself, whereas sometimes my head did the opposite. My message as a Hooper is Love. Love yourself, and as your hoop spirals around your body, let it remind you of the never-ending cycle of love. Let your hoop foster a beautiful love for yourself and see how you become connected to the love that is in community. We are all connected through love and the hoop really makes this concept more tangible. I aspire to share this understanding!
Spontaneous share! Anything you would like:
Emily: I want to share one of my favorite excerpts from The Hoop and The Tree by Chris Hoffman:
“Ultimately the Hoop is the image by which the self talks to the self about the Greater Self in whom we are all connected. It is through the Hoop that we connect with other living beings, with the rocks, the soil, the air, the green growing things, the dying and the dead that fertilize new life, the person we once were and the person we shall be. The hoop has to do with hearing the beat, getting with the rhythm, feeling the music of what is, and skillfully entering in with just the right amount of effort. The Hoop is oneself as the process of relating. All of us yearn to feel related and accepted, to be in harmony, to feel ourselves at home in the universe and with each other. And this is our birthright, for we all are part of the Hoop. We have only to stop, perceive, and be. If you allow yourself to connect with the Hoop, you are home.”
Emily Byllott HoopYogini™ playlist:
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