We celebrate Emily Wood as she takes the next steps on her HoopYogini™ journey!
How did you discover hooping?
I first discovered hula hooping within the music festival scene. When I was 14 I went to my first ever Dead concert and from that night on I has hooked! I started going to festivals every summer. Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, All Good, Up North Fest, etc. While at Up North Fest 2008, I met a couple from New Hampshire during the Bob Weir and Ratdog set with a few Hula hoops. I watched them for hours until I finally picked one up. I spun in circles laughing and loving life for the entire Umphrey’s McGee set. I haven’t put it down since!
What do you love about hooping and what has it meant for you?
I love that I can get completely lost within myself while hooping and at at the same time share myself with the world. Hooping is how I connect with my true self and how I express what I’ve found. If I am anxious it puts me at ease, If I feel trapped it sets me free, and when I am full of bliss it helps me share joy. For me, it has never really been about putting on a show, but rather a safe space where I can release my inner child and exercise self-love.
What do you love about HoopYogini™?
Everything! When I heard about Jocelyn’s HoopYogini™ practice I was practically in tears because I had this moment of clarity “She gets me!” Everything I felt about hooping that I couldn’t explain to others or even myself at times was put into a practice. Over the past few years I was learning new tricks, but starting to feel more and more disconnected from my hoop. I wondered if I should put the hoop days behind me. It seemed like the practice came to me when I needed it most. HoopYogini™ helped me reconnect and redefine myself in one of the most transformational periods of my life.
What I love most about this practice, is that it brought the hula hoop back into my life and developed a deeper connection with myself. While practicing, I build physical, mental, and spiritual endurance. This endurance has helped me stay confident and in control during challenging times, and it allows me to fulfill a life of bliss.
What do you love most about teaching?
As a teacher, I think the greatest feeling is knowing that by revealing yourself you have helped another connect deeper with themselves. We are all reflections of each other, and can all learn together things that are healthy and joyful or things that my be holding us back from the life of our dreams. What I love most about teaching HoopYogini™ is that I will help others free themselves and their moments of clarity will inspire me to be forever transforming into a higher self.
Give us a sense of your background or approach with teaching:
When I attend classes I often come to class with a few thoughts weighing on me or in hopes to loosen up tension within my body. One of my favorite yoga teachers here in Asheville, North Carolina always begins her practice with the question “What brought you to your mat today?” I love this because each class my answer is completely different. Our mindset and body change each day. Our needs and challenges change day to day. When you’re in practice you are answering yourself no one else. By attending her classes I’ve learned to constantly check in with my inner voice.
This is the voice of truth and the voice that will help manifest your dreams. To be honest it is scary projecting my voice as a teacher. What has helped me see past this fear is playing a rocking music set list and that I’ve realized yes I am teaching, but really I’m guiding others to hear their inner voice of wisdom. This is the voice they need to hear and express in their everyday lives.
Share your message, values, and aspirations as a teacher and hooper:
As a HoopYogini™ instructor, I cannot wait to share this beautiful practice with the city of Asheville where I live. I hope it will band together yogis, flow artists, alternative healers, performers, and those looking to self-heal and grow. I am about to start teaching regularly at my first studio Violet Owl Yoga and movement studio in June. This practice has already brought me to so many beautiful places and people. I can’t wait to see what manifests next!