HoopYogini™ Certified Instructor Miki Sohn of Sunchild Hoops is working to expand the hoop community in Tokyo, Japan.
How did you discover hooping?
Miki: I first came across hooping during my party and traveling days in my early 20’s. The first time I saw my friend hooping, I honestly never imagined I would be doing the same thing. She was on the stage of a big music festival in a sexy, flashy costume, and I never thought I could do that. When she asked me if I wanted to try hooping, I said “No way! That’s not my thing!” But after a few years, there was a major shift in my life and I had to leave everything I knew behind, my home, my job and my friends. After going through such an intense time, I had the urge to start something new to change my mood. Then I happened to find a Hoopalicious demo video on Youtube. I had totally forgotten about hooping but this time, I simply thought, “ah, maybe I should do it.” It didn’t even take a week for me to get my first hoop and I haven’t stopped since then.
What do you love about hooping and what has it meant for you?
Miki: Hooping is a very flexible activity without traditional rules. It can be combined with any kind of dance as performance art, a standalone workout to tone the core or even as moving meditation. There is no traditional, fixed style of hooping, instead, each hooper can create her or his own style. Such flexibility and openness attracts hoopers from a variety of backgrounds and this was what I was really attracted to. Also, there are strong international hooping communities all over the world. We connect to serve each other, lift each other up and embrace each other through hooping. I have met lots of loving and inspiring hoopers during my travels overseas. Meeting with those unique, open-minded hoopers has really meant a lot to me and has changed my life in a positive way. It wasn’t just a relief from the hard times. The ‘plastic circle’ eventually changed all aspects of my life.
What do you love about HoopYogini™?
Miki: I first experienced Jocelyn’s HoopYogini™ class at the Bali Spirit Festival. Since I’ve been a yoga practitioner and a hooper for over 7 years, I thought this meditative hoop exercise program, which has lots of affirmations in it, perfectly fit with my philosophy on life.
After a few months of daily HoopYogini™ practice and becoming a certified instructor, I’m finding myself to be more centered, calm, and focused in the moment. HoopYogini™ has taught me how to let go, surrender, accept things the way they are and fully enjoy the moment.
What do you love most about teaching?
Miki: It is a pleasure to see people find themselves focused and centered while hooping even though they have many distractions in their daily life. People connect to their intuition in the calm place inside themselves by being dedicated to the body and the moment even for a few moments a day. I believe that daily dedication brings all of us to a better place so I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to share that moment with my students.
Give us a sense of your background or approach with teaching.
Miki: I have taken many dance classes as a youth jazz dancer in my teenage years. Then I started my career as a massage therapist in 2006, so it was just natural for me to be teaching my massage clients some exercises to relieve their pain, making use of my experience as a dancer. I became a certified teacher of Hoop Tokyo in 2009 and have been teaching private and open hoop classes since then. I use the knowledge that I’ve accumulated as a massage therapist to make my classes safe and effective for my student’s health and well-being.
Share your message, values, and aspirations as a teacher and hooper.
Miki: I am one of only a few hoopers in Tokyo, as the hoop community here is not yet developed. We are working hard to expand the community and share the fun of hooping with locals. Since hooping is not competitive, it is a great way for everyone to simply enjoy the moment and find their flow. As people in the big city are always in the hustle and bustle, I believe Tokyo needs more cheerful activities like hooping which releases stress, delivers pure joy and offers a calm space to focus their energy positively.
“You create the space, and the universe fills it.”
– ‘YOGA Anatomy,’ by Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews
This quote is from the chapter entitled “Dynamics of breathing” which explains the anatomy of breath from a yogic perspective. These figurative words explain that the energy expanded in breathing produces a shape change that lowers the pressure in the chest cavity and permits the air to be pushed into the body by the weight of the planets’ atmosphere. In order to let in the new, we first need to release and let go of the old to create space for it. So the empty space will be filled just as it’s supposed to be without force or effort. I believe this is how everything keeps transforming in the natural changing cycle of this world. These words made me realize that even our body works in that way
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