Let's play a game.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a child, outside in your backyard, a local park, or the school playground. Which games did you play? Choose your favorite one and start playing it in your imagination. Feel your heart, your breathing, how your sense of time disappears, your imagination soars. Are you with friends or alone with the grass, trees, and your imagination? What are you doing? Feel your arms, legs, feet, all moving together in play. What are you playing? Freeze tag? Monkey bars? "Manhunt" in the dark? Bring your game to a close as you lie on the ground, exhausted and exhilarated. Now open your eyes. How do you feel? What did you notice about your body? Play does a body good, doesn't it?
As a child I loved swinging on the jungle gym, jumping rope, playing kickball and dodge ball - but mainly I loved to dance. I also loved hula hoops. Remember them? When was the last time you played with one? At our "Exuberant Animal Jam" we had a mother and daughter, Ariana Shelton and Laura Marie of Hooping Harmony, who reintroduced us to "hooping," an updated version of the good ol' hula hoop:
What a workout hooping is! And yet how mesmerizing and powerful. I discovered that although it looks difficult, the undulating rhythm that comes from the center of the body (back and forth) is the simple power behind the ability to keep the hoop spinning. Forget crunches, and sit-ups - try hooping for 20 minutes (the time will absolutely fly!) - and you'll feel tall, strong and centered. Here's a photo of me "hooping" in my backyard with Laura Marie and an LED hoop:
Laura Marie and Ariana got my college age son hooping, along with several fellow "Exuberants." Yesterday after my work day was done, as the sun was setting, I went outside and hooped for a while. What fun. Just like being a kid...