I am over the moon to be returning to the Planet Hoop blog today, a sunny and slightly humid September morning. This season's 6-week Hoop Dance Course will commence in less than 3 weeks and I am keen to introduce the first of 3 special guests who join us this Autumn and kindly share their gifts with us.
10 minutes with Stella
I asked Stella (and all our guests) to take the floor for the last 10 minutes of our hoop class (usually dedicated to a cool-down) to introduce herself and take us through an exercise or two that relates to our hoop practice. While the exercise remains a surprise, you can read about her story and expertise and GET EXCITED!
Stella and I first interacted over on Instagram when one of us followed the other. I remembered her telling me she was keen to start hooping. I started seeing and seeking her posts, as I grew more and more captivated by her expression and the way she shared her practice.
Learn a little more about Stella, in her own words:
Stella discovered yoga as a child in dance classes and trained as a teacher in 2016. Stella attributes her yogic journey as a major contributing factor in her recovery from substance addiction. Stella teaches slow embodied non linear yogic movement that places an emphasis on self regulation and how it feels to be in the body rather than what the body looks like or what it is able to 'do'.
In 2020 Stella trained as an Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapists help people find balance in their lives through engaging in activities that are meaningful to them. The motivation for becoming an Occupational Therapist were 3 fold:
1. To make yogi principles and practice available to EVERYBODY (not just white, skinny, middle class, able bodied women) serving her community within NHS mental health.
2. Knowing first hand that therapeutic use of occupation works, having used it as a tool in her own recovery
3. A desire to work holistically with plant medicine and knowing that Occupational Therapy leans itself so eloquently to the integration work that is required after psychedelic experiences.
Stella feels like she is preparing for when laws change here in the UK to combine her knowledge and work with the ancestral medicinal plants that grow on the land she lives on.
The back drop to the yoga and the Occupational Therapy is a deep reverence for community, ecology, inclusivity and activism which is why upon returning to SE23 she is embarking on her own sliding scale class.
Stella is eternally grateful for the many friends, guilds & teachers she has met on her path and will forever remain ever a student.'
I am excited to welcome Stella back to our South-East London community. I believe it's crucial that we continue to connect with people like Stella, who genuinely care about the world around them and have a desire to share their gifts and remind us to navigate our individual and collective journeys in grace and awareness.
Stella will be starting her own classes soon and you can most easily find her via her Instagram Page. I am really grateful to you, Stella and I can't wait to have you in class!
Yours as always,
Clara from Planet Hoop