WELCOME to the world of Psychedelic Sensually Interactive hoops…

Psihoops were the first and for years the only LED hoops to be sold. The psi-ko-hoop is the first full interactive, responsive, smart hoop. It has been over 7 years in development.

PsiHoops Intricate Trails

 

WHY PSI?

The hoops are Psychedelic, Psionic, and Psychotropic – they Spiral, they are Sensuous (zensuous?) they engage the Senses (visual, kinesthetic, proprioceptive, emotional and extra-sensory)
– they are Interactive, Intense and Illuminating… so P-S-I. (pronounced sigh, ah…)

Why PSI_KO?

I couldn’t resist…..cos making these hoops was nuts! Because all the patterns and trails and things that appear are so crazy …I am told that “saiko” means “the best or highest” in Japanese, and also in some slang means “awesome”. (And in England, where they attempted to educate me, psilly puns are usually met with a psi…..)

A digression into the origin of the word psi….

Psyche is a greek word originally meaning breath, then life, then the soul. The word Psychic thus refers to the soul or powers of the mind. “Psychology” comes from this, and means the study of the soul, though most psychologists dont appear to know this, and limit themselves to dealing with the brain and behavior. Thus the study of the abilities of the soul has been shunted into “Parapsychology”. Para means ‘beyond’, as in ‘paranormal’. ‘Paraspychology’ means the study of psychological phenomena that science cant explain. (thank God we are not always limited by our symbolic systems).

Thus the word “Psi” to mean someone who is psychic or has psychic abilities such as telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc. – which of course we all have to some extent and may regard as perfectly normal. Don’t we all know when someone is staring at us, don’t we have intuition, don’t we exert our will at a distance, cant we all send loving energy to people, are we not conscious of the effect of prayer and meditation; are not all these things normal?

Durability and Use

These new psikohoops are intended for all uses – performance, art, recreation, exercise, dance, play, development and so forth. They are made to be durable, and survive most environments. However the tubing is Polypropylene, which has some limitations. It was chosen because it has good performance characteristics – it is responsive and light – but it doesn’t like being hit hard when its cold. The colder it gets (noticeably when its under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and especially when its freezing) the more likely the tubing is to get miniature cracks when the hoop impacts with hard or sharp objects or when great stress is put on it (like doing slam reversals at high speed against a shin bone etc). So if you do hoop in the cold, especially when outdoors on concrete, just be a little careful. Tubing can be replaced, but damage to the connector area might be fatal to the hoop.

Dust – the psikohoops can be used at the beach and in the desert, at Burning man and festivals and so forth. There is no direct opening into the hoop so they are mostly weatherproof. As you open the hoop to transport it or charge it, wipe or blow off any dust and dirt around the connector.

Water has always been the enemy of electronics and the psikohoops have some protection against this, but they are not at the moment waterproof. They are somewhat resistant to water and will survive being left in the wet grass for example, and can be used in the rain or snow. If a hoop falls into a swimming pool and is recovered immediately it will probably be OK. But sea water is highly toxic to electronics and I doubt whether a psikohoop would survive a fall, throw or roll into the sea. In any case, immediately dry the outside of the hoop next to the connector and then open the hoop up and shake out any water and dry the USB port especially, using a hair drier or fan if that is available. If its sea water, its best to rinse that off the hoop, but try to do it in such a way you don’t then get more water inside the hoop.

Please share your experiences with how weather proof the psi-ko-hoop is, and how you managed to dry your hoop if it did get wet, and what the consequences were. So far there has not been enough direct experience with the weather and the psikohoop. I did take some psihoops underwater, and this involved putting some shrink tubing over the connector area and heating it gently till it shrunk around the tube and sealed the connector fully. If you know you will be in water (doing a performance or some such) then we recommend using the shrink wrap tube, but be a little careful with applying too much heat to the connector area.

psihoop trail

Trails

A large part of the effect of the lights in a moving hoop is about the trails. The pathways of the whole hoop (and each part of it) are shown by the lights. The way that we are conscious of this is loosely called persistence of vision (POV) but more accurately involves the phi phenomenon, “Beta movement” and one that Wikipedia and other scientists of movement perception have not yet included – psi-phenomena!

The main idea of Psi-hoops (apart from general coolness, frivolity and mayhem) is to provide a visual-kinesthetic link for the performer and audience. As the hoop makes its circular, spiral and complex journeys, the lights and trails show the qualities of movement the hooper. The speed, acceleration-deceleration, momentum and inertia of the hoop is made wonderfully visible. The connection of the body-mind to the motion of the hoop is clarified and intensified. You can feel what you see and see what you feel. It’s a synaesthetic tool.

You have the normal proprioceptive and kinesthetic senses of touch, pressure, location and angular momentum, and you get the intricate visual feedback that is directly coherent with the movements…and so from that relationship you have a marvelous interactivity -learning is accelerated, the zone opens up

In order to get the full real time feedback and interactivity from your psikohoop, you need a large mirror or some way of reflecting light (a window against a dark background, etc) – and a space big enough to be free with your dance and hooping. One way to examine trails is to stand in front that large mirror, hooping fast with your eyes closed, and blink your eyes open for as short a blink as you can, then watch the after image with your eyes closed again.

Playing with the Hoop

The hoop is basically a circle and carries the symbolism of that. The circle evokes meaning that spans the entirety of human experience. From the individual to the group, the family of man, the earth, the universe – the circle represents them all. It represents wholeness. Man in all cultures has used sacred circles for ritual, prayer, trance, healing etc. The hoop is also a wheel. Our civilization could not exist without the wheel. So take time to feel the symbolism of the hoop and explore it in your dance and workouts with the hoop.

A psi hoop is a great dance partner – it will inspire much fun and will teach you a lot. Play, performance, exercise, therapy, expression, rhythm, momentum, love. All of these and more.

The hoop is a toy, a tool for amusement, pleasure, entertainment and play. As with all good toys, it provides opportunities for growth and development. I notice that it informs my dancing. The study in momentum transfers some quality to the movement of my limbs and torso. The hoop is not just an object that you whirl around your body. It interacts with you, it responds to your movements, your mood and vibrations. It is slightly pliable (bendable, soft) and so has some unpredictability to its pathways. It has a dance of its own. Do with it as you will. All I am saying is that it can evoke an emotional, energetic, social, soulful quality. In performance you can convey some of this feeling to the audience. It will engage them.

Although a psi-hoop brings a lot of joy and interest to a dance space, it can also be obnoxious, making people cower or flinch or actually hitting them, causing them to be nervous or preoccupied with you, and so forth. So it’s a good thing to learn some floor etiquette when you are at a jam, rave, party or dance. Notice how people respond, get used to including those around you in your vision and awareness, invite people in. One of the functions of the LEDs is to warn other dancers that there is a hoop nearby.

Share your toys. Put them away when its time for some other community action. After all, as well as telekinesis and synaesthesia and so forth, your basic psi-power is the quality of your attention, your ability to stay in the zone (both personal and social). Often it may feel better to hoop with the lights off. Perhaps the crowd needs a break from the patterns.

Having been hit between the eyes with a flying psihoop, and earlier on in my hooping having had a hoop escape my hand and fly over a dancer’s head, I have respect for the hoop’s projectile qualities. It’s pliable and doesn’t weigh a lot, but it could still hurt, make people nervous and pissed off. Please try out crazy new stuff where you wont affect others this way.

As with many toys the psi hoop loves the company of its own kind – two or more of them are amazing together. Many games will develop in a group with some hoops. For example, rolling them so that they meet and travel together across the floor,or lying on your back and suspending them with your feet, or dancing with them in any style like hiphop or contact or whatever, doing the “one-finger thing” – this is a favorite of mine and comes from my martial arts background. Try steering the hoop around with one finger, letting its momentum lead you, try this with two hoops. Having the hoop between you and a partner, both of you just using the end of one finger to support the hoop, give it a little pressure and feel your partners center through the connection. Allow this feeling and the natural movements of the hoop to lead the dance. Try to hoop with two of you inside the hoop…this takes a soft clear connected pelvis, a bit of practice and the right size hoop. There are any number of games, exercises or meditations that will develop. A variation of the stick and ball is the hoop with the exercise ball. Try a light touch with a lighted hoop and a large transparent exercise ball (the kind you sit on and roll around on)…the lights shine in and through the ball, and the ball conveys interesting movements to the hoop. You can stand on the ball and hoop, though that is dangerous and I cannot say that I recommend it. You can carry an exercise ball inside a hoop and spin the ball around using the hoop as a holder, its quite impressive. Building structures with several lit hoops, hooping with multiple lit hoops – hey, the more the merrier!

I occasionally keep up my practice of Tai Chi and the hoop becomes a sword or staff that is curved into itself, an extension of my movement and chi. Because it is round, not sharp, and carries the symbolism of the circle, it is a less threatening object to play with in company of the ladies. Please do this kind of thing mindfully, with full awareness and attention to those around. The hoop, especially the psi-ko-hoop is also an instrument. In a similar sense to a musical instrument, a paint brush, a camera, or any tool that is used to create art, support communication and expression, or further some craft or skill. As with most instruments, it will require familiarity and practice. Talent is also a bonus, but persistence and intention will get you there!

PsikoHoop

Factoids

  • Events that led up to psi-ko-topia.
  • 15 billion years ago, Siva imagines a hoop .The universe is alive…
  • All things whirl and spin around each other.
  • The solar system is formed with planets hooping around the sun, rings and moons looping around planets and life settling in on sol 3.
  • Death and taxes take over Earth, no one seems to have a lot of time to play until the 20th century