This weekend I had the opportunity to take a class taught by Jacqui Becker of Hoopnotica…and 9 hours later I am now certified to teach integrated hoop/dance/fitness classes! I’ve taught a lot of classes in my day…sunday school, religious studies, science, art, history, crafting, scrapbooking, and unschooling…but nothing has been as personally fulfilling and rewarding as being able to share hooping with other people!
Hoops remind me of women which remind me of Shakespeare: “Though she be but little (cute, sparkly, playful, and fun!), yet she be FIERCE.” Never underestimate the power of a woman or a hoop.
After a day of solid of hooping, I felt more exhaustion and muscle fatigue than I did at the end of my half marathon. It’s a total mind/body/spirit workout, and it is badass. So, since I haven’t talked about hooping for a while, I’ll recap to explain my love affair with a little sparkly round plastic hoop.
WHAT IS HOOPING?
Take one round hula hoop. Not the ones sold at Target or Walmart, those are too small and light for grown up bodies. A nice big heavy hoop with fancy sparkle tape! Play your favorite music. Put the hoop around your waist and spin it on your body, just like you did as a kid. But wait, there’s more! As you get better with it you can start to spin it anywhere…legs, chest, hips, neck, even your nose. And not just on your body, but you can play around with it and maneuver it in lots of ways off your body too.
Here I am playing around with my hoop on and off my body while hiking in Argentina (travel hoops can go anywhere!).
WHO CAN HOOP?
Anyone. There’s a huge community of hoopers…men, women, children, grandparents, tall, short, petite, full figured…even bears! If you have a body, you can hoop.
WHY DO I HOOP?
Two years ago, my friend gave me a hoop to pass the time at pit stops as I drove cross country. At that moment I was swimming for my arms, running for my legs, doing yoga for my core, and meditating for my mind. Then I started hooping and every one of those things came together in this one activity that I couldn’t get enough of. It was fun, childlike, playful, never boring, never anything I had to make myself do. I couldn’t get enough of my hoop!
It’s an amazing core body exercise, which has toned my body more than anything I’ve ever done. But what keeps me coming back into the hoop is what it does for my mind/body connection. Like Tai Chi, yoga, or any other moving meditation activity, hooping is a very centering and clarifying exercise. Also, as someone who has always been clumsy, uncoordinated, gawky, and never feeling quite right in my own body, it feels so good to dance with my hoop and have ballet teachers come up and ask me how many years I’ve been a dancer. Then when I protest that I’m not a dancer they say, “Yes, you are.” And then I cry.
SHOULD YOU TRY?
Yes, yes, yes. You should try it yourself. You should try it with your kids! You should try it with your friends and family! You should come find me and hoop around with me, too! You won’t regret it.