The very first time I saw someone hooping, I was completely mesmerized. I stumbled across a YouTube video of a girl who went by the name of "SaFire" and I knew...in an instant, that I HAD to learn to do it too. That was a few years ago...and my desire to learn just kept getting pushed onto the back burner. Last spring, Bella and I got matching mother/daughter hoops made, and while Bella totally rocked it, I couldn't seem to find time to figure it out...beyond just waist hooping. (Please note: when I talk about hooping, these are not the small "kids" hula hoops...they are adult sized and are usually custom made. The bigger they are, the easier to learn!).
Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago. I finally decided that IT WAS TIME! I broke out my HoopDance DVD and watched a million YouTube videos. We went to HomeDepot and bought tubing to make our own hoops and ordered tape online. This was all during the NüRVers rally, and luckily, there were several other adventurous souls who were willing to hoop it up with me (check out Tara's blog post about her hoop love). One of my new friends, Rose, helped me learn a trick that I had been working on...and once I got it, I was ecstatic! After that, it was like riding a bike...it just felt very easy and natural instead of awkward and clunky.
We had a BLAST learning different tricks together and cheering when we actually did them without dropping the hoop or hitting ourselves in the face! We even attended a Hooping Meetup in Austin (blogged here)..which was wonderful!
It's safe to say I'm pretty obsessed with hooping. I dream about it. I plan hoop tape colors in my head. I am always searching for new videos online. And don't you even think that it won't happen to you :) Once you start, it's totally addicting!!
Why do I love hooping so much?
It's a good time. Seriously. Who didn't love hula hooping as a kid? If there is a hoop laying on the ground around here, it's hard for someone to walk by without grabbing it for a few swirls.
It will raise your heart rate. Hooping can burn 400-600 calories per hour! And you don't even realize it because...yep, it's fun. I will also strengthen your core, your arms, legs...you name it. It's a great workout. It's fun for the whole family. Both Bella and Matt have their own hoops and we love to hoop it up as a family. Bella learns new tricks so fast...it's fun to watch her because she is so intuitive about the flow. She just does it...without fear. I learn from her every day.
It's meditative. Similar to yoga, spinning a hoop can calm your frenzied mind. Your hooping experience can be whatever you want it to be...depending on how fast or slow you're hooping and what music you might be listening to.
It's community-building. What started off as just a few people wanting to make hoops turned into 16 hoops being made! Once one person starting learning and having fun with it, everyone wanted in on the action. It's a fun way to pass time and chill with friends and family.
Beyond your immediate community, there is a worldwide hooping community/culture. There are events and performances and all kinds of ways to learn. Right now I have my heart set on Hoop Camp Retreat 2010...that would be the most yummy, wonderful time. All hooping. All day. All by amazing teachers. Oh my. Anyone wanna come with me?
There are tons of hooping resources out there...here are just a few:
SaFire You Tube Videos I LOVE (yes, there are a lot, but she is an amazing hooper and teacher!): SaFire Silouette: Gorgeous lines. SaFire Shoulder Hooping: Oooooh how I love this. SaFire Chest Hooping Tutorial (chest hooping is what I'm currently working on...so I love this) SaFire in the Sun (love that song!) SaFire's Hooping Manifesto: Love The Process
I will be posting more about hooping music and online hooping communities...and I have some REALLY EXCITING hooping giveaways to announce over the next 2 days...so before you get all crazy and go buy a hoop, hold tight. You'll wanna wait for this!! Wooooooo!