OK, I know, you’ve probably raised an eyebrow, tilted your head a little bit to one side and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘isn’t that for children’? But before you dismiss it, I can assure you that children know what’s good… after all, there’s still that little kid inside all of us who just wants to have fun and play.
An instant attraction
I’ve gotten into hula hooping and hoop dance over the last two years, but it was probably the way I was introduced to hula hooping that hooked me. It was during a visit to Florida where I connected with a good friend of mine. She came to visit me and brought her brand spankin’ new LED hula hoop with her. Up until then, I had never thought twice about hula hooping, nor was I even aware of the creation of LED hula hoops!
A group of us went to a beach where these cool cats proceeded to play and do tricks with hula hoops and poi (fire spinning). I’m a sucker for any kind of pretty lights so I was immediately mesmerised. Sitting in the sand taking in my friends whirling and twirling these pretty lights with such grace and flow was really captivating. This introduction to hoop dance and poi really inspired me in so many ways, and both of these lesser-known art forms continue to introduce me to new dimensions of myself.
A passion was born
After returning home from Florida, I gradually started doing some research, bought my own hoop and started scoping out YouTube for video tutorials, as my friend told me that is how she learned how to hoop.
It really is something simple to learn, but like everything else, it takes time, practice and passion. Hula hooping also has quite the reputation in the fitness realm; it is a great workout for your core/mid-section and it promotes good balance, so you’re really not just playing – you’re getting a serious work-out in as well.
A history of hula hooping
So, without further ado, I introduce to you and invite you to get familiar with The Hula Hoop.
Hula hooping first came about in 1958 after Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr trademarked and released the first circular plastic hooping device known as the hula hoop. Although originally created with children in mind, that hasn’t limited today’s hooping market, as it is no longer just kids who are picking up and playing with the hula hoop; people of all ages are becoming acquainted with the hoop, whether it is just for fun, exercise or a form of creativity and expression.
Workin’ that bod’ with your hoop
Hooping is getting a great reputation for toning your abdominals while your body moves and grooves to keep the hoop up and in steady rotation. A growing number of people are beginning to use the hoop to whirl and twirl their body into better shape as it’s a good cardiovascular and simultaneous aerobic exercise.
Not only is it proven to have positive health benefits, but it’s also fun! When you’re looking to unwind with some music, try hooping… you’ll be inspired to dance and explore some creative sides of yourself that you may not even have known were there.
By connecting with the flow of hooping, one can also really start to explore the dimension of artistic hoop dance. As people learn to move in sync with the hoop, they gain better balance and increased flexibility, allowing the body to move in a multitude of new ways. With practice, you can also incorporate some funky tricks and optical illusions when you’re dancing or simply playing.
Yogic hula hooping
Now, hooping is not just limited to a form of exercise or play: I’ve come across numerous videos that have incorporated hooping with yoga. Yoga brings the integration of fluid movement, breathing exercises and stretching to the spiral dance experience and art form of hula hooping.
This combination of yoga and hula hooping has introduced another dimension to the realm of meditation that may be less daunting for someone who is interested in beginning an exploration into meditation. This just goes to show that there really aren’t any limits with hula hooping, that it is capable of catering to a multitude of personalities, and that a little creativity can go a long way.
Give it a whirl!
I would definitely encourage hula hooping to anyone interested, because I continue to find so much fun and joy in such a playful form of self-expression.
For anyone who is interested in hula hooping, be sure to check out www.hooping.org and www.hooplovers.com. Whether you’re just curious about hooping or serious about giving it a try and possibly picking it up, these two websites have been particularly helpful and will provide you with some good guidance on getting familiar with your flow and hula hooping.
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