Why hula hoop? Well, for a start, waist hooping burns 7 calories a minute - that’s 420 calories an hour. It’s a super holistic activity combining exercise, dance, fun and meditation and provides a physical, psychological and spiritual workout.
Trying new things can be daunting at the best of times – which is all the more reason to do them! Challenging ourselves to venture outside our oh-so-comfy zones is where the fun lives, where the freedom plays and where the growth happens.
So, here’s some tips to help you get the most out of your first hula hoop class. Note: all of these things are applicable to life as well – so LIVE IT!
- No-one knows what they are doing
It’s easy to get caught up in comparisons which creates distraction from the task at hand – learning to hula hoop. Yes – there will be people in the class who can hoop better than you because, chances are, they have been to more classes! Remember, everyone in the room started right where you are at…and now look at them.
- There is no such thing as “I can’t”
When it comes to hula hooping, there really is no such thing as “I can’t”. It is more like “I can’t YET” either “because I don’t know how and haven’t been taught” or “because I haven’t practised enough”. Like with many things in the hoop, this is great advice for life!
- Get out of your head
It’s important to note that this is different to getting off your head! The focus here is on your body, paying little attention to your thoughts and the analysis that may be going on trying to break down the trick you are learning. Listen to the cues, follow along with your body, and trust that it will come. When you over-think things in a hula hoop, it’s hard to maintain connection and feel where the hoop is so the aim of the game is to move through it rather than think your way through it.
- Breathe and relax
Learning new things can create a tension in the body and cause you to hold your breathe. This tension gets in the way of the flowing, circular movement that is required to hula hoop. Remember to relax your shoulders away from your ears and breathe deep, full breaths throughout the class.
- Patience and play
It takes time to learn new things so allowing the fun in and being patient with yourself will give you the best chance of improvement. Take a reality check – you are playing with a plastic children’s toy, let’s not take ourselves too seriously.