Hula hoops. They’re colorful, they bring back good childhood memories, and they’re fun- everyone is happy when hooping…so when Uforia mentioned they were starting a 6 week hula hoop fitness class, I thought why not, and signed up. But will I get bored doing it for an hour? Will it even be much of a workout?
The instructor, Julie shows up with about 20 colorful hoops around her shoulder. She’s in amazing shape with a calm/zen aura about her, wearing a hula girl tank top and flared pants– hulawear she tells me (www.hoopclothes.com). Clearly hooping is a cool culture, I just had no idea. Come to think of it, I recall seeing a group of adults on Redondo Beach hooping. She gives a little demo, barely moving her hips, and keeps her hula hoop going with amazing speed and grace. Then she starts moving in and out of the hoop, doing hoop tricks with her hands and dances with the hoop in motion. Julie casually mentions, “You’ll be learning some of these moves today.” I realize this may take a bit more work than I expected.
Fortunately, 9 of us in the class have never hula hooped before. The other student in the group has won contests- a former pro. This should be interesting.
Julie hands us a hula hoop, and tells us to start. The hoops are not like the ones kids use, these are much larger rings and heavier. The beginner “Cadillac” of hula hoops, no doubt. It’s awkward, hoops are bumping next to others, crashing on the floor I’m secretly wondering how I can exit the room without being noticed… I feel like I’m fighting the ring while my entire body is starting to ache. By the way, very cruel to put mirrors on three sides of this room! She then gives us the advice to move slightly forward and backward with the hip instead of going side to side like we’re in a blender. Relax the shoulders, pull in the navel. Of course, use the core muscles! Maybe it’s the funky music in the background, maybe it’s the psychedelic patterns of the rotating hoops, but within a few minutes, the entire class is hooping! And it kinda feels relaxing as the hoop massages your waist and back! She tells us to close our eyes (Seriously?! Wait, I’m doing it!) and then has us turn in a circle (Yes I’m doing a funky chicken walk-fortunately everyone is too self-absorbed to notice). Next thing you know I’m doing “Warrior with a break” with both hands. It’s a bit surreal, I feel like a performer in a circus! Within the hour we learn other moves such as “The Whisper” and “The Reversal” before doing cool down stretches with the hoop.
No, the group is far from doing choreographed moves for the next hoopalicious dance video, but I we’ll all be coming back for the next class. Definitely fun and definitely a good workout!
For more info on the hoop culture: www.hoopgirl.com
To sign up for the next 6 week hula hoop session, email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org