Graceful Warrior: Take a Spin With This Hoop-eriffic Workout

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I’ve had several friends get hula hoops in the last few weeks and then ask for a few pointers. Since I just picked up my hoop for possibly the first time this year (shame all over my face), I thought it would be fun to post on the basics and joy of hooping. I was able to hoop as a child, but that’s about it. I’ve learned all I know now about hooping from Rayna who founded Hoopnotica. Hooping takes you right back to the fun, carefree days of your youth, but being able to do really cool tricks plants you firmly in the joy of here and now. The Hoop: The new hoops are bigger and heavier than the ones from childhood. This is a good thing because more weight equals greater momentum to help it stay around your waist, plus it’s more of a workout. They make all kinds of fun hoops now too: glow in the dark, rainbow colors, extra weighted, travel hoops (that break apart), and if you heart desires – fire hoops. The Basics: How do you keep the darn thing around your waist? It’s all about pressure points. Most people try to roll their whole waist around inside the hoop, but that is inefficient and doesn’t really work. To keep the hoop in motion, you have to push it either forward and back or side to side. Starting off, just spin the hoop around your waist not trying to keep it going and notice which way you naturally spin it. If you spin it from right to left, then you are going to focus on “pushing” the hoop with pressure points on the right front side of your waist and the left back side of your waist. If you naturally hoop left to right, it is opposite (left front and right back). Stand with your feet hip width and one foot in front of the other (preferably the foot on the side you start spinning from). With the hoop on your back waist and both hands on the back/side, give the hoop a spin. Each time the hoop rolls over the front and back pressure points, shift your weight into it and give it a push. It will take a few spins to find your rhythm, but when you do, you’ll be able to do it for longer and longer! The more you do it, the easier it gets and the less you have to shift forward and back. You’ll also get a little sore and have better toned abs. Now, get out there and find your inner-child in the hoop this summer! By Gina Shelton

About Gina Shelton

We live in a dualistic world, or really a multi-istic one. As a woman, you are expected to be smart, caring, creative, and dedicated at your job, with your significant other and your family, plus you are supposed to make time for yourself in order to stay healthy and sane. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you start thinking of all the aspects of your life that you are constantly juggling.

For me, this is where yoga comes in. In the West, we mostly view yoga as a physical practice and that is definitely how I got into it. But what I’ve realized in my 10+ years of practicing yoga, is that it has become more than just something I do to stay in shape, it has changed the way I view myself and the world and consequently how I interact with others.

Over the years, yoga has helped me meal my crumbling marriage, my low back and hip pain deemed chronic by my insurance company, and is now supporting me through my next ventures: trying to start a business and a family.

My love of yoga (I knew it was for me in my very first class), led me to begin training to teach after a year. I took my time learning all I could and finally became a YOGA ALLIANCE registered teacher in 2005. Since then, I have become a certified yoga therapist through Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Therapy program and will soon have my Yoga Alliance 500-hour teacher certification.

This blog will cover topics related to yoga poses and breath awareness that will help you to find the graceful warrior hidden inside you: Strength to manage the everyday stresses in your life as you gracefully create new habits and patterns that allow you to find comfort, health and hope in all areas of your life.

Gina Shelton is a Yoga Alliance registered teacher and Loyola Marymount University certified yoga therapist. She lives in Venice, CA with her husband and weimeraner puppy Fleur. You can read more about creating a healthy lifestyle on her blog