Yesterday on the Hooplovers Facebook Page I asked, “How has hooping changed your body?”
I expected answers like “I lost … pounds” or “I feel stronger” But the responses were much more powerful and heart felt.
Hoopers from all over the world were sharing stories of complete transformation. Many talked about overcoming pain; both physical and emotional. There were stories of weight loss, career change, soaring self confidence, new friendships and more creativity.
Some hoopers even declared a hula hoop saved their life!
I resonated in many ways with every one of the comments shared, from the light hearted to the deeply painful.
At the age of 30 a hula hoop came into my life and completely changed almost every aspect of it. That might sound profoundly deranged. How could a plastic ring have such powers?
I don’t spend much time questioning the how all I know is that hooping changed my life and reading through the comments shared yesterday I realise I am not alone.
The stories shared inspired me, so here are just 10 ways a hula hoop has changed my life. I hope you will share yours below in the comments.
In my mid twenties I came crashing off a mountain bike, dislocating my shoulder and tearing important connective pieces. I was severely out of alignment and in need of surgery. I had daily pain for many, many years and just accepted that I would always suffer from the injury. Fast forward to hula hooping almost every day for a few months and I was completely healed, realigned, pain free.
These days I barely remember how traumatic it was to have chronic pain. I am completely healed, so much so that in a recent visit to a chiropractor the previous misalignment went unnoticed; she couldn’t even tell. I attribute the strengthening of my upper body with twin hooping and lasso/cowgirl type moves to completely realigning me. The oscillating movements required in hooping have been powerful physical therapy for me, I avoided surgery and am completely pain free.
Teaching hoop dance and coaching hoop teachers all over the world has connected me with my greater purpose in life. I get to share the life changing benefits with others and see the changes they make in their own lives, their is nothing more rewarding than helping others. Hooping has given me a powerful creative outlet, a true connection with so many incredible people, a global community of like minded individuals. Since 2009 I have been a full time hoop teacher, although I was a primary school teacher for many years before that, teaching hooping has connected me with so many incredible women and taught me so much about living life with passion and purpose. I truly live every day doing what I love. Whenever I doubt my direction or question my value I remember how incredibly grateful I am to live such a full and empowered life doing what I desire…because of a hula hoop!
No more period pain
Perhaps it was my stubborn nature but when puberty hit I was adamant that I was not growing up. Naturally my body had other plans for me, my resistance to it all left me fighting against my femininity and the (then) dreaded monthly flow. As a result I would spend a huge chunk of each month painfully ill and completely unable to function because of cramps and heavy flow. Doctors suggested operations and hormones, both added to the severity. So often crippled with serious pain I started to believe that I would always suffer from the intensity and sickness.
When the hoop came into my life it was like a magic wand. It still seems so hard to believe the massive shifts in my body. For the last 9 years I have had completely pain free periods, regular and natural, no emotional imbalances and my life is no longer interrupted by monthly illness, fatigue and blergh! I even look forward to my monthly cycle (that still seems crazy given how much I suffered in the past), it is a time for detox and relaxation.
If you had told me in my 20s that a hula hoop would come along and give me complete relief I would have wondered what kind of mind altering drugs you were on. Almost a decade of pain free, hormone free, problem free monthly periods and I am a believer in the power of the hula hoop to completely shift blockages and provide the ideal exercise to relieve any monthly pain or problems.
A reason to move
I am easily bored always looking for something new to fulfil my imagination particularly when it comes to movement and exercise. Before hooping I was not a fan of any form of repetitive exercise at all, except that there have been very few days in the last 9 years when I have not hooped and moved my body because of the hoop. Hooping has completely restructured my body, improving my muscle mass and posture. For a woman approaching 40 having good muscle and bone density is essential for long term health. I am pretty stoked to be this strong at this stage in my life and grateful that I had a reason to move and keep fit.
Emotionally I am a completely different person; you could blame that on maturity, but I think the hoop has taught me many lessons and a lot about myself, about my ego and equanimity. The hoop has brought me an understanding of patience, a sense of calm in my life, improved confidence and self love, a love of community, a daily excitement for life. The lessons I have learned from learning and teaching hooping guide me in all areas of my life helping me to make empowered life and business choices.
No longer the uncoordinated kid
In high school I was one of those kids begging my Mum for a day off when it was Sports Day. I was the kid that would walk across the school oval and get hit in the head by a ball. I couldn’t catch, throw, swing a bat or keep up with dance steps. I rarely could tell my left from my right. These days I feel like I live in a completely different body, a coordinated, strong body. The hoop has brought left and right coordination, an ability to dance and flow and a hyper sense of spatial awareness (that comes in really handy when parking in the city, riding a bike through traffic, navigating flying hoops in kid’s hoop classes)
I became what I ate
My eating habits (apart from my life long passion for chocolate) have completely changed. I grew up eating the standard Aussie diet high in sugar, fat and additives. When I started hooping everything seemed to miraculously shift, I hungrily educated myself about the source of our food and rather rapidly became raw vegan. This shift helped to clean up so much in my life, my skin became clear for the first time since puberty, I was able to kick addictions to other substances, I found uber clarity and energy with a clean eating lifestyle. These days I am a happily relaxed plant based eater, that provides me with a delicious level of energy to do all the things I love with maximum health.
My opinion of “sexy” has flipped. In my teens and 20s I thought that being “sexy” was for men and that was something I was truly uncomfortable with. Within months of starting to perform with my hoops I was parading my body around in Tokyo clubs, scantily clad and having a blast doing so. The hoop taught me that being sexy and feeling alive in my body was not for men, it was not for anyone else but me. For the first time in my life I was in love with my body and proud of it’s skills, I feel comfortable showing it off and enjoyed the liberation that came with that.
My sense of self worth grows daily inside the hoop, I battled furiously with this as a bullied teenager and a victim of physical violation. My inner critic was evil and I am sad thinking about the sabotage I inflicted on myself. The hoop has taught me to forgive, to enjoy my life, it has taught me gratitude, to value myself and share that with others, hooping has helped me to improve my self love and to nurture myself and accept who I am.
The hoop has opened so many doors, opportunities and connections in my life I feel like the night before I started hooping I must have passed over in my sleep and when I woke up I was in a new life, a new body, a new pathway. There are too many incredible and exciting moments to mention, they are daily and continuous thanks to hooping.
So yes a humble hula hoop has completely changed every element of my life for the better. This is why I want to share as much of this empowerment with you as I can. You inspire me and I am really grateful to be connected with you. I would love to hear how the hoop has positively impacted on your life.
How has hooping helped you?