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How a Hula Hoop Changed My Life

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.

Join the 7 Day Waist Hooping Challenge : FREE

 

Body realignment

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.

Shoulder hooping for the win!

 

Life purpose

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!

Teaching hoop dance is life!

 

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.

Must be all that thrusting!

 

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.

Hooping is my workout!

 

Continuous growth

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.

So many reasons to start hooping!

 

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)

Hooping has changed my brain!

 

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.

Yes I still eat chocolate everyday!

 

Feeling myself

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.

I found my sassy flow!

 

Overcoming trauma

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.

 

Born Again

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?

 

15 hoop dance tricks to learn

 

  • How Has Hooping Helped Me?
    I have only been hooping for a short 1 year and 1 month roughly. This is a short amount of time…and a lot of life can happen in 365 days. I found the hoop at a time where my life looked like: 2 kids, part time career counsellor, loving husband by my side and 2 mothers battling cancer. During this time in my life I was torn between so many priorities and I was supporting everyone except myself. I got my first hoop at the grocery store…it was a bit bigger than the cheep dollar store hoops and it had water in it. Money is always on my mind and the kids always come first but on that shopping trip I wanted a treat for myself. So I bought that hoop and challenged myself for the first time in a very long time to learn something and do something just for me. My inner world shifted from anxiety and worry to calm and motivation. A transformation that became so addictive! With prior neck and back injuries and being told over and over to strengthen my core I was cautious about how much to physically challenge myself with. I’m so happy to share that I haven’t had any reason to visit the chiropractor in this year of hooping! My world of helping my mother and mother in law, supporting my husband, being a mother and keeping my career going was so intense at times that I found myself hooping more and more – it was my outlet. I didn’t solve anything but I was able to come back to my life outside of the hoop with more energy and patience. I finally had something that I could control in my life. I was achieving some sort of balance and building resiliency. Even in the darkest days of my mother and mother in law’s final days I would hoop in my kitchen to give myself a release – the anxiety and stress was manageable only because of this plastic ring I moved around and around. I immersed myself in tutorials and performances, absorbing as much as I could. I started to document my progress and soon I was craving something new…a community! I had been hooping in isolation for so long that I was in shock when I actually allowed myself to travel out of town away from my family to attend a hoop retreat. Connection with others! I had not had this in so long! With encouragement from my husband I am now renting space and teaching hoop dance in my community. I am making hoops and selling them…and I am not the entrepreneurial type! When there is passion there is no work…only joy…and my hoop journey continues:) So many transformations for me and I am so grateful for the many hoopers who share the encouragement and energy, most of all Deanne Love. There are days where I wonder to myself what I am doing. I start to hoop and seconds later I KNOW what I am doing – it’s so positive – I have to share it!

    • Carron your story is so wonderfully powerful, thank you for sharing! What a journey. Such positive shifts in such a short time. Really magical. So happy for you and your family!! Everyone needs a hula hoop in their life! Keep on sharing the hoop love and remember to give lots and lots to yourself too 😉

  • Thank you for sharing your spirit Deanne! Thank you for letting our voices be heard.

    Love,

    Anjana

  • Tara

    Thank you Deanne for sharing your hoop journey. Of the many things in your story that are similar to mine, the things that stand out the most are that I was a total geek in gym, always and without fail being picked last for sports teams and being totally afraid of any ball coming at me. I dreaded gym day for years! In fact, I could NOT, NOT, NOT hoop as a kid. Those hoops were just way too light. I thought at the time though that it was me and not the hoop. I was extremely shy and because I was without friends, I became the favorite scapegoat at school. I was bullied for seven years by the same girls. That was 30 years ago, and by the time they were done with me, I had no self-esteem left at all. The scars have never really healed, but it has been a long journey and I’ve accomplished a lot of things that have helped build my self-esteem, but hooping has given me such confidence that nothing else ever has–even getting my masters! It has changed my whole outlook on life and each new trick that I finally master just brings me to new heights of love for hooping. When I took that first lesson four and a half years ago, and was successful in keeping the hoop around my waist, I knew this was something I had to continue with. I know what you mean about feeling sexy in hooping. I also wear outfits that I wouldn’t have before and it’s for me that I wear them. I have made some incredible friends and have been on such an amazing journey because of hooping. I am so thankful everyday for it and all the amazing teachers such as you!

    • Deanne Love

      My heart is with you and so is my smile, love your story of triumph and self love. You inspire me! Thank you for sharing your story! xx

  • Lucretia Splinters

    I started hooping about 3 months ago and it is the only form of movement and exercise that is a constant in my life!
    I love the idea of hoop dancing and am loving incorporating yoga and relaxation techniques with the hoop.
    I’d had a stiff shoulder for a while and my joints are giving me trouble but arm and hand hooping has helped to free me from a lot of pain.
    I love the flow of hooping and learning new techniques.
    Hooping makes me happy and it is so awesome that it is something that I can do with my 3-year old twin sons :-).
    I love your website and blog! It is one of my main go-to resources for enriching my hooping experience!

    Lots of Hoop Love from Cape Town, South Africa!

    Lucretia (34)

    • Deanne Love

      So wonderful that you can incorporate the other loves of your life! Very happy to hear the hoop is spinning up so much joy for you and your little ones! xx

  • Julia Coral

    When I picked up the hoop, I was doing it to try to be good at something, to get fit, and to find a new hobby in a new home. I certainly did not expect the changes that were to come and the opening of my heart that followed.

    I started to open up and enjoy other things I had either sworn off or avoided for most of my life. Simple things, really ~ like babies, the color pink, sparkles and glitter, cottage cheese, dancing at parties, laughing loudly in public, accepting criticism, and showing my legs….

    Coming from a family that is a little (or a lot) uptight and a town where “appropriateness” is very important and guarding oneself against gossip and negativity is a necessity for survival, being loose and comfortable with one’s own body was almost a complete no-no. As an adult, it is hard to get past the various emotional hurdles and traumas that may be keeping us from fully enjoying our bodies, these miraculous, one-of-a-kind vessels of the soul.

    Thankfully, my inherited and learned sedentary ways have all changed, now that I have embraced the hoop, and the self-confidence I once feigned so masterfully has been actualized. Hoop dance has also helped me forge many new relationships, the most important one being with my new-found self.

    The freedom I now feel through movement and dance is truly a blessing, something I did not know I had in me. Through hoop dance, I am now working to help others achieve that blessed feeling for themselves, so they might also experience the same grace that has entered and lit up my life.

    “Get in it and spin it!”
    XOXO ~ Julia
    (aka Violet De Beauvoir, of Hips Don’t Lie in C’Sted, STX)

    • Deanne Love

      How wonderfully gorgeous that you have spun up gratitude for so much in your lovely life! Julia you are an amazing woman!!

  • Kelsey

    I am kind of a newb to hooping, it’s been almost 6 months. I have learned so much about the connection between my body and my emotions. My husband is an infantryman and he is currently deployed to Afghanistan. I am a stay at home mom with a 4 year old and a 2 month old boston terrier. I am bi-polar, it’s been two months since my husband has been deployed, he has lived in Germany since 2011, I have gotten to see him twice since then. We got married in December on a three week leave, he went back to Germany the third of January and deployed in June. Needless to say, it’s been rough. The hoop has helped decreased my mood swings, super charged my motivation, and strengthened my mind. I now understand the connection between my moods, what I eat, and how I take care of my body. I have truly been inspired by Deanne Love and her videos have helped me immensely. Before I found her website I was getting discouraged with the hoop, I felt like I was running out of tricks. She inspired me to explore the hoop on and off body because the possibilities are endless, she has a wonderful way of explaining the detail in each move and breaking them down, and ever since I have been steadily progressing and I can actually see myself getting better! The universe somehow knew I needed hooping and I am eternally grateful! <3 HOOPLOVE

    • Deanne Love

      This brought me to tears. Yes the possibilities are endless and your strength is inspiring. What a powerful story of the heart. So happy to hear you connecting to your SELF, so needed in tough times. Sending you lots of love!

  • Karen White

    Hi Deanne, your story is incredibly inspiring for me. I bought my first hoop on Saturday, after watching an amazing display here in the UK. So I don’t have a hoop story…yet. I am 55, I have battled lupus for the past 25 years, have had rotator cuff muscle tears in both shoulders and I struggle with keeping my weight in check. I’ve lost two stone this year but cannot shift the belly fat – hence my decision to buy a hoop. Finding your blog and video tutorials on youtube has given me hope that I WILL be able to learn how to do this!

    • Deanne Love

      Oh how exciting!! The hoop is a powerful healer and I hope you are enjoying the benefits 😉

  • Aurélie-Lily

    You are such an inspiration Deanne. I am now in the intermediate level of hooping and I was given the opportunity to teach it to the kids where I work. too many signed up for the space I have!! Along running, hooping is the only activity that has kept me going. Let’s keep spreading the love.

    • Deanne Love

      Wow how super cool!! I love that you are guiding the mini hoop stars, our leaders of tomorrow xx

  • Hila Hoop

    When I first saw a friend of mine hooping it was love at first sight, the day after I had my first hoopdance class set, and my first hoop already ordered…since that moment, July 1st 2014, I never stopped hooping (except few months during pregnancy) and I think that I’ll never will..I’m totally hooked, happily addicted to this beautiful dance, that makes me sooo sooo happy for so many reasons! Just to mention a few..I love it because it frees my mind, it makes me feel much more confident with people, happy and in peace with my body and mind…thanks to hoop dance I’ve got the chance to meet so many nice and vibrant people wherever I go..and it’s just lovely to make other people fall in love with it! After a year, I’ve got the chance to teach to a beginner group and it’s been the most amazing experience of my life, getting to see other girls becoming beautiful, passionate hoopers!! That said…I have nothing more to say than, thanks beautiful plastic circle for bringing so much happiness in my life and thanks hooping community for being so huge, happy and vibrant! Sending lots of hoop love to each and everyone of you <3