While I've been enjoying my time in Maine, without the normal concerns of my daily life, I have been "stepping out there" a bit, trying new things. Like writing a book--something I've never done before. And hula hooping.
Jonni did some research on Rockland before we ever left home, and she found a community center that offered yoga and other exercise classes. Since we do yoga twice a week at her house (we miss you JC!), we thought we'd continue that while in Maine. But then Jonni found a hula hooping class on Monday nights, and we mutually decided it would be lots of fun. We were right!
Our teacher, Maria, is a "Mainer" who lived in Wisconsin for several years then returned. She discovered hooping and took to it like a duck to water, losing 25 pounds without even trying. That was enough information for us to really get on board in a hurry!
Maria, like most hoop fanatics, makes her own hula hoops. We learned that the bigger the hoop, the less you have to work. If you use a smaller hoop, you have to work harder to keep it going. It's a great cardio workout, plus it strengthens your body's core. It's good for digestion, too, as it is like a little mini massage on your belly.
The first Monday night, it was just Jonni and I in the class. We got to know Maria and just had fun getting the hang of hooping after so many years. The first challenge was to hoop in the opposite direction of our dominant direction. It's like being right handed and trying to write a whole term paper with your left hand. There's nothing natural about it.
Jonni bought a hoop, and we took it home, with the intent of hooping every day until the next class. I did it a few times, as did she, but not nearly as much as we had both intended to. But I managed to practice hooping in my non-domniant direction, and it really did get easier for me over time.
The next week, Brownie was in town, so we took her to class with us. She showed us both up. It's like she has been hooping all her life!
And last night, we added a fourth person to the mix: Jonni's college roommate, Jane, who came to spend a few days with us this week. Jane just started hooping and never stopped the entire class!
Maria will teach us little tricks and techniques, then put some great music on and let us "freestyle," putting our little tricks together into a cohesive routine. The more we all did it, the better we became. I'd start out trying to do something over and over and over, with my hoop flying across the gym or crashing to the floor around my feet. But suddenly, I'd get it. And I'd try it again, and get it again! I felt such a sense of accomplishment! She's a great teacher, and has made our introduction to hooping so much fun. Check out her "Hoop ME" website.
Hooping has become really popular with the alternative music crowd. You see it at concerts alot, and alot of times the musicians will hoop as part of their act. Hooping has actually become a big part of music festivals.
What I like about it is that you need one piece of equipment: the hula hoop. You can wear just about anything, so no special attire is required. Although, alot of hoopers do like to wear flashy outfits, and that just makes me happy!