Monthly Archives: March 2005

Hula your way to flat abs

ashley The Jamaica Observer wants you to know you can hula your way to flat abs. “If you are looking for that elusive six pack then its time to take the phrase Once a Man, Twice a Child to heart or, better yet, to the waist line. Its time to pick up the hula hoop of your childhood and hula your way to ‘flatness’ and fitness.

According to Jamfit’s fitness instructor, Karelle Ashley, pictured, the hula hoop is just what the doctor ordered for flat abs. She says it strengthens your core – that area below your breast and hips which must be strong to support upper and lower body exercise. Hula hooping not only strengthens the abs, it works the lower back and takes on the love handles from head to head. The hula hoop can also be used to tone your shoulders, improve balance and agility and is a good aerobics aid. Jamaica Observer

Hooping on the Road

It is day ten of a 19 day hoop tour and I’m feeling dazed. Together with Anah Reichenbach, I am part of a two woman hoopdance performance troupe called Satori. We were hired by a book promotional tour to perform in New Orleans, travel through Alabama and Mississippi to perform in Panama City and then go back and forth between each city several times.
We dress up in tiny sexy wolf costumes and hula hoop in the street (which smells of vomit) chasing an actor dressed as a ram. We are surrounded my mostly drunken spring breakers who pelt us with beads and ask us repeatedly to show them our tits. We try to encourage them to take books and cd audio books away with them. When handed audio cds, many spectators respond, “I don’t read”. Not quite what I had hoped and dreamed of my first paying hoop tour, but what is a girl to do? Gallery

Perhaps you noticed that the gallery has moved!
It’s easier than ever to post a photo in the gallery. All you need to do is sign up for an account at flickr, upload your photos using one of their many tools, and then (here’s the important part!) be sure to tag your photos with the word hoopgallery. If you have any questions about flickr or how tagging works, just check out their FAQ.
We love Flickr and we’re excited to use their awesome tools with our hooping photos!

Hoop Centering

Dancing with the hoop facilitates centering, for when one hoops, one is always at the center of the dance. Centering is a practice of finding the place of power, strength, and balance within oneself. Life is change and motion for we live in the spiraling dance of the universe. Centering is a meditation for finding balance within oneself and creating a calm and focused mind.
The hoop creates a sacred circle encompassing the body. In spiritual traditions worldwide, people have created sacred circles for rituals, prayers, meditation, protection, healing, and trance. The circle represents wholeness, birth, life, and transformation.
The center of the hoop is where one begins and ends. Stepping within the circle of the hoop, acknowledge how you are feeling and your interactions with the world encircling you. Inhale love, and exhale gratitude. When you begin hooping, feel your feet solid on the ground, energetically rooted to the earth, drinking in the warmth from the center of the planet. Imagine your spine stretching toward the sky and your head rising, so that it feels as if it floating at the top of the spine. Feel your body undulate to your unique rhythm, as the hoop whirls around you. That motion comes from your center, feel the dynamic balance within your body. .
Now dance from within your center. Dance with the hoop as your mind stays focused, aware of the present. Stretch and swirl, spiral and pulsate, slowly and then faster. Feel your feet gently and lightly dancing on the ground sensing the earth energy. Dance within the hoop allowing all movement to arise from the center. Breathe with your movements. Notice where the hoop touches the body, also notice the empty space that is within the hoop and where that touches your body. Dance.
When the dance slows and your senses are fully awake, rest your hoop upon the earth, and sit in the center. Lay your hands upon your knees or press your palms together in front of the breastbone in prayer pose. Breathe deeply, expanding the diaphragm and the belly. Exhale completely. Inhale deeply feeling the belly, lower ribs, and low back muscles expanding. Practice the belly breathing. Feel how your body is energized, and your mind is calm and focused. Inhale love. Exhale gratitude.
Vinn Marti, creator of Soul Motion, refers to the center within ecstatic dance as, “Standing in the Hoop, to indicate that centered secure point or reference to all that is swirling and curling around in our everyday dance”. He writes that, “Standing in the center of The Hoop is a peaceful and powerful place to occupy. The ground is shifting and sifting among the waters of Creativity and each of us has the oars to navigate through all kinds of turbulence.”

Taping Techniques has a great discussion about techniques for taping hoops. Here a few key tips lifted from the discussion:

• the narrower the tape is the easier it is. for my base layer in particular i use really thin strips so that i have more control and less wrinkling and overlap.
• really use your hand on the understroke of taping to guide it around the hoop. this way you can really feel if there are any wrinkles, and you have more control. so, if you are taping from left to right, use your right hand/palm to guide and smooth the tape from underneath.
• duct tape is sticky and hard to work with. I’m a devotee of Gaffer’s (cloth) tape.

There’s even talk of doing a taping workshop in the Bay Area. Great idea!
PS: All this talk of taping reminds me that there’s still a 15% off discount at for readers.

Scissor Sisters Filthy/Gorgeous Video

Months after Philo first linked to a video clip that quickly disappeared, the full steam of the Scissor Sisters‘ Filthy/Gorgeous is finally available!

Featuring Los Angeles-based Mutaytor hooper Karis, the video is a perfect introduction to the joys of the Sisters’ twisted pop. We salute our beloved Scissor Sisters (a editorial fave!) and director John Cameron Mitchell for their embrace of hooping’s sheer sexiness.

Watch the video here.