[Hooping.org columnist Rayna McInturf delivers a challenge for the new year and a new you.]
I have never actually had what you’d call a hooping “practice.” It never became something that took place customarily in my daily life, for myself and my own well being. When I started hooping in 2000 I knew only a handful of other hoopers and the holistic benefits of hooping were as yet unknown. For us, hoopdance was our performance art and we “practiced” three times a week together, in addition to the hoopjams and performances, only our focus was on honing our skills for performing. Of course we still enjoyed hooping immensely, and in those early years we started to discover there were overall health benefits as a result of hooping, not only for ourselves, but consequently in our students as we started to teach regular classes.
By the time hoopers like Baxter distilled the mind-body-spirit benefits of having a regular hooping practice, much like a yoga practice, I was up to my ears in hooping as a “business”. Developing my own practice fell by the wayside, and taking care of myself in general was pretty much last on the list. I was hooping a lot because I was teaching a lot, but teaching hoopdance is not the same as having your own practice – and I have always yearned to have a hooping practice for my own personal enrichment. Now that I have reorganized my life and realigned my intentions toward taking better care of myself, I’m ready to commit to me. I’m ready to create my very own hooping practice! What better time to begin this journey than the New Year – and I invite you to join me in doing so. Join me in saying yes to ourselves, our health and well being. Join me in developing, or reinvigorating, a hoop practice for 2011. I invite you to join me for The Hooping.org 30/30 Hooping Challenge.
Here’s how it works: starting on January 8th and completing on February 6th, for 30 minutes EVERY day, I am going to hoop – and if you commit to this challenge with me, so are you!
It takes the human brain almost exactly 21 days to develop a new habit and after about a month it should feel harder not to do the activity. While it helps to do a new activity for at least 15 minutes, we’re going for 30 minutes to take full advantage of the fitness aspects of hooping. It can also be helpful to do the activity at the same time each day, but I say get it in where you can! Even if you have to break it up into 5 or 10 minute increments, find a way to make it work in your schedule.
I will be posting my progress every day here in the main Hoop Community Forum. I will also be posting regularly with support, tips, exercises, music, etc. So if you are up for this challenge, please post your commitment at the above location so that we can help hold each other accountable. In posting your daily progress I’ll be happy to answer any questions or requests for support along the way.
In addition to my desire to establish a regular hooping practice for myself, I’ve also got some more practical desires. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the holidays with family eating, drinking and being merry – and not getting a whole lot of hooping in! Needless to say I’ve got a few extra pounds I’d like to shed, and in general I’d like to increase my energy and vitality. So here are my personal goals for the 30/30 Challenge:
- Lose fat & gain muscle tone. I say this instead of the general “lose weight” because losing weight does not necessarily mean getting your body into better physical condition. I will be gauging my progress visually and by how my clothes fit, in addition to monitoring my weight.
- Increase my energy level
- Improve my mood
- Improve my current skills and learn new moves
- Deepen my connection to Source
- Connect with my community
- Shoot some new hooping videos!
If you’d like to share your goals, go ahead and post them when you commit to the challenge.
To ensure my own personal success with this challenge, I will be taking classes and hooping with my community as much as possible. I’ve registered for the HoopPath Deep Water workshop series in San Francisco, then I’m off to Kauai for the Hoop Revolution Mentor Training Retreat with Hoopalicious! I’m diving into my new practice with both hands and feet! I encourage you to find or create some classes, workshops, jams or events as well that you can immerse yourself in to make the most out of the next 30 days.
To motivate you even more, we’ve got a contest for you too!!
At the end of the challenge we will be doing a drawing where three lucky hoopers will win a 6 MONTH MEMBERSHIP to Hooping University!! You’ll get to enjoy 6 months of online classes from some of the world’s top hooping instructors to take your hoop practice even further. Awesome!! To be eligible for the drawing, you must:
- Register by posting your intention to complete the challenge here in the main Hoop Community Forum.
- Hoop for a total of 30 minutes during each day of the challenge.
- Post about your practice for the day in the forum, checking in for each day of the challenge. It can be very brief, or more detailed if you feel like sharing 🙂
At the end all who completed the challenge will be entered into a random drawing and the winners will be announced. Good luck everyone!
Of course all who participate in The Hooping.org 30/30 Hooping Challenge will already be winners just for joining. Thirty days from now we’ll have developed our very own hoop practice, we’ll look and feel better and we will have improved our overall health and well being, gaining more connection with our selves – and with each other. We can do this!! We are the masters of our own realities and we are a powerful community, so let’s go! Join me in the challenge today!
To your wellness,
Rayna McInturf began hooping in 2000 and co-moderates Hooping.org’s Hooping Instructors and California Hoopers groups and online forums. She was voted Female Hooper of the Year in 2008 by Hooping.org readers and you can visit her website at www.ihooponline.com.