The 30/30 Hooping Challenge

Jump For a Challenge! [ columnist Rayna McInturf delivers a challenge for the new year and a new you.]

by Rayna McInturf

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 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:

  1. Register by posting your intention to complete the challenge here in the main Hoop Community Forum.
  2. Hoop for a total of 30 minutes during each day of the challenge.
  3. 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 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,



Miss something recently? Check out Rayna’s recent column: The Hoop Dance Uncovers Hula Hoop History and the interview – Rayna McInturf: Life After Hoopnotica.

Rayna McInturf Rayna McInturf began hooping in 2000 and co-moderates’s Hooping Instructors and California Hoopers groups and online forums. She was voted Female Hooper of the Year in 2008 by readers and you can visit her website at

112 thoughts on “The 30/30 Hooping Challenge

  1. i’d already decided that this is to be the year of renewing my (for the last few years, non-existent) yoga and hoop practice, so this could not come at a better time. before i even responded to this, i went and hooped for almost an hour! and i’ve been back at yoga since sunday, so thanks rayna! i’m going to stop lamenting the fact that i don’t have a hoop community where i live, and slot in with my fabulous online hooping family. maybe this will even be the year where, by hooping, i inspire more people around me to hoop!

  2. that’s what I’m talking about. I’m in!!! I have been up to my ears in business too and have put my own wellbeing on the back burner and am feeling the negative effects. I am all about the support we can bring each other. Great idea!

  3. Thanks so much for this initiative!!! I’m a long time practitioner of yoga and dance, but a very very new hooper. This challenge comes at a perfect time and it is great to know others of many experience levels will be out there in the flow!

  4. HA! Remember that year when I kept saying, “You should have a Hoop practice Rayna” and put aside Hoopnotica for 30 minutes? YAY Go WOMAN!! I’ll be joining you 🙂 Infact, I will be starting today 😉

  5. I need a Hoop challenge and some direction! I work on sunday and that is when the bay area hoopers meet, so that has been my excuse. But no more! 30 minutes a day! I love hooping and I know it will make me feel happy 🙂

  6. I’m going to do this. This is exactly what I need to get my act together for the new year. I’m tired of blaming lack of space, crazy dogs, and cold weather for my laziness. My overall goal is to have enough skill and confidence to get out and hoop during a local musical festival in April, and staring at my hoops all day won’t get me there! Thanks Rayna…

  7. Thanks Rayna! As usual right on track. I made it through the last three months (intense) culminating with Laura’s wedding on the first and I started hooping for myself again this past Monday! Nice to be part of a collective community doing this together:)

  8. I’m in! Since I transferred to a new position in a new call center, I have an indoor space @ the center’s gym to use on lunch or after work. I’ve been using it 3-4 days during the week; this is the kick to use it every day I’m at work & elsewhere on the days off! Thank you, Rayna!

  9. It’s funny as healers and teachers how much it helps to have someone make a CHALLENGE to our own centered wellness. I’m a new-ish hooper, and am totally stoked to now have several hoops to practice with. Starting on 1/8/11 is also a winning idea.

    So I think it’s kind of cute that my hooping practice is going to be about hoops and fruits. 30 minutes of hooping, 30 days in a row, and at least one piece of fruit every day. Mmmmmm…

    Thanks from Austin!

  10. nice little gift, Rayna….this is just what I needed…seriously….thx!
    I have been making it a point to hoop each day to at least one song, but I think this is more what I need to commit to….the “business” side of hooping can consume your intentions….and get in the way of heart….this is THE best b-day gift I can give myself….again, you are MY true mentor and favorite teacher…you remind me to keep it real & authentic….all the way down to practice….yeah….xoxo

    ~ g

  11. This goes well with my new years resolution to make a hoop video every day this year.
    My hoop goals are:
    1. make a hoop video every day this year youtube (heatherhoopblog)
    2. connect with the hoop community and host a weekly hoop jam at my loft (tuesday maybe?)
    3. develop my own unique style
    4. watch an inspirational hoop video daily
    5. watch a trick video weekly and try to perfect it in daily practice hoop once a week
    7.take classes: Miss Rosie, Shakti, Rich, Brecken and Satise are awesome teachers (more please)
    8. go to the Hoop Path workshop (registered today 🙂
    9. go to hoop camp, firedrums, and BURNINGMAN
    10. watch the Hoop Technique video over and over (it’s on it’s way CAN’T WAIT)
    11. share my hoop love with the world

  12. Hello to One and All !!! Yes I hold up my hoop and Say I commit to Hooping 30 minutes for 30 Day Yay !!!! I intend at the end of 30 days.. that my iso popping.. will really smooth and humming…and that my isolations.. will be real creations xxxx I hope to lose at least 15 pounds by the end of the month… as I enjoy my juicer and recipes that I have been collecting… I am ready tomorrow to BEGIN !!!!!
    Wooop Shoop a Doop …. let the Hoop Celebration begin xxxxxx

  13. I am in! So excited to have stumbled onto this site today and make the connection/commitment with you. I hooped for a half hour today in the light snow and it was amazing. It’s is so perfect how life places exactly what you need in your life when the time is right. I declared my passion for hooping and researched some classes to join this morning and have been feeling groovy about it all day. And now to find this…bliss. Bring it on. Thank you!

  14. Good morning. I woke up ready to hoop & did 30 mins outside in my year. I have been a little embarrassed up till now to do much daylight hooping because my neighbors but I am giving that up and just going for it. I put my ipod on shuffle and had some James Brown, Rebirth Brass Band, Bob Marley, Gomez and Jai Uttal. Great way to start my day. Thanks again for giving me a reason to get out and hoop it!!! Happy Hooping!

  15. I think this is a wonderful challenge, it’s true hooping does do the body, mind and spirit a multitude of goodness! I am so excited to develop hooping as a daily habit. Thank you so much for the inspiration! I’m off to my first practice! Be in touch tomorrow! Happy hooping!

  16. I just began hooping a few weeks ago and feel pretty lonely here in Champaign, Illinois, because I don’t know where the other hoopers are! Plus, I am still working on finding a good, open space for my practice. Right now, I can turn it round my waist in my apartment and get a pretty good work out going, but I cannot wait until it gets nice outside and I can be barefoot in the green grass, learning new tricks in such an open space. For now, I’ll have this 30/30 challenge to keep me going. Hoop hard! Thanks!!!

  17. How wonderful I’ve just started hooping this week January 2011 and came across this web site and found the 30/30 hoop challenge..count me in!!
    Thank you for this site and creating this great challenge!

    p.s …I did hoop for 30 minutes this morning …I so enjoy a mirror… hoop..being home alone and hula like no one is watching!

  18. It is thrilling to see so many people jazzed about hooping for 30 or more mins today. So please forgive me for bringing the energy down a smidge. Making time to hoop for me is a choice, that usually comes the day before. It is something I have to plan because of the time limitations. Like it or not, my family’s needs come first and my needs are usually left for the evenings when I’m sure I have time. And, I’m ok with that. I’m a mom and as such my hoop time has always faced competition from one source or another. Today I planned to hoop and was totally surprised when I woke up to a beautiful snow storm. At the same time, I was also faced a sweet child with a belly bug. (which I’m quickly realizing was also passed to me. ugh!) While one child is sacked out on the couch, the other is chomping at the bit to get OUT into the snow as quickly as possible. In the morning, my personal challenge … in my foggy haze … was to get the kids fed, while caring for the sick one and managing the “snow fun” expectations of the second child, feed the dogs, and the list goes on.
    Husband to the rescue!
    After a quick trip out into the cold to get a few items for the family, he took over everything so I could hoop. He’s well aware of my 30/30 challenge and knows how excited I am to be part of this adventure.
    Did I mention, he’s also very supportive? While I hooped … slowly and I’ll say a bit sluggishly … I was able to do so with a clear mind, knowing I could leave my responsibilities for a while and just enjoy the time to myself. To me, that’s just about the best gift anyone could give.

  19. Yes! 30 mins hooping done 🙂 ending a long lovely day tired but more refreshed than I’d have been without the hoop. Spent the time focussing on chest hooping, both ways, bringing awareness to armpits! Bit of a glitch on the music front – no computer or ipod til next week so it was Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC 6music all the way, some ace tunes but rather a lot of chat messing with my flow 😉

  20. I just finished my first 30. As I get older it gets harder to get to the place where my body flexes enough to keep things smooth. By the last 5 minutes I got there. It will be interesting to see if at the end of the 30 days it gets easier to get there. Thanks, Rayna and Zero for the inspiration to commit to this challenge.

  21. so my first day of the challenge was REALLY a challenge due to my head cold…snot..yea…not good…BUT i was determined and i did my thirty minutes!! choice of music : deep beats/ pandora radio.. i chose to get back with the basics and use my old heavy hoop. usually im 30″poly pro but i needed to slow down..think about me..and and outside of my hoop. working on breaks inbetween my knees …flight time on knee hooping..flow..flow knee breaks on torso..flow flow…very content on this first only can get sweeter as the next 29days emerge.

  22. i hate that i wasnt able to post about my hoop session yesterday, but alas, it was a good one.
    i cranked up the thievery corporation station on pandora, and mellowed out with my hoop after a crazy weekend!
    i worked on my sustained spinning practice for quite a while.
    i am looking forward to todays 30, hopefully longer than that though;)

  23. Had a great first 30-minutes to kickstart the challenge yesterday… 30 degrees… snow capped mountains as my view… found about 5 minutes of zone! Yes! And for the rest of the 25 minutes… couldn’t get over how creaky I’ve gotten. LOL. It all feels good. xo!

  24. I didnt have a lot of time or energy yesterday due to a long friday night and working sat morning but I picked up a small hoop and did hand/arm/neck hooping in front of a mirror. GREAT alternative to going out in the windy cold… but looking forward to getting outside today!!!

  25. Day 1
    – 30 min. hoop practice squeezed in after long and busy day; low intensity one with focus on its meditative aspects and proper alignment; it reminded me how good it’s to just be; no music, just following breath and focusing on proper alignment

    Day 2

    – over 30 min. practice to high energy music after work; intense sweat detox session to just let go of the day, unwind mentally and physically; focus was on constant movement and challenging my heart to the beat of the music 🙂

  26. Once again spent time working with my mini hoops today! I’m very much an on-the-body hooper most of the time, so it’s an interesting mental switch to work with minis in so many different planes. I’ve started spinning poi as a way of helping me figure them out, which has been a really nice addition to my flow practice. Keep up the good work everyone!!!

    Hoop Challenge: 2/30!

  27. I was able to hoop for 40 minutes this evening ..I’m still just straight hooping and not trying any tricks yet, will do this till I get use to my hoop and my surroundings..but I feel so good!

    Hula Hoop Challenge 2/30

  28. Well even after my much excited mishap of yesterday I pushed through and did another 30 mins today. I have to say I’m amazed at how well I took my laptop being hula hooped to it’s drowning in tea. I think it was the calming effect the previous hula hooping had had haha. Today I thought, maybe I’ll work on arm activity and I have to say it’s fun trying out new things!

  29. Sunset hoop jam in the park! I intended to hoop for 45min and ended up rocking out for twice that. I worked on sustainable spinning, reverse current, and lots of tosses. 🙂
    Fitbit stats: 3897 steps, 1.59 mi, 787 calories burned

  30. I really wanted to post yesterday’s practice on youtube, but I am still figuring out how to download video onto youtube without making it so fuzzy. (It’s high quality on my video camera, but then it tanslates fuzzy online.) So yesterday’s practice was a lot of one-legged kick-outs, trying to maintain the Hoop on my thigh without the Hoop slipping down my leg. Also I Hooped wearing a little shirt that showed off my belly, which I’m not proud of, but I would like to see the channges Hooping is doing to my belly over this 30 day journal.

  31. I hooped today for 1 1/2 hrs today. I did a quick warm up and got started hooping. I practice lower hip, thigh, and knee hooping, and isolations in my weaker direction. I also practiced the penny drop, tosses,a behind the back toss and just flowed.

  32. day two! i feel a lot better today and really enjoyed some hooping.. i over extended the thirty mins..i dont know how long but i got lost in space and time. a lot of techniques ive been researching like hoop path and rich and spiral have really inspired me in just the last 24hrs. i finally hooped blind folded without peeking for an extended amount of time. learned new behind the back breaks and new timing and i could really feel the energy swishing around my hoop. it was a bizaar sensation.working on time slowing it up and down making sharp and liquid movements. i really tried to follow my hoop and let it lead me this practice. i switched to various sizes and weights throughout this really helped me in doing tricks i was having issues with. pandora gave me some portis head and various artist to listen to. its really neat to read everyones experiences and its really inspiring me and i only hope that everyone is learning some wonderful things..xo

  33. Got my 30 in today. Worked on legs in 2nd current. Also worked on bringing the leg out and putting it back in without using my foot as a paddle on the way into the hoop. Feels like a train wreck with funny faces and tongue biting and hands in a fist but got it a few times nice and clean. Strength – early stages of strength I guess…long ways to grace 🙂

  34. waiting until the end of the day is def not my move again. got in 30 but it was work to get it going on. Inside my guest room listening to the ipod on shuffle and got to hear an AMAZING Allen Touissant – Me & The Wind Are One – absolutely beautiful & spiritual. Happy Day 2! Night.

  35. Yay! Day 2 completed! 2 15 min intervals. First one came after a much needed break from doing something tedious and intense. The 15 min hooping break made all the difference in the world. Went back to the project refreshed!!! I’m diggin’ this!!

  36. Thank you all for your comments here but PLEASE post your daily progress in the corresponding forum topics in the Hoop Community Forum if you want to be entered into the final drawing for the contest – I will not be tracking your progress anywhere else, including here 🙂

  37. hosted a 3 hour hoop jam tonight…16 people showed up. i hooped for most of the 3 hours…core and off the body moves. gonna put in another 15 mins at home on core hooping then relax for the night 🙂

  38. when I go to the forum page for each day the box to type doesn’t pop up. so I have to post here. sorry i tried to get it to work for 20min I am not very good with computers.

    i have a video up for everyday of practice on youtube:
    search: heatherhoopblog

    day 1. i got my hoop technique dvd in the mail so i watched that. My main practice was sustained spinning and isopops and breaks

    day 2. hooped to deadmou5 song that my roommate is in love with. going to plan out a fire routine to it. practiced my isolations some more too.

    day 3. woke up this morning and hooped to my friends mix. hooped at lunch to it some more. gonna hoop after work while i wait for my laundry 🙂

  39. I ended up getting the day off and so thrilled about it!! I was able to get my house cleaned, hoop for 40 minutes…then it was off to the mall to shop all afternoon long…..was an amazing day!

    hula hoop challenge 3/30

  40. I just finished my 30 minutes of hoop practice. I feel good I did that cause I had a meeting tonight and kept thinking about the practice more than anything…:) With my gig on Saturday I am trying to figure out what tricks look best visually with an LED hoop so I played and practiced all glowy tonight. Good music helps too!! 🙂 SHine on everyone and keep going!! We can do it!! XO

  41. Wow this is really waking me up in the morning. I have to say I love the idea and energy that it creates. Even with a neck that I can’t turn to one side, hooping is not impossible…it just creates a happy mood everytime.

  42. I hopped today for about 45 minutes out in the boardwalk in Venice. I got a new light hoop that sails like butter! I practice iso pops, and leg hooping in my weak direction and worked on leg pull outs and leg and thigh breaks. And just busted an overall awesome flow. I also discovered and new jump through which I had never done before, I’ve never seen anyone do before which was fun. I also worked on a behind the back toss that I learned from my friend moxi, a fellow hooper who I also work with on movers and shakers.

  43. Not sure if I’ve been posting in the right forum as the one I’ve been posting in has been locked? So posting here now. Day 3: More mini’s and multi practice with my roommate. Pleasantly sore from yesterdays practice and slowly making progress on Safire’s Thread the Needle variations and Sharna Rose’s Twin Elbow Pass. Roomie just got thread the needle! =D

  44. Got in 45 min…just in time, at the end of the day. Mostly playing with minis tonight, trying to nail the 3-beat! Tonight’s soundtrack: Hallucinogen, Twisted.
    Fitbit Stats (for the day): 10,883 steps, 4.44 mi, 2217 calories burned

  45. Hi everyone, just a reminder that in order to qualify for the prize drawing, you must post your daily updates in the daily update threads. As Rayna stated earlier, updates posted here in the blog comments section will not be counted in the participation tally. For more information (including a list of links to all of the daily update threads), go here.

    In order to post a reply, you must go to the last page of the existing thread so that you can see the text box. Look just underneath the title of the post and you will see little green page numbers. Click on the last one, scroll down to the bottom of the page, type your update in the text box, and click submit!

  46. is anyone else having trouble leaving a comment on the forums page for the actual day? this box i am typing in right now doesn’t pop up…
    day 4..woke up and hooped to michael jackson’s whole thriller album while i went back and forth to the laundry mat about an hour total and i also intend to hoop with my friend chris after work.

  47. I hooped for 35 minutes this afternoon and tried to keep the hoop up on my waist for I have a huge bruise on my hip bone…I could of kept going, it’s to bad work and chores get in the way of my hoop play. Have a great hoopa day everyone!

    Hula hoop challenge 4/30

  48. Hour + today…

    I realized that the 30/30 Challenge is bringing more awareness to my day, in terms of how I manage time. Before I might have thought, oh I only have 15 minutes, that’s not enough time. Now it feels like I can get a lot done in 15 minutes. Being more productive and efficient with downtime is an awesome feeling.

    My ah-ha moment tonight was quickly picking up thread the needle with my minis. Woohoo!

    Fitbit stats (for the day): 11434 steps, 4.66mi, 2053 calories burned.

  49. I love that this challenge came along when it did, it is just the thing to get me back into my usaual routine in full force. It feels great to be connecting with my hoop and Self on a daily basis again. I am learning new tricks and revisiting old favorites with a new twist. I got 45 in yesterday and strive to do the same, at least, tonigh:)Its just the thing to get amped up for Baxters Deep Water Tour! I will be attending the Boulder wkshop the end of this month, it will be a fantastic culmintion!!!
    Light,Love and Hoop Bliss

  50. Did two fifteen minute jam sessions going to try and squeeze in 20 more minutes tonight. I noticed today it’s hard for me to jam and groove when I’m listening to horrid music. I was iPod-less and had to use the radio and it was challenging to bust a flow i was just not feeling it. I ended up practicing isolations with my right and left arms, going in both directions. I also worked on leg hooping in both directions.

  51. Nice short (30-40min) hoop sess today! I’m itching to play with fire, going to have to make time for that soon 🙂
    Soundtrack: Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

    Fitbit Stats: 9873 steps, 4.02 mi, 2243 calories burned

  52. I did a 30 minute hoop session in Westchester park. I flowed, and practiced behind the back iso pop on both my left and right side. And then I practiced leg reversals hooping to the left. Then I practiced leg hooping to the right, and high tosses, and a toss, spin, and catch.

  53. Ah! Internet has been down but I HAVE been keeping up! I hope I’m not disqualified from the contest portion of this challenge. I’m anxious for more inspiration! Day 5 and Day 6: rediscovered TheHoopLab channel on YouTube and have found fresh ideas for the learning queue. =D Still focusing on mini’s, next week I’m going to focus on body rocking and get a full 7 days of workout!!!

  54. So excited for this challenge, thanks Rayna. I am in school in a Master’s program and I am involved in a project where I have a criterion of hooping 5x a week for 15 minutes and I am so excited to really push myself for an every day, 30 minute experience. I have a deep commitment to this and I am excited to see what comes up for me and what I have the opportunity to push through (gracefully) and come out the other side of. 🙂 Love xoxo

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