Back in the Saddle and Back to Basics for WHD

chalkboard [ columnist Lara Eastburn is back, and taking us back to basics for World Hoop Day.]

by Lara Eastburn

From the comfort of my sofa, I’ve been oggling my brand-spanking new hoop out of the corner of my eye, with a tiny lump in my throat. Steeling myself, gathering up courage, psyching myself out, my newborn is a little over three-weeks-old now. And because I found hooping uncomfortable for the last several months of my pregnancy, it will soon be half-a-year since I’ve had a solid hooping session. Six whole months.

There’s no denying it. It’s time to jump back in my hoop. It’s World Hoop Day too! What better time? I’m not one to throw myself back into the Vortex all willy-nilly-like though. Oh no. I’ve got a plan. An incredibly simple, one step plan. And my postpartum state is not the first time I’ve had to drastically re-enter the hoop orbit after an extended absence. One does not have to have a baby to fall out of practice and maybe some of you would dig on a no-nonsense re-entry plan, too. Here it is.

I’m going to waist hoop. Nothing BUT waist hooping. Yep. I’m going to forget everything I “think” I know and give myself a very serious second schooling in the foundations of the big plastic circle. A Shotokan Master once told me, “You can never know the basics of your craft too well … Never.” Well, I know my waist-line is in favor of the plan, but more than that, I want a clean slate. I want to start over, in a sense. I want to go back. I want to revisit and re-open that phenomenal portal of the beginning hooper. I want to stand beneath that awe-some sign that reads, “Start Here”, to stand ready and willing to receive everything I missed the first time. I want to stand in the middle of my hoop and feel all its possibilities, the way I did before I “knew” what I was doing. I want to go back to the basics, to re-start my learning process, to be utterly overtaken by the unadulterated and absolute curiosity I recall so fondly. “What else can I do with this thing?”

Maybe I’ll set my iPod to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Maybe I won’t. But when I feel the urge to lift my hoop, or turn inside it, or pull my favorite jump-through, I’ll resist it. Just for now. Just for a little bit. For the next few weeks, I’ll just tap into the wondrous rhythm of my hoop turning around me and put everything else out of my mind. Just to see.

Remember that kid’s game where you stand in the threshold of a door and push your arms against the inside for 60 seconds? When you step out, and your arms are free once again, your limbs float up all by themselves. Your body just does what it’s been aching to do … all on its own.

That’s what I hope to accomplish by devoting myself to rigorous repetition of the very foundation of my hooping skills. I hope to hold myself within the hoop as long as I can, getting stronger every day, and then … when I’m completely uncertain of what I will do next … I’ll let ‘er rip. I’ll fly for the first time, all over again.

Happy World Hoop Day, friends!


Lara Eastburn Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in’s Hooposophy Group and Gorum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.

6 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle and Back to Basics for WHD

  1. I love, love, love this post. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the other stuff of hooping (just like humans tend to do with life), that it’s amazing to start back at the beginning. Every time I teach, waist hooping is my favorite, because it gives me a chance to do just that, go back to the start. Congrats on the new little one, and thanks for a great post!! 🙂

  2. Welcome back, Lara!!! Loved this column and can relate. I’ve fallen out of my hoop practice and need to get back to basics (not that I am so far beyond the basics…) so I will be joining you! Happy World Hoop Day!

  3. My first time back in the hoop aftrr giving birth was magical! It spun around me and I felt it pulling me this way and that way. I turned with it and moved against it, and it felt like the first time all over again! (The only difference was it didn’t fall down.) I hooped, mostly tricks with my arms not around my belly) to the end of my pregnancy. My arms, back and legs stayed strong and toned. Many things were hard because I couldn’t move much and ired easily. Once I picked it back up everything I half learned flooded my senses and came so easily! Now at 13 weeks post partum I’m 15 lbs over my original weight, but I’ve lost 35 lbs and may be in the best shape ever! (My labor was only 3 1/2 hours too, which I attribute to being fit and drinking rasperry leaf tea.) I urge all soon to be mommas to keep up their hooping, its magical!

    I hope your hoop experience is so much more rich and rewarding after your hiatus! Fyi: babies love watching hoops! Its a great way to entertain your little one and form new connections in his brain while he watches the hoop fly!

    Happy hooping!

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