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The Flow Community: Hula Hooping for Health


I was mesmerized.

It was so fluid and effortless. The hoop moved up and down her body with such ease it didn’t look natural.  One minute it was circling her wrist above her head, the next it was finding its way around her ankle while the other leg was lifted in an elegant position.

The hours of practice went into this must have been endless. I wasn’t the only one who had noticed the hula hooper’s skill. Many others had stopped to admire her as well.

We were at Bonnaroo, an annual music festival held in Manchester, Tennessee, waiting to enter “Centeroo” on the first day of the weekend. I quickly found out that my new idol was not the only girl with the hobby at the festival.

In fact, she wasn’t alone in the “real world” either. Hula hooping has been rising in popularity recently, mimicking the “Hula HoopCraze” of the 1950s.

A real live hooper

995910_10153238862820291_88254753_nFor hula hooper Andrea Miller of Bowling Green the start of 2011 meant the start of a new pastime. While waiting to be picked up for a New Year’s Eve party, Andrea spotted her friend’s hoop and a new era began.

“I picked up her hoop and started playing with it, Andrea said. “It was really challenging and I wanted to stick with it, because I really fell in love with it as an art.”

And she did stick with it. And continues to enjoy it.

“My favorite thing is the way it feels and mastering new tricks. Once you get to that level of feeling at one and at peace inside your hoop, no feeling compares,” Andrea said. “You just feel your flow and the movement is great.”

Hula hooping offers opportunities to connect with others as well as with yourself.

“I’ve met so, so, so many people through hooping,” Andrea said, “and all of my best friends hoop too. I’ve helped get a few people into it too. And it’s a fantastic form of exercise, especially when it’s hot out.”

Hoopers even belong to their own faction called the “flow community.” It includes hula hoopers, juggling, poi fire spinning and levitation wands.

Andrea’s enthusiasm really showed me that hula hooping is more that just a nontraditional form of exercise-it’s a lifestyle. Some people run or listen to music to escape the stresses of every day life. Hoopers enjoy the flow.


 The moves
Andrea also clued me in on some of the hooping lingo. Try some of these moves and impress all your friends:



Barrel Roll


Horizontal Jump Through

Vertical Duck Out

Some of those advanced move are crazy, right? And here I am trying to perform the basic hula hooping pattern around the waist for long than 30 seconds. Well one step at a time. Or should I say revolution?
Hula Health
Hooping is an awesome cardio workout and can:
  • Improve core strength
  • Tone your stomach, arms, thighs and butt
  • Burn 400-600 calories in an hour

Not bad. But that’s not it!

Purchasing a hula hoop can mean more than getting a creative workout in. Many hoopers value the activity because it relieves stress, improves balance and posture, increases coordination and improves flexibility.

Not to mention boost self esteem and libido.

Well if that doesn’t convince you to give this a try, I don’t know what will.  So, grab a hoop, take a whack at it and let me know what you think!


1 Comment

  1. Rylee Popio says:

    I am so thrilled that I read this post today because hula hooping is something that I’ve actually recently talked to my friends about. I have been to music festivals where there were hula hoopers everywhere and I too felt myself being mesmerized by what they were doing. I have tried to do it myself but I just can’t seem to get it right. I know the Rec offers Zumba classes and other cardio classes, but perhaps if enough people were interested in learning how to hula hoop we could get Kent State to provide a hula hoop class at the Rec.

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