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Free Flowing Hoops

Play with abandon.
Mary Anne Radmacher

Welcome to the home page of Flowing Free Hoops. Home for anyone interested in moving outside of their comfort zone and trying a different way to engage their body in movement and play. My name is Yvonne and I started my hoop journey in July of 2009 through a local hooping class taught by Kirsten. Although a regular exerciser and someone working hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keeping the hoop in motion did not seem possible that first day. And success is what I wanted!

The class was certainly outside my comfort zone and I wondered why I paid good money to learn something I could never do as a child. I was actually around in the late fifties and sixties when the toy hula hooping craze happened. The class also consisted of younger participants who appeared to be much more skillful at keeping the hoop in motion. Discouraged, but not defeated, I did the only thing I could do. I took an adult sized hoop home and tried until I could keep it moving.

Five hours of practice ended in the ability to successfully waist hoop. During the process, an inch was lost from around my own waist. Whoa, two check marks for the success meter! More profound was the discovery that it did not seem to be exercise at all. Who needs jogging?! It was certainly challenging, frustrating, and a little painful (bruising did occur), but the thrill of keeping that hoop rotating practically moved me to tears. It was both healing and freeing at the same time! Wow, what just happened? I found that I had to let go to hoop. I had to stop over analyzing my movements, stop the negative talk running through my head, stop fearing failure and just be in the hoop, be in the moment to let it happen.

And it kept happening. I started getting better. More classes and YouTube videos of some amazing hoopers hooked me further and opened up the possibilities of “flow” with a hoop. I have never been an athlete, always the last one picked for teams. Never had formal dance training. Never could jump long rope and catch the timing of the movements. But this, this was amazing. I discovered my own unique rhythm that worked for me and allowed me to keep improving while gathering all of the health benefits hooping has to offer such as: stress reduction, building core strength, increased endurance, enhanced flexibility, increased eye-hand coordination and a host of others. All good for someone adding candles to her birthday cake while trying to maintain health and flexibility.

Further training and certification in Body Hoops, Hoop Chi, and Hoop Revolution followed. There was also the opportunity to hoop with some amazing hoopers at HoopPath 2012. All of this has enhanced my own hooping practice and fueled the desire to spread the “hoop love” and share what I have learned. If you are interested in trying Hooping for fitness, health benefits, mind body connection, joy/fun/play, then check out a meetup event or contact me for other classes, events and activities. No, you are not too old, too stiff, too tired, too large, too uncoordinated, too whatever to hoop! Give it a try, you just might take some steps forward in your own hooping journey. It is quite a trip of self discovery.

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