HULA HOOPING THROUGH POSTPARTUM
I was never a dancer.
That self-consciousness was part of my life for a very long time.
I was never the “fit” type.
I always struggled with body image.
I was always one of the last to be chosen for sport teams and I hated PE more than anything.
I hated running.
Sure, I was on the swim team when I was ten and I did some yoga for a while when I was in college, but I never felt super passionate about any kind of physical exercise. I always had to force myself to do it.
During my pregnancy I did yoga a lot more because I was set on being as healthy as possible, and spent tons of time outdoors in nature. It really helped me connect with my body.
But it wasn’t until about two months after my son was born, one sunny afternoon on a San Diego beach, that I discovered a passion to move my body.
My son was a peaceful sleeping baby, and after staring at the hoopers for a long while in hesitation, I finally made up my mind and left my baby with my husband and his friends while I went to give it a try.
I was, of course, completely unable to keep the hoop up. I tried a few times and I was almost ready to give up when the old man handed me a gigantic hoop. I was unsure, but I decided if my body had been able to go through childbirth, I could at least try it.
And it worked! I soon discovered that the bigger and the heavier the hoop, the slower and easier it is.
I dropped the hoop a lot. I tried many different sizes, colors and weights, and had a really amazing and fun time while my baby napped.
Since that day, I became obsessed with hula-hooping.
After that, my husband’s cousin, who worked ata place where they made professional hula-hoops, gave me one as postpartum gift. How nice and perfect!
It fitted perfectly at the door of our van, so it went with us in our travels back to Mexico.
Having a hula-hoop available for me to play with at any time was so convenient. I couldn’t really do yoga as much during the postpartum period because I never knew how much time my son was going to sleep, and most of the time I would have to jump up and leave the yoga session half done. But with hula hooping, even 5 minutes of spinning around made me feel I had given myself a good workout and much well deserved self-care. I loved hula-hooping. It made me feel like a kid; it made me smile.
For me, this was magical.
For the first time, I loved dancing. When I started learning hula-hoop tricks I would sometimes get up in the middle of the night and sneak out to the backyard to keep practicing a vortex or a toss. The hula-hoop finally allowed me to find my flow and move my body joyously. I honored my body with this exercise that was also an artistic expression.
And weight loss was a slow, but steady side benefit.
During my pregnancy, I ate a fairly healthy diet, but I ate a LOT. I enjoyed having an excuse to get big. And to be honest, I have always been addicted to sugar. I avoided the scale most of the times, but I did step on it the last week of pregnancy to discover I had gain 50 lbs!
I have always struggled with my weight, and always felt like I was fighting a battle with my body, and with postpartum it only got worse. I was especially concerned about weight loss because my family always made a big deal about it. My mom and aunts blamed pregnancy on their now constant struggle with their bodies.
Hula-hooping became my meditation, my self-love practice. For the first time ever, I really truly enjoyed and moving my body.
I was happy to find out that such a pleasurable activity was also very beneficial, improving everything from my posture to my abs muscles strength, and burning as much as 250 calories on half an hour.
There are many other amazing benefits of hula-hooping!
My son eventually started to find ways to integrate himself into my hoop dancing, and he even has his very own hula-hoop.
But for the first time in my life, it was really not about the weight itself, but about the connection and joy that I discover through moving my body.
If you're in Olympia, WA (or surrounding area) and would love to start hula-hooping, contact me to get a custom made hula-hoop. And if you would like to integrate hula-hooping into your pregnancy or postpartum workout, come check our Dancing For Birth™ classes for some beginner tips!
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