Sunday, July 27, 2008

My new favorite Hooper

Ummm... how cute is this??

New Lows....

I have had a really rough week. I discovered that I needed to go into the hospital for a same- day, unexpected "procedure". It was tough on my family, tough on my diet, and tough on my hooping, to say the least. I should be back in action by next week sometime, and really can't wait to be back in my hoop. 

I do have some really kick a$$ announcements about this amazing little company that we have built, though, so I'd like to steal a minute of your day to brag. Hoopnotica, and the Ladies who started this all together, have come such a very long way.

I remember my first hoop class ever- Rayna wouldn't stop talking about Hoop dance, and the benefits of it, etc. I mean the girl went on and on. I, who had never really even seen hoop dance performed before and had dragged all of my friends to the class (its how I roll), was worried that it was going to turn out lame. At the time, Rayna didn't have any videos on her site, so I didn't really know what I was about to get myself (and my whole crew) into. I was only praying that my friends didn't kill me for involving them in this fiasco. 

I had talked my friends into taking the class because it was a "prerequisite" to Rayna's fire hooping class, and I thought that it would be an exciting, out of the ordinary adventure for us girls to enjoy together. Our lives had sort of pulled us in opposite directions, and we didn't get to see much of each other anymore. I had just given birth to my baby girl, and was feeling a little rough around the edges; I had gained weight, my hair was falling out, I was covered in spit up, and felt far from sexy. I thought a good fire hooping course was just what I needed to get my groove back. 

I couldn't imagine what Rayna needed to teach me about "hula hooping" that I didn't already know. Let alone a 6 week course on hula hooping; I mean come on, really? I figured that I would "get it down" in the first week, and then spend the rest of the course trying to "skip ahead" to the fire part. 

When she finally did the demonstration, we were all in awe. And that is where it all began.

Its now about 4 years later, and Hoopnotica has really been a labor of love to every one involved. I am so proud of us, really. I can't say enough about the ladies I work with. I don't get sometimes enough time to really brag about them, or the work that we do together. So thanks for letting me have this self-indulgent moment about what we have brilliantly created:

A New Partnership
The Hoopnotica beginning level one DVD is about to be seen everywhere you go, quite literally. HoopMamma probably shouldn't be releasing this information to the public yet, but I own the damn company, so I figure that there are perks! We joined forces with a brand called Acacia. They produce and distribute alternative fitness programming from acclaimed artists such as Shiva Rea, Hemalayaa, Michael Franti, and Andrew Weil. You have probably seen their endcaps at Natural Food Stores, Target, and Barnes and Noble. We are also now available on NetFlix, which wouldn't have been possible without their involvelement. Well, its been a long time in the making, but the Hoopnotica DVD series is about to take on a whole new look and join the Acacia family.
Power to the Peaceful YogaShiva Rea: Radiant Heart Yoga

I have to say, that especially for a large corporate entity, the people at Acacia have been really wonderful to work with every step of the way. We could have really signed ourselves up for a disaster, but the whole process has been really great. The new version of the DVD itself is the same as you know it, but with an extra "work out" at the end. The work out is challenging, even for intermediate hoopers. I would say it could be an incredibly effective weight loss tool if used appropriately, but have so much to say about this topic that I am seething and will save it for my next post.

In any event, we are grateful and blessed to be working together with such a conscious, pleasant, and reputable company to bring Hoopdance to the far reaches of the world. Thank You to Acacia, Rayna, Keaton, David and Jagatjoti-- HoopMamma sends you a BIG kiss!

On a personal note... I have reached new lows, my friends. HoopMamma just watched a one hour and twenty minute special on Hannah Montana. I never thought I would say that out loud! The worst part, is that I kinda like her. Don't tell anyone. She's the biggest KID backstage, all dorky and stuff. And then she gets out in front of a crowd and you'd think she was one of the Beatles, or Elvis. I mean she drives the little ladies WILD! 

I watched and thought, this girl is such a hooper. Maybe we have more in common with Hannah Montana than we think....

"By day, SuperMomma: she changes diapers, does the eensie-weensie spider, loves the ABC's, and watches Hannah Montana (sometimes all at the same time). But give her a hoop around evening time and she transforms into a whole new being. She's the sexiest "Mom-Next-Door on the block". Ladies, keep your man OUT of your front yards, or he might get caught drooling over a glimpse of (in the corner of only open space she can find close enough to still hear the baby monitor), your neighbor's alter ego, HoopMamma."

I tried to introduce my daughter to the Hannah Montana's of my generation: Madonna, Cyndi Lauper... She looked at me the way I used to look at my Mom, when she used to make me listen to Dylan. Sigh. I am telling you; new lows.

I can't believe how bad I wanna hoop right now. That in and of its self (the thought of exercise) is really awesome. I have never had a relationship to any other form of physical exercise that has had me miss it when I can't do it, and challenges me when I am in it. Awesome. Can't wait to feel better (doc says a couple days).

Lastly, it looks like Rayna posted a HoopMamma fire performance from last summer (I am the one with the fire hoop), on the right hand side of this screen. You might enjoy checking that out, or it might be the breaking point in our relationship where you begin to think I am nuts, who knows? And yes, I really am licking and "eating" the fire at the end of my wicks to extinguish the flame (what can I say, I am a woman of many talents!). 

My daughter just informed me that her new name was "Rosie Montana", and that everyone is going to go to her shows, and not Hannah Montana's. "Cause I am gonna shoot out balloons at them, and toys! People will want toys more than just balloons, right?"

If you want to contact me directly, I have a BRAND NEW direct HoopMamma address. Write to me and tell me your woes, share your secrets, and suggest hooping topics you would like to hear me write about in my blog:!

I know I promised to do floorwork and high speed hooping last week. Please forgive me, as it will have to wait until next week (Thats the last time HoopMamma promises anything and documents it on the internet!)

Hoop one in for me,


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Down 5, 25 to go....

I am so excited to report two pieces of good news to my HoopMamma family:

1) I am down 5 pounds since when I started this blog! I have weighed myself in the morning, the evening, and the night. My weight goes up and down, but has been within a pound of a 5 pound loss for the past three days. I now feel safe to announce it! Awww, yeah...

2) I can now hoop every move covered in our DVDs, IN REVERSE!! Mind you; the tricky stuff is a little sloppy- but I can DO all of it, and I feel so great about it. This really expands the scope of my abilities, more than I ever thought possible. I started by re-learning to hoop: I practiced every move in reverse until I got it down, not allowing myself to go in my normal direction at all. 

What I found was that I have such a $h!tty attitude about things I can't pick up immediately. I could actually hear myself trying to talk myself out of these exercises. "I look like a crazed chicken. This is stupid. People will think I can't hoop if they are walking by. This makes me look ugly. This sucks. This was a stupid idea." Wow- I am capable of a whole lot of $h!tty for such a petite woman. 

But lemme tell you- when HoopMamma overcame the initial awkwardness, there was nothing like it! Except maybe, learning the same moves in my natural direction. : )

I have been longing to feel like this with my hooping! To be in a place where I can feel the pride of accomplishment when I nail a new move. What I realize now is that it was always a possibility; I had just cleverly talked myself out of enjoying the journey.

HoopMamma is too smart for her own good sometimes (know anyone else like that?)

: ) Happy Hooping!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hooping Challenges for the Mommas

Today HoopMamma procrastinated too long before beginning the 15 minute morning Hoop practice. By the time she stepped outside it was hot, and the front yard was directly in the sun. Tomorrow, HoopMamma will start earlier. 

It never fails; I pick up my beautiful, sparkly hoop- and my children abandon whatever they are doing and try to take it from me. Hooping is like a magnet for little kids. For this I offer a few remedies:

Whenever possible, arrange to have alone time for your hooping. Hooping=Happiness, Happier HoopMamma = Happier family.

Remember to use "Halo" and other upper body moves to your advantage when the kids are around. Making it play for them allows them to feel included. Let them run under the hoop; play "bridge".

Stop every once in a while to show them some love; drink some water, and really allow your hoopdance practice to become a part of your life together. Don't fight it (do remember to go back to your hooping, though).

Set up a distraction before beginning. Today I set up a small table outside in the shade where I could see them. I put out pens and paper, crayons, tape, etc. and let them go to town. I suggested that they draw pictures of people hooping in the sunshine. This bought me a good ten minutes!

I want to take a moment to address the "Hooping plateau". For me, after I had Illiana, I reached a plateau after losing 30 pounds (leaving me with 10 that I never really quite addressed). With my second baby Aliyah, I was "bored" with hoopdance. I hooped a little during my pregnancy, but not enough to really make a difference once the baby was born.

I really blame myself for this; thinking I knew everything, and that the things I didn't know were not worth learning anyways. So I avoided things like hooping in reverse and floor work. The fact is, I was avoiding the essence of what moves HoopMamma through plateaus: keeping it interesting; trying new things. The real beauty of hoopdance is that its not just how fast  you hoop that determines your calorie burn. Dropping your hoop and picking it up; exerting energy by trying new moves and using new muscles; and the determination to learn new tricks keeps us moving and motivated. 

Staying motivated can be a challenge. My commitment is to keep our new, growing community of MammaHoopers in the game. I will keep us inspired, just as your dedication has inspired me. 

Lets begin with why hooping in reverse is so important: ANAH (aka Hoopaliscious)

Watch this video and note the use of floorwork, reverse directions, and hoop speed. Watch the way she will stop her hips and keep the hoop moving on her upper body. Most importantly, how FREAKIN cool is that reverse move??!! Dontcha wanna do it??

To begin your path down the road to this level of hooping, start with the waist: Hoop for 3 revolutions in one way, then "catch the hoop", and reverse directions. Do this until it is comfortable. It is a simple move that is challenging and will get you back to that place where you are exercising and losing track of time. And thats what its all about, right? When you've mastered that (it might take a while, it might not), move on to your hips, theighs, and all the moves you know. People freak out when they see HoopMamma do this (and HoopMamma loves to make people freak out).

Next week we'll begin some floor work and address hoop speed. Until then, Happy Hooping, Mammas!

Thank You for this very special connection that we have and are building upon; to be strong mothers, inspirational role models, and damn sexy hoopers!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hippie Sh%$t

What is truly amazing to me, time and time again, is how the "universe" will provide for what we ask. Now, HoopMamma typically doesn't like to preach that new age "hippie" sh%$t, but in this case, I cannot help it. 
After coming home from Japan, and experiencing an all new type of jet lag, I was losing the motivation to write this blog. Overcoming a time change is one thing, when there just you to worry about. A little Melatonin, a few naps, six pack of Red Bull and I am good to go. But convincing my children to stay in bed when they are clearly done sleeping and to stay awake during daylight hours was an entirely different challenge. One cannot hand a sleepy 4 year old an energy drink before preschool and tell her to "suck it up". Might be interpreted as abusive, as it turns out. 

My husband and I traded off for the first few days; the kids would wake around midnight and stay up until 5.  They would sleep in until 11 or so, and then be cranky all day long before crashing at 6. Fortunately, HoopMamma was persuasive enough to convince her artist husband that it was he whose schedule allowed a nocturnal lifestyle. HoopMamma could then return to a "normal" schedule within a week, right? Sounded brilliant. Made sense.... all in theory.

So now, almost two weeks since we have been home, I began to question why I even want to write a blog. I get my mission, but must I really share it with the world? Does anyone really care? And when does a blog become like a BLAH BLAH BLOG...? You know the types, right? ranting and raving, going on and on like a personal journal that anyone can read. Well, I have been chewing on it and chewing on this, mostly during my hoop sessions (which these days have been divided into two 15 minute sessions). The answer came as I dragged myself to my computer today, and saw that someone had posted a comment to my last entry.

A comment? Really? Did HoopMamma want to read this? Would this be a bad comment from an old lover? It could be anyone saying anything, really. Oh boy.... I am going to need to ask Rayna how to filter comments...

I read in awe as someone WHOM I DONT EVEN KNOW encouraged me to continue to write the HoopMamma blog. On top of that, "Mommie in Michigan" vowed to hoop for 30 minutes a day, herself. So now, even if only to an audience of one, HoopMamma will continue her blogging manifesto and mission. 

30 MINUTES A DAY, PEOPLE! If you choose to join us, leave me a "comment". And it better be positive, or else I'll have Rayna FILTER you! It will keep the energy moving (hippie sh%$t again), and we'll all achieve our goals together faster.
I have learned so much in my hoop practice about my resistance to exercise in general. I love it when I am doing it, but honestly hate the commitment. Hooping is so different, though- I feel sexy, I look sexy, and I love the feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes I get a 5 minute session in (still counts against the 30 minutes), and am always surprised to feel how energetic I feel afterwards. So this week, the assignment is this: When you feel yourself dragging (and you know when it happens- visions of naps start dancing in your head, you  either grab for the energy drink of choice or surrender to becoming the stereotypical run-down Mom)- try picking up your hoop. A 5 minute Hoopnotica moment is an easy sell- try it in place of your typical "energy rescue". Let it be an experiment for the week. Let me know how it works out for you!

Thank You for taking the time to read this installation of my "blah"g... looking forward to hooping with you as we hoop our way into happier, healthier lives!