When I was 15-years-old, I realized that I had anxiety and depression. When I was 18-years-old, I realized that I could medicate for anxiety and depression with cannabis instead of pharmaceuticals. When I was 24-years-old after seeing how fun and graceful it looked, by a friend's demonstration, I picked up a hula-hoop for the first time since I was a small child and gave it a shot. Little did I know, that was the beginning of a beautiful and therapeutic relationship that would ignite the flames of recovery, self-healing, and self-discovery.
Who would have thought that what seemed like a silly plastic circle could be a healing tool for so many people in the world? When I had first began to practice with the hula-hoop, it was challenging and fun. It was something that I wasn't very good at. It was something that challenged my muscle memory. It challenged my coordination. It challenged my beliefs around dancing as a pathway to healing. Something that seemed so childish was also a tool for helping to balance the psyche and heal the mind and body.
It has now been almost four years of continuous hula-hooping. For myself, hula-hooping is an escape from the busy, fast-paced, and at times chaotic world we live in. It is a moving meditation; for a short amount of time, everything else melts away when you turn the music up, grab the hula-hoop, forget your worries, and just dance. Once you're inside of your plastic circle, all you're focused on is the way your body moves and the way your body connects with the hula-hoop.
Thoughts melt away and worries that boggle the mind are no more. This plastic circle has become more than just a "toy." It is my go-to therapeutic session, my counselor, my drug of choice. Aside from all of this, it is also an exercise. WebMD published an article on the benefits of hula-hooping, posted here: (https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20110210/hula-hoop-workouts-burn-calories). With an average heart rate of about 151 beats per minute, in my opinion, it is the most fun cardio class you can take, burning about 7 calories a minute and a whopping 210 calories in a half hour class, surprising right?
So, next time you're feeling like you're in a rut, maybe try something new. Think about picking up a hula-hoop and giving it a go. It might just become your new favorite hobby, exercise, or meditation. It might help you meet your health goals or help your quiet your mind a bit and you will definitely have fun doing so.
This gift of the hula-hoop have been so well-received. Thank you, hula-hoop Gods.