Yoga can be incorporated into our daily lifestyle in a number of ways in order to add excitement and gain far reaching fitness results. Combining the hoop with Yoga asanas is one such example, that can add balance, enhance stretches and help rotate the torso, creating improved body awareness in a playful form. Adding breath to the movements, by inhaling as the hoop moves away from the body and exhaling when the hoop comes close to the body stimulates circulation adding oxygen to the brain and energizes the body and cardiovascular activity.
This eccentric activity focuses on using the hoop for balance and to intensify stretching by holding it at certain angles around the body. Hoop yoga involves a series of movements that will be used with smaller to medium sized hoops for stretching, balancing and slowly moving our bodies in harmony with the hoop.
Hulla Hoop can better enhance these yoga asanas like, tadasana, forward fold, tree, airplane, Virabhadra asana or warrior 1 & 2, Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), spinal twist and a few other poses. Hoop can be used for support or posture sometimes, or to add weight or challenge balance.
The session begins with,
- A short pranayama (breathing exercise) to center in breathing and bring the focus inward.
- This is followed by the warm up the body and blood flowing with a few rounds of sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) and a series of standing postures like Tadasana, tree and warrior pose. This allows stretching out of soar muscles by opening up through the neck, shoulders, spine, hips, and hamstrings.
- During final relaxation one is encouraged to relax completely in shavasana (corpse pose) and effortlessly enter into a deep quietude and stillness.
By the end of class, you will feel restored, rejuvenated, and ready to rock out your hoop for the rest of the weekend!
“It’s definitely growing, and it’s come a long way since I started hooping six years ago,” says Jivamukti and Hoop Vinyasa teacher Sandhi Ferreira, who has hooped onstage with Michael Franti and taught the hybrid art form to Sharon Gannon and David Life. Many yogis are drawn to hooping for the same reason kids are, she says: It’s fun.
Tip: To encourage breathing, have kids make airplane noises or talk about where they are flying.