You have your hoops, music, and a great space to practice in. You are motivated, but you don’t know where to start! I’ve got some ideas for ya. Here are my 5 habits every hooper should develop for practice.
#1: Warm Up
Warming up is very important. It prepares you mentally and physically for activity. It wakes up your muscles and gets you moving. Sometimes simple waist hooping will get you moving. (Be sure to hoop in both currents!!). Other times, a good, rigorous yoga regimen is a good way to warm up. Get your heart pumping!
#2: Practice Something New
Now that you’re all warmed up, it’s time to jump into your practice. Work on something new! Perhaps it’s a tutorial that you saw on YouTube, or something you’ve been working on with a teacher. Work on this move for a bit before you move on, but too much that you get frustrated and build bad muscle memory.
#3: Review Old Skills
It’s always great to review what we know, right? It’s like a comfortable shirt or your favorite pair of shoes. I encourage you to review your old skills and see how you can fit them into your flow, or how you can find variations on them. Keep a list of moves that you know, and refer back to it at this time. Pick on at random, or pick one that you haven’t done in a long time.
Another way to review old skills is to drill them. Practice isolations in front of a mirror. Clean up your weave planes (this is what I’m doing right now). Work on your posture while hooping. Work those moves so they look cleaner, crisper, and sharper.
Geez, the hoop’s a toy, right? It’s a fun prop! Play with it! This is an awesome time practice your flow. Be sure to try to incorporate your new and old skills! Dance and spin, flip and fold, whatever. Have some fun!
#5: Cool Down
This is important. It’s time get your heart rate down and stretch those muscles. Again, this is an excellent time for easy yoga, especially savasana, or corpse, poses, on your back. Gentle spinal twists, shaking out the tension in your neck and shoulders, and good stretching exercises are all great ways to cool down.
There. You have a practice road map now!