A little bit of history…
Looking back in the ages, hoops have always been toys. Along with the ball, the hoop may be among the most popular toys. The ancient Greeks were the first to popularize the hoop, and many of their documents—including illustrations on pottery—show the hoop in action. The hoop was not only a toy for Greek children, but it was also an exercise device. Hooprolling was thought to be a light and beneficial exercise for people not strong enough for more intense exercise or sport. According to the historical evidence Roman children used to play with hoops as well. Both Greek and Roman versions were made of metal fashioned from scrap strips.
Native Americans also used hoops for more than just toys. Eskimos played a game in which a hoop is rolled and poles are thrown through it as it rolls. This game, for children and adults, taught practical skills needed in harpooning and other hunting. North American Indians used the hoop in many ways. Like the Eskimos, the Indians used it as a target for teaching accuracy in shooting arrows and in throwing. Among the Lakota Indians, hoop dancing became a sophisticated art form that is still practiced today. To the Lakota, the hoop represents the circle of life, the vast circle of the horizon as the viewer turns to look all around, and the many repeating patterns in nature like the cycle of the moon. In the hoop dance, the dancer may use 12-28 hoops to forms symbols and figures.
The toy known as the Hula Hoop was born out of the brainstorm of two American toy inventors who learned about an Australian practice. Arthur “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr heard that Australian children used rings made of bamboo for exercise. They produced a plastic hoop in 1958 and promoted it around the Los Angeles, California, area by going to playgrounds, demonstrating the hoop to the kids, and giving away Hula Hoops. Their playground-to-playground salesmanship produced the biggest toy fad the United States has ever witnessed. In Japan, the hoop was banned, and the Soviet Union described it as evidence of the decadence of American culture. At the peak of its popularity, Wham-O, Inc. produced 20,000 hoops per day; it is estimated that the plastic tubing for all the Hula Hoops sold would stretch around the world more than five times.
Hooping feels good!!! As it circles your waist, it gives you a solid massage. Intestines and organs get a firm rhythmic rubbing. Benefits can include weight loss, strengthened muscle tone across the abdominals and in the thighs, buttocks and arms, increased energy and creativity, heightened self-confidence – and all without strains or overstretched limits. Playing with a hoop works up a nice sweat, and like any cardiovascular exercise, it can hit the reset button on a bad mood. It’s simply a lot of fun; and fun is healthy!
Hooping around the world…
Hula hoop, keeping up its fame, has become a very popular practice for people that want to keep in shape in a fun meditative way, and not only… Hula hooping can be a beautiful dance, a rolling art, a spectacular show. Performances, classes, workshops, trainings and retreats that are taking place around the world prove that some things are always classics!!!
HULA HOOPS – Shakti Sunfire
BYC programm/ English
Join Shakti in a wildly exciting introduction to hula hooping. We’ll explore the very basics of waist hooping and off-body exploration in a supportive, laughter-filled circle of friendship. We’ll learn to approach the hoop as a dance partner that is there to teach us – even if we could never hula hoop before! It is in this playful relationship that we will ride into the truth of the moment, as it arises for you, that breaks us out of our thinking mind and into our fluency. All levels welcome. Hula hoops provided.