I was in my local Canadian Tire, searching through coils of tubing in the plumbing section. A passing salesperson asked what I was looking for. Could he help?
I told him I didn’t think so as I wasn’t looking for stuff for a plumbing job, but was trying to work out what I needed to make a hula hoop.
“Ah,” he said, nodding. “Hula-hooping! Best thing ever! Five minutes of that every day and you feel great!”
In no time at all he’d helped me find the right tubing and a little connector thingy to keep the tubing ends together, and brightly colored electrical tape to decorate the hoop.
What can hula hooping do for a writer… or any artist… or for any body?
- it makes for a fun movement break (but you do need space).
- great for stretching out those slumping shoulders from so much sitting (see the video on Hoop Yoga).
- keeping the hoop in motion forces you to focus, especially if you’re performing fancy moves! This allows your creative/writing problem to slip underground, so your subconscious can get to work.
- the continuous, whole body movement in hooping gets the energy flowing, essential for creativity.
- there’s no stopping in hooping. You have to keep the movement fluid – including when you transition from one movement to another. According to a study into Fluid Movement and Creativity, fluid movement plays a significant role in enhancing “creativity in three domains: creative generation, cognitive flexibility, and the ability to make remote connections.” That is, your brain will be ready to generate new, original ideas and find fresh angles and possibilities.
“Moving one’s arm in multiple directions in a fluid and fluent manner seems to cue a metaphorically similar fluid thought process, enhancing creative processing and generation.” Fluid Movement and Creativity, Michael A. Slepian (Tufts University) and Nalini Ambady (Stanford University)
I made several hoops (one so heavy that I just use it for weight lifting!) but the hoop in the photo above is a professional, collapsible (for traveling) hoop – a birthday present from my daughter whose fun hooping moves were what got me started!
Making a hula hoop
Benefits of hula hooping
Susan Graham Guddat: Hula hooping Re-Ignites Passion & Purpose!
HoopRelief: Why hoop dance?
Hoopnotica: Why you should start hooping for fitness today
Stylecraze: Top 10 hula hoop exercises and their benefits