Once relegated as a toy for children, the hula hoop is now acquiring a brand new image of a fun fitness tool in the city.
What if a few swirls every day for 30-minutes helped you shed those extra kilos you have been forever dreaming of losing? What is even more exciting is that you get to relive your childhood days by playing with a hula hoop. With alternate forms of fitness workouts gaining momentum in the city, being bored and not going to the gym is no longer an excuse one can offer and hula-hooping now seems to have caught the fancy of fitness enthusiasts in the city.
For 35-year-old Swati Shah, what started off as a one-time workshop to share with friends turned into a medium to spread awareness and build a faithful fan following for this form of workout. “I had never hooped as a child but the fitness enthusiast and dancer in me decided to buy a hoop and give it a go — that was around three years ago. That was when I discovered my rhythm within the magical circle and decided to share the simple technique with people around me. The urge to share got stronger when I saw my friends learn it in one session and feel exhilarated,” Swati shares.
At her Boho Fitness Club, she now conducts alternative fitness workouts that can be done anytime and anywhere. “I believe that one doesn’t need reasons to exercise. Fitness has to be on the go. One can exercise without making excuses even when they are travelling with the hoop, TRX suspensions and so on,” she adds.
Swati’s hoop army currently has over 1,500 active participants. “One workshop led to another. Then there were students who walked in and said it’s been their childhood dream to hoop, while some were nervous about trying it and felt they would make a fool out of themselves, many others just didn’t believe they could achieve it,” shares Swati.
But once they tried it, they couldn’t stop. “My classes begin with the belief, ‘absolutely everybody can hula-hoop, and everything is possible’. I promise them at the end of one session, they will all pick it up and that’s exactly what happens. Everyone feels ecstatic at the end of each session. They almost get addicted to the hoop once they learn it,” she Swati.
Swati encourages hooping for fitness, dance, and fun. “In our workshops, we teach the steps which help you learn the skill and eventually dance with the hoop. For beginners we teach basic hoop movements, hand and waist coordination, and routine dance steps,” she explains.
Besides the fact that hooping is fun, it also has many fitness benefits. “It makes for a form of cardio, tones the abdominal muscles, is a stress buster, and over all, it makes you feel good. I realised this class after class as I received feedback from various students. A physiotherapist who came to my class said it aligns the posture and opens up the spine, and helps spinal flexibility. The main reason I love hooping is that it regresses you to childhood — that pure space where you can connect with your true self,” she concludes.