My First Practice Video

6 Jun

Ok. So I made a video of me practicing my hooping…my very first one. I almost didn’t post it because I’m just so critical of myself….and I hate that. I want to make these videos to have a record of my journey, but I’m such a perfectionist that it’s hard for me to post something that isn’t “perfected”. It’s not a performance, or anything of the sort…but I’ve been watching too many videos of amazing hoopers and I have set high expectations for myself. I have to remind myself that I’ve only been hooping for 6 weeks…and many of the videos I am watching display years and years of hooping!

There is a fabulous video that SaFire made called “Love The Process”… and I had tears in my eyes when I watched it for the first time (and the second and third time). Yes, I’m feeling a bit hormonal this week. It’s just been so long since I tried something that required a lot of practice and her video reminded me to really ENJOY this adventure and take joy in the journey. I also went back and read this awesome article by Caroleeena called “Cultivating Non-Comparison” to remind myself that I am not hooping for anyone but myself. It brings me happiness! And in turn, it has the potential to bring other people happiness as I teach them how to hoop as well. Hooping can turn any day into a GREAT day!

With that said, here is a bit of info about the video. I used 3 different hoops throughout…the first one is a 160psi 3/4 38″ hoop. The second one is a lightweight 40″ hoop 3/4 100 psi, and my LED hoop is a 40″ 160psi 3/4 (too heavy…I need to send it back to get a lighter weight). The movements that I am working on are the lift and back down, vortex, chest/shoulder hooping, the duck out, knee-hooping with lift, and a few others. I also have a 43″ hoop that I use, which makes chest hooping SOOOO much easier…but I didn’t include that in the video. I’m still struggling a bit chest hooping with the smaller hoops. Sorry that it’s pretty far away…I set the camera up in the RV and pointed in the right direction, but never checked it 🙂 Ooops. Live and learn.

I wasn’t hooping to music, but next time I will because it makes a HUGE difference in my energy level! 🙂 It’s good for me to see myself…because I look so somber. Because you know, hooping is a pretty somber activity. Ha! I need to smile and have fun! Even if I am intense with concentration.

I really want to work on the flow/dance aspect of my hooping. Right now, my mind is so focused on nailing the individual movements that I forget to just let go and dance! 🙂 I’m sure it will come in time.

I would love to hear your thoughts about “process” and where you are at in this journey…

60 Responses to “My First Practice Video”

  1. Jennie June 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Okay, this made me smile and tear up. I must be hormonal too.. LOL!

    It’s so good to watch you because you inspired me to get hoops, and I need to take joy in the journey as well. I was getting discouraged and haven’t hooped in a few days. But I’m breaking it back out this afternoon.

    Thank you.


  2. rebecca June 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    the safire video made me cry too!!!! love it! you are so beautiful mama! i cant wait for you guys to get here so we can hoop together. i made a couple videos of myself yesterday but deleted the all….i didnt like the face i was making, or the way my body was shaped…..thank you so much for this post, it really is all about doing something fun for ourselves, growing and learning….off to make a video…..i love ya!

  3. catina jane June 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    i am so proud of you !! and let me say that DAMN! you have gotten so good so fast!! and i’m not just saying that to be kind.. truly! mama SJ , you have!
    perfection is overrated … you are enough!!!

  4. Adina June 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    You look great! It must be a hormonal time, because your video made me tear up. LOL Some music and a big smile and you would be one of those people I watch open-mouthed in awe. It is fun to watch you learn and hope I might be able to get that good.

  5. Jen. June 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    So beautiful, Sara!

    I can finally consistently keep the hoop up, and can sometimes do a vortex. The kids are doing much better than I am, and I love watching them. I’ve accepted that this is going to be a very slow process for me! It sure is fun, though! 🙂

  6. Stephanie June 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    wow! I’ll bet that can be quite the workout. What I am intrigued with is that you berily have to move your hips and you can make it hoop like that! Fabulous!

  7. Jo June 6, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I’ve been following you on and off for a while because of my dreads obsession and plans to do that too one day. And then yesterday I followed your links to this blog. And your video links. And it was LOVE. I made two hoops (one for me, one for my 4 year old) yesterday and have been playing with them today. You’ve given me a gift at a time I really needed and wanted it so thank you. I’m a TOTAL beginner and I’m in awe of your hooping!

  8. Jo June 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Oh and I blogged that SaFire’s video earlier today 🙂

  9. Christine June 6, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Because of you I started my hooping addiction a few weeks ago… but I was so nervous to go outside (and still am kinda) and practice, I do what I can in our living room – But you inspire me to go outside and just have fun. I may not look like Safire when I hoop, but your happiness is contagious and I hope to pass that along to a few more ❤

  10. Laurie B June 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I’ve never been able to keep a hoop going at all–just can’t get the hang of it. I have been indulging my KenKen addiction lately (it’s a logic puzzle, kind of like Sudoku but with math too). It’s not exercise like hooping, but it is satisfying to see my skills improving, especially when I can go back and fix a puzzle I got wrong before.

  11. Kendra June 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    SARA! You are beautiful. That was some pretty amazing hooping at 6 weeks. I look back to my journey at 6 weeks (over 4 years ago) and think wow, you are just amazing. Please keep posting your progress, ever since I met you on your site I have been reading all about you and your amazing journey. I am loving everything you write and your adventures are amazing.

    • livelightly June 7, 2010 at 3:55 am #

      Thanks Kendra! And thank you for all the amazing goodies in the box 🙂 I can’t remember if I ever sent you an email back! Thank you thank you thank you!!

      • Kendra June 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

        I actually need to get in touch with you. I have something for you. Will you shoot me an email at larson_kendra @ yahoo . com

        Email me when you get a minute, I need to mail you something and tell you why!

  12. Vanessa June 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    That was absolutely beautiful. You seem to have a natural gift for hooping, Sara.
    & I agree with Catina. Perfection is overrated.

  13. Suyai June 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    OK. The hooping is amazing! You really rock. And I also got teary with Saffire’s video… BUT what really made me feel “I’m not the only one on earth” was the fact that you not only were humble enough to recognize your perfectionism, but went ahead and posted the video! Thank you for being such an inspiration and for letting go of your perfectionism in this way. It really helps me be braver and let go of mine… step by step!

  14. fiveseed June 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    This is really fun and a beautiful video! I’m impressed that you have gotten so far in 6 weeks. Pretty awesome! Thank you for putting yourself in such a vulnerable place and sharing your process – I really enjoyed watching it and found it inspiring!


  15. Farm Fresh Jessica June 7, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    You’ve only been hooping six weeks?! GIRL! Amazing.

    Process: I guess I look at it as, I’m improving myself, and I can only shoot for the best I can do right now. I’ve learned a lot of new things this year (knitting, sewing, hooping) and with each project or practice session I expect myself to be better than the last time, but of course I’m not going to be an expert right now. I look at tons of books/videos for inspiration, but I try to be content with where I am and with what I can give. Hope that helps a bit…

  16. Kristy June 7, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    Awesome, Sara!!! You’re doing great for 6 weeks in. I’ve been working consistently for about a week. I can keep it up and I’m working on trying to transition from waist to chest, but I’m a “chesty” gal and it’s taking some effort to make it over the “mountains.” 🙂 I can spin in the hoop and sometimes I can hoop around my knees, but I really want to learn the vortex so I can save a hoop going south! The Safire video made me laugh because there is much joy in this new found path I am on and it reminded me that we all start somewhere.

    • livelightly June 7, 2010 at 3:53 am #

      Hi Kristy…
      You might want to try the “lift”…it’s a great starting point and it works into a lot of other movements.

  17. Kat June 7, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    WOW, I’m blown away! I didn’t realize how amazing you were. And I have to say, I think I just fell in love with it! I really, really hope I can find a hooping class in Olympia. I’d love to try this out. Not only does it look like fun, it looks like a good workout. Thanks for sharing!
    Warmly, Kat

  18. amy June 7, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    so if you were going to jump in and wanted to start with ONE hoop, which would you recommend?

    • livelightly June 7, 2010 at 3:43 am #

      Hi Amy…
      A great size for a beginner is a 160 psi 3/4 or 100 psi 3/4. The hoop should come up to 2 inches above your belly button. On the right sidebar of this blog, there are links under “Hoops”. Both are hoopmakers that I trust and admire! 🙂

  19. denise June 7, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    where do I start? really, I am so intrigued.

    • livelightly June 7, 2010 at 3:58 am #

      Hi Denise!
      You can purchase a hoop or make your own…there are links to both methods on my right sidebar. While you’re waiting, you can watch all the videos I have posted here and then move on to YouTube for fun inspiration 🙂

      Sign up at and check out

      The key is to JUST START! And then connect with other hoopers in your area…that will help keep you inspired and having fun.

      • denise June 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

        awesome! thank you. this is going to be my summer manifesto. have fun and hoop!

  20. Sonya June 7, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    WOW, Sara! You are amazing! I am a beginner to hooping (inspired by YOU!!!) and to me your hooping practice looks like the most beautiful hooping flow!
    I love the video! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me even more (is that even possible?!).

  21. kristen June 7, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    6weeks!! You are awesome!!!!!! Great job!

  22. Adrienne June 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Sara, I agree with everyone else! You are rocking it out with your hoops! I too, was inspired to start hooping by reading your blog. I’m a total crafter, so the opportunity to learn another craft and get some exercise with my family was an instant draw!

    Thanks for sharing your practice with us, definitely inspiring to be happy with where you are.


  23. That Crazy Family June 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Amazing Sara! Very inspirational.. LOVE it!

  24. Gina June 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    So many things on your ‘Walk Slowly’ Blog have inspired me, and now you’ve got me wondering what this hooping business is all about. I always thought hula-hoops were for kids or circus acts, but watching your video has made me want to run out and get my own. It’s like watching a dance, and I love to dance! You say you’re concerned about technique, but I think you’re a lot more graceful than you realize. Awesome! I’m a hooper wannabe now 🙂

  25. Barbra ( June 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Wow, you can work that hoop! You are doing amazingly well if you’ve only been hooping for 6 WEEKS! Good for you!! It’s evident you’ve got a great practice going.

    I think this is a much-needed entry ~ I have yet to post vids of myself and definitely need to even just start recording. Thanks for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see your next video.

  26. Hyla June 8, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    You make it look easy!! I relate to the perfectionist mentality… I just started last week and sometimes don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m clumsy, awkward, and stiff. Not to mention seriously frustrated at times. I’ve knocked myself in the head more times than I can count. I am bruised, sore and think I jammed a pinky finger. Worst of all, I can’t stop. I love it.
    I aspire to find your grace! Thank you for sharing. (^_^)

  27. Jenine June 8, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    6 weeks??? You are AMAZING! I’ve been practicing now for about a month or so and I feel as if I’m fumbling every single step. You make it look so incredibly easy.

  28. Jill Brown June 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Oh my!!!! WOW! That was so good! I can’t wait to learn all of those wonderful moves! Maggie has been trying to get me down to Dawn’s class for a while… I need to get down there!!! 🙂 WoNdErFuL video!!!!

  29. Hip Mountain Mama June 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Loved that video…you rock mama!!

  30. Jentree June 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Love it! I thought you might appreciate this video by Brecken if you have not seen it yet…kinda deals with the hooping self-criticism. 🙂

    • Jentree June 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

      It does have some language, so beware for sensitive ears..

  31. Mariah June 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Sara! This is beautiful! I’m SO inspired! My journey is barely starting…I don’t even have a hoop yet, but I was at a baby shower on Saturday and there was some hooping going on…so I gave it a try. Oh, my. It’s harder than it looks! You make it look so easy! So graceful and flowing. Gorgeous. I’m excited to get a hoop and get going…so much fun! I’ve been pouring over this new blog of yours and watching all the video links. I’ll be out of town for a couple of weeks at a conference, but when I get back home learning to hoop is my major project this summer!

  32. rainbowsanddaydreams June 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    You have inspired me to give hooping a go! I’m going to make my first hoop this long weekend and get to it!

    I already poi, and I can see this fitting so nicely into my practice. You’ve been a great inspiration and I thank you for setting up your new blog and being so enthusiastic about it all! I’m already nearly obsessed and I haven’t even picked up a hoop yet, and I think that its your enthusiasm that has done that for me 🙂

    Please keep posting great videos and links and inspiration- I love it!

  33. kate June 9, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    oh. my. goodness. i am sitting here with my jaw open, thinking that was beautiful! and that’s after I already watched a bunch of your inspiration videos so I am not even just saying that. okay, so I must not have been looking closely or paying attention or something as I have been reading your blog over the last months because I had no idea you hooped and until just this very moment I had no idea it was so beautiful. I guess I have neveer payed much attention to hooping. Okay, so I want in!? how do I start? what size and type hoop is best to start? oh my goodness I think I just found my dream sport/dance/or what ever you call it!
    Thank you for this inspiration!
    love you!!

    • kate June 9, 2010 at 6:34 am #

      okay, me again, I just read a few others comments where you replied about starter hoops, so I guess you don’t have to comment back, but you still can if you have a sec! k, love you, you rock, way to go, you are amazing and I now want to be you!!

  34. Caroline June 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    My children and I are now officially addicted to hooping! Love the website. Made our first hoops yesterday. On another hoop website I discovered They have tons of cool tape. They give hoopers a special discount when you order $100 or more put “hula hula” in the promotional code box. I’m excited to promote hooping in our homeschooling community this summer.

  35. Lu June 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    You are an inspiration!!!!!

    Im only on day 2 lol but I can hold it up for about 1 min…. hoping to be able to do more soon.


    Thanks for sharing, helps me not worry about my perfectionism, its not whats important!

  36. Anna June 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I LOVE it! You rock, Sara! Come to MO so you can hoop with me in my backyard with the chickens clucking nearby.

  37. Lisa Zahn June 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Beautiful and mesmerizing to watch you…now I gotta get me a hoop!

  38. Katelyn June 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    I just started hooping 6 days ago. I have needed to watch Safire’s video many many times. They all make it look so easy but if it was so easy to do it wouldn’t be worth it. I can’t believe you are only 6 weeks in. I can’t see myself there in 6 weeks.

  39. wyldeskye June 17, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    WOW!!! You are so beautiful to watch! I would love to do what you do, though I too am very self critical and shy to boot but you have definitely inspired me… just gotta muster up some courage and be prepared to make a complete goose of myself! hahaha
    Thanks for posting your vid, really you look awesome!!!!

  40. Annie June 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Wow wow wow!! Six weeks??? Six weeks 24/7?? LOL… you are terrific.. seriously… I do declare that you were born to hoop.. Hoop De Doo! Great video… can’t wait to see one you do to music… I watched Safire’s vid too… and was inspired.. and touched..

    Hoop on!

  41. amanda June 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Wow. This is so beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!

  42. Lee Ann Murray June 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    ahhh – so I’ve always had kid size hoops around the house and I’ve been playing with the largest size we have and am OBSESSED! I absolutely adore the way it makes me feel to get my hoop on – especially since I’m 15 weeks pregnant right now with baby 3! Thank you for the inspiration. Your video was amazing! I would love to see another one now that you’re farther along in your journey! I think I’ll document my journey even if I never share! Thank you Mama 🙂

  43. Erin June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    I love that you posted your practice video – it gives me the determination to keep going b/c *She learned all that in only SIX WEEKS???*. Right now, I am bruised and banged up but bent on reaching my goals.

    (A friend said to me the other day “Have you met SaFire? She’s a great hooper; I did a shoot with her a little while ago.” I nearly choked on my sandwich! cuz *yeah! I’ve only watched ALL her videos on youtube*… the friend’s a photographer, btw.)

  44. Cynthia July 1, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I was totally inspired by you and Tara over at to start hooping. I ordered my first hoop from superhooper and just received it yesterday.

    This morning I am fighting the voices of I am not enough … I am not young enough, flexible enough, graceful enough. But this is something I just feel I have to do. i long for a connection with my body and this is what I am drawn to do.

    I want to maintain my purpose … to do this for me, to find my movement. But sometimes I say stuff like to to protect myself from feeling like I am not enough. I think that somewhere along the journey I will have to bust through that wall and tape myself and post it so that I can go celebrate doing this for myself.

    Grace and Peace

  45. Ashley July 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    sara. your video is inspirational.

    i’ve ordered by hoopgirl dvd and first hoop.
    i can’t wait to get outside in this summer air and start hooping. it looks like SO much fun!

  46. rebecca July 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    okay, i just came back and watched this again, and i freakin’ love this so much!!!!

  47. leslie July 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post and links. I totally fall into that discouragment when I look for tutorials and end up jut wanting to give up because hoopers seem so effortless! I’m completely inspired to keep on trying now!

  48. Julie July 25, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your journey. You are AMAZING after 6 weeks – it looks effortless! I received my hoop about 2 weeks ago and have been practicing everyday since with my 5 year old son (who loves it too). I, like you, have been focusing so much on each move that when I finally added the music it helped 🙂 But, I wanted to ask – did you have tons of bruises in the beginning? I’ve got ’em on my legs and shoulders only – I think as I continue to “dance” more with my hooping it will ease up. But just wanted to say thanks again for posting your journey and sharing with all of us – love reading your blogs 🙂

  49. Love Loreto September 27, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Hallo Friend , i read w/ ur web blog. i will come to your blog again tomorrow


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