Ever since I first started sharing the news that I was pregnant, the absolute first response I’ve gotten every time is, “I can’t wait to see you hula hoop with a big baby in your belly!” Many people are skeptical that it’s even possible, but so far I’ve proved them wrong. I’m into my third trimester and I haven’t stopped hooping yet. My midwives actually think it’s probably a great exercise to help to open the hips and keep them loose.
My flow has undergone some changes as a result of my newly expanded midsection. It is harder to isolate my ribcage from my hips. Anything on the body between those two points is not as comfortable as it used to be and I certainly don’t want to strain any muscles, so I don’t practice those moves as much. However, shoulder hooping has not been a problem and it works fine as a replacement for moving the hoop up and down my body. All off-the-body moves still work just fine and it’s a great way to keep these arms in shape and get them ready for holding baby for hours on end. I doubt I will be giving up my hoop dance at any point until the baby comes, but I will modify my practice however I need to in order to be comfortable and avoid overexerting myself.
I certainly don’t feel quite the same inside my head while hooping as I did before my pregnancy. Usually it is easy find a groove, shut out the world around you and concentrate fully inside the hoop on just your movement, which feels sexy and empowering. Now that I’ve got this big tummy that’s growing by the day it’s a lot harder to achieve that freeing state-of-mind. Although it may be possible to do in private from time to time, you can pretty much forget about finding that kind of flow when you’ve got any eyes watching. I am self-conscience about how ridiculous I might look to some people, and feel totally silly getting into any kind of “sexy” groove with my dance. For now I’m just going to have to live with that aspect of change and try to keep up my hooping practice as best I can without entirely achieving that deeper connection within that makes hooping so powerful to begin with.