Emma Barrett Hula Hooping Sundried Ambassador

Emma comes from a dance background but got into hula hooping as a way of relieving tension and was instantly hooked. She tells Sundried about how hula hooping helped her to learn to love moving again.

How did you first get into hula hooping? Did you already have a background in fitness?

I first got into hooping because my healer noticed a ball of tension that was lodged in my sacral chakra. I then read somewhere online that hooping is great for the sacral chakra. So I got my first hoop and I started with just waist hooping initially. I then started expanding my repertoire with private lessons ten months ago. And it's become my daily sanity ever since. 

My background in fitness - I used to be a professional dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and on cruise ships. But I took a break from dancing, and from movement altogether for a number of years. So I have hooping to thank for re-sparking my passion for movement. 
 

Do you have any goals for your hula hoop training?

My biggest goal would be to never take myself so seriously that I forget how to have fun. Being a novice with something allows such joy in making mistakes, and I really don't want to lose that - no matter how much time passes. I find there's such expansion in the beginner's mind. 
 

Do you follow a specific diet?

I don't. When I was dancing professionally, they were really strict with our weight control. The body issues that developed as a result were really harmful, and in the end, were what caused me to take such a long break from moving my body in any way. When I used to keep to a strict diet, I found myself thinking about food constantly. So I find a lot more joy in food and in my body now that I just listen to my instincts. I eat when I'm hungry and I don't restrict myself when I crave something. One of my closest friends, Caroline Brooks, coaches people about intuitive eating. And I've learned a great deal from her. 
 

Talk us through your training regime:

I wake up first thing in the morning with an hour of waist hooping while I read books - 30 minutes clockwise with one book, then 30 minutes counter-clockwise with another book. Then during the afternoon, I practice my hoop tricks on the beach for an hour or two. This is really my play time. 
Emma Barrett Beach Hula Hoop
 

What are your top 3 tips for hula hooping?

  1. Trust that every mistake you make is contributing to a conversation with your body, sending feedback to your kinesthetic awareness. Like a baby learning to walk, each fall is a new lesson for the body's awareness, rather than a failure. 
  2. Don't be scared to hit yourself in the head with the hoop. It's bound to happen and it really doesn't hurt that much. 
  3. The best tip is to play! When I take lessons with my teacher, Morgan Jenkins, she'll always teach me a trick and then allow play time before she moves on to teaching me the next. This is an incredible method for integrating the new trick into my flow. 
 

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into hula hooping themselves?

There's no time like the present. Get yourself a hoop (the bigger, the better when starting out). Even if you don't have the resources for private lessons, there are wonderful tutorials online that I learn a lot from, ranging from beginner to advanced tricks. A couple that I highly recommend... the Hooptown Hotties YouTube channel has lots of amazing Hoop University tutorials. And there are great beginner's tutorials on Deanne Love's YouTube channel as well. 
 

Why work with Sundried?

Ever since I read the book, The Soul of Money, I've increased my awareness of the things I consume and how they are produced. I'm really inspired by companies like Sundried that are taking the care and consideration to do their part in looking after their workers as well as our Mother Earth. 

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