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How Hula Hooping Has Given Me A Sense Of Belonging In My Local Community

A community was born throughout this challenging year. A community where we find our happiness in the form of a circle. A community where we don't want to be perfect. We want to be happy, as we find exercise FUN again! What's fantastic is that we continue to expand this community in Suffolk and further afield.

It seems this worldwide phenomenon is helping people rediscover a lost sense of community. It has sparked a sustained, engaged concern for the wellbeing of both ourselves and others. I am seeing that within my hula hooping community still, as we all come together on a weekly basis, to meet new people, have fun and ultimately enjoy exercise as a collective team. One attendee commended "another fab session Abby. I wonder how many other exercise classes have the amount of smiles and laughter that we do." I want to create an environment that is inclusive and unites people over a shared love for an alternative form of exercise and does not alienate them. It does not matter your age, gender, size or capability, we are here to learn and grow together.

We are a mixed ability group of women and men, although it is a predominantly female class. There’s a lot of women and mothers out there who need the opportunity to get together with others and feel free to take a moment for themselves outside of their homes. This is especially the case if women may take a more caring role within their families. I have had feedback from participants that hula hooping allows them to just be free and in the moment for 45 minutes, and sometimes that is the only time they get to themselves in a week. One attendee fed back that it is "my little bit of sanity on a Monday night".

A lot of people have anxiety related to going to gyms, or engaging in group exercise classes in front of others and this simply isn't the case with hula hooping. Seeing the interaction between a group of people who don’t know each other, doing something that they may have never done before is incredible. The smiles, the laughter, the sense of belonging. It is something that I have craved for years myself, and to have finally brought a group together myself is something I am very proud of.

It has been pivotal in supporting my overall mental health and well-being too. I really struggled with panic attacks going to group classes in the past on my own, which is why I form a relationship with my attendees and support them with any concerns they may have prior to attending a class. We also have a Facebook community where I post updates about the class, where we will be running the sessions and include visual images or maps if we ever switch location. I know for me, suffering from anxiety, being able to visualise where a class will be, the structure and what the people will look like etc. is incredibly helpful.

I want to continue being brilliant at bringing people together as I enter into my second year of running my hula fitness business. I hope you can join us for some hoopy fun soon. Book your place today!

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