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Hoopspiration

Cracking the Whip: 3 Keys to Whippy Fast Moves!

Che Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla humorous hula hoop dance fitness

How do you get that cool “whooshing” sound with a hoop?

I’d say “Fear Not,” but alas, cannot, as ‘Whipping The Hoop’ about the cabin can be…well, fun, funny, injury-inducing, and sometimes object-destructive. I really wanna emphasize the “fun” part though, especially because it is awe-inspiring to see when done well!

Here are 3 tips though to help ya out as you learn some Whippy Hoopy Thangs.* (And, as always, these ideas are kind of a metaphor for life!) 

1. Make your life easier with the right tool for the right job…Use a lighter hoop. Yes, size matters boys and girls–especially for this stuff. It stands to reason that if your hoop is smaller AND lighter, that whipping it around quickly will be less taxing on your hands, arms, bendy body parts and nearby furniture. Recommended: Polypro or HDPE tubing. Not recommended: Toy hoops. Yes they will whip, but can be easily bent, kinked and warped much quicker than a professionally made hoop by a reputable hoop maker. (There are many qualified local hoop artisans you can support. Check your community. Hip The Hoopla covers the Colorado area and can ship, if you like).

2. Learn Good Technique–with a qualified teacher is best–in person, if possible. But you can also have an online coach (like Hip The Hoopla or many others world wide), or check out some video tutorials on YouTube. Get it slowwwwwwly. If you start just jamming on stuff right off the bat, you may need an injury lawyer–and no one wants to sue themselves.

3. You’ve got to PRACTICE! You knew that one was coming, right?! Whippy moves don’t come about by spontaneous combustion, or via fairy godmother. They take the time and energy of good ‘ole diligent practice. Technique is the main component. When you have that down, then confidence comes into play. Then there’s one more thing that you want to add to your practice…

One more little *Bonus Tip*:
****Facial Expression.**** Yep. Practice getting that scared, “oh crap” look off your face, and try smiling with confidence and ease. Yeah your brain chatter will be racing saying, “But that hoop is whipping near my face — I must close my eyes!” Don’t do that. Keep ’em open so you know which way to duck if you need to. Plus it’s way more enjoyable to watch someone with a pleasant expression…less cortisol for the viewer to stress about you. And, the fake it til you make it grin will bring more of your happy endorphins bubbling your confidence up, too!

P.S. Bonus, bonus tip: If you are new to the hoop whipping concept, start with grip moves before advancing to hand release moves for more control and less bonking of nearby valuables.

Hope these 3 tips and bonuses help increase your personal level of hoop dance. Happy Hooping!

♥ ♥ ♥

*Whippy Thangs can be described as very fast movements, sometimes moving so quickly that they make a whooshy sound. They can create a breeze from the hoop movement, and even more of a wind current from onlookers gasping, “Ahhhhh!” They can be moves like escalators, folds, flips, breaks, etc. Even schmears can be done at lightning speed in a whippy motion!

~Lovingly written, tongue-in-cheeky by CHO (Chief Hooping Officer) Che’ Rippinger, who’s been hooping since 2008, running Hip The Hoopla since 2011 – while teaching, performing and making pro custom hoops.

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Hey, in case you want to learn more in person, please come join us at…
“Whip It, Whip It Good: Wicked Fast Moves Made Fun & EASY!” Saturday’s 10am Hip The Hoopla theme. Jump on the Crazy Train with us: www.HipTheHoopla.com or MindBody Connect mobile app to RSVP (all levels welcome + drop-in’s too, if space available!)

Or if you prefer to work one on-one, or a private group, we can schedule an in-person or virtual meeting!

For more information, Please visit www.HipTheHoopla.com , www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla , or call 303-919-9280, or e-mail Che@HipTheHoopla.com and subscribe to our e-mail (no spamming–just juicy hoop goodness).
We are also on YouTube, Pinterest, Yelp, LinkedIn & Twitter #hipthehoopla.

 
Visit Che’s profile on Pinterest.

January Jump Start – Schedule, Specials & More!

Hip The Hoopla humorous hoop dance fitness classes, performances & custom made hula hoops

Give your goals some jet fuel! Hip The Hoopla is here to help to kick butt on your wellness, weight goals and well-being (a.k.a. Happiness).

Give yourself the gift of health and humor with hooping. Here’s a sneak peak at the January Hoopla! (Warning: Hip The Hoopla promises high doses of laughter, hoop dance, positivity and motivation!)

JANUARY CLASS SCHEDULE:

Group classes (all levels welcome) Tuesdays 6:30pm & Saturdays 10am. January 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, (31-Tentative-depending if Broncos play in the Superbowl!)

JANUARY JUMP START SPECIALS:

♥ $99 January Special= 1 private lesson* + 1 Month of Unlimited Monthly Group Classes (save $71!)

♥ 5 Class Pack $65 (Save $10) (exp. 3 months from purchase)

♥ 10 Class $120 (2 classes Free-Save $30!)

♥ 30 Day Unlimited Group Class Pass $80 (Save $40+)

Stay tuned for Hip The Hoopla’s NEXT big Announcements including:

1.) ONLINE CLASSES! Yes, you asked, and they are in the works! The tentative plan is once a week with a replay (if available)…and also…
2.) ONLINE WELLNESS WORKSHOPS!
3.) A MONTHLY PLAN PACK for those dedicated to wellness and wonderment! (Including your own private sessions, and special surprises, too!)

(*Studio rental and/or on-site travel costs are extra. Private lessons priced for Lakewood location.)

For more information, Please visit www.HipTheHoopla.com , www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla , or call 303-919-9280, or e-mail Che@HipTheHoopla.com

Hoop Corkscrew Combo-Belly Dance Inspired!

You may already know all the cool hoop moves, but sometimes getting them coordinated in an eye-catching combinations is helpful. Here’s one I call the “Hoop Corkscrew Combination.”

 

So thrilled this tutorial was featured on www.Hooping.org (the mac-daddy of info for the hooping world) and also on www.Hoop-Trix.com ♥♥♥
♥ In-joy! ♥

Are there other moves you want to see explained or broken down in an easy-to-understand, silly, and humorous way? Connect with us! Hip The Hoopla is here to help.

Here is the Hoop Corkscrew Tutorial Link:
http://youtu.be/puyNA3_19d0

 

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Connect with Us! Hip The Hoopla offers humorous hoop dancing classes, private lessons and coaching–both in person, and virtually–for whatever level you are starting at… or want to get to!

Check calendar for Hip The Hoopla class details. www.HipTheHoopla.com/classes

*If you are interested in getting hoops: ready made, custom, twins, multis, collapsible convertibles, polypro, HDPE, or PE (black tubing)…please connect with us for a complimentary hoop consultation (by phone or in person).

Contact us: online at www.HipTheHoopla.com, Che@HipTheHoopla.com, 303-980-6295  / 303-919-9280 cell 

Latest info, updates, tutorials, events and “Hoopspiration” posted regularly on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla

We’re also on Twitter #hipthehoopla, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Yelp and Google+

How to Get Great Layering And Coordination

Want to get a smooth combination of dance flowing WITH your hoop moves?

Here’s what I recommend at my Hip The Hoopla classes: practice and “get” the thing you want, BEFORE you put the hoop on. Each element may be easy…but when you try putting it all TOGETHER, perhaps a different story. It’s the magical practice of layering (I learned from belly dance). Video* Link Example is below.

Here’s the thing: when you try it all together, one thing will come and one–or several–things may go. Focus on getting just one element in moment. Add another in the combo, then another, then one more (try feet, then hoop, then facial expression, etc.) It’s perfectly o.k. to take a hoop move you have on “auto-pilot,” and add your new thing (footwork, arm movements, turns).

The real secret was already given away: Practice. It’s amazing how quickly we can make something look effortless, with a lot of…EFFORT! Most pros put in many hours…drilling, bonking, dropping and laughing in frustration at themselves while learning new material and making it look easy. You’re not alone.

Watch anyone’s progress. You didn’t start out with a coordinated walk out of the womb. You had to get strength to keep your head wobble up, then roll over on your belly, crawl, get some hand-holding help, then try waddling walking on your own, run into a few table corners, fall down, cry and try it again…all before you could think of hitting the dance floor. And what makes you think hoop dance would be easier than that?! LOL. You got this. I know you can!

I’ve watched some pretty remarkable progress advance with these steps:

1.) Decide you want to do it.
2.) Break down the foundational steps and work on each individually.
3.) Put it together.
4.) Practice and DO it.
5.) Enjoy it when you GET it!

And here’s 4 bonus hints to make leaps in progress:

1.) You can also help your progression along with perfectly visualizing what you want to get.
2.) Video is helpful to see what’s going on (what you ARE doing and what you THINK you are doing, may be two different things).
3.) Writing things down, also helps. (I like adding stick figures and directional arrows with my notes–my personal hieroglyphics!).
4.) Get feedback from a real person. If you can get to a class or a private lesson–in person–great! If not, we can help virtually with an online session. We’re just a click away ♥

P.S. Sanity is over-rated. Enjoy the process. When you nail the thing that’s driving you nuts, you will be so overjoyed. Then you’ll forget all about that, and be on to the next self-challenge.

P.S.S. Hooping is a metaphor for life. You’ll find the things you learn “in the circle” apply to the rest of your issues–really. Funny, but true! ♥

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Connect with Us! Hip The Hoopla offers humorous hoop dancing classes, private lessons and coaching–both in person, and virtually–for whatever level you are starting at… or want to get to!

Check calendar for Hip The Hoopla class details. www.HipTheHoopla.com/classes

*If you are interested in getting hoops: ready made, custom, twins, multis, collapsible convertibles, polypro, HDPE, or PE (black tubing)…please connect with us for a complimentary hoop consultation (by phone or in person).

Contact us: online at www.HipTheHoopla.com, Che@HipTheHoopla.com, 303-980-6295  / 303-919-9280 cell Latest info, updates, tutorials, events and “Hoopspiration” posted regularly on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla

We’re also on Twitter #hipthehoopla, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Yelp and Google+
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*Here’s that Video (as promised above) from a practice session working on getting layering and belly dance into my hoop dancing. ~Che’ Rippinger
Link: http://youtu.be/Ur_LcQgxK1o

 

A Hoopspirational Minute from Evergreen, Colorado

Please enjoy this peaceful gorgeous fall hooping minute from Evergreen Lake House in Colorado.

Ooh…Ahhh! We’re doing “3D Spins & Spheres” for Tuesday’s 6:30pm Hip The Hoopla class.
RSVP’s appreciated www.HipTheHoopla.com or on the MindBody Connect app!

All levels welcome. Drops-ins welcome if space is available.

A Hoopspirational minute from moi 😉
Please click on the video link:
Ché Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla Hooping at Evergreen Lake, Colorado

Che’ Rippinger teaches Hip The Hoopla humorous hoop dance fitness classes, private lessons, coaching, does performances, events and creates custom professional dance hoops for all levels, from beginners to pro.

Contact: 303-980-6295, Che@HipTheHoopla.com, www.HipTheHoopla.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter #hipthehoopla, Yelp, YouTube channel, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

♥ Thank you ♥

3 Tips for Beautiful Breaks and Pliant Paddles

Cool Hoop Move Alert!

There are many tips I’ve learned and come up with through the years regarding the elegant, and sometimes flashy breaking and paddling hoop dance movements. We’ll be going over some in Hip The Hoopla classes. In the meantime…

Here are 3 Quick Tips to help you get your breaks and paddles working smoothly:

1. Try using a lighter hoop. You are going to need to bounce it off of body parts your arms or legs. A lighter hoops will cause less bruising while you learn how to flow with, instead of whacking the hoop (which will work initially, but will hurt–so don’t do that!) You can try smaller and/or lighter, such as HDPE or polypro. You are allowed–not like you needed permission(!)–to have several different hoops for a variety of hooping purposes. (Just connect with us, and Hip The Hoopla can get you custom hoops to meet your needs, desires and goals!)

2. Breaks like a little give like a rubber band. If you stop a moving object (like the hoop) with a solid object (your hand/arm/leg), you can easily get a wonky return path. Instead, absorb a little bit of that movement energy in the direction that the hoop is going by gently twisting in that direction, before sending the break action back in the other direction.

3. Paddles are like a tiny stall. There will be a bit of mid air suspension, so the key is to maintain the same hoop travel speed, as you paddle (making steady contact on the hoop for about 1/4 of a rotation). When you vary your hoop rotation timing, instead of keeping it steady and rhythmic, even by a split second, the hoop path can develop wobble. (Which is another cool–but different– move if you can control it! Check out Brecken Rivera’s brilliant techniques for this).

****And of course the 4th “Trick” to developing these hoop techniques is to practice. A lot.****

Remember: Life is not always about the tricks, but also the flow!
♥ In-Joy! ♥

Here’s some Hoopspirational tutorials you may enjoy! Please like and Check out more tips, tricks and humor at www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla :

Click here to see the Post with helpful video tutorials shared by Hip The Hoopla.

Hip The Hoopla offers humorous hoop dancing classes, private lessons and coaching, for whatever level you are starting at… or want to get to!

Regular Hip The Hoopla classes are Tuesdays 6:30pm & Saturdays, at 10am at Red Elephant Workshop, 244 Sante Fe, Denver, CO 80204.
Most classes have a theme and are much like a mini workshop. Check calendar for details. www.HipTheHoopla.com/classes

*If you are interested in getting hoops: ready made, custom, twins, multis, collapsible convertibles, polypro, HDPE, or PE (black tubing)…please connect with us for a complimentary hoop consultation (by phone or in person).

Contact us: online at www.HipTheHoopla.com, Che@HipTheHoopla.com, 303-980-6295  / 303-919-9280 cell, www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla

We’re also on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Yelp and Google+

YouTube vs. Personal Training

Che Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla humorous hoop dance fitness classes, hoops, performancesI received a call for a young “very advanced” hooper who might want some instruction, “if” it fit her high level of talent. I found myself vulnerably defending my skill level as advanced enough to teach this person–who, from the description, might possibly know everything from YouTube. (Link for my video proof-trying a completely new combination of sword and hoop dance below.)

If we have YouTube, then WHY would we want to pay to train with Live people, on an on-going basis??

1.) The top teachers, instructors, dance companies and various experts who just I have studied dance (30++ years) and many other fields with, have literally, thousands of years of training and experience–combined. And surprisingly, some of of them are not even on YouTube. (What?!)

2.) Next, ALL of the tremendously talented dancers I know–ESPECIALLY my teachers, keep learning, taking workshops, master classes, training, studying (plus reading, watching, observing), etc. I see them there, so I know!

Masaaki Imai wrote about the Japanese way of “Kaizen,” or continuous improvement that is known worldwide in business. A lot of time, money and energy is funneled into whatever expertise we chose to focus on, as we continue to grow, develop and learn new styles, techniques, methodologies and earn certifications. I see belly dance extraordinaire Rachel Brice (and many other brilliant luminary talents out there) at the top of her game–training with others. She has something new to bring to the table every time we come to her workshops. Each time I study with someone, I also get different things out of it, as I am at a new point in my journey as well, on any given day. Take yoga and you will quickly and mindfully “get” this concept. Teachers have teachers. Coaches have coaches. Mentors have mentors.

We all learn from others. Along the way we develop our own styles and ways of doing things that are completely unique to us. You can see me personally in someone’s beginner class (of anything), and I will STILL get something out of it. I call it a “golden nugget,” a good bit of info that I can add to my repertoire of knowledge. It could be an innovative technique of teaching, a warm up stretch, or a way of explaining something so easily, or in a different way than I do, that totally clicks. There are many “Ah-Ha!” moments in all of our paths. And the really cool thing is they can come from completely unrelated fields, and connect with us, too!

3.) Another major point of continual training, is that we do NOT know everything there is to know. No one is a perfect dancer, or perfect anything for that matter. One reason is that “perfect” is a moving target. There can also be extreme variations on what constitutes perfection, depending on who you talk to.

When I trained in martial arts, around the 3 month mark I was feeling a little bit cocky about my skills. When I earned my first black belt, I learned, as any humbled black belt achiever does, we are on the mere precipice of the enormous learning cliff out there! Centuries, cultures, styles–it would be impossible for one human to take the vastness of it all in. Every teacher doesn’t know everything, nor does every student. Hence why we share knowledge, and very often, learn from each other.

Also, even with any expert in whatever field, as the football saying goes, “On any given Sunday…” Meaning that anything can happen, even when you think you know exactly how it will go. Hoopers drop the hoop. Dancers stumble. Pro football athletes mess up their plays. Martial artists can be defeated. Business people can botch a presentation. Donald Trump can go bankrupt, more than once, and still be extremely successful, respected, and very very rich.

4.) Why train with others, instead of in our own little “Box ‘o Comfort?” Learning is Multidimensional. YouTube is a great resource and entertaining rabbit hole of (mostly free) information. It is also an internet “taste” of what many offer professionally. And though there are a multitude of dynamic educational tutorial videos available at your fingertips, is not a real face to face person, with personal two-way dialog communication and feedback, pin-pointing everything you personally want. Plus people absorb and pick up on things can be in so many ways: kinesthetic, auditory, visual, experiential, etc. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” learning, especially when trying to grasp different skills. Each of us can even bounce between styles, depending on the circumstances.

I personally took one hoop class and got hooked. For a year, I practiced on my own and watched some dvds and videos. Then, I went to a workshop with Jonathan Baxter of Hoop Path–and met other real people in the community! That’s when I got serious on my hoop journey. And as with other interests I’ve pursued, I became a sponge for great stuff from every possible source I could afford with time and money.

To be clear: That doesn’t mean that everything I am is from something else. But I combine bits and pieces of my extensive path and experience, molding them into and with my own very unique approach and style. Because I offer what I do, people come to me to help them reach their goals. I listen and do my best to tailor what they want and need, with what I have and bring.  This leads to one of the last reasons to work and train with others…

5.) By supporting others, we all help that field (whatever it is!) grow and develop overall. Since we all have bills to pay (shocking, I know!), our professional lives provide our service/product for income, which helps us continue our expertise, with honor and dignity. I understand that when I register for a workshop or take a class, I help that person get to do what they do best. Without enough warm bodies in the room to complete a minimum to keep them afloat, things get cancelled. As a result, their lives, and ours, are at a loss.

…And on one last, very important bonus note: I take classes with other people, because I want to energetically create a flowing cycle where others in turn, come out and support my classes and professional path. I know I have helped many achieve new avenues of happiness, health and breakthroughs in learning. It’s not for the money that I continue with my Hip The Hoopla business (though I really like being in financial integrity to pay my bills and honor my commitments as best as possible).  The main reason I continue this passionate, and sometimes very challenging work, is because it makes my heart tremendously happy–knowing that I can help others laugh, learn and always…always try something new!

P.S. To that young lady, and everyone else…If I can’t personally help you, I’ll bet I know of, or can get you in touch with someone who can!
♥ Where ever you are on your path, I wish you love, light and educational goodness ♥

~Che’ Rippinger is the business owner, instructor, performer, hoop maker, motivational life & business coach, personal trainer, speaker and CHO (Chief Hooping Officer) of Hip The Hoopla in Denver, Colorado, USA. She is a trained hooper, dancer, belly dancer, fire spinner, 4th degree black belt martial artist (Jeet Kune Do), Laughter Yoga Leader, professionally published magazine cartoonist & national newspaper columnist, social media marketing consultant, jewelry & costume maker. And although she holds degrees, certifications, training, and various honors…there is always room to get personally and professionally better each day!
Book something now with Che’ of Hip The Hoopla. Best way: Call 303-980-6295/303-919-9280 cell, email Che@HipTheHoopla.com or visit www.HipTheHoopla.com
She’s also on many social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Yelp, etc.
☻Do It! Connect–You could be very happy you did ♥

Link for my video proof-trying a completely new combination of sword and hoop dance on World Hoop Day 2014, as promised:
http://youtu.be/0uGHTNQq8X4

New Silly Hoopspirational Video!

Wacky Hoopspirational stuff!

Please click the link below to see my new video–a wacky practice session. Thanks!
~Ché Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla

ttp://youtu.be/HvBx59Mdwwc

Che’ Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla gets really silly, sassy & goofy to Gogol Bordello-cracking myself up!
Watch til the end…some great hoop drops and video fail, which might amuse you.          ♥   www.HipTheHoopla.com  ♥

Humorous hoop dance fitness classes –positive, encouraging and SO much fun– for all levels from beginner to pro…with Laughter Yoga & belly dance. Plus private lessons, coaching, performing, events, and awesome custom hand-crafted/made with love professional hoops!

Please “like” & follow us…
♥   www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla   ♥
Plus we’re on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, etc.

♥ Thanks for watching and keeping any commentary positive ♦ ♥
Blessings ♥

Book now! Connect with us:
Che@HipTheHoopla.com
3O3-919-928O
www.HipTheHoopla.com

 

Minis & Multis 303 Hoop Troupe Jam with Ché – HipTheHoopla

Hip The Hoopla offers positive humorous hula hoop dance classes, private lessons, events and hoops, too!We are hoop jamming at Gabrielle’s Garden this Wednesday 5-7 pm in Denver. Come spin & play with us! Just $5 monthly for 303 Hoop Troupe group.

What: Hoop Jam-focus on “Minis & Multis” led by hoop dance teacher Ché Rippinger of Hip The Hoopla
When: 5-7 pm
Where: Gabrielle’s Garden, 832 Kalamath St., Denver, CO 802o4
This is a community based, organic, pay-what-you-can garden filled with lovely food and people.
Bring:
Hoops-and lots of them to share. Some will be available to borrow, but due to the nature of this jam, many will be in use. You can order or pick up hoops in advance from Hip The Hoopla.*
RSVP:
http://www.meetup.com/303-Hoop-Troupe-Jam/events/195554802/

Hip The Hoopla offers humorous hoop dancing classes, private lessons and coaching, for whatever level you are starting at… or want to get to!

Regular Hip The Hoopla classes are Tuesdays 6:30pm & Saturdays, at 10am at Red Elephant Workshop, 244 Sante Fe, Denver, CO 80204.
Most classes have a theme and are much like a mini workshop. Check calendar for details. www.HipTheHoopla.com/classes

*If you are interested in getting hoops: ready made, custom, twins, multis, collapsible convertibles, polypro, HDPE, or PE (black tubing)…please connect with us for a complimentary hoop consultation (by phone or in person).

Contact us: online at www.HipTheHoopla.com, Che@HipTheHoopla.com, 303-980-6295  / 303-919-9280 cell, www.Facebook.com/HipTheHoopla

We’re also on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Yelp and Google+

3 Reasons Why Happiness Rules…and 3 Ways To Get There

by Ché Rippinger of Hip The HooplaFor more Happy Thoughts Info and Positive Inspiration visit www.HipTheHoopla.com

We all know we should be as happy as much of the time as possible, but do you know WHY?  Here’s 3 BIG convincing reasons & 3 EASY ways to get happy…

1. Happiness affects the rest of what you do.

Think productivity, energy and efficiency. If there is something you are dreading (for example paying your bills or cleaning out an overstuffed closet) think of how excited you are to do it. Think of how exciting anything else might be in comparison, and it’s easy to see where procrastination comes from. If there is something you are happy about doing like going on vacation, notice that even though it takes work and planning time, you WANT to do it, because the outcome is going to be fun.

Any given situation has a mindset that gets locked in, almost instantaneously. Something “good” has “good” thoughts that magnetize towards it. And same with a perceived “bad” situation. You can choose to change up your thoughts, in each moment, to see what all you can think of that’s good during the harder parts of life. Maybe being diagnosed with something doesn’t seem like fun, but if you think of the positive lifestyle choices that you can make to help deal with the “problem,” and know that the results will change things for the better…what a great way to change things up!

2. Happiness affects your body chemistry.

This one’s easy, especially when we look at the detriment that stress has on our bodies. Stress overtaxes our adrenal function, heart, blood circulation, digestion, brain waves and even creates wrinkles! With all that, why not get happy to have better functioning organs and body systems? Endorphins reduce stress, improve the immune system and help heal the body. Happiness is even a pain reducer. The famous case of Norman Cousins using humor to get off of the pain meds and heal the condition that his doctors diagnosed, is one of the many examples of this.

3. Happiness is contagious.

Luckily the vagus nerve* isn’t just for sharing tears and yawns when others do. When someone smiles at you, your own system is triggered, and joy can quietly erupt. When you see a giggling baby, or almost anyone engaged in a hearty laugh, it’s really hard not to smile and also start laughing. That’s a good thing. Think of how many boring company meetings get livened up when humor is used, or something really silly happens. It’s definitely more memorable and we also bond positively in the process. Positive associations are things we generally WANT to gravitate to.

So how can you get happy in more moments of your precious lifetime?

1. Laugh. Giggle. Smile.

It could be with others, reading something funny, or watching YouTube videos. Try what I call “Microwave Minutes.” For the time your food is in a microwave (or heating something on the stove, or waiting in line, etc.), just start laughing. It may be weird at first, but with practice, it will come easier and you will find more and more little opportunity moments to consciously smile and laugh. Bonus points if you try the laughter minute exercise in an elevator, with others!

2. Try Laughter Yoga.

It’s more about the breathing state and not about telling jokes. There are Laughter Yoga variations for all kinds of people, from kids to elderly; businesses to prisons. It’s a combination of the “Four Elements of Joy”: singing, dancing, playing and laughing. Exercises that encourage movement, interaction with others and joy, are prevalent in Laughter Yoga. And more breathing equals more oxygen. Oxygenation to the body’s cells is a huge healthy benefit of deep laughter (which requires big breathing from the diaphragm–easily done with big belly laughing). FYI: disease cannot live in well oxygenated cells.

3. Surround yourself with the positive.

Seek out positive stories, information, people (and unconditionally loving pets). If you have friends who are a joy to be around, you naturally want to spend more time with them (especially over constant “crisis mode” doom people). Conversely, you can BE that person others like to hang out with. More bringing up the “good” stuff in life, or seeing the positive points in any situation, will help you do this for yourself too, so you don’t always have to rely on others.

Whatever works for you to get happy, try it. Even one great session of prolonged laughter could melt away stress and reduce damaging hormones like excessive cortisol.  The other happiness upsides: it can be totally free and no fancy equipment is needed. People may just think you got plastic surgery from all that smiling, especially if a positive attitude and brighter life outlook ensues!

*Check out the movie “Happy” on more info on the positive effects of happiness and the vagus nerve response.

~Ché Rippinger runs Hip The Hoopla, teaching humorous hoop dance with Laughter Yoga, dance-adapted yoga and belly dance. She’s taught, trained, and choreographed in a variety of dance styles for well over 20 years. She teaches group classes, private instruction, consults, performs and also creates custom professional hoops. She is available for consultation on hooping, healing and happiness improvement with positivity, encouragement (and a little butt-kicking) to help you live your happiest and healthiest life. 

Please visit www.HipTheHoopla.com to register for class and get further info on all Hip The Hoopla has to offer! Great “Hoopspiration,” videos and information is also available at www.facebook.com/HipTheHoopla (please “like”), and via e-mail Che@HipTheHoopla.com and phone 303-980-6295.