Healthy Hoopla

One of the hottest new workouts around is something you’ve probably done before, and probably haven’t done for years. No longer just for kids, Diana Lopez is bringing her vision of hula-hooping for health and well-being to the masses. Several years ago, the former junior high school teacher took a hooping workshop from a Cirque du Soleil-caliber acquaintance, and was “immediately mesmerized.” She introduced the activity to her students, and found that “after we’d do that in the morning, their receptivity to learning, their confidence in themselves, their ease in their own bodies was just amazing.” Lopez also noticed the effects in her own body, which led her to seek out a way to bring the concept to adults. So, in 2003, she quit her day job, secured some investors, and launched her business, Body Hoops. Lopez teaches cardio hoop dance at spas and rec centers in Ojai, employing her flagship Body Hoops that dwarf the old Whammo! hoops in both size and weight. Hooping is a low-impact workout that yields a staggering burn of 100 calories in a mere 10 minutes. And unlike oh-so-many other aerobic workouts, hooping is fun. Lopez does performances, and facilitates a fire-hooping troop on Wednesday nights. For class and performance info: 640-7216,,  — Shannon Kelley Gould

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