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Last night, I decided to do heavy hoop practice.  It’s the first time I’d done it in a long time, since I’ve been doing poi or using polypros, and it felt strange… like, even though I was doing the same things with the polypro hoops, my muscles felt under-utilized.

So, I’m going to refocus.  Goals:

  • Reshape my personal landscape to avoid temptation. I already actively make good choices at home, but I need to focus on making better choices outside of the home.  ∴ Peterson’s, Rita’s, and Escogelato do not exist except on birthdays.
  • Remember that I am responsible for my own choices and that the best thing I can do to deal with temptation (read: Ben’s non-gloop diet) is to be a good role model.
  • 5 days a week hoop practice, 20m
  • 5 days a week, walk the dog to Grand
  • 10-15m yoga stretches, push-ups, crunches before bed daily
  • Bring back WIP Wednesday; figure out a new grading or progress system for that

I also want to make sure I’m rounding out my hoop and poi practice, so 10/20 should be heavy-hooping on the waist, chest, and hips, 5/20 should be reversals and/or leg-hooping (at least until I become competent and can do more), and the rest can be light hoops, hand tricks, isos, or vertical plane work

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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I mentioned months ago that I’d started trying to tone my legs for leg tricks, but that pretty much dropped off as soon as I took up poi.  This is something that might be a little easier for me to learn, tho.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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This song makes me feel happy and nostalgic. Probably because it was used in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Since my last update, I have rather ignored and/or avoided a lot of health- and not-health-related issues. This has been causing me a lot of anxiety and depression.  I don’t know if I can really gauge how bad it was, since I always managed to get out of bed and have gotten something accomplished by the time Ben got home from work. Having a goofball of a dog helps. But I’ve been having trouble sleeping and Bad Thoughts.  It was particularly bad last month.  It was like a cascade of bad, starting with Robin Williams’ suicide.  Someone I knew from high school was killed, hit by a car.  My husband’s uncle died.  I’d never even met him, but all of it set me off, like some pernicious meme. Lots of Bad Thoughts.

It’s better, now, but I’m still not sleeping as well or as long.  I’ve managed to fulfill a handful of social obligations, but I’ve probably been short with people, or not wholly present.

I have at least been hooping regularly 3 days a week for 20-40 minutes.  It’s not as much as I’d pledged when I first started this blog, but at least it’s been consistent.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on the behind-the-back elbow pass.  I have some degree of success, but my muscles are still learning where and how they need to be and when.

This week, I have also begun leg work.  I practiced hooping around my knees (together).  I eventually would like to do hooping around one leg, both on the ground and in the air.  I don’t really know what technique one should use when starting legwork, and I’m so wobbly that I’ve determined it’s probably best to learn to balance before trying to do anything else with my legs.  So I practice by holding one leg straight out behind me while spinning a small hoop in each hand, then switching to the other, after a time.

Just balancing has actually proven quite challenging.  Actually, I suppose that applies to all aspects of my life.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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I’m long overdue for an inspiration post, so here are some vids that I’ve favorited on tumblr on multi-hooping.

Ji Min Hwang’s doubles.  One day I would like to be able to do the kind of behind-the-back stuff she does in this video.  I’ve been working on reversals, lately, because it occurred to me that my practice has been rather one-way lately. I’m way out of balance and I can feel it in my arms… but I’d like to believe one day I can do all of my movements backwards without having to think about it.

Shannon “Inertia” Sealey using 5 interlocked hoops. I’m posting this just because it looks neat. I like how the outermost hoops flare out like wings. But I don’t really aspire to this style. I’ve tried using two interlocking hoops, and I’m not particularly fond of the way it feels more like the action is happening around me, rather than me feeling like I’m controlling the action directly. In terms of a work-out, it’s not as satisfying to me. But it looks neat!

Megan’s Electric Forest Hoop Troupe video. Though there is a lot of multihooping going on in this video, I’m most interested in the footwork. Admittedly, I’ve never tried it because I’ve never had the space for it indoors and felt kind of embarrassed doing it out at the park. Now that I’ve got a private yard… maybe I’ll try it.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

This-n-that

May. 8th, 2014 11:56 am
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Did my 20 (well, 35ish) minutes today. Focused mainly on on-and-off-body spinning with the heavy (well, heavier) dance hoop.  It’s a different feeling, after concentrating so much on small, fast hoops.  It also reminds me that I should do it more often, because my arm muscles are sore from doing isolations.  Need to build them up.

Also, I’m trying a new bread.  I usually get TJ’s whole wheat and flaxseed, which, in addition to being cheaper, is one of the more palatable whole wheat breads I’ve had.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t come in “sandwich size” and the last couple of loaves I brought home went moldy rather more quickly than I’m used to.  This week, it’s organic flourless sprouted something-or-other 7-grain bread.  I liked it as toast, but I think you could probably toast and butter most breads and I would like them.  It was harder to eat in sandwich format, but it did make for a more guilt-free pbj sandwich.  No added sugar in my pb or my strawberry preserves, so a total of 2.5 carb servings (previously recommended to me was 3-4/meal).  I could probably have a glass of real milk with that (but I didn’t).  The plus side is that the slices are sandwich sized and because it’s sprouted, it has slightly fewer carbs.  The negative is that it’s very dense and only marginally palatable.

I continue to have terrible high blood sugar, but I imagine it’s because we still went out to eat, last night. (Though, even after having <1 carb serving meals, my 2-hours post bgl was still 140.)  I did go grocery shopping, but after wrangling a classroom full of fourth graders, I was not very interested in cooking what I bought.  I should probably do something like cook/freeze a bunch of stuff over the weekend and then just defrost during the week.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Thought this was pretty cute.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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This looks so rad and fun, I don’t even know.

I feel guilty that I have not checked in for weeks 8 or 9.  I think I’m just going to zero out week 10 because of all the upheaval from moving… start fresh and whatnot.  I don’t really have any significant or useful blood glucose data because I haven’t been checking except for when I’m feeling low- but I do have my last blood draw analysis, so I guess I will discuss that and use it as my jumping point for this week’s update.

I’m just exhausted and the new house is in chaos, though… less so than before. At least the kitchen is usable, we have towel bars in the “good” bathroom and the living room has real window coverings.  I haven’t hooped since we moved in and it’s been raining for the past couple of days and both of those things are really bumming me out.  I mean, I like the rain, usually, but I don’t have the haven of my garage to hoop in, yet, because it’s full of STUFF from moving.  It will be nice when the weather is better and we’re finally settled, though.  Got plenty of private driveway and side yard to practice in.

Going to sleep now so maybe if it’s less wet out I can squeeze a practice in tomorrow.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Apparently, I did record some of my sessions when I rebooted my practice, last year. This was taken in early August-ish?  Apologies for not properly editing in the music- just wanted a quick upload.

So… watching this, the changes are pretty subtle.  There’s the speed, I guess.  I’m still wobbly, because this was taken after a long time of not hooping.  I’m more motivated to record a new video that hopefully shows more improvement, since I’ve been practicing pretty much almost every day.  Plus my doubles ability has vastly improved… though I can’t say I’ve done doubles with the big hoops, extensively.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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May 26, 2011
Music: “You Can Bring Your Dog” – Tori Amos


June 1, 2011
Music: “Dress” – PJ Harvey


January 7, 2012
Music: “The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1″ – Neutral Milk Hotel

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Love this dude’s approach to doubles!

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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  • Remember that the progression in “Work-in-Progress Wednesday” is not towards a particular weight.  The important numbers are the blood glucose levels.  The weight is just an additional measurement of change.  It’s not about how much you weigh, it’s about how you carry yourself and what you are able to do.
  • Count your carbs.  Aim for a maximum of 45g per meal.  Gradually try to reduce this.  It will help with the blood sugar.  Plus, if you’re controlling your blood sugar with diet, it will probably aid the weight loss, anyway.
  • Consume less, savor more.  This notion applies to more than just eating.
  • If you’re going to consume more, consume more salad.
  • Try to plan out your meals.
  • If you can’t cook/eat at home, please make informed decisions when eating out.
  • Keep your blood sugar diary updated.  Keep your food diary updated.  You know you can’t go very long without one before you start eating things without considering their nutritional value and how it will affect your blood sugar.
  • If you have an urge to snack, check your blood sugar first.  If it’s on the low end but not dangerously so, eat some fruit, slowly.  If it’s not low, drink a glass of water.
  • Take a long walk with the dog every day.  I know it can be kind of boring, but it’s good for both of you.  It makes Science so happy!  If you don’t or can’t walk (due to weather or such), hoop dance.
  • Hoop dance every day.  Or if you don’t, make sure you’ve at least taken that long walk with the dog.
  • Work on trying to do both on the same day. I know you’ve done it before.
  • If you ever feel bored hooping, practice moves in reverse, or try to learn a new move.  Remember that it takes time and practice to build muscle memory.
  • If you make a mistake, it’s okay. Don’t wallow in it. Address it. Try not to do it again.
  • Remember, change is slow.  Especially changing yourself.  Strong habits, not unlike muscle memory, take time and practice to form.

Note: Though posted publicly, this is a list for myself. Therefore, the “you” in it is really me.  While there are general habits anyone might like to adopt, carb count and blood sugar stuff is mostly specific to me.  The numbers I’m aiming for there are a result of consulting with doctors and dieticians about my particular case.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

Holiday

Dec. 29th, 2013 05:32 am
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I’m officially putting off my next “Work-in-Progress” weigh-in until after New Year’s.  That said, hope everyone had a hoopy holiday!  Here’s a tutorial by Caterina Suttin on the “contact wobble/no-hand smear,” a move I’ve been practicing.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

Halloween

Nov. 4th, 2013 07:58 am
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ringmaster

Ben’s new commute brings him home late, so we didn’t do a jack-o-lantern this year. Since that’s generally the only Halloween decor we use to indicate that we’re prepared to receive trick-or-treaters, I turned on some Parov Stelar and greeted the passerby while doing hoop tricks in my “circus costume…” which is actually part of one of my wedding dresses, re-purposed.

I was going to dress up Science as a lion since she’s my company while I’m giving out candy, but the idea was so last-minute that the only two lion costumes I could find were either too big or too expensive.  I think I will probably do some variation on circus act again next year, but will plan ahead and make Science’s costume.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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I have a good number of “active” hoops for a varied hooping practice: a pair of 24″ polypro minis (poi spinning), a 33″ taped polypro  (off-body/some on-body, but mostly glitz), a pair of 35″ polypro doubles (poi/on-body), a 40″ collapsible PET (general travel practice and/or new moves requiring some slowness), and a 42″ 5lb giant (for reverse waist practice).  Except for maybe a Cyr wheel- which I’m unlikely to acquire because I really don’t want to drive a vehicle that turns me upside-down- since I don’t perform, I’m pretty much set for hoops and don’t necessitate more. This, however, does not stop me from wanting programmable LED hoops or new shiny taped polypro minis.

I probably won’t get a new LED hoop… I have one, but since I bought it when I was just starting, it’s now too big for my practice.  They’re cool, but it’s not like I go to Burning Man, or have a notable night practice.  But I’m still enamored with these Sunrise Polypro Minis from Neon Emu.  And they seem like fun to take to a park.  So I’ve decided to order them as a reward for reaching certain hooping goals, provided the Sunrise tape has not been discontinued by then.  In that event, I will probably order some custom taped hoops from Hoop Mamas, from whom I acquired my first set of polypro twins.

That said, I intend to be able to do a proper 3-beat weave, the front waist-wrap, and the fountain.  I think I do what Michelle Hazzard calls a 1.5 beat-inspired weave when I do what I think is supposed to be a 3-beat weave.  I’m not entirely sure, because I don’t have a good reflective surface to observe and I haven’t recorded myself trying it.  Anyway, Michelle has the only remotely useful poi hooping tutorials I’ve come across on Youtube.  For my own reference, here is her tutorial for a front waist wrap:

And the fountain:

I have not yet tried the front waist wrap, but I’ve been struggling with the fountain for a week and a half.  I can get from left to right, and from the windmill back to the left, again (albeit messily), but I have the hardest time getting from right to windmill.  I know it’s a surface switch, but I always get dangerously close to hitting myself in the face.

I plan on ordering another wrapped polypro waist hoop when I can consistently waist hoop clock-wise, and leg hoop.  I can hoop around my legs, but I can’t lift my leg out.  I’d love to be able to do it on my 33″ but I think it will take a lot more muscle memory.

I’ve really been focused on the poi, so I haven’t been doing clockwise hooping as much, but I noticed today that I can do it longer than I could last month.  Not much longer, mind you. But  I think practicing waist breaks and reversals helps a lot.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Today, I received my copy of the Hoopnotica Minis DVD.

I wish someone had directed me to this DVD at the beginning of my mini doubles practice.  Right now, I’m somewhere in the middle of my practice, and as such, this DVD was only slightly helpful.  But at least I don’t feel like it was entire waste of money, although I still rather have put that money towards a new pair of Neon Sunrise minis.

The warm-ups were new to me. Admittedly, I don’t really have a warm-up routine before hooping, and doing all of the warm-ups on the DVD give me the impression that I really ought to start.  My shoulders were unexpectedly sore after the first few, but not so sore that I couldn’t fly through my usual routines after I’d completed the exercises on the DVD.  I think it would be good to incorporate them into my regular practice.

As for the rest of the DVD? Well, like I said, I think I’m somewhere in the middle of my practice.  So while it was somewhat interesting and informative to break down and give names to moves I’ve been doing all along, it was not particularly useful.  I did like the emphasis on purposeful movement, and the troubleshooting bits would have been helpful earlier on, but most of the movements covered in this DVD I had picked up relatively quickly, anyway.

And since it said “Volume 1,” I had expected there to be a Volume 2.  Which there is not, as of yet.  Which is frustrating, because I’m so ready for Volume 2.  YouTube videos have the potential to be helpful, but I haven’t found a really good consistent source for doubles.  The nice thing about the Hoopnotica video is how neatly it breaks things down.  It cuts through the crap, basically.

All in all, I’d still recommend it if you have an interest in doubles and have never done it before.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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Neon Moon

I wasn’t expecting it to ship until October 16, so I was pleasantly surprised to receive a shipping notification two days ago and a hoop on my doorstep this morning.  Well, yesterday morning, since it’s past 3am as I write this.  (I was almost asleep when a herd of teenagers passed by, sending Science into a tizzy.  Then they passed by a second time, during which Science was entirely calm. But could hear them. And now I’m awake, again.  And now there are coyotes. Oh, Southern California.)

Anyway, it’s gorgeous, though I kind of wish I’d gotten it in the 5/8″ polypro rather than the 3/4″.  The other tubing has more bounce to it.  But it’s a subtle difference.  I’m already pretty sure I want to order some minis in the “Sunrise” tape, but I’m not exactly sure how much smaller I want to go from the minis I’m currently using, or if I want to go smaller at all.

Also, to prove I’m not a complete hooping video snob, here’s one I actually like that one might think I’d skip based on the commentary I wrote with the last video:

I actually found it kind of endearing when she set off the car alarm. ;P  Though, I think what I like about this video is that she’s doing poi moves with hoops that are probably the size of the “big” polypros Ben got me for my birthday.  It’s inspired me to actually order the Hoopnotica Minis DVD.  I hooped for probably 2+ hours today (er, yesterday!), and half of that was with the minis.

And since I did so much hooping in addition to taking Science on a long walk… I don’t know why I can’t fall asleep.  I had a soda with lunch, which I don’t typically, but it was slightly before noon, so… I don’t know why (besides the noise, which has long since passed) I’m so keyed up, right now.  Thursday night, I didn’t get to sleep until three, as well… though, that was because I had the overwhelming urge to paint my nails (something I haven’t done since I was a teenager).  Friday, I went to bed at a reasonable hour but wound up sleeping in until 10:30.  I should go to bed now, since Ben will be leaving at 11 for a gaming session and I would like to spend some time with him before that happens.

Originally published at Infinite Loop. You can comment here or there.

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