HoopYogini™ Certified Instructor, and founder of Hula Nation, Isamar Gonzalez of Puerto Rico and the Boogie Down Bronx, talks about the responsibility and joys of teaching.
How did you discover hooping?
Isamar: I remember having them in Puerto Rico when I was 4 years old, and in the Boogie Down Bronx growing up, but my hoop roots really began in my 30’s after having a baby. It became a way for me to loose my baby fat, then it became my religion. A way for me to meditate and express myself, and then I decided I wanted it to be a part of my everyday life.
What do you love about hooping and what has it meant for you?
Isamar: Seriously. Who didn’t love hula hooping as a kid? If there is a hoop laying on the ground around here, it’s hard for someone to walk by without grabbing it for a few swirls. After hooping we often feel like younger, stronger, more toned, more confident versions of ourselves…in other words, we feel like better, if not our best selves.
What do you love about HoopYogini™?
Isamar: When I heard Jocelyn was going to put together a teacher training for a new curriculum she had created, I immediately signed up. HoopYogini™ defined what I wanted out of exercising. The combination of postures with fluid motions while conditioning the body, blending breath and movement, teaching balance and coordination with creative self expression. I WAS HOOKED!
What do you love most about teaching?
Isamar: Sharing enthusiasm with my students is the best feeling! The freedom that erupts from people’s bodies as they start to feel connected to their natural rhythm within the hoop. That feeling and look is priceless. I love knowing that I can make a difference in a student’s life, both in and out of the classroom.
Give us a sense of your background or approach with teaching.
Isamar: I’ve often been the student, so it sometimes feels very heart pounding to be on the other side. It’s serious business to be responsible for a group of people. Teachers have a very significant, lifelong impact on all of their students.This impact involves not only the teaching, but reinforcing self-esteem to create motivation. I would say my background is my 15 year old stepdaughter Asia, who I had the pleasure of being a part of her life since 8 months old, and my daughter Taina, who’s 8 now, and has taught me patience. They are the ones who have given me the confidence to teach. It is the students who teach you how to teach.
Share your message, values, and aspirations as a teacher and hooper.
Isamar: We just launched a dance wear and hula hoop line, but what I am really excited about is creating programs for children and adults. Its a nice feeling to be on the brink of something big . Hula Nation™ programs will foster, inspire, and develop health and fitness, art, dance, and so much more. The idea is to get people experiencing fitness and health in a totally different way. That you can combine dance, yoga, meditation and hooping and still get a huge workout. It provides ways of making friends and creating a creative community.
Isamar: This chant I read in “The Hoop and The Tree”, by Chris Hoffman, and I never forgot it, because it brought forth a realization of what teaching really is about for me.
From you I receive
To you I give
Together we share
And from this, we live
Learn more about Isamar:
www.ilovehulanation.com (STORE COMING SOON)