Mini Hoops: Training Wheels for Ergonomic Movement

January 25, 2018
"The Hoopment" was born before it had a name...I was giving away mini-hoops for months before deciding that I needed to name the action of engaging with the hoops, to distinguish it from "hooping."

When we're 'hooping' our main objective is to keep the hoop moving around our bodies.  With 'Hoopment' our objective is to move our bodies around the hoops, by letting ourselves be guided by the hoops.

I injured my shoulder around the end of May in 2016, and it progressively worsened over the weeks. We soon started learning Orthopedic Massage assessment and applied techniques, starting at the feet. By the time we were learning shoulder assesments, in August, my shoulder pain was extending down my upper arm, and up into my neck--chronic pain--and come to discover that it was a muscle chain issue--compensating muscles wearing out and recruiting more muscles to help support the initial muscular injury.  My ligaments and tendons were fine. I needed massage!

I used cups to lift the tissues, which helped; but what really helped the shoulder feel better was playing with a friend's smaller diameter hula-hoop. It was small enough to fit under my arm, while I was gently moving through a figure-8 motion with my wrist, close to my body.  The resulting stretch was gentle, and within weeks my shoulder was pain free.

In addition, I noticed greater mobility throughout my body when I played with the hoops (that I had to make myself because the smaller sized hoops aren't commercially available, aside from Etsy, plus I know how to make hoops), and stiffness when I went too long without playing with the hoops.

After buying supplies to make my own set of hoops, I had plenty of tubing left over; so I made hoops for all of my clients. I recognized that smaller diameter hoops were valuable tools for self-assessment and self-care, and inexpensive to make. Once my clients were covered, I kept giving hoops away...to total strangers who appreciated them.

It was nearly a year later that I decided to call it "Hoopment" and "The Hoopment" (the social movement of encouraging others to practice allowing the hoops to move them) became itself. 

Now I've moved on to the next level of "The Hoopment": facilitating Exploring Movement Through Hoopment voluntarily in my community. 

Mini hoops are training wheels for ergonomic movement. The nature of their shape guides our bodies through circular motion, which is a natural movement for our forms. The hoops provide a visual guide to the planes the hoops are moving through, as well as the planes we are moving through. 

Continued play with hoops results in ever more graceful movement, as our stabilizer muscles strengthen, and muscle memory keeps us moving through those same planes, without any hoops in hand. 

As we move with the hoops close to our centers, we get a better sense of where we are in space--how much space we take up and our shapes; and as we expand out into our spheres, we get a sense of where we are in space in relation to what is around us, and how much space we have to move within that sphere. 

Maintaining the hoops moving slowly through vertical planes, moves us through those same vertical planes, which feels comfortable for our bodies, while moving us through ranges of motion that we don't tend to engage in during the usual day-to-day.

When we move our bodies through the same ranges of motion, consistently, we may experience repetitive motion stress/injuries. When we add Hoopment into our daily activities, we remind our muscles of the myriad of ways they can move, while gently stretching fascia (which increases range of motion) and lubricating our joints through synovial fluid production. 

I love how mini hoops help support my tissues as well as train my body through organic, ergonomic movement. My balance is excellent, and my core is strong; and I get to enjoy a moving meditation that clears my mind while it exercises my body.

When I injure myself from engaging in other physical activities, the hoops very quickly get me out of pain and back into fluid movement...and I don't feel like I'm exercising.

I can evaluate my range of motion from day to day very easily, and use the same inexpensive tool that helped me evaluate myself to then increase my range of motion within a few minutes of improvised use.

There is beauty in that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to play with the hoops; just pay attention to your body, don't hurt yourself, and pay attention to your environment so you don't hurt someone else! As a result, Hoopment helps to increase mindfulness; through making us practice self-awareness as well as awareness of our surroundings. Hoopment helps us practice staying present, in the moment, as we feel and listen to our bodies while staying engaged in our environments.

Mini hoops may be training wheels for consciousness, as well! The more we practice being self-aware and present in our environments, the more often we may find ourselves in that state. 

Being is a "be" state; I state the state of Be!

Who knew self-care could be so much fun? I'm happy to share my joy of playful movement with other folk.

Hoopy dance!


 

Perceiving Our Bodies as Spaceships

January 22, 2018
I self-published Your Body is a Spaceship, in 2014, which applies the Pressure Rainbow to emotional states, in addition to being a way of communicating physically perceived pressure. 

The analogy puts the conscious mind as the "navigator" and our bodies, being the vessels we inhabit, our "spaceships."

There is a finite amount of energy available to each vessel.

When a vessel is navigating through "safe" space, it's protective systems are not engaged--thus more resources are available to the immu...
Continue reading...
 

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Margarita Navarrete-Hutchinson Sharing tools that assist us as we figure out the "humanning" help us on the journey of life, together. If my insights may be of service to others, I am grateful for the opportunity to share. May they serve you well.
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