Shoulders! How many of us sometimes feel like we carry the weight of the world on those babies? Though for most of us, the weight we carry is figurative, the body responds to stress with clenched muscles and shallow breath in an attempt to protect us from any more assaults.
Enter the hoop. Literally. Those of us acquainted with the hoop have discovered the magic it can weave in relaxing our bodies and soothing our souls. When I teach shoulder hooping, also called Snake in the Hoop Girl vernacular from my first teacher training, we find out just how tight and inflexible our upper spine and shoulders can be. Shoulder hooping is called Snake because to do the move successfully, the entire spine undulates in order to keep the hoop in motion. Snake is a gorgeous, flowing move once we release the tension and allow our bodies to soften into a different kind of rhythm.
I teach Snake regularly because even for those who have mastered the basics, there are so many variations that make this move even more fun and challenging; more ways to dance with the hoop on the shoulders and add to the joy of it all. If you are at the beginning of your hoop journey and have not yet been introduced to Snake, practicing waist and hip hooping will strengthening your core and give you an excellent foundation upon which to learn not only get the hoop up on those beautiful shoulders, but keep it there.