I write from my heart…
Good times, beautiful souls.
I find that choosing to go one way or another with a thought is as difficult as placing the first few brush marks on a canvas. How in the heck do I introduce the topic to YOU?
I’ll do it this way:
A few sunny afternoons past, I made a fearless choice to run to the nearest post office. I knew I was going to have to face several inclines, some much, much steeper than others, but I didn’t care. It was absolutely necessary that I be kissed by the sun’s beaming rays. Moreover, a crisp, stamped and sealed envelope rested on my desk, ready for its postal adventure; inside was a completed application to vend at the 2018 Gifford Park Neighborhood Market for the summer. As I prepared for my excursion, my heart began to beat faster, the level of adrenaline creeping steadily higher. I was more than ready to break free from the ball and chain that comes with winter hibernation; and I was about to take action which would, hopefully, bring me closer to my small business goal of sharing my health and wellness services with the Omaha community.
I step outside, and I begin to run. I decide to take the most scenic route, and of course, it’s the hilliest. I don’t care, though. I’m feeling like Prefontaine! I’m being guided by the Highest Powers toward my destiny! I’ve reached my steady state, and with every hill, I adjust my pace and stride accordingly. I chant, “shoulders down, push through, shoulders down, push through” and “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.” I stay as mindful as possible of my form as I trudge along ahead: head up, chest expanded, shoulders back and down, core turned-on. No hunching allowed! Relax and release any unnecessary tension.
When I follow these fundamental rules which apply to proper biomechanics, my movements are fluid and efficient; my overall endurance and strength are improved, and I prevent physical discomfort and injury.
Okay, where in tarnation is this ramble going?! How does this relate to hooping at all?!
Here’s my “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT ADVICE FOR HOOPERS #2: Give Your Posture a Chance.” BE tall, expansive and show ’em what you got! One of the many benefits of hooping is the development/enhancement of the structural integrity of the spine. I tell my clients that mindfulness of postural alignment is absolutely fundamental in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s remaining in a seated position for an extended period of time, practicing your squat or dancing sassy in the hoop! The mechanics remain the same for maintaining good posture: stay loose, not locked, activate the abdominal muscles, and keep yourself open and expanded: shoulders back, chest out, head up. No tension. By following these basic tips, you’re doing yourself 2 favors:
- You’re creating a solid foundation within the body to alleviate, possibly even conquer muscle imbalances that result from overuse, for example. “Form follows function” is a principle that has been utilized throughout different disciplines, including architecture, sculpture and biology. Essentially, in the context of physiology, this means that bones AND muscle respond to the stressors that are placed upon it.
- You’ll grow to carry yourself with CONFIDENCE and GRACE. Look good, feel good! Flashback to the early 90s- I recall watching Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci on television, and being moved by her grace and command of space. She carried herself like a majestic swan cruising along a body of water, so effortlessly. Fast forward to today, and though I’m no Nadia Comaneci, I CAN describe myself as a woman who coasts through the days with a similar grace and posture.
Hooping, specifically, has done wonders in the development of healthy postural patterns. For example, when we waist hoop, we MUST activate muscles that comprise our core, and many of these muscles are responsible for stabilizing and mobilizing the hips, low back, shoulder girdle and thoracic region. Healthy postural habits result from being MINDFUL of HOW we move, HOW we balance the repetitive movements from one muscle group to another.
SO, I’m pushing myself up the steepest of the California St. hills going west, gulping air like it was a Snapple Apple, my right hand clenching onto the envelope that held a part of my destiny, “…I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.” Every now and again, I catch my reflection in a window, check my form, and I’m satisfied with what I see.
By CONSISTENTLY applying these health and wellness principles into my daily activities, by ACCEPTING my confidence, I was able to reach the post office. I was able to mail that envelope.
As I turned around to face the direction towards Home, the most important of all these principles came to the forefront of my mind: don’t look down, look ahead.
Last, but not really: Jasmine’s Hoop Dance Song Suggestion for the Day: “Take the L” performed by The Motels.
May your day be filled with wonder!
Thanks for reading. Love always,