Head Hooping is So Hot Right Now

Soooo… a natural progression of most folks’ hooping journeys is to start to explore how many different ways you can hoop on your total bod. For me, this exploration has led to my head. It’s easy to skip over tender spots like legs, neck, and yes, your precious brain case when there are so many other hoop-friendly body spots around which to play. And there is certainly Nothing Wrong with staying in a comfort zone (i.e. waist or arm hooping) forever, really. There’s definitely a whole lotta dance you can explore in the more common torso terrain.

However, if you are looking for new ways to play in your ring, consider taking it to your head. Prior to beginning head hooping, I recommend integrating head tilts, turns, and neck rolls into your warm up/stretching regimen. If you already do this, you are probably in a good place to start spinning. If this isn’t already a part of your practice, consider doing it for a while before taking the hoop to your noggin. *It is a good rule to make sure your various body parts move well & fluidly in whatever way you need them to without a hoop revolving around them prior to adding a hoop into the mix. Using your own personal hoop (vs. one you share with others) is also best for head hooping- as it likely will end up rolling over and around your mouth, nose, and eye zones. Since most folks use their hands a lot on their hoops, this is simply an added precaution for health maintenance.

There are two main ways I’ve been playing around my head: (1) in a stalling fashion a.k.a. holding a point of contact while turning your feet on the ground, and (2) gently revolving your actual head to make the hoop spin. I suggest starting with (1) the stall- by turning in place and while doing so, placing the hoop on a ’steadying’ or crook-ish head spot, such as your nose bridge, between your nose and mouth, or even on the flat of your cheek- and maintaining your turn while you hold the hoop on that spot, courtesy of the stall’s magical effect. If your hoop is super droopy or altogether dropping, it means you are not turning in place quite fast enough. You can play with this technique for a while and work it into transitions from neck, overhead lasso, etc. and people will really get a kick out of seeing you ‘hoop on your face!’ If you are ready with your neck flexibility, you can (2) experiment with actually using your entire head as the moving axis upon which the hoop spins. Hoop size, head shape, and hair amount/type/style, too, definitely all play into the speed and ease with which this movement is possible. A thin (1/2 inch) small to medium sized hoop is recommended for the majority of folks. {Hoopers’ Secret: a thin strip of ‘gaffer’ tape on the inside edge of your circle is a great trick for added grip and therefore less drop;} Utilizing the stall a bit also in this style of play is also recommended, as it will slow down the required head motion to keep the hoop spinning. Additionally if you are already stalling a little while actively head hooping, it is an easy way to integrate the aforementioned contact point hold technique, and/or go back and forth between the two styles.

There’s something really exciting and undoubtedly highly ‘neurobic’ for your brain when you can spin your hoop so close to it. Tis a novel mind hug! It has also served to remind me how we often overlook our neck movement in this rather forward-staring computer culture. Let us know if you try it out and what your precious head feels and thinks of it!

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