Beginning to hoop can sometimes make you feel like Sisyphus - getting that hoop up, over and over again, just to watch it fall back down. And when persistence finally gets us past that hurdle, here come the bruises! Hoop- bruising comes up a lot online and seems a near-universal rite of passage for new hoopers. So, what's happening? And how do you get it to stop?
When you are bruised, but continue to hoop*, you gradually learn to move just before your hoop reaches your sore spot(s). If you watch closely, you may notice that your hoop is beginning to follow effortlessly in the wake of your movements, rather than a wobbly, unsure, and unpredictable reaction to brute force. As you intuitively adjust your movements to avoid the pain of the hoop smacking your bruises, you introduce your body to its first glorious experiences of "flow" in your hoop.
Round Two... And Three ... And More? If you're like me, the hip-bruises won't be your last. I personally
repeated the black, blue, and green learning process twice more. With waist-hooping firmly "under my belt," I took on the challenge of learning to torso-hoop. And that's when I received the gift I came to call the "Black Boob," followed a couple months later by the incredibly instructive "Green Knee." I was a hard case, I guess. These early lessons were hard-won, but well-learned. I remain grateful to those bruises for providing me with the kind of tough-love tutelage I needed to soften my groove.
Statues Can't Hoop and You Can't Hurt Jell-o. Which brings me to my last point. When we come upon brick walls in our hooping, that brick wall is usually us. In our culture as a whole, we tend to be stiff folk. Stiff necks, stiff shoulders, stiff hips. It can take a lot for some of us to loosen up ... and let go. My hoop and my early bruises had volumes to teach me about both. "Statues can't hoop and you can't hurt Jell-o" was a mantra I found myself repeating to stiff muscles and my once stubborn belief that I had to always get everything "right" the first time. Soothe those bruises, make your body and mind supple, and settle in for a long, delightful, joyous, hoop-ride!
*Many consider "Arnica" the herbal patron saint of bruised hoopers. I am among them. I used the take-by-mouth, pellet kind, but others swear by the topical gel. Some medical conditions and medications complicate bruising, and some bruises just shouldn't be trifled with. Use common sense and consult your doctor if you are concerned about your bruising.
Hooposophy articles authored
by Lara Eastburn
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