Carissa Becker is a Hoop Love Coach and a dedicated hooper dealing with chronic pain. This blog post is an inspiring resource for Hoop Teachers supporting students who are living with chronic pain. It is a beautiful reminder that modifications and support are vital elements of all hoop classes and workshops. Carissa shares the powerful changes she has made to make sure that hooping is still a healing part of her life.
Chronic pain sucks. There’s no other way to spin it, it literally drains the life out of you.
I have lived with an undiagnosed chronic pain condition that affects my neck, shoulders, back, hips, and knees. Despite the pain, hooping is the one thing that always makes me smile.
Here’s how I managed to keep on hooping despite chronic pain.
My ride or die hoop was always my bright orange 34” ¾ HDPE hoop. Well now that hoop is waaaaaaaay too heavy for me. When I recognised the heaviness was holding me back I switched to smaller hoops. Now I use two ⅝ polypro hoops, one is 29” and the other is 25”.
Lightweight hoops make a huge difference for me. By using smaller hoops, and modifying my movements, I can hoop for longer, and with significantly less pain. I’ve learned a lot from my little hoops️.
Slow it down…
My flow is much slower now, I’ve become more mindful about how I move. When I get into a faster flow state I become less aware of how my body is moving, I overextend myself, and then my pain spikes. Slowing down and focusing on how my body moves allows me to connect deeply with my hoop, and express my pain in a thoughtful way. I feel so connected to my hoop, my body, and my flow when I slow down.
On body hooping baby!! Seriously, on body hooping is so soothing, and because I can no longer do a lot of off body tricks, I’ve really focused on my on body skills. In the last year, my nonexistent leg hooping has become second nature. Learning to love the body I have, despite all the pain is difficult. Spinning round and round in my plastic circle, I feel at home in my body.
This is it. This is the number one thing that has kept me going through all of this. My community. My fellow flow artists. When I feel terrible, they are there for me, lifting me up, caring for me, and encouraging me to continue. I co-founded a hoop troupe back in March 2017, we get together once a week and hang out and support each other. Sometimes we hoop, build our own hoops, go to spinjams, or flow classes. Sometimes we just hang out and make dinner together. And when I’m in too much pain to go out, they come to me. Shoutout to my Sacred Circle Sisters.
Basically what I’m getting at is: Take care of yourself, whatever you may be going through. Allow yourself to slow down, connect with your body, and let the hoop heal you. Most of all, reach out to your hoop community near and far. We’re out here, overFLOWing with love and support.