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How long should I practice poi?
How do I know when I am good at poi?
Who cares about the structure of poi?
What is poi?

How long should I practice poi?

As we learn new poi moves, our bodies need time to adjust and remember the muscles actions in our bodies. This time of integration to develop our muscle memory can often be honored best by having more frequent but shorter poi practices. It has been our experience that a student practicing 4 times for 10 minutes will ultimately get more out of the practices than a single 60 minute session. We recommend at least 4 practices a week of anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes in addition to an intense learning session, such as a class.


How do I know when I am good at poi?

4 answers:

  • Since you define "good" based on your own criterion, only you can decide when it is you are good.
  • Who cares?
  • You already are good.
  • Never, because the better you get, the more you understand about how far you are from being good.



Who cares about the structure of poi?

The reality is, up until now you may not have even thought about the structure of poi. As a matter of fact, until now, you may not have consciously cared about the structure of poi at all. You may even have believed that there is no structure to poi, or that a structure limits your ability to enjoy your experience and learn or you may believe structure holds you back.

Our experience at Temple of Poi is that everyone holds an internal structure for the poi moves they do, even if the artist can't articulate this structure in words. If you can do the move, you have a way in your body to remember the move. Even if the "muscle memory" of the move is the only structure you know you have of a move, it is still an internal structure that is present within you.

We believe that understanding a structure to poi, much like a map of a hiking trail, can provide information and guidance along the journey. Just as the map provides travelers with a greater understanding of the terrain being hiked, the structure of poi provides practitioners with a greater sense of understanding of the interconnectedness of the poi movements.

Certainly you can go to a mountain range and walk randomly without a map. Even if you are looking at a map, you still will not know what it feels like to trip on a tree root on the path; smell the trees growing around you; hear the sound of the water running down the creek; or in any way have an understanding of beauty of the experience of walking the path itself. The map is only a representation of a part of the experience.

Put another way, the map provides a rough guideline of the terrain. Is the map going to be 100% complete? No. If it were complete and reported every detail of terrain it would need to be full size and "to scale" -- which means it would be the move rather than being a map of the move.

Is there only one type of map available to describe the path? No. If you think of the structure of poi as a map that guides you toward each move, transition or combination, you will also consider that different kinds of maps will provide different kinds of understanding of the terrain. A map with very little detail will provide a broad view of the terrain, whereas as a relief map will provide a more dimensional view of the experience.

Why Temple of Poi cares about the structure of poi is because we believe that providing you with a well mapped system through which you can study poi movement offers you the opportunity to empower yourself to learn about how to move the poi with your body more quickly and comprehensively. As an individual, that translates to easier and faster results with your poi. As a community, that translates to accelerated expansion of the poi art form. We believe that is in everyone's best interest.


What is poi?

Poi is an art form involving moves weighted objects on the end of a rope/chain/cord around the body of the artist. Weighted objects include fire wicking, glowsticks, lights, beanbags and containers with water in them.

[last updated 061031]


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~ M. Sharron; January 2005

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