Adventures in Poi Spinning

I took a new class Monday at the Synergy Studio called Poi Spinning and in case you were wondering it does not involve a spin bike. Rather, poi spinning involves swinging balls affixed to ropes. To help explain better here is the description take from the Synergy Studio website:

“Poi is a performance art in which a ball or balls are suspended from a length of
flexible material, held in the hand(s) and swung in circular patterns around the
body.

Poi spinning has grown far beyond the scope of its origination in Māori
culture and is now enjoyed worldwide as a hobby, form of exercise, and
performance art. Poi spinners and fire twirlers may be found performing
alongside jugglers, staff twisters, hoop dancers, and other object-manipulating
performers.

In its Māori beginnings, Poi had the purpose of enhancing coordination and
rhythm. It was soon realized that Poi swinging had several other benefits from
strengthening the wrists, arms, shoulders, and core to improving flexibility.
Learning basic Poi moves can be achieved quickly, mastered patiently, executed
bravely, and be so fun that practicing can become addictive.

Poi spinners can play with tennis balls on strings, socks stuffed in longer
socks, or weighted brightly colored fabric with tails and streamers. For extreme
visual impact people often use glow-in-the-dark or LED-lighted Poi, but the
sight of flaming Fire Poi flying around an expert is a real crowd-pleaser.”

No, I didn’t play with any Fire Poi or ever LED-lighted Poi. Instead I opted for the socks stuffed in longer socks option and boy am I grateful I did. I hit myself in the face, the chest, my sides and legs and even my throat. I am pretty sure if I was using the LED-lighted Poi or even tennis balls I probably would have given myself a concussion. Towards the end of the class our instructor turned off the lights and allowed the students to use the LED Poi and it was pretty cool to see. Afterwards, I asked her if she would mind if I took some pictures of her (poor girl, she was filling in for the normal instructor) using the LED Poi that I could put up on my blog. She kindly obliged so I will share a few of them with you.

Of course, I am just an amateur photographer using an iPhone but if I had my  DSLR camera and could have adjusted the exposure time it probably would have looked a lot cooler. Like this picture taken from the Synergy Studio website.

But to better show what this class was like here is a YouTube video of the Forward Three-Beat Wave, the second move I learned but never really mastered. Poi Spinning is much harder than it looks.

 

Overall, even though I found most of the moves difficult I had a great time doing them and will be back again next week to try it again. The great thing about Poi is I can just stuff some socks in other socks and practice at home. Once again, I cannot say enough good things about the Synergy Studio and all of the amazing classes they offer. In my opinion, this really is the best studio in San Antonio. I hope I have inspired you to get out there and try something new. Maybe even Poi!

Thanks for reading!

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July 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Poi Spinning, San Antonio.

6 Comments

  1. yerttle replied:

    first of all: GOODONYA for trying something new! That’s one thing about large cities…they have so many cool cultural things to try. I think you’re terribly brave and extremely cool!

    second: OMG I laughed so hard I snorked. You hit yourself in the throat?! OW! …and…I totally would’ve left the class in a body bag. again…you’re terribly brave!

    third: I miss San Antonio!

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you! It’s easy to try new things when you go to a studio that offers amazing classes, has the nicest instructors, the owner is so kind you just want to hug her all the time, they have a 93 year old yoga instructor, they offer a military discount and when I am there I never want to leave!

      San Antonio misses you too!!!

  2. Simply Sidney replied:

    how wild and cool!! I can imagine that Poi would be a ton of fun once you got the swing of it and stopped hitting yourself, ouch!!

    so much fun to learn about these different classes, thanks for sharing!!!

    • Dacia replied:

      Even as a beginner it is really fun! If you are ever in San Antonio you will have to join me in some of this craziness!

  3. Latina Barbi replied:

    You’re always trying soemthing different..I love it!! Muah!

    • Dacia replied:

      I like to spice things up every once and awhile! Lol! 😉

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