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- Name (as you would like it to appear with your story)
- Your story: share how poi as had a positive influence on your life – physically, mentally, emotionally, or anything in between!
- Links (optional): links to any poi related videos, social media, etc., that you would like to share
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When I started to play poi, it created a new space within mommy space that I could claim while still having mainly my attention for the kids. But this space with poi gave me joy and enabled me to reconnect to myself and my body in a way that was not restricted by time nor space. And in the practise of poi I learned about my sensuality, about learning to learn, attachments, limitations of the mind and the list can go on. I strongly feel that learning the skill of poi flow changes people and therefor has a power to change the world.
Poi has the magical power of helping you to synchronize both sides of the body, the two hemispheres, alining inside and outside, up and down. It's a very powerful instrument to teach you about life, and has shown me that it is not a static thing but a continued process of synchronization and duality. While I was pregnant my belly wanted to dance all kind of rhythms, moving and shaking. I felt that poi gave me this power with an excellent exercise that I recommend 100% to practice on this special period of a woman’s life.
Andrew HammondsTennessee, USA
I have epilepsy. I have been dealing with grand mal seizures since I was 18 years old, I'm 25 now. With my meds comes crazy side effects and my mind is not clear unless I'm doing stuff I love like poi or skateboarding. I went to the best neurologist around Knoxville TN area. We talked about things I like to do, like skateboarding, and I mentioned spinning fire. He said he was totally in support of fire spinning because of the benefits from exercise and the concentration, because it works the brain.
April Jennifer ChoiPeoria, Illinois, USA
Poi was a way to give my brain a break and get my body moving in between writing sessions. They were small, compact, and easy to use (at first). Little did I know that Poi was going to completely alter my life. It has allowed me to openly express my emotions, heal from a number of mental scars, and live a happier life.
Erika Anderson aka SpinclownFranklin, New Hampshire, USA
I discovered retreats and other poi artists online and quickly picked up this incredible art. I noticed that my thinking had changed to a more positive tone and felt my depression, stress and anxiety disappear. I noticed my coordination improve, not to mention all the exercise I am getting on a regular basis. Poi has also helped greatly build up my self confidence - helping me channel away negativity.
The low resistance and technical nature of poi spinning was perfect to complete my full rehabilitation from my illness, many years after my last physical therapy session. I drilled and drilled the basics, gaining fluency with my movements and regaining feeling of where my limbs were in relation to my body. I now use poi as a form of mindfulness meditation and as a reminder of how far you can come if you work diligently at something for a long time.
With all my formal training and education in neuroscience and the mental health field, what has interestingly become one of the most powerful tools in my toolbox for personal healing and transformation is something I would have never expected – the Flow Arts, specifically the art and practice of dancing with poi, the hoop, and with fire, dancing being the key word.
Tara SPINJA StrattonSaskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Poi has improved my overall physical, mental and spiritual health and I am inspired to communicate these benefits in all poi's creation diversity. My passage into the Flowart of Poi has been beyond motivational; the ability to spin various poi types provides me with the required rehabilitation to maintain long term physical zen.
Rory aka Dragon PoiAuckland, New Zealand
Feeling the poi create its path as a new extension of your body, it opens up your mind to be more aware. More aware of your own body and the muscles needed to complete a move. Also more aware of my immediate surroundings. I had found a way to escape this confusing world and enter one that made complete sense to me. I felt in control, and this feeling gave me confidence. As a shy kid, I couldn't speak in public or give a speech, but put some poi in my hands and my fears dissipated.
I was introduced to poi by my friend, and quickly understood the movements as I noticed a correlation between martial arts and poi. A year and a bit later I have started doing performances with poi and have been opened up to an array of arts including juggling, staff and fire breathing. It's really inspired me and helped improve my mental and physical health as well as helping me become more fluid and technical in my martial arts.
Dan BetlejewskiCalifornia, USA
I have a highly complex congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA). As a kid I was very clumsy, had a speech impediment and very poor fine motor skills. My hand eye coordination was pretty much nonexistent. Now after 16 years of flow arts I'm far less clumsy and my hand eye coordination is better than ever. If you get discouraged just remember it's all about taking baby steps, all those little victories will get you where you want to be.
John Raven McGregorBismarck, North Dakota, USA
Shortly after I started spinning I began to notice changes in my mood. I would find myself feeling positive about life and my place in this world. I found myself playing sometimes for hours with no signs of exhaustion. I no longer suffer from depression and my anxiety problems have also greatly improved. I also have noticed my hand eye coordination has improved greatly. I have now been spinning faithfully everyday.
Rob VarleyIllinois, USA
8 years ago I tore a Rotator Cuff in my shoulder, I went to a Chiropractor first and decided against surgery. Man does that hurt, a couple months later I tore the other one. Shortly after that I went to see a band and a group of fire spinners performed, what struck me was the Poi. I just had to try it, made some the next day and never stopped. I found the shoulder movement was very similar to what the Chiropractor had me do when I was recovering.
Poi helped me a lot with social anxiety. It helped me to feel more comfortable in my skin while people are looking at me, mainly because of practicing poi in public places and showing off my poi skills to friends. Now I don't get as clumsy as I used to when I feel I'm being watched. It also helped me gain confidence in speaking and explaining things, as people ask me to teach them some poi tricks.
Malcolm CrawshayChristchurch, New Zealand
Being trapped in a house on fire scared the sh** out of me. Then I found out I did not have enough insurance. Now unemployed, my girlfriend leaves me for better pastures. I was now at a low point in my life. It was then that I discovered juggling, staff, and poi. Even with all my troubles, I still progressed. The motion and satisfaction of getting a move down filled my heart with joy. These skills came with powerful "magic", indeed. Playing with poi and the flow arts can make "magical" changes in you too, and I encourage all no matter where you are in life to give it a go.
I decide to play Poi everyday. Sometimes I turn on the music and flow with it. Since then, I feel myself better. Some parts of my body are just being more "active" (because I don't play any sports - which is bad, I know). My mind becomes more clear and relaxed. Thoughts become more positive. I normally feel an empty mind with Poi in hands. And to me this is the most interesting part: when I perform to my friends, they feel magical too.
Being a graphic designer, I appreciate how even clumsily playing poi relaxes my wrists and fingers that spend a lot of time wrapped around a computer mouse. I can feel that I relax when playing poi, thinking about the poi itself and how do I get to do with it what I would like to do with it, which is mightily relieving and mind-detoxing. So far I am pretty clueless about what I am doing, but I am learning by doing and it's been a lot of fun!
Braden MosherWashington, USA
About 5 years ago I got in a 70mph rollover accident. The roads were slick and I was late to work. Amazingly I walked away with a broken fingernail and a lesson learned. However about a month later, I realized that the mobility in my left shoulder (where the seatbelt held me down) was severely hindered. Luckily for me though, I had picked up poi the year before and knew the yoga / Tai Chi like motions could only help aid in the healing process.
Misty WhiteTempe, Arizona, USA
The doctor/surgeon said I would never be able to spin poi again after they cut my sternum open for heart surgery but they were wrong. I started spinning as soon as my chest didn't hurt any more in the nursing home physical therapy room. The physical therapist there saw my progress and let the elderly spin bean bags as well if they wanted to try what I was doing. It greatly improved their progress because they were having fun. Some even came to my room outside of p.t. time to get lessons.
My first time spinning fire happens on the shore of the Mississippi river, the moon was full and reflecting off the still waters, I'll never forget those few minutes. The flames casting shadows against the flood walls amaze me, the sound becomes the greatest song I've ever heard, and for the first time I fall into a place of peace. The world fades away and I'm left playing with the elements.
There's not been a single day that I haven't wanted to be poiing. Its taught me how to hold my posture, flow to music, given me something to give back to the world, helped me meet and become friends with hundreds of other people who spin, shown me a confidence in myself that helps in any other situation, and brought a harmony in my household because now we're all spinning :)