Conscious Evolution - Santa Barbara

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From: Lou De Bourbon
Date: Friday, June 30, 2006, 10:21 PM
Subject: poi spinning class
ID: 253169

Hi everyone

This is a reminder of our Poi class coming up this Sunday from 3-5. Don't miss this great opportunity to connect with your symmetrical self. Vanessa, our teacher, has years of experience as a performer and is a gentle guide for the kinesthetically challenged. Poi is a profound way to access a deep central meditative state while moving through space. I believe Polynesia's gift of Poi is important for our Conscious Evolution and our understanding of Resonance.

Poi Spinning classes Sunday July 2, 16, and 30 from 3-5pm at Yoga Soup, 28 Parker Way 965-8811

$20 per class Poi will be provided

All levels welcome

Poi is an ancient movement meditation art that originated with the Maori people of New Zealand. 'Poi' is a Maori word meaning "ball." Early poi consisted of a flax bag used to carry small objects such as eggs. When a length of rope was attached, it resembled the poi we think of today Poi traditionally was spun by warriors to increase strength and agility and by weavers to keep their hands and arms flexible and strong. Poi spinning is a unique developmental tool because arm movements are done together in a completely Symmetrical manner both in and out of phase. Now seen at beaches, bonfires, drum circles, warehouses and rooftops across the globe, poi spinning has recently reached creative highs by fusing dance, music and often fire into an entirely new western art form.

Below are 3 recent web entries that offer more information

Tonya Kay (raw foodist, professional dancer and former castmember of STOMP )

I began practicing the technique of spinning poi and as a professional dancer, noticed right away a new power in my body's core and a noteworthy definition of my deltoids and upper back. To my delight, the act of spinning weighted circles around oneself not only creates a space in which, while the body is fully engaged, the mind is lulled into meditative trans, but also is just so much genuine fun, I don't even realize I've "worked out". Athletes need an active meditation. Dancers need new inspiration. Healthy bodies need exercise they actually look forward to doing. Once you pick them up, you may never put down your poi again ...

Thomas Muller (Games Teacher from England)

I have worked at Wynstones School for 5 years and in that time have used Poi in classes and circus performances with children varying in age from 9 to 18 years old. The main reason for using Poi was initially to provide a curriculum link between sport and the arts. Circus skills in general provide a very skilful and playful space in which coordination and physical confidence can be developed without the very competitive environment that has grown up around modern sport. Poi itself is particularly useful for developing spatial awareness concerning the six different planes of space which is fundamental to all movement disciplines but which can be hard to give students a different experience of. Rhythm is another very important movement skill which the Poi is excellent at providing an experience of. Once the skill of swinging the poi begins to be mastered there are hundreds of different skills elements of dance and acrobatics that can be added, however, the beginner can very quickly provide a colourful, rhythmical display which generally encourages them to continue. There is no doubt in my mind that a weakness in the national sports curriculum is the link between skilful movement and playfulness, therefore any activity that can begin to address this issue is extremely useful to help our children gain confidence and enjoyment in and through their environment. Poi certainly is one of these activities

Sosenda (Performance artist in Kansas)

The exercise benefits of spinning poi are akin to studying Tai Chi. The Students will learn to generate movement from within the core muscles of the body, while developing an internal sense of rhythm and spatial consciousness. The techniques learned in poi spinning will translate into better posture and overall greater upper body strength and suppleness. There is much more than a physical benefit to this form of dance. The development of a connection with gravity and movement will spill over into many things in life. Reaction times will increase as you become more comfortable spinning and constantly observing the poi and yourself.