So you’ve been thinking about learning how to spin poi, but you’re not ready to invest in buying a set. A basic set of LED poi that glow in the dark, for example, will run you about $40 (up to $100, depending on how fancy the lights are within). Chances are that once you’re introduced to the flow art of poi spinning, you’ll want to take the next step and go from using practice poi to glow poi, and then almost inevitably, fire poi.
When I teach poi workshops, I bring my own homemade poi sets for new students use. Here’s how to make practice poi for yourself. It’s super simple! Here’s what you’ll need:
• A pair of knee socks (new, used, or just grab a pair from your drawer). The more colorful, the better!
• A pair of ankle socks (same as above, but the color is irrelevant).
• 2 cups of dried beans (or 2 bags of “Boil-in-Bag” rice, uncooked)
1. Fill each ankle sock with one cup of the beans. Push the beans into the toe of the sock, shaping it into a ball and stretching the sock opening away from the beans. Then tie the top of the sock so that the beans stay in place.
The beans will give you an ideal weight for the poi – just enough to give them momentum as you swing them, but not so much that they’ll wear your arms out as you develop the muscles used in poi spinning. Some people use tennis balls instead of beans, but, trust me, getting smacked with a few beans as you learn new poi moves is much more pleasant than getting whacked with a tennis ball.
2. Drop each ankle sock into a knee sock. Tie the top of the knee sock.
This last step does two things: it keeps the “bean bag” safely locked in, so over time it won’t fall out as you put them in and out of backpacks, trunks, purses, tents, etc…you get the point. 😉 It also gives you a bit of a handle to hold onto. Note that you can wrap this around your hand to shorten the length of the poi as you practice and learn different moves that call for shortened poi.
Now you’re ready to spin poi. Have fun!
Peace, love, and fire,