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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:... what is it?

I am finding myself standing there and trying some butterfly pattern (my arms in the same plane as the poi), going from one direction to the other and only notice half an hour later that I have been repeating the same pattern over and over - very smooth.

Sometimes this flow also limits me, as I feel, because I just don't come to the idea of changing directions and suddenly "wake up" into what I am currenty doing.

What's that "flow"? Is it triggered by a set of movements? Are there certain movements who are triggering "the flow" stronger?

I notice "the flow" in many: Riding a motorcycle, doing massage, performing, running, dancing... ubbangel making love... redface shopping... devil ubblol


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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anonomatos
GOLD Member since Jan 2005

anonomatos

enthusiast
Location: Utrecht [NL], Netherlands

Total posts: 389
Posted:"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi" (what's in a name?) is the first psychologist to describe this as "flow".

Flow can be reached during an activity which asks for your maximum skills and is a maximum challenge. Giving you both of these will get you to Flow... this will create a wonderful feeling (even 'out-of-body' experiences, etc.).

Take a look at a book on psychology for more information, it's quite interesting! I study Social Work and I'm being trained to get other people to the "level of Flow"... kinda cool to do :-D


"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:I was so psyched to see this thread this morning.

For me flow is the merging of chi/prana/life-force (whatever you want to call it) and embodied conscious awareness (i.e., when monkey-mind shuts up)...poi, staff, ball, hoop, etc., these are all keys that help us unlock it.

 Written by: FireTom


Sometimes this flow also limits me, as I feel, because I just don't come to the idea of changing directions and suddenly "wake up" into what I am currenty doing.




I don't think this is so much a limit that flow imposes as it is flow running us up against some notion of what we "should" do. In a performance, for example, when we are spinning for the enjoyment of others, it is true that doing one thing over and over gets boring. But if your intention in a spin is to access the flow...then anyway you get there is valid, so what does it matter if you only butterfly for an hour?

 Written by: FireTom

What's that "flow"? Is it triggered by a set of movements? Are there certain movements who are triggering "the flow" stronger?



Probably for each individual spinner different movements provide easier access. For me it's simple movements -- reels and flowers. And I think of it as "accessing" flow rather than "triggering" it, because (for me) the flow is what we exist in, it is always there and always active. Thus, no need to "trigger" or activate it, it's a matter of unlocking and gaining access...

 Written by: FireTom

I notice "the flow" in many: Riding a motorcycle, doing massage, performing, running, dancing... ubbangel making love... redface shopping... devil ubblol



yes. biggrin

 Written by: anonomatos

Flow can be reached during an activity which asks for your maximum skills and is a maximum challenge. Giving you both of these will get you to Flow... this will create a wonderful feeling (even 'out-of-body' experiences, etc.).



I think this is what some athletes refer to as being in "the zone." "the zone" = flow, imo.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:or as in "the zone" <=> "the flow"... one leads to the other, as the right key to the right lock, the door is the tool... or some like that?

*eyes sparkling*


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:"the right key to the right lock, the door is the tool..." yes yes!

I wanted to share this passage. I'll preface by emphasizing how fundamental the figure eight is to poi...in the weave, in reels -- in many ways those are the first steps, right? This passage is from a book on runes (emphasis mine):

"Eight symbolized the closeness of the relationship between the seen and the unseen, the tangible and intangible. Its form is two circles connecting at a cross-over point where the direction of movement changes from clockwise to counter-clockwise. This cross-over point at the centre of the figure is the point of balance and represents the change in energy-movement where transformation takes place."

Anyone who's trained with Andy House will be familiar with the cross-over point...

A big part of my practice and philosophy around poi is that poi are a tool of transformation. When I spin for people, I want more than to entertain them or impress them, I want to transform their reality, if only for that moment, and open them up to the beautiful worlds inside themselves.

Incidentally, I read that passage before going to bed. Next morning, I log onto HoP and this thread was here. In the flow indeed...


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted: Written by: FireTom


or as in "the zone" <=> "the flow"... one leads to the other, as the right key to the right lock, the door is the tool... or some like that?



do you mean that in order to reach 'the flow' you have to be in the right frame of mind, or 'the zone'? I'd go with that.

I often find that the only time I can really 'flow' is when I'm not really thinking about what I'm doing: the right state of mind is no state of mind. Terry Pratchett wrote in his discworld books about the goddess luck, and how she comes only when not invoked by name, with flow it's the same, principle, I find.

When in the flow, my aim is simply to become a channel, a process by which the elements around me are translated into my expression of spinning, usually the music I am listening to.


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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borganique
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

borganique

member
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Total posts: 154
Posted:yeah

to all.

we're hippies.

the dance of life and pythagoras, some of you guys might be interested.


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Accessing the flow, or the zone is the reason i spin poi/staff but i usually have to use khan's idea of spinning a move I know well for several minutes in order to achieve that mindset. then..as LazyAngel states..my mind shuts off, and quite often I end up spinning "creatively".

I can't do this onstage mind you, there's too many distractions...and I've never, ever reached this frame of mind while shopping


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:It's a bit of forgetting about yourself... something I love when spinning... watching the thoughts roll in... sitting on the dock of a bay biggrin watching them roll on again...

There are exercises to obtain this state of alertness, getting access to the full (creative) potential, in public situations. I'll post more about that as soon as I have found the respective sites.

There was this C.Costner movie, where he stars as a Baseball pitcher and uses a technique to get into "the Zone" - out of all distractions.

I guess with spinning fire, it's the light and sound of the flames which helps.

But then again: "Keep your heads up and look around, even though you can't see a thing"...

*runs off and makes new thread"


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Much like Stout, Flow is why I keep spinning. The hard part is that I think it takes allot of time to get to flow, and allot pf practice. Music is a good example, specifically playing an instrument. At first you are learning the notes and how to connect them. But eventually you know all the notes so intimately you don't need to think about them and they become part of your will. But then you have to let go. Let go of everything which is hard. You almost don't have to care what you are doing. You need to release expectations, ego, and your conscious.

Like playing an instrument, poi moves are notes. Untill you can jam without thinking about the notes, your mind is blocked to flow because you are concentrating.

Don't worry about the butterfly or the weve or even hitting yourself if your after flow. Many people use mind altering chemicals to help get there, but once they arrive their experience is warped by the same chemical.

It took me a while to break through with poi flow. I always had a competitive spark and felt I needed to fit somewhere within the poi community. Ont night at Burningman years ago at the Alien love nest, they had a call out to fire performers to come and jam. If you came you got a cool pendant. If they relly liked what you did they had special stuff. Instant meat market where an aire of competiton pushed everyone on. Don't get me wrong, it was fun and a great experience, but I was trying too hard. I was oldschool and considered "good" back then but I ended up discouraged for many reasons and went off to join my brother and a friend for a small spin at another camp where a freind was DJing. I didn't care anymore. No hype or expectations just friends and good people. That night was amazing. It was more than just flow. It was great flow, I had an out of body experience where I was in the crowd watching myself. I also was able to tap into all the good energy out there. What a rush, I could have spun all night full tilt if I wished. I ended my spin with grace and was shoked at what I saw. The audience was stunned. Then they silently with tears in their eyes gave me hugs. There was steam comming off of me from the effort and I was full. Full of everything form love to energy.

After many years of performing starting as a gymnast at 10 I now flow every time I perform or am on stage. I forget what happoned during the performance, but I am charged afterwards every time.

It's a great goal to set and achieve. Practice your poi moves and find all the connections and transitions. And for gods sakes MOVE. Don't stand still and file through moves. Once you have mastered poi and it's connections, the trick is letting go.

Good Luck
Cody


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:......Drums fingers impatiently on table...waiting for Toms links.

Maybe I unconsciously don't want to access the flow while up on stage ? I dunno, but I'll give some real thought during our next few shows. I'm not all that fussed about which moves I'm actually spinning because, and let's face it, lay audiences don't know a difficult move from an easy one, but can tell if someone is "uncomfortable" with what they're doing.

I always feel a responsibility to be hyper aware of my surroundings when I'm performing.

Where's the edge of the stage?
Where's the safety barrier? Is that two year old looking like he's going to make a dash under it ?
Where are the other spinners? anyone coming my way ? Damn..this stage is small.
What sort of expression do I have on my face ? Happy and content..or do I look like I'm concentrating ?
Make eye contact with members of the audience....NOW.
Try to "interact" with the other spinners more.
Is there unburnt fuel coming off my wicks ?

Once I have all those thoughts out of the way, I can access the flow for about 5 to 10 seconds before the whole thought process repeats itself and I'm jolted back to reality.

It's different if I'm just spinning fire at out weekly meets, because my burn is just that..my burn..spun by me for me with the express purpose of getting into the zone and although there are spectators, I find them "easier to ignore" than an audience who's expressly come out to see a show. In other words..I feel less responsible.


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:help rolleyes tomorrow - I promise (nothing) wink

Yupp, that chiselled smile has to be omnipresent on stage... Most important - especially when in the flow wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mireneye
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

enthusiast
Location: , Sweden

Total posts: 276
Posted:Extremely short but, lately i've began thinking that flow to me are two things:
Character - One can have several characters when doing a show.
Style - But one can only have one personal style that is you and nobody else. What will always make you unique.

This includes using both confidently, which is really, really difficult, of course. But the times you reach there, i think that it's that moment you can really feel it.


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Here t'is:

Called NeuroFeedback

 Written by: BBC


Brain machine 'improves musicianship'

Scientists have created a technique that dramatically improves the performance of musicians.

The system - called neurofeedback - trains musicians to clear their minds and produce more creative brain waves.

Research, to be published in the journal Neuroreport, indicates the technique helps musicians to improve by an average of 17% - the equivalent of one grade or class of honours.

Some improved by as much as 50%.

Students were assessed on two pieces of music before and after neurofeedback sessions.

Neurofeedback monitors brain activity through sensors attached to the scalp which filter out the brainwaves.

These filtered brainwaves are then 'fed back' to the individual in the form of a video game displayed on a screen.

The participant learns to control the game by altering particular aspects of their brain activity.

This alteration in brain activity can influence performance.

A panel of expert judges found the 97 Royal College of Music students improved in a number of areas, including musical understanding, imagination, and communication with the audience.


While it has a role in stress reduction by reducing the level of stage fright, the magnitude and range of beneficial effects on artistic aspects of performance have wider implications.

The technique has already been used to treat epilepsy, alcoholism, attention deficit and post-traumatic stress disorders, according to the researchers from Imperial College London and Charing Cross Hospital who conducted the study.

But Dr Tobias Egner said: "This is the first time it has been used to improve a complex set of skills such as musical performance in healthy students."

And Professor John Gruzelier added: "While it has a role in stress reduction by reducing the level of stage fright, the magnitude and range of beneficial effects on artistic aspects of performance have wider implications."





See Wiki on it


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Cool post, it takes an unsubstantial feeling and puts context to it, sort of. smile

I didn't see it but my brother told me about a special he saw on tv about brain waves and athelets. The coolest one was the target shooter. They put up on the screen side by side a laser point from where the gun was aimed and the brainwaves of the shooter. At first the brainwaves were all alpha waves hi frequency and the laser dot jumped all around the target. But miliseconds before the shot the brainwaves dropped into slow beta waves and the laser dot stopped shaking and went straight to the bullseye.

They documented flow or concentration of your subconcious. His conscious mind dissapeared and his subconscious took over. This takes practice and I think it is the state of mind we enter when we flow. When you really hit it you get the out of body experience because your conscious mind is releived of duty.

I would love to plug in to a brain monitor and see the waves. It's cheating if you will but it allows you to practice changing mind states.

Otherwise we'll just have to practice untill your actions become second nature meaning your subconscious can do it. smile


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Thanks Tom..I'll bet all those electrodes would make a great costume too. I'm not bothered so much by stage fright .... maybe I'm trying too hard.

meditate ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm meditate


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maiuki
BRONZE Member since Dec 2005

maiuki

member
Location: Travelling, Spain

Total posts: 51
Posted:In my opinion the flow is the rythm of your feelings while doing something.

The electrodes can help you improve your skills, but not the feeling behind, and I think thats the flow.

Is different when talking about performing, then it may be helpful to improve your skills,... But personally, Ive got loads of problems to flow while is people around me, but I prefer that, than control myself and my feelings while being monitorised!!

Ive got time to get enough self-confidence to be able to show me transparent ( crystal clear) while playing in front of people. And then, they will see me flow!! ( hopefully soon!!!)


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:smile

Hurrah biggrin

Can't wait biggrin


Getting to the other side smile

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Mireneye
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

enthusiast
Location: , Sweden

Total posts: 276
Posted:I had a LED show once. 300 people watching... And I don't remember what I did, but most people thought it looked awesome.

Notice that i was completely sober, and I don't do drugs or smoke or anything... And once the music stopped, and teh applaus came, i was done, before I knew it.

perhaps I got there at that time... ubbloco


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:ooooops DOH !! ubbidea

I just realised that I hadn't even thought about what's probably THE biggest distraction that hinders my access to onstage flow.

Choreography.

I've always thought of choreography as more of an anti-flow type of spinning, and given that as a group we write new routines every year ( this year it's five new ones ) and we don't really practice enough for me to get the routine down to second nature, like one big, giant combo.

Sure I can memorise the steps and positions, but there's constant interruptions in timing and the thought that the next move I do HAS to be a certain one..not one I feel like doing. Also, factor in the semi competitive style of spinning onstage,,,, thinking about keeping up the "TAA DAA" aspect of my burn even if it does feel somewhat cheesy at that particular instant in time. ( must embrace inner attention [censored] more , but not too much, that's when "errors" happen )

Maybe I don't feel that a group choreographed burn, is really my burn and that's a barrier to flow, because think back to the freestyle solo burns I did onstage last winter, there was flow. weavesmiley

Never would have thought about it without this thread though...now I've gotta figure out how to fix it.


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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Beautiful, Maggi. As always. I miss you...


Stout, good observation, I am sure you can work with it! I would just suggest that when choregraphing, put as the "next move", the one you feel like doing-- so it belongs there, ad feels integral... flow as part of the choreogrphy not something separate?


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Thanks Andrea..I'll raise the matter of flow and it's relationship to choreography at our next practice , when I actually debut the routine that I've written with flow in mind. Usually routines are a group effort and I just end up living with what I feel are dorky moves or transitions ( like going from BF straight into CS, or walking in circles with the weave ). Either that or practice these type of moves more and get more comfortable with them.

I used to feel the same about anti spin..like I was violating some law of nature..but I managed to fix that. smile


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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Stout, you bring up a good question. We are using "the flow" and "the zone" in the same context. You can be in the zone without flow, but you cannot have flow without being in the zone.

For me I am in the zone when I perform choreography. It's the choreographers flow, not yours so it feels wierd. Choreography has it's place. No it isn't challenging moves per say, the challenge is in working with your peers and following someone elses flow. It's like being in an orchestra. The notes are not really hard, put when played together with everyone else the end result is greater than the sum of the parts. Solo's have their place and so does choreography.

My inner flow persona is a cheesy over top smiling clown if you will. A solo is your choreography so you can flow even though you are following a path. Use the audience, direct them, and engage them. Remember the audience is directing positive energy at you. Use it, the bigger the audience the better the energy. 6,500 was fun, but it just about killed me. smile

My motto that I ecourage our group to follow is "Sell your Ham and Cheese" Ham it up, be cheesy and sell it to the audience. You have more fun that way. (sell it means deliver it to the audience) But you can't do that if your not in the zone. if your too focused on the moves your face will show it. If you practice enough to have it down on a subconscious level, your conscious can focus on having fun and engaging the audience


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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Mireneye
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

enthusiast
Location: , Sweden

Total posts: 276
Posted:When i write my own personal choerographies, I tend to write them very loosely, like taking the base move to base certain parts of the song i'm spinning to that fits, and that I will remember by heart. And then I'll see "how" I will end up there.

I have yet to really develop any serious kind of such choerography where there is always a confined openness of what you do. But I will eventually, i've only had my own tiny practices so far....

Flow with control??


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Semi-automatic? wink tongue

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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eca
BRONZE Member since Mar 2010

member
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Total posts: 197
Posted:Finally achieved flow with poi for the first time today. I put on some tunes, closed my eyes (I opened them after I started spinning), and just felt the energy within, and around me.

I don't have a large move base (by any means) but it still feels nice to flow with what I got.

I used to think that flow was auto-pilot but it's not. I feel, (and musician friends of mine agree) that flow is more of a constant feed-back loop.

You feed/play off the energy of your environment but as you do, you are giving energy back, which affects your environment, which in turn affects you, and so on and so forth.


"Think of the pussy, Weevil."
"What's a pussy-weevil?"

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Kudos to Burning Dan:

"What is Flow?

A glaswegian asks, I am assuming that flow is something more than just the graceful transition from pattern to pattern right?

and I answered:

"For me, flow in poi is the feeling of oneness with the pois weight, momentum and movement....""

You don't need a lot of moves, you only need to feel happy with anything you do and enjoy the instant as if it were to become eternal.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:For me, flow comes about more and more as I learn to move more ways with my poi. It is a feeling of detachment from myself and sort of a merging of the poi to my body. I forget everything that is around me and loose ALL thought. There isn't much of a description of feeling, but that's more or less what happens smile

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:that's not "the flow" dude - that's called "the preliminary stages of enlightenment" wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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