Forums > Beginner Poi Moves > Off Hand Poi Swinging Weird

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15 posts
Location: Victoria BC, Canada

Hey, I am having trouble keeping my off hand (left) from going all sideways on me. Everytime i spin it is on a weird tilt, that is getting kinda dangerous to spin with. Any hints with how i can correct this?Oh and anyone have any hints on TTN, read the posts still no luck (whats up with the potatoes?)

And Shepherds We Shall Be..
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Damn! My pants really are on fire!"
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animatEdanimatEdBRONZE Member
1 + 1 = 3
3,540 posts
Location: Bristol UK

Stand next to a wall and spin. try not to hit the wall.

Thread the needle, sorry, can't really give any advice on that that isn't already given elsewhere on the boards.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

squidsquidBRONZE Member
382 posts
Location: sur, USA

focus on how you are holding your wrist too. Most people I have seen starting out, tend to have their wrists cocked at a very casual angle. This doesnt help your learning curve. Try to ensure that your palm is facing up, (assuming your poi are held between your thumb and index finger). This will help the leash of the poi stick out the side and not twist out of the proper side plane.

It is infinitely easier to relax your hand when doing planes once you have become accustomed to the feel of it, but when starting, the small mechanics of hand and body positions are dire.

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

GnorGnorBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
5,814 posts
Location: Perth, Australia

One of the easiest ways to teach TTN is to stand behind the person and make their hands do as needed. So the timimg works. Also talk to your hands to give them hints. Push, push push for forward TTN. Practice it without poi so your body can remember what to do.
Left hand spasticness to very normal. Do lots of left handed practice making your poi follow the correct planes. Walls and mirrors really give you feedback when you are going off planes. wink

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

drvarietydrvarietySILVER Member
75 posts
Location: Mission viejo CA, USA

Practice. Try to focus on the plains and what not, and generally just look at a mirror and work until your happy with what you see. Also try to do spin with only one poi in you left hand, and figure out how to adjust the plane (i.e. if I move my wrist this way the plane cocks to the left). Oh, and practice. Did I mention practice?

There is nothing to be afraid of. Virtual reality will eventually rehabilitate your mind and eventually your body. Everything will be allright, i promise. Just concentrate. Try some music.

53 posts

I found with some moves, practising without the poi works really well. Also shortening the length of the poi chain seems to help, then when I have it down I lengthen them back out to safe flame distance and guess what...yup practise it some more!

One handed practising is also great get it with one hand, then the other...then all you need to do is get both hands workin' in sweet union! peace

If a tree falls in a forest with no one to witness the other trees laugh?

StoutStoutBRONZE Member
1,872 posts
Location: Canada

Hey CBMS...We're offering poi lessons in fairfield every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm.
I'll pm you a website address with the details.

DurbsDurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Following on from Squid, if you have the poi coming out from between your swearing fingers (1st and middle), when spinning normally your palms should be facing in - going backwards they face up and in, forwards down and in, this way you can get your arms straight out infront of you, like a dodgy 70s robot, both arms parallel, facing straight forward.
Practise just spinning forward/backward/one-each-way with your arms high, low, close in, far out - ensuring your arms and poi stay paralel.
It's not "fun" practise, but it's hugely beneficial in the long run smile

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squidsquidBRONZE Member
382 posts
Location: sur, USA

Why cant it be fun practice? It makes for beautiful flower combinations. Kind of reminds me of:

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

Live_in_a_spinLive_in_a_spinBRONZE Member
Dude where's my Poi?
383 posts
Location: neather here nor there, United Kingdom

Nicks DVD The Scales Of Poi is great for plane training.

Live life in a spin!!!
but if you fall don't come crying to me!!!

DarkFyreDarkFyreBRONZE Member
HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
1,965 posts
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

For working on your planes there is only one answer that i can give you and that is time and practice. Sorry to say it but it's the truth.

With your TTN practice one poi at a time.

Spin your poi fwd in butterfly plane and use your free hand to *punch* behind the sting just after is reaches the top of it's spin. Remember that you punching arm must cross over (not under) your poi wrist.

Repete this exercise with each hand until you feel confident enough to attempt a TTN.

Before attempting the TTN just practice without your poi for a couple of mins, pushing one arm foward and pulling the other back and crossing your arms momentarily at the wrist

Now try it with poi and you should be in luck even if it is only for a coulpe of repetitions

Once you have the TTN repeat the exercise but in reverse butterfly and punching under you poi wrist.

Hope that I have been of help weavesmiley

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

AlienJonAlienJonGOLD Member
290 posts
Location: Everywhere, USA

When you spin poi your hand is making a tiny circling motion that acts centripetally on the poi so that you get a big poi circle. However you hold you poi and however you move your hand, try to feel that little circle in the plane that you want your poi to circle in.

When Spinning horizontally (ceiling/floor plane), your tiny hand circle just needs to keep even tension so that the poi doesn't sag too much. This is because gravity is acting uniformly, perpendicular to the poi cirlce.

When you are spinning vertically (wall planes or wheel/side planes), there is an 'up stroke' and a 'down stroke'. This is because gravity is acting in one direction (down) inline with the plane you are spinning in. On the down stroke, feel your hand motion helping gravity swing the poi down. On the up stroke, feel your hand scooping the poi up, adding energy to make it over the top of your swing.

Becoming aware of those feelings will really help your plane control and spinning in general.

To correct unwanted planebending elongate your hand circles so that you make ellipses who's length is perpendicular with the unwanted plane you are bending into.

For instance, say you're left hand is meant to be spinning in the left side plane near your shoulder but it starts to bend over your head. If it keeps going that way it will end up in the ceiling plane (horizontal), and you'll whack your head if you're unlucky. So feel the bounce of the up and down strokes and let your hand circle stretch vertically int a little ellipse. This will pull the poi back into the side plane. Same goes for if it were trying to bend down into floor plane and whack your knee.

If it where trying to bend into the wall plane in front or behind you, you'd feel the in and out stroke, elongating your hand ellipse forward and back.

If you are spinning in wall planes and the poi tries to bend to the side plane, you guessed it... elongate left and right.

Notice how up/down is perpendicular to the floor/ceiling plane, forward back is perpendicular to the wall planes, and left/right is perpendicular to the side planes.

I'll leave it up to you to apply this to horizontal spinning.

Hope that helps some,

-Alien Jon

+Alien Jon

AlienJonAlienJonGOLD Member
290 posts
Location: Everywhere, USA

Another thing that specifically relates to helping your off hand is learning where to focus your attention.

I'm sure you've been told to/have tried just spinning one poi in your off hand. This allows you to focus all of you awareness on that one local thing, which can help to iron kinks out. Be wary of doing this too much without reintegrating with your whole body.

Slightly techy analogy:
Most of us were encouraged to learn to write with one hand, and so we learned writing as a skill localized to that one hand. Imagine that from the beginning we learned to write with both hands and in different relationships: same direction, writing mirrored text, and even writing different thoughts with each hand. Sounds nearly impossible, but if we learned that way, believing we could and focusing our intention on it, it would be as natural as anything else we do. In order to do it we would have to not only practice with each hand, but integrate what the hands do locally with our overall awareness of how things mirror over, and synchronize across both halves of the body.

Naturally, one side would be weaker and need some extra attention, but it would be daunting to learn with either hand separately to a high degree, before integrating both together.

What I'm getting at is this: give your off hand some extra attention and get used to more focused control of it... but then be sure to pick your other poi back up and reintegrate them, spinning as a whole.

Practice letting your strong hand go a little more on auto pilot, and putting more awareness into your off hand until you can find a good balance of awareness. As your off hand is improving, continue to reintegrate the experience, moving your focus back towards equal awareness of the whole.

Shifting your awareness. Being aware of your spinning in a gestalt manner as well as locally. Being aware of different relationships between the elements of your spinning: these are all things you can learn and improve at just like any other skill. As you get good at them you are learning how to learn better, ie meta-learning, which means you'll be accelerating other aspects of your spinning (including off hand control) almost for free.

Ok, it late and I'm starting to ramble about heady subjects...
I hope that helps, too
-Alien Jon

+Alien Jon

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