Poi Move Names – Tech Poi vs Common Names

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Poi Move Names – Proper vs Improper Names

It has come up a number of times lately that as we continue to grow our professionalism in flow arts, so must the accuracy continue to grow in refining the words we use to describe the poi moves we are presenting. 


This can get very tech-nical, but I wanted to begin with a baby bird’s eye view of what I am talking about as we are learning to fly.


When I began learning my basic poi move names, a couple that stand out to me in particular that I felt were accurate names but have since been critiquedWhen I began learning my basic poi move names, a couple that stand out to me in particular that I felt were accurate names but have since been critiqued on is the “Whack the Golf ball” and “Over the Rainbow”, which I learned from Nick Woolsey, one of the original, if not the original big names in poi. The trick form made sense with the name and my students since have felt the same.

Tech Poi Names 

Since then I have found the “Vulcan Tech Gospel”. https://noelyee.com/instruction/vulcan-tech-gospel/ It’s format for defining tricks is specific to the Timing, Direction, Snapshot and Pattern. In this case, our Whack the Golf ball, and Over the Rainbow would be simply called Together Same, or Tog Same for short. It might also be defined as a simple in front of the body extension if we put the two moves into one.

Depends How you were Taught?

I began to note these sorts of technicalities before I learned flow arts, while beginning my yoga career. I noticed that different teachers would define different poses as well as how to get into them, differently, with a couple to a few most common variations. Some of my teachers were persistent in that “This is the correct name!”. Others would say “There are multiple names for this one.”. And some still, “None of these are correct, the original and correct titles are spoken in Sanskrit.” 


So is it the original labels we should be using? The most popular? The most specific in description? It is hard to say for sure. As I level up my game, for beginners I use easier to remember labels that describe the motion and/or shape of the trick I’m describe (a “Four Petal Flower”, for example) and for more advanced I am now practicing using the accepted terms amongst the pros (“Split Same Antispin 3 Beat Flower”).

Where do you stand?

What do you think of poi move names? Do you have a go to of where you get your accepted terminology for flow arts? Please share in the comments as we are all still learning and teaching each other; that, to me, is the magic of the flow arts community – effortless assistance and willingness to be humble.


Yours in flow,

Jesse Hart of Full Circle Phenomenal
A Sacred Flow Art Community Blogger

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