First of all, to those who don't know what poi is:
Quoted from Homeofpoi.com
""Poi" is the Maori word for "ball" on a cord
The Poi was used, many years ago, by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination.
Wahine (female) dancers perform the Maori Poi, a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically.
The Poi dance was originally used by the Maori women for keeping their hands flexible for weaving and by the men for strength and coordination required during battle. Poi are also used as a training aid for other ancient weapons like the Mere or Patu (Short club)"
Now days poi is a popular form of entertainment and just plain for fun practice good for cordination.
Glowstringing is a similar art to poi, largely developed and advocated by the rave community, before spreading throughout electronic music culture. It involves spinning glowsticks to make patterns in the air at raves or in the club scene. While often mistaken for poi, it is in fact a separate discipline, and the two styles have had some influence on each other.
Learning the fundamentals of poi make an excellent foundation for glowstringing and advanced fire poi, like in the picture below.
A simple way out would be purchasing a pair of poi off the web. It isn't a bad idea, but as for me, save the $20 or so dollars and get crafty. I personally find I like working with my own crafted items better myself anyways.
But enough of my rambling, lets get started on some basic homemade pratice poi!
Step 1: "The Ingredients"
Onto the supplies.
1. A pretty good sized scrap of fabric
2. Some yarn or string
3. A couple of old(or new, your call) shoe-laces
4. Two plastic baggies
5. Some rice or sand
6. Scissors and a ruler
If all goes well and you don't get rice everywhere (like me) this should only take about 10 minutes.