Poi & flow retreat
20-26 september 2021, France
Vojta stolbenko
& Tom hora
Days filled with workshops, fire spinning, music, yoga, great food, and other amazing activities… Boost your poi spinning and stay at a luxurious castle in South France. Learn new tricks and techniques, get personal help, play together, and get inspired!

 

Do you sometimes feel stuck or confused when trying to learn a trick? Do you feel like you don’t make progress with learning new things? You’ve come to the right place 😉
We will be teaching a new training framework, giving you the tools and insights to level up your understanding and boost your progress! There will be a lot of focus on HOW to train, breaking down tricks, and understanding the framework, the elements that all tricks are composed of. Of course, we’ll also go into the WHAT; you’ll learn loads of cool tricks.
learn, Play & Relax
poi & flow

This retreat will combine Poi spinning, multiple other Flow Arts disciplines, and body work like Qi Gong and Yoga. With the Poi & Flow Retreat we want to offer a diverse program, focused on training our body, mind and flow.

Every morning, we’ll start with half an hour of Qi Gong, to gently wake up our body, and focus our mind. After that, Votja Stolbenko will learn us loads of Poi tricks and techniques during the 2,5 hours of workshop every morning. Then it will be time for a delicious lunch.
After that, there will be multiple workshops; Staff spinning, Double Staff, Dragon Staff, Buugeng, Hula Hoop, Mini Iso Hoops and Fans. Classes will be given depending on interest by Vojta, Tom ,Nana, Adrienne and others.  Classes can be alternating, and also 2 classes can be given at the same time, depending on interest.
After that, we’ll have a Sword workshop from Tom Hora, to improve our body posture, and learn new body movement sequences, and to finish the official workshop program for that day, there will be a yoga/stretching class.

daily 5+ hours
Workshops

– 2,5 h Poi workshops by Vojta
-1,5 h Staff, Double Staff,  Dragon Staff, Fans or Hoop
– 45 min Sword by Tom Hora
– 30 min Qi Gong & Yoga

ACTIVITIES &
The castle

– Private pool of 20 meters
– A billiard table
– An outdoor cinema where can watch movies
– fire spinning (fuel provided)

everything
is included

– 6 nights of accommodation in a luxurious private castle in the countryside
-3 delicious meals a day
– coffee, tee, and mint-water
– pick a room based on your preferences

get a discount, get an early bird ticket!

four tools to thrive

After giving many retreats, we noticed a few basic patterns that kept our students from making progress. Below you can find the four main subjects we will cover, to prevent the stumbling blocks.

INSIGHT INTO THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE TRICK
You’ll learn how to break down any trick to its compartments, to make it easier to understand, so you can train the different compartments first, and after putting them all together. You’ll learn about the elements that make up every poi spinning move.

LEARN THE FOUNDATIONAL MOVEMENTS OF A TRICK
Of course, we all want to learn that super cool new trick that you saw right away! But it’s not always a good idea to start practicing something that needs control of more foundation moves that you can’t do yet. The process will probably be frustrating and confusing, as it will be quite hard to reach your goal from here. It’s like wanting to build the roof, without first building the walls… We’ll teach you how to figure out what movements are required to be able to do the trick. When understanding and practicing the foundation moves first, your progress towards the final trick will be a lot smoother and probably also faster.

ANALYZING WHAT IS HAPPENING
What’s happening when you’re making a movement, what is going well, and what is going wrong? Not all training is getting you closer to your goal… Actually, without observing and analyzing what you’re doing with your hands and the rest of your body, your progress will be very slow. You’ll learn how you can increase your body awareness, and mental awareness, to ask the right questions, so you can increase your understanding to move faster your goal. To increase our body- and mental awareness, there will be Qi Gong lessons, every morning for a great start to the day. The basic principles of Qi gong; breathing techniques, stretching, standing meditation…
Tom will explain the Bai Ma Shan Qi Gong morning set of exercises from Five immortals temple…and other cool exercises from Wu Xing Qi Gong (Wudang five elements Qi Gong) and Ba Duan Jin (Eight brocades). We can also play with Taiji cloud hands and some Taiji walking patterns useful for the Flow Arts movements.

move your body!

The first thing we’ll work on is moving the body in the right way to prevent injuries. The second point is, that for an audience, we think it’s way more interesting to watch a person who’s spinning poi and integrating the whole body, making big movements and moving in space, than watching a person spinning whose body is frozen, only moving the arms. Even when doing the most difficult tricks, when there is no movement in the rest of the body, a general audience will soon lose interest. A very basic trick nicely performed and integrated with the whole body can look way more interesting and beautiful than a very difficult trick when only the arms move.

BODY MOVEMENT
We really want to invite you to work more on body movement, when spinning. Not only for how it will look, but it’s also just so much more fun when you’re rockin’ it! That’s why there will be sword lessons, every afternoon.

Working with the sword is a great way to work on body movement, as the prop is quite easy to manipulate. All the body postures you will learn can be used with other props. And also the spinning movements of the sword are very similar and applicable to staff spinning. But the advantage of the sword is everybody can follow these lessons, without any prior experience. The sword lessons are based on the traditional Chinese style, which is quite slow, and more meditation-oriented, not a full combat style. Mixed with Kungfu sword style (inspired by the art of Banethi) and performing techniques, as our teacher, Tom Hora is a professional fire-spinning artist. If you don’t have a sword, you can borrow one for the lessons.

ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME

All levels from beginner to advanced Poi spinners are welcome. We’ll offer beginning, intermediate and advanced options for most tricks. In other cases, we might split the group so different levels of poi spinners can work on different moves.

Also for the workshops in the afternoon, all levels are welcome with Staff, Double Staff, Buugeng, Sword, Fans, Hoop and Mini Iso Hoops. These workshops will be smaller so they will be even more catered to individual needs and wishes.

Poi Pre-Requisite moves
To benefit the most from this retreat, be sure to know the basic poi moves, such as; 3-beat weaves (forward & backward) windmill, watermill, hip-reels & turns, butterfly (same-time, split-time), buzzsaw.
If you can’t do some of the moves listed above, don’t worry! We will teach you that. However, if you want to be prepared, look up some tutorials (we recommend having a look at Playpoi.com – those tutorials are great!)

a day at the retreat

This is what a day at the retreat looks like;

9:15   – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 10:30 Qi Gong by Tom Hora
10:30 – 13:00 Poi Workshop by Vojta Stolbenko

13:30 Lunch

15:00 – 16:30 Staff spinning, Double Staff, Dragon Staff, Buugeng, Hoop, Mini Iso Hoops and Fans.
Alternating classes depending on interest, 2 classes will be given at the same time.
16:30 – 17:15 Sword Workshop by Tom Hora
17:30 – 18:00 Yoga by Adrienne Zest

19:30 dinner
21:00 fire or LED jam

WEEK SCHEDULE
– 20th of September: start of the retreat at 17:00 with an introduction meeting and dinner
– 21st to the 25th of September: 5 Workshop days
– 26th of September: end of the retreat, breakfast, and departure

poi, acro-staff, double & triple staff
vojta stolbenko

Vojta is a Czech poioneer who excels at combining tech tricks with dance and acrobatics. With a style and approach all his own, he has created some innovative new poi techniques.
Vojta has shared his poi enthusiasm all over the globe and has taught already more than a hundred workshops worldwide. In addition, he’s filmed many inspirational poi videos, including the world’s most watched poi video “The Future Is Now”. Check out Vojta’s videos and personal website to learn more about this talented Artist. Just click on the icons below.

sword, staff, dragon staff, qi gong
tom hora
Tom is a Czech Full-Combat Fire-Artist who has studied with many different teachers across the globe to learn a whole range of combat techniques and meditative body work practices. He has a lot of experience as a teacher and is an amazing fire-performer, Tom cooperated with many artists and fire companies and he did more than one thousand performances!
Tom started with the Fire-Art in 2000 and he is fire-performer since 2002, he has founded the fireshow group PALITCHI in Prague with friends.
In 2005 he started to study traditional Indian fire art Banethi with his teacher in Varanasi (after this first visit he came every winter to study Banethi & Yoga and to perform in India for 6 years). Tom has been working as the Fire-Art teacher (long staff techniques and acrobacy) in Prague New Cirque Centre for 4 years (2012-2016). His artistic way was also influenced by Dance, Taiko Drumming, Capoeira and of course Chinese martial arts…:
– student of Shaolin kungfu since 2002
– student of Chen taiji and Qi gong since 2005
– member of Shaolin kungfu performance group (2008 – 2013)
– 2nd place winner of Czech national wu-shu competetion with long staff 2013
– kungfu teacher (for kinds and adults) since 2011
– studying in Wudang mountains in China – internal cultivation, Qi gong, Taiji and kungfu in 2015, 2016, 2018…for a total of 6 months
– since 2016 he is a student of Li shifu (abott and master in Five immortals temple and also good friend..;)
– Qi gong and Taiji teacher since 2016
fans, hoop, double staff, buugeng
nana devi

Nana will be giving workshops Fans, Hoop, Double Staff and Buugeng. She started spinning poi in 2000, and since then, the Flow Arts and Dance have been a journey into expressing, discovering, learning, and healing herself. An eternal journey into expanding body awareness, building strength and flexibility and the joyous expressing through movement and dance.
“Spin more things!” by trying different props, you won’t get bored, and it’s fun to learn new things.

Nana is also the organizer of the Poi Retreat, and working as a manager at the castle where the retreat will be held “Chateau Montjoi”. Further, she’s a fire performer, and makes costumes and performs as a stilt-walker with her company Street Theater& Co.

yoga, fans, iso hoops
Adrienne zest

Hello, my name is Adrienne. I am a dancer and a performer, as well as a teacher of yoga and movement. I conducted my formal dance education at the conservatoire of Dusan Nebyla in Slovakia and later continued broadening my skills by attending different workshops around the globe.

In my early twenties, I discovered object manipulation – also known as ‘flow arts’, which led me to a new and exciting world of performing with fire and light. My favorite tools to spin are mini hoops, fire fans, and poi.

I enjoy sharing my passion for movement with others and discovering new ways to reach the ultimate body-mind connection.

Have a look at my Youtube channel, for free yoga classes. Also see my website below, just click on the icons

Have a look at the

poi & flow retreat

See the room choice at the ticket page!

this is what our

past attendants say

details poi & Flow retreat at the castle

Start: Monday 20th September 2021. Start at 17:00 with an introduction meeting and dinner

End: Sunday 26th September. Breakfast, and departure at 10:00

Don’t want to go yet? You can stay for another week at the castle, there will be the Wave Retreat ; ) http://waveretreats.com

The retreat will be held at Chateau Montjoi.

The address is: Route de Quercy 815, Lieu dit Cotty,
82400 Montjoi, France

Classes are ideal for both beginners and advanced spinners. We won’t only focus on tricks, so even if you aren’t familiar with some poi or staff moves yet, you will still benefit from the body movement workshops, and you will be taught the moves you miss.
Workshops will be held in a group and also individually (for some moves we might make small groups depending on the skill level and your interests).
To benefit the most from this retreat, be sure to know the basic moves.
Poi basic moves:  3-beat weaves (forward & backward) windmill, watermill, hip-reels & turns, butterfly (same-time, split-time), buzzsaw.
If you can’t do some of the moves listed above, don’t worry! We will teach you that. However, if you want to be prepared, look up some tutorials (such as those on Playpoi.com – those are great!)

Prices range from 590 to 890 euro per person, per week for the full retreat.

The price per week depends on the kind of accommodation you would like at the castle.  There are different options to choose from, to suit your needs. Ranging from having your own private bedroom to sharing a room with one or multiple persons.

– Early Bird price per week, per person from € 590 to € 890
Lazy Bird prices after 01/09/21 are +75 euro

See all room choices and pricing at the Tickets page

The price includes 6 nights of accommodation, 3 meals per day, 5+ hrs of workshops per day, coffee, tea, and mint-water, and fuel fire spinning.

Not included;
– transport to/from the castle (if you come by public transport, we can pick you up from the nearest train station, see the FAQ)
– alcoholic drinks can be bought at the castle for only 1 euro per glass. We’ll have beer and wine.

FRIENDS DISCOUNT: Come with a friend, and you’ll both get a 10% discount on the retreat price!
This discount only applies if 2 or more persons register together for the full retreat, including the workshops. This 10% discount applies to all room options, except for the premium sharing option. If you choose the premium sharing option, the discount will be 5%.

If you would like to bring your partner, friend, parent, or child who will not be participating in the workshops, there will be a 35% discount on the retreat fee.
The person will not participate in the workshops, but all the other things will be included: 6 nights of accommodation, all meals and drinks. (The friend’s discount doesn’t apply here, so the person who does participate in the workshops, pays the normal fee)

POI:
– increasing our ability to learn fast by practicing coordination and hand independence
– beautifying and exploring possibilities of the moves you already can do
– becoming free with movement and expression, thoughts on improvisation and “flow”
– incorporating our body into the motion
– contrast moves, transitions between different planes, cross-points
– anti-spin based moves
– pirouettes, tracers
– contact poi, tosses
– under the legs, jumps
– hyperloops (basics or advanced)
– wraps (spiral wraps, body wraps)
– stalls, transitions between all the moves
– behind the back moves
– optional: triple poi and meteor basics (from one-handed weaves to one-handed anti-spin patterns)

* note that we might not be able to do all of this, however, if we lack enough time the classes will be adapted to your preferences

You won’t only learn poi moves and tricks – we will talk about how to incorporate these moves into a performance, how to achieve a good stage presence, you will be taught some light acrobatics, footwork and dance moves you can use in flow arts. Moreover, we’ll play some theatrical games that will help us to explore more body movement possibilities.

FAQ

Chateau Montjoi is a private rental holiday destination in South France.
In spite of the modern luxury the chateau provides, it remains a throwback to centuries past. The rustic and romantic authenticity has been preserved after thorough renovation and redecoration.

This picturesque Chateau is equipped with a private pool, outdoor cinema, and billiard.
You can have a look at the website http://chateaumontjoi.fr

The retreat will be held at Chateau Montjoi. The address is: (Lieu dit) Coty, route de Quercy 815, 82400 Montjoi, France

BY CAR: When you are at the A62 (toll way between Bordeaux and Toulouse), take exit Castelsarresin. It will take around 25 minutes to reach the Chateau from here. The address of Chateau Montjoi is: (Lieu dit) Coty, route de Quercy 815, 82400 Montjoi. Montjoi is located in Tarn et Garonne, department Midy Pyrenees.

BY PLANE: The closest airport is Toulouse Blagnac (90 km). And then there are Carcassonne and Bordeaux (200 km)
From the airport, you can take a train to Moissac. There is no public transport going near to Chateau Montjoi.
We can pick you up from the train station (ask for availability!). There will be an extra fee (around 10 euroS depending on how many persons can be picked up together). Please note this is the application form.

TRAIN: https://www.sncf.com/en we can pick you up from the train station “Moissac”, as there is no further public transport. There will be an extra fee of 10 euros for the service.

TRAIN long distance in France, discounted tickets https://www.ouigo.com/destinations

COMPARE cheap transport options https://kiwi.com

Don’t want to go yet? You can stay for another week at the castle, there will be the Wave Retreat ; ) Learn Wave Dance & Object Manipulation  http://waveretreats.com

If you attend the Poi Retreat AND Wave Retreat you’ll get a 10% discount on the total retreat fee, one extra night at the castle, and the meals in between both retreats for free!

(If you want to attend both retreats, you don’t have to register twice. Please just register at one of our websites, and add the comment that you want to register for both retreats)

You can have a look at the FAQ Page for more details

If you didn’t find your answer there, please contact Nana through the contact form or write an email to nana@poiretreat.com

BE FAST TO RESERVE! tHE LAST ONE WAS SOLD OUT…

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