Another way to do this which was introduced to me by Mikhail Ryabko is to lean the staff on the ground and lever yourself around on and off the ground in you own way. This is a great way to build tendon and ligement health and ability while building good movement and awareness as well.
Roll from standing to ground and up again while holding a long staff first in one hand and than using both hands and applying different tensions and hand arm positions to see how you can work around the tension and the changed form. After this is done for a while and some understanding is in the body do the same while holding the staff in your shirt, under the armpits, the neck and the shoulder, between the legs and so on. This can be a lot of fun if you let it be and mind the head.