Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2013
If you’ve read a post or two of mine you know there are many things I love about Nia. I think that Nia is a great workout, but I also think that a lot of the ideas, principles, values, and “things” can be used in everyday life. That is one reason why I share so many things about Nia here. I am working to get Nia out there so people know what it is, but I understand not everyone likes to do dance exercise as their type of workout, but there is a lot of Nia that can be applied to every day. Nia has a lot of ideas that can be applied to more than just the original place you hear it. For instance in the Nia White Belt, the manual states:
“New Ways – It Can Be a Stretch!
Some of this information may shake up your reality. Nia may disrupt your normal methods of doing, being and communicating. We do not intend to create disharmony or fear. We have no desire to aggressively challenge who you are, what you believe in, or what you stand for. The information we share with you is intended to assist you, inspire you, and to celebrate human potential.”
The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual March 2001, V3, page 1-5
I love that. I love that when taking a Nia intensive it is explained that you might come across new things. You might be shown a different way or something new, but they are not out to change you into what they believe, but to allow you to see something in a new way. All that is really asked of you is to have an open mind, heart, and body. It is even suggested not to examine or think about stuff too much. The belief is that you will get what you need when you need it. That is a great relief too because there is so much information it really takes the pressure off when it is understood that you will not get it all or remember it all upon first being exposed.
What is so tremendous is that this same information, this same philosophy can be brought into a Nia class. If you have never done Nia before the first time can be a surprise. It can surprise your senses, your body, your mind, your spirit. It can leave some people feeling a little unsure. I mean not every exercise class has you parting clouds, swimming in water, stepping in goo, and prancing like a pony. Some of this type of stuff can shake up someone’s reality. This type of movement might completely disrupt what they think of as normal methods of exercise. They might not be able to “get into” prancing like a pony. Prancing might not fit into their idea of exercise. But I know that if they have an openness of mind they will wake up the next day and realize that ponies get in a good work out. The “normal” methods of being might not have them pulsing their pelvis, shimmying their shoulders, or doing a sexy hip bump. Nia doesn’t want to make people uncomfortable with these things, but this type of movement is “normal” for the body by design. These moves aren’t meant to challenge you or what you believe in, they are meant to allow you to move your body as it was designed to move.
With the fun movements and ideas included in a Nia class it can easily inspire your and allow you to celebrate the human potential—to celebrate your body’s potential. This can kind of go along with my last post about spirit. It could be your spirit that lets you just let loose and gyrate those hips without fear. The idea here is to come to a Nia class with an open mind. Don’t let they way you’ve been taught exercise should be to keep you from experiencing something new. Don’t let fear of something unknown and/or different scare you off. Don’t think that just because it is unknown to you or different that the goal is to change you into something you are not. Just come and let your body move and let IT tell you what it thinks of Nia.
This week (February 10 through February 16, 2013) I am teaching EIGHT Nia classes. If you are local it would be GREAT to see you in at least one. They are at all different times on different days in many different places (most in San Jose, one in Santa Cruz). I bet there is one that would work for you: http://www.helpyouwell.com Also, in case you are not local or one of the eight doesn’t work for you check out Nianow.com. There are classes all over the world! Dare to dance?