Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013
There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia. I even have a separate category for it. See over there to the left under categories, under Nia? Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class. Sounding is great for many reasons. Sounding is a release. It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”. Sounding is fun. Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso. Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit. Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound. I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out. I “woo” a lot. But sometimes other sounds comes out. Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out. I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt. I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out. Sometimes I do think of the sound. Sounding can be purposeful. The noise can have a purpose. I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras. This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.
The picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances. Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different. The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way. The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances. At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.
In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”. The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.
In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”. Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance. The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.
The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”. You say it on an exhale. Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.
Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound. Say “ha!” To me this helps with stabilization.
The bow stance has a sound of “u”. The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.
The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it. This is done on the exhale. This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.
So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun. It is just fun to make noise. To me it adds to the experience. In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want. I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.
Do you attend a dance exercise class or exercise that encourages you to make noise?
Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas). The book can be purchased from Amazon.
Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: A Stance, Amazon, Bow Stance, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, Cat Stance, closed stance, core stabilization, Debbie Rosas, making noise is fun, Nia, Nia class, Nia Sounds, Nia Stances, Nia Teacher, Nia teaching, open stance, Riding Stance, sounding, Sumo Stance, The Nia Technique book | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 3, 2012
Nia has a different closed stance than some other dances and exercises I know. In Pilates the stance is heels touching and toes apart. I’ve heard it called a Pilates V. The Pilates V is done in more positions than standing. Sometimes there are exercises done while on the reformer where we will place our feet in Pilates V. It is nice to have positions that are specific. It helps a lot. I as a teacher can just say, “Closed stance.” and the Nia students will know what that means. Instead of forming a V as in the Pilates stance we form more of a rectangle. A basic closed stance is simple. It is stable. Nia’s closed stance is the side of the big toes touching and heels apart. It is as if all four corners of a rectangle are in contact with the edge of the foot. This allows for a very stable base. In the basic closed stance the arms hang. The back is straight, we are standing tall, lengthening the spine. Knees are relaxed as well was the feet. Weight is balanced evenly on both feet. Simple closed stance.
Closed stance is one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves. There is Closed Stance, Open Stance, A Stance, Sumo (or Riding) Stance, Bow Stance, and Cat Stance. I believe that in its basic form closed stance is the easiest. But when other elements are added that might not hold true.
We can practice our agility by walking quickly then stopping in closed stance. We might choose to be in closed stance while we allow just our arms to be agile . . . moving around in a starting and stopping fashion. We could just let our closed stance be stable as our arms are mobile. We could do an entire body dance . . . close stance dance. For some this is a challenge, even though our feet are formed into a rectangle and the idea is of a stable base it is still a practice in balance to have your feet secured to the earth while the rest of your body moves around. As I said, what we do with a close stance might not be so simple.
Practicing walking and stopping in closed stance is a good check to make certain you are not landing in “toes in“. The heels shouldn’t be that far apart as if you are doing toes in. Yet the toes should be touching. Coming from other stances to closed is good for conditioning the legs. Moving from Sumo to closed, or from at to closed is something to practice. Again we don’t want our heels to land too far apart making us pigeon toed.
I know of several routines that have us going through the stances. We start out in closed, then go to open stance, then go to A stance, then go to sumo. In some routines we work back through the stances, but in some we do move right into closed from sumo. I can’t think of one where we go from closed to sumo, but I bet there is one and I just can’t put my finger on it. Nia loves to mix up the moves to get the most out of the workout.
Can you sense the stability in the Nia Closed Stance?
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: A Stance, Bow Stance, Cat Stance, closed stance, dance exercise, dance positions, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Moves, Nia participants, Nia Teacher, Nia workout, Nia's 52 Moves, open stance, Pilates, Pilates reformer, Pilates V, Riding Stance, Sumo Stance, workout | 2 Comments »