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Science, Craft, and Art

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2010

There are a lot of tools used in Nia.  The way that Nia describes each principle includes the Science of the principle, the Craft of the principle, and the Art of the principle.

For instance, the latest principle I posted about was Nia White Belt Principle #5, a portion of that being Awareness.  The Science of awareness would be that you can make observations about your body as you move through your day.  You can be aware of your hand as you pull it back from the mug of coffee that was too hot.  You can be aware of the adjustment you make to your entire body to make it feel more comfortable in the seat belt.  Notice how you scrunch your toes in your shoes.  You can be conscious of the things that cause discomfort and maybe, in the future respond and change before the discomfort becomes pain.

With the awareness you can develop an ongoing conversation with your body that can help you move more freely and comfortable throughout your life.

The Craft of awareness is where you acquire the ability to sense with your entire body.  Utilize not just your eyes and your ears but your sense of smell and proprioception.  The craft are the exercises or the practices that we do in order to assist with the awareness.

Possible exercise, to increase awareness:

—brush your teeth with your eyes closed, sensing the tooth brush on each tooth
—brush your hair with your eyes closed, and notice the moment the brush comes in contact with your hair or head
—as you reach out to touch something image yourself touching it before you actually touch it
—then ask yourself; what will it feel like, what sensation will the nerves in my hand allow my brain to sense, will
touch it softly or roughly?

And as you go through your everyday movements observe if there is any tightness or discomfort.  Ask yourself is there an adjustment that can be made to your habitual movement–to the way you do it normally–that could easy that comfort?  Is there something you could do to tweak it and move your closer to pleasure?  Try it that way.

Recognize the body as a work of Art.  The Art of awareness is to be aware of the mechanics and beauty of the working body. Visuals could help with the art piece of awareness.  If there was an area of the body that was uncomfortable or there was a constriction of the movement, picture the blood full of life giving nutrients rushing to that area.  Picture the nutrients as different colors rushing in to saturate the discomfort and color as paint on a canvas.

Or picture any area of the body that could use relaxation as a tight ball of rubber bands and either just picture the ball become loose and opening and airy or picture it as you are moving and stretching that are.  All the while being aware.

This is just an example of how the Nia applies all three tools, Science, Craft, and Art to a principle.  The three are also used as tools for other purposes, but this is just to throw some light on the ways that Nia is shared, practiced, learned, taught, and enjoyed.

If you would like some tips on how to move with Nia, such as:

~Use visual imagery to make movements feel natural.

~Combine small movements with large movements.

~Use your Base, Core, Upper Extremities, breath and voice to add energy and power to your moves.

You can click here, and go to my website, HelpYouWell.com

I hope that you will have a day full of awareness that will allow you to dance through life.

10 Responses to “Science, Craft, and Art”

  1. niachick said

    Excellent blog, Terre. Beautifully articulated.

    Who would guess that there is a Science, Craft and Art to Awareness?

    Love it. Love you,

    Jill

    Like

  2. I find this post VERY interesting. I’ve always enjoyed awareness exercises but I didn’t think too much about it. I took a Taekwondo class in Milpitas back in the early 70’s. The Dojo master taught us to exercise from within our bodies and from outside using staffs and other practice weapons so that we knew ‘where’ everything is. From that, I have been able to see whether or not a large box will fit in my small car even by an inch, or a refrigerator that is oversized fits into it’s place in our kitchen even though I forgot to measure it (I remember sweating this on the day I realized that oversight). Your body and your environmental awareness also can extend to the metaphysical. Being aware of danger or questionable situations both for yourself or in other roles such as parenting. Being aware of danger that may surround a child in your protection. Thanks 🙂 Wonderful info and very thought provoking.

    Like

    • Wow. I thought your comment was thought provoking.

      That is interesting that you were taught to know where things were (in relation to your body, right?) with staffs and practice weapons. Knowing “where” your body is in space or in relation to itself (proprioception) is a topic for another post I want to get to.

      You are VERY GOOD at fitting stuff and moving stuff. I remember you moving stuff up our staircase and I was very impressed. It reminded me of Tetris.

      I am glad you commented, thank you.

      Like

  3. That is very interesting. I have a lot of movements even when I am still. I was more aware just after reading this.
    It reminds me of a video Lance posted on his site a few weeks ago.
    Jungleoflife
    maybe I will see if I can find it. It was beautiful and showed a lot of movements. Thanks for this awareness.

    Like

    • Life can be a little surprising when we add “awareness”. There is all types of awareness, and different ways we can be aware.

      I often wake up and think, “Today I am going to remain aware.” Then part way through the day I forget. That is why I need to pick a color (Color Me A Reminder) and add that to my decision to be aware.

      Thanks for stopping by, Angelia!

      Like

  4. suzicate said

    That sounds interesting. I will have to go to your website to really get how to apply all three concepts…I sort of get it, but not sure in how to do it.

    Like

    • Well, my website will explain different things, like how to move with Nia, give you tips, and it has a lot of other information.

      The tools of Science, Craft, and Art to examing the ideas and/or the 13 Nia White Belt Principles not explained on my site. I was using this platform to give you a glimpse into how we learn things. And to allow readers to see that there is a science base to or a relation to the physical body, then there are exercises we do to assist us in learning, then there is the art to help keep us doing and learning.

      So in this post I just used one example. I used Awareness because it was my latest post, but using one of the more physical principles (6–The Base; Feet and Legs or 7–The Three Levels and the Three Levels of Intensity or 8–The Core of the Body; Pelvis, Chest, and Head) might make it more clear. I will work on that post. Ha! You’ll have to keep coming back! 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

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