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Nia Principle #10 X-Ray Anatomy

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2010

The 10th Principle of the Nia White Belt is X-Ray Anatomy.  When I first heard this I thought, “What? Do the people that do Nia think they have X-Ray Vision?” But that is not the case at all. (Whew!) To put it in its simplest form it is a way to see the body.

In Nia we study anatomy. We do not study it to the extent of doctors, but we read books and use tools to help us learn how the bones act as the frame and support of the body; how the bones protect organs, and how the bones connect.  We examine the joints and how they move.  Each type of joint: the hinged joints, the ball and sockets, etc. moves differently  We notice how they move and how they allow movement.  We also look at how the muscles move the bones, with contractions.  In addition, we think about the connective tissue, believing that in order for it to be healthy it must move and be supple.

Focusing on how the body was designed to move and appear allows us to “x-ray” beneath the skin using our intuition, our knowledge, and our eyes to possibly see areas that could use attention.  For example shoulders in general should be level.  Rounded shoulders could be weak muscles in the back not holding the back up and shoulders back, or tightness in the muscles in the front.  Level hips is the original design, barring injury, hips off kilter could be a matter of weak leg muscles on one side.   See how that can work?

Looking at our bodies using our X-ray Anatomy can assist us in seeing and learning what our bodies need.  Seeing what our bodies need give us the opportunity to give them what they need.  When we have an idea of what our bodies need it enables us to practice Nia in the way that best suits our needs.  Working out in a way that our bodies actually need makes working out enjoyable and makes you feel great.

12 Responses to “Nia Principle #10 X-Ray Anatomy”

  1. niachick said

    Hi Terre! I had to laugh out loud when I read that you thought Nia people had X-Ray vision…that’s exactly what came to mind the first time I heard the term “X-Ray Anatomy”. In this particular principle, there’s a practice called Zorro. This is a where the teacher visually watches individuals and specifically notices their bone alignment. It’s called “Zorro” because the practice involves quickly drawing the lines of people’s bones as they move.

    I’ve had alot of fun over the years noticing my own X-Ray anatomy. I love standing in front of mirror (doesn’t matter if I’m clothed or not) and noticing how I’m either aligned really well, or possibly not!! I have one ear lobe that hangs lower than the other (or is it that my head tilts slightly to one side?). I have one hip that sits higher than the other and I can consciously realign this while looking in the mirror…however, it doesn’t stay that way very long!!

    Love the post Terre (as usual)!!!



    • It is so funny sometimes how Nia has catchy phrases or words for things that initially might make people say “WHAT?!!?” (I know they did me). But the things turn out to be pretty common. I love it. Personal Trainers also do “X-ray Anatomy”, but I have never heard of them having the “Zorro” tool. That is unique to Nia. (Yay Nia!)

      I love looking at my Zorro pics in my Nia Book of Alchemy. Our weather is so perfect I should take a big pad to a park and practice Zorro. (I am going to look at scheduling some time for that!)

      Since the body is dynamic it serves to “do” X-Ray Anatomy often, as you have said you have “done it over the years”? Because one day you might be standing straight in alignment and the next day you might see you are “crooked” with tightness somewhere. Awesome (not the crooked, but the tool)!

      Jill, Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for loving the post. With Nia it is sometimes difficult to keep it short and to one point because Nia has so much and is so rich. I think I will do a Zorro post. I could include some of my Zorros! Fun!!!


  2. Brilliant concept! I can see how that could connect the brain to the body and bring much awareness. I immediately know my hips are off, and my shoulders (upper back) are in bad shape from a cast on my wrist and a car wreck. I am trying to sit up straighter now too and not so rounded. 🙂


    • Oh no! I don’t remember a car wreck. When was this? You are in a cast right now?

      I have a bad habit of rounding my shoulders, too. I used to work at a company where a woman and I sat on opposite sides of a set of cubes, we couldn’t see each other and we used to say over the cubes to each other, “Hey! Are you sitting up straight?” It was nice to have that little reminder. 🙂

      I am sorry for your “bad shape”, I hope you are able to take steps towards healing!


  3. suzicate said

    I need to learn about muscle connections…since I have exerted myself on vacay (unless it’s the heat, but I am well hydrated) I’ve experienced some horrid muscle cramps that run from my waist up my back and all the way to my elbow, twice on the right side and once on the left. It has happened about three days apart the first time with it being a week later (yesterday) the last time.It is an extreme contracting like a charley horse that lasts about five minutes and goes away. Do you think it is from exertion? If I get another one, I will go to the doc. I still have soooooo much to learn about warm up/ exercise and nutrition. I always find good info here. Thanks, Terre!


    • Wow. My first thought was vitamins–as in a defficiency, because that “path” (from waist, up the back, to the elbow) is odd. A single movement would not affect all those muscles. Because it is happening AFTER the fact and not DURING the exertion I would think it is not just exertion. Do you know what I mean? I know that you were hiking, climbing over rocks and trees, using a walking stick, and I am gonna guess, a little apprehensive of the terrain and wildlife, so you were probably very tense AND working arm and back muscles more than you are used to. So I would EXPECT soreness, but not cramping. I might not be surprised if it cramped while you had been walking, but after, makes me think it is is a combination of things. I am just throwing ideas out there, ok? And please, please, please if it happens again, go to your doctor. But it could just be exertion because I bet you used your right side more than your left, huh?

      Thank you. I am glad you find good stuff here. I find good stuff on your blog too. (Thanks for the vacation! 😉 )


  4. suzicate said

    Thanks for responding, Terre. The first two times on the right side happened right after exertion. the third time (yesterday) was on the left side, no exertion, and I’ve had two charley horses, right leg. I’ve always heard that cramping can come from lack of magnesium or potasium, so I ate a banana after the last one. Maybe, I’ll start taking my vitamins. I drink a lot of water and haven’t been out in the heat since Friday. I was just wondering if that muscle pattern was something in particular. I’ll see how I do this weekend…if it’s not raining I’ll ride my bike. Thanks. And you’re welcome for the virtual vacation! It’s not over yet!


    • Water is what I always think of first, but you said you were drinking water. But wait? Hadn’t you said you forgot to get water?

      Anyway . . . . the muscle pattern . . . meaning all the muscles that you used does make sense in that your waist, up the back, and arms are sore. But they are not all connected. Some are. When you are walking . . . .well, you were hiking and climbing and crawling over things you were using your torso, your core muscles — some of which are you back muscles. Then you were using your arms with the stick and the climbing. So it makes sense they are part of the issue, but they are not neccearily connected. Make sense?

      I also understood the cramping differently, I thought that it was days after that you were having cramping. If you had the cramping right after, then yes, I would say it could be just exertion, but I to have always heard that vitamins and mineral difficency are what contributes to cramping. It could be a combination of both.

      Yay! I am not done with my virtual vacation yet! LOL!


  5. suzicate said

    You’re right we did forget water on the hike but not the other times, and I was using muscles that I did NOT know existed…I just hope I can keep that kind of activity going so I can reaaly get in shape…finally!


    • Yeah, I can totally believe that with all that hiking you used a lot of muscles in your sides and back that you might not normally use. You were hiking on pretty “rough” terrain. Having to balance yourself. If you don’t normally practice balancing all those muscles are going, “Heey—aaa!” All that clear algae! (See I read.) 😉

      Nice. Good luck (keeping it up!)! Yay!!


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  7. […] of it is done with X-Ray Anatomy which is principle #10 of the Nia White Belt.  X-Ray Anatomy does not mean we have X-ray vision, but it does mean that we see the way the body […]


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