Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some

Posted by terrepruitt on October 20, 2011

Nia routines are choreographed movements to music.  Nia’s choreography is pretty.  In fact in many cases it is beautiful.  Most Nia katas are based on the 52 Nia moves.  Steps and moves have been carefully selected to fit with the music, for the most part.  There are times when we are invited to just dance without a design.  No matter the choreography we are always encouraged to dance in our own way–and that just might not be “pretty” to some people.  The body — our bodies — the human body is put together in a specific way.  Our parts are connected in a specific way.  Movement is allowed and restricted by the way the body is constructed.  Some bodies cannot move as was intended.  Some bodies might have actual physical limitations that do not allow for soft, fluid, “pretty” movement.  For some lifting their arm over their head might cause discomfort.  It could be that they are not accustomed to lifting their arm that high so it might not be easy—at first.  Some might have tight hamstrings or other muscles so their movement might be less than natural.  But Nia is a journey, a practice.  Over time the joints will loosen with practice and/or the muscles will become more flexible and be able to move with ease.  It could become “pretty” or not.  Nia might not be pretty, but it is authentic.  It is not a performance.  It is how our bodies move.  Your body, my body, not the same body so we will move differently and it could be pretty or not.  What I might think is pretty you might not.   Let it be authentic.

Some bodies have other types of restrictions, could be mental or emotional.  It could be, having been taught all her life “ladies” don’t move their hips “like that”, there is an automatic stop placed in her mind so her hips don’t thrust or gyrate.  It could be that she thinks that movement is “ugly” so she won’t allow her body to do it.  It could be that chipping away at that barrier will take time.  And the learning might not be “pretty”.  It might be choppy and not happen all at once.  It could be that there is an emotion attached to a particular movement.  An emotion can act as another type of mental block and not enable or allow the Nia participant to move as the body was designed.  And that could, in turn, result in something that isn’t “pretty”.  Nia might not be pretty, but it is authentic.

It could also be as previously mentioned — some have an idea of what moves are “pretty” and what moves are not, so for them maybe the “ugly” moves should be kept off of the dance floor, but Nia is not a performance.  It is authentic movement of the body.

It could be an arm-raising, hair-whipping, sweat-dripping, face-reddening, body-jiggling, foot-stomping, voice-howling, eyes-crying, heart-softening, spirit-raising, mind-opening, body-moving dance exercise which, to some, just might not be pretty.  It is not a show, it is not a performance it is a movement, it is a practice, it is a dance, it is an exercise, it is a workout, it is an experience, it is authentic.  It is what you allow your body to do.  It is what you want it to be.  It is what you sense.

When we allow our bodies to move in an honest way we defer to the body’s intelligence.  The body speaks to us, but we need to listen.  It will tell us if what we are doing is causing pain so we can tweak the movement and move towards pleasure.  Also we can learn which areas of our bodies would benefit from more flexibility or more strength if we listen.  All the while, to someone who is expecting a performance this might appear “not pretty”.  But to those who have experienced the freedom of listening to the body’s intelligence we see it as beautiful.  We know there is a path, there is a journey.

I personally feel that it is beautiful when a participant moves to the music in a way that only s/he can move.  Sometimes I might catch a glimpse of one of my Nia students and I have to remind myself that I too need to move according to the sense of the music because otherwise I would stop and watch.  It is an amazing wonder to witness a surrender to the music. To some it might not be “pretty”, but it is truly beautiful.  So dance your dance.  Dance in your body’s way.  Don’t judge.  Don’t worry about if it is “pretty”. Movement is a glorious and beautiful gift to be enjoyed and not stifled.  Let your movements be authentic and don’t worry about those who might think it is not pretty.

4 Responses to “Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some”

  1. niachick said

    I have nothing to add other than this is a beautiful blog and I agree with everything you said!! The body is beautiful when it’s dancing!

    Like

  2. Becky said

    I think it’s so strange, I love to dance and am a great dancer but I’ve never been good with routines, you know? If I can just dance I rock it, but in an organized class I am out of sorts and my body doesn’t move the way it should. Maybe I over think it.

    Like

    • If you like to dance and you think that organized dance classes leave you out of sorts you would love Nia. Nia is the perfect combination of BOTH. The routine I am doing right now has a couple of katas with one basic pattern. Then the whole song we do that one pattern with our feet, but you as a person, as an individual, as a unique BODY move the pattern in your own way. You would love it. You would learn (I know you would because I have faith) to not think, just enough to let your feet do the pattern then the rest of your body senses the music and you find yourself dancing. You would ROCK IT. So get your butt out here!

      Thanks for being here, B!

      Like

Let me hear it. What have you got to say about this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: