Nia, an internationally acclaimed practice for over 30 years.
Nia is now taught in 49 countries around the world. Awakening the senses, Nia teaches you to love your body and your life. Here in Australia, Nia is shared with enthusiasm by a lively community that has grown organically since 2004.
Check out the Events page for the latest workshops, gatherings, retreats and trainings Australia-wide. Explore the Blog below for community news and stories.
Written by Nia Australia member, Sylvana Simon*
Whenever I’m about to do something that makes me feel nervous, I remember the quote from Susan Jeffers – “Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway”.
Fear itself is not the enemy, sometimes it protects us from real danger. Sometimes we give fear the power to make us much smaller than we are destined to be. We need to feel our fear and then decide if it’s based in reality.
The unconscious (subconscious) mind has one job – to protect! It has no interest in personal development, fulfilment or expression – it only knows that if we’ve experienced a physical or emotional trauma in our lives then we need to be protected from all similar experiences. Our unconscious mind would wrap us in cotton wool if it could.
For many, the words ‘dance’ and ‘class’ in one paragraph evoke negative feelings due to emotional traumas from the past – being teased, unfavourable comparisons with others, even sometimes from the ridicule of people in positions of authority.
I was feeling the FEAR recently on my way to the ‘Wild’ Dance Jam organised by the Brisbane Nia Community.
A Nia Dance Jam is a class where every song is led by a different teacher. Quite a while earlier I had volunteered to lead one of the tracks (a long one) without being fully mindful of what I was putting my hand up for. In the meantime we partly moved house, had visitors come to stay over the holidays and moved house some more! It was not until the day before the Jam that I found myself ready to learn the choreography! Not good for my nervous system! Fear suggested that I find someone to do it instead of me. Then I saw emails from those who were unable to take part, and realised that I needed to…
‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’!!
As soon as I arrived at the venue, Laurie Bass – Nia Training Faculty member from Portland, Oregon USA, a guest joint trainer with Australian Nia Trainer Sophie Marsh for the Brisbane White Belt training – acknowledged that I had chosen a long track. Laurie kindly offered, “I’ve got your back. Get started and if you want to move out I’ll move in”. Others just smiled and said, “don’t worry”. This is what you call a friendly crowd, so I didn’t worry. I felt supported in every way to dance with joy.
This event was part of a global initiative to celebrate the new Nia Technique routine called “WILD” and promote NiaTV. Nia TV subscribers can take a Nia class any where and any time, on their computer or device. The Brisbane Nia Technique teachers chose to donate funds raised at the Wild Dance Jam to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. Monies raised supports their dedication to the protection and preservation of wildlife and wild places in Australia.
The Nia community (Tribe) is full of people who are beautiful in every way and as different from each other in terms of shape, size, age, cultural and ethnic background, fitness level and more. Nia is a movement practice that cares for the body in an incredibly holistic way, yet also sees beyond the body to the soul or essence of each participant. This especially shows up when a group is moving together; not all in exactly the same way, but together. Forget about the ‘no pain, no gain’ concept of fitness – Nia is about following the pleasure in movement, listening to the body, tweaking movement where there’s discomfort and developing fitness as a side effect while moving joyfully.
The Nia Jam was so much fun!
Nia is so much fun!
If you haven’t felt the fear and done it anyway, I highly recommend Nia as a practice to help you spread your wings ready for flight…and to take as one of your main co-pilots for the journey.
Sylvana is a clinical hypnotherapist based in Brisbane and a Brown Belt Nia Instructor who currently teaches three Nia classes per week. She loves the freedom that Nia provides and it has allowed her to come home to herself. She dances for the sheer fun of it, and enjoys the bonuses: getting fit, feeling energetic, becomming healthier in every way, and meeting wonderful people. In her Nia classes, Sylvana guides others to release inhibitions and move in their own body’s way in order to feel good.
And go here to see a sample of WILD at the Nia Dance Jam held in Brisbane on 10th January 2018.
* Edited by Jo Behlau, Vice President & Giulia Ponticello, Social Media Administrator, Nia Australia.
Are you ready to start 2018 feeling inspired to BE the best version of yourself, to listen more to your own inner wisdom, to understand your body’s voice and learn how to move and live with more awareness, pleasure and purpose? For the first time in nearly 6 years, the Nia White Belt training in Brisbane 5-11 January will be led by two members of the International Nia Training Faculty – Laurie Bass from Portland Oregon and Nia Australia Trainer, Sophie Marsh.
This is a unique opportunity to receive even more from the 7 day intensive and to immerse in the incredible depth of knowledge and embodied practice that both of these women bring. You’ll experience first hand how Nia invites each person to bring their own unique essence, their Spirit, to the form of the practice. There are still spaces and it’s not too late to sign up for this transformational week. Register Now
Can’t make the whole training? Don’t miss the chance to come and dance with open classes held every day of the White Belt. Everybody is welcome into the training “Joy Bubble”. These classes are shared in a way that is ideal for beginners as well as seasoned students.
“So many of my Nia friends from far and wide are gathering and bubbling with excitement at the prospect of stepping into the third level of Nia training, the Brown Belt with International Nia Trainer Ann Christiansen. And their excitement and anticipation comes from knowing what it’s like in a Nia training.
We all felt it when we stepped into our first White Belt. For me it was feeling like I was free. I could be totally me. I could just spend time being with myself (in the company of others who I’ve grown to know and love). I could let the daily worries and responsibilities go and tune into who I am. How I feel and what I want. And I felt safe. And held. And loved and nourished and cared for. And I got a taste of what it feels like to live in ‘I could do and be …’ rather than ‘I should do or be … ” And I know that each time I step into the Nia bubble, I’ll get that time and space again.”
Here are the details about Nia White Belts in 2018 if you’re in Australia. The next one in Brisbane is 5-11 January with Sophie Marsh & Laurie Bass – double bliss! https://nianow.com/node/1169087 and if you’re not in Australia, you could find one nearby here https://nianow.com/white-beltThis blog post was written by Ann Boon, Nia Brown Belt teacher & Nia 5 Stages Master teacher. Ann brings her unique spark of joy & playfulness to class and delights in reminding people to trust the deep wisdom of their body. http://www.niaaustralia.com.au/teacher/ann-boon/
I discovered Nia . . .
at a farmers market in Eugene, Oregon where Nia was being shared on a grassy patch. I happily danced along with the group and was given a pass for a free class. I can’t remember who it was or what they looked like but that person changed my life!
After that class, I sensed a deep knowing that I was home – finally I had found something which felt like me.
The path was clear – every fibre of being said yes yes YES.
After that one class 14 years ago, I chose to do my first White Belt training in Portland with the co-founders of Nia: Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya Rosas. Read More >
I remember the extreme awkwardness I felt in the core of who I was at that time. I was so young and lost and locked in. The training was bringing up all of my wounds and I dove right in eager to heal and be free. It was medicine for my whole being, and the best part was I got to dance it all through me! At the time I was living in America and all the trainings were happening over there so it was perfect for me, I went on to do my Blue Belt training 2 years later.
“Medicine for my whole being”
At the time Nia was just starting out in Australia with only 2 teachers present and no trainings were offered.
Over the years I have trained in Portland, Boulder, Hawaii, Hamburg and now Australia. I am so thrilled that our Nia Australia community has grown so much in the past 10 years, that now the international trainers come to us and we even have our own amazing Australian White Belt trainer, Sophie Marsh.
In November 2017, Ann Christiansen will be arriving to share playshops, classes and the Brown Belt. Next year the first ever Black Belt will be held in Brisbane.
Landing back in Australia after many years abroad, Nia has not only fed my soul and my body but also introduced me to a community of heartfelt inspiring beings, who I call my tribe.
It’s so wonderful to love something so much and share it with a brilliant community.
Thank you Nia.
Thank you all those incredible trainers who visit our shores,
and thank you Nia Australia!
Nia has transformed Taryn’s body and her life and she loves sharing movement as medicine. Her classes will bring you deeply into your body, inviting you to feel to heal. Taryn is a Nia Black Belt, Nia 5 Stages teacher, Yoga teacher, Dancing Freedom Inspired teacher and Kahuna Bodyworker. She is an experienced retreat facilitator running annual retreats locally and internationally, and offers a range of classes on a weekly basis to Australia’s largest and most awarded spa location “Gwinganna” and classes in the Gold Coast, Kingscliff and Byron Bay communities.
For more info on how you can dance with international Nia trainer Ann Christiansen and the next Australian White Belt with co-trainers, Australia’s Sophie Marsh and Laurie Bass from Portland, USA.
go to niaaustralia.com.au/events
Fitness pioneer and thought leader Debbie Rosas is embarking on a tour of Australian Nia communities starting April 15th. Debbie will be teaching in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Mullumbimby, to audiences of both Nia veterans and new dancers. Read More >
Imagine finding a movement practice that spans the whole world and connects you to a global community. A fitness class that speaks not one singular language, rather a universal dialogue of the body. A mindful workout that opens your eyes to each moment as a possibility of seeing new aspects of yourself. For me the image of an exercise class that encompasses all those qualities became a reality in the form of Nia. And it continues to expand as I travel the world taking classes, connecting with communities and experiencing the ever present Joy of Nia.
Collaboration means to work (or play) together to produce something and that’s exactly what we did in Ulladulla. Together with the Canberra Nia community, our NSW South Coast Nia community came together to deliver a doozy of a Dance Jam on 6 August this year.
When Nia student ‘Cosima’ experienced a sudden change in circumstances, her first response was panic. But thanks to Nia’s practice of listening to the body’s voice, she found a way to embrace the change. “The beauty, the simplicity of it was uplifting”
Blue Belt, the second level of Nia education, explores how to create healthy relationships through body-centred communication. This intensive introduces the 13 Nia principles (that follow the White Belt’s 13 Nia Principles), which focus on the 4 realms of body, mind, emotions and spirit. While the White Belt curriculum focuses entirely on awareness of physical sensation, Blue Belt applies these skills to explore internal sensations as perceived through – but distinct from – physical sensations in the body.
My journey with Nia began in 2003 in South Africa when I took the White Belt with dear Kathy Wolstenholme. I had taken one class and was sold! Since then I have learnt so much and had Nia by my side to express the continuum of emotions through life’s many transitions and undulations! I have travelled to Germany and Portland with my Nia friends and left with many more friends and aha’s.
In a society that generally promotes an image of health, fitness, beauty and power that is air-brushed, ageless, homogenous and unattainable, Nia says, ‘Come as you are, in your glorious wholeness and imperfection, learn to listen to your body’s wisdom, be kind to yourself, and dance like no one’s watching.
The most rewarding part of having a Nia community ..
“I feel deep passion when I dance with my Nia tribe.
The energy in the room sometimes brings me to tears of joy.
Thank you Nia x” Mandy Loveday
Imagine a week of tuning into your own body and moving in a way that feels good. In the Nia ‘training bubble’, you’re invited to leave distractions behind and connect with other like-minded people of all ages and experience, as you explore ‘The Body’s Way’ and ‘Your Body’s Way’. Learn to let go of the ‘have to’ voice of your mind and drop into authentic being, guided by the voice of your body.
17th May, 2016 in Body-Mind
‘Are you comfortable down there on the floor?’ my sister, who is younger than me by several years, asked while we sat around with Mum, Dad, our other sisters and their husbands. We were talking about the physical ‘woes’ of getting old. I was sitting on the floor, as I often do and always have and looked up at her and answered truthfully with a ‘YES’.
3rd December, 2015 in Our Stories
This year, one of our Nia students and members of Nia Australia, was honoured by the Nia community globally, receiving the International Student of the year award by Nia HQ in Portland. We are so proud of Pieta as she truly embodies and walks the path of a wise woman intuitively following the signs that are leading her to a life filled with Joy and wellness. As is Pieta’s style, with her overflowing kindness, Pieta’s response to the award was to send a gratitude hit and love bomb to the Nia Community. Here are Pieta’s beautiful words of thanks and story for you.
14th November, 2015 in Our Stories
Nia, as a whole body conditioning practice, is a powerful addition to any exercise program and can be used effectively and efficiently to improve all-round athletic performance and expand body awareness. A Nia student in Brisbane, Paul, shares his experience of incorporating Nia into his weekly routine to enhance his speed and strength in the sport of cycling.
16th October, 2015 in Nia Practice
Many of our Nia students come from the medical and physiotherapy professions. As a barefoot practice, grounded in increasing the movement options available to the body, Nia creates pathways to optimal well-being and is adaptable for all. Mandi Cavallaro, was recently interviewed by one of her students, a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, to explain a little bit more about Nia for the new student…
13th October, 2015 in Community News
Nia Australia is offering three playshops, in three States, on one day! On Sunday the 25th of October, we will be coming together to move, receive and share Nia, as we weave our magic across the land, in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. Each playshop creating the space for you to share, explore, play, collaborate, connect and dance with community.
30th August, 2015 in Nia Practice
Once upon a time …
there was a little girl who loved to sing, dance and frolic through the fields gathering brightly coloured flowers, warm stones that twinkled in the sun, and any other treasures that interested her curious little mind.
24th July, 2015 in Music & Videos
“I feel fantastic, I feel really in my body and I feel my body is alive. I can sense my skin and my muscles and my bones, tingling, feeling. It’s always important to feel good first. The body wants to feel good and when the body feels good it looks so good; it brings a smile to my face.” Fantastic!
22nd July, 2015 in Our Stories
Ann Boon teaches in Morningside, Brisbane. One of her students, Glenys Gibson, shares her experience of Nia, describing what drew her to a Nia class and why she keeps coming back!
“I feel I have benefited so much from Nia and I want others to have the opportunity to experience Nia, so I share my experience and encourage others to attend.”
22nd July, 2015 in FAQ and Tips
Here are our Tips for Beginners, to help you get the most out of your Nia movement experience.
- Bring a water bottle and dress to move. When you dance, wear anything that makes you feel free, comfortable and excited to move. Yoga clothing, dance or exercise wear or even a skirt changes the way you move, feel and workout.
The White Belt is open to everybody: no Nia experience necessary.
Learn how to access your body’s innate wisdom and power through Nia’s 13 foundational principles. This training focuses on the ‘Art of Sensation’ with techniques, information and inspiration for you to feel deliciously embodied and more vitality, connection and Joy every day.
20th July, 2015 in FAQ and Tips
Here are our FAQ. Feel free to email or call a teacher directly or Contact us if you have any more questions. Nia classes are adaptable for all ages, body types and fitness abilities. Everybody is welcome!
15th July, 2015 in Nia Practice
All Nia workouts use seven cycles. Each cycle has a unique purpose, and each is designed to fulfill specific student needs to ultimately deliver holistic conditioning. The Body’s Way reminds us that to maintain harmony and balance, we must move through these cycles.