How to transform your body and life in a pleasurable way that just gets better …
I fell in love with Nia straight away, the music and moves got under my skin and my teacher’s vivacity drew me in. Back then I had no inkling of the changes to come, even if someone had told me I wouldn’t have believed. Lucky for me, Nia has worked its magic softening edges and removing inhibitions until confidence and clarity quietly replace self-doubt.
All this from a movement practice you ask? Yes!
I went to class, then summoned the courage to take White Belt. At that point, transformation became a force that swiftly changed the way my life looked. I couldn’t stop, continuing along the path of Nia education all the way to Black Belt and then ever onwards to the places inside and out where I feel at home with myself.
Paying attention to sensation and choosing movement that feels good is a cornerstone of the Nia experience. But it’s not necessarily pleasure all the way. Personal issues and conditioning can certainly step in.
At that point, awareness is a powerful ally, followed by choice.
When something hurts, I can carry on regardless, or bring my awareness and choice to bear and tweak or modify what I’m doing on the dance floor and in my life. Nia has given me the confidence and experience to know the more I move (especially up and down from the ground) the greater the flexibility and ease I sense. I also notice how stiffening and discomfort increase when I stop moving regularly.
“Nia routines are your lifeline to physical, mental, emotional, and spirit development.” – White Belt Learn Book
Nia routines and all that goes into them (the building blocks of Nia + the decades of dedication put in by the choreographers) are the raw ingredients of the Nia experience.
But you are the one who breathes life into Nia.
It is a living movement practice given diversity and breadth by we who practice it. And it follows that the more one practices it, the more benefits one receives.
When I first did my White Belt and began sharing Nia with others, I so wanted to convey the spark of life, fun and joy I had experienced as a student. But I hadn’t yet embodied the depth of experience or knowledge to share. Like making fine wine, it takes time.
“The time you invest outside of class working with Nia routines will greatly enhance your potential as a mover and as a leader of somatic movement.” – White Belt Learn Book
The way to keep Nia alive is to practice and explore its potential in one’s own body and life. And that applies wherever we perceive ourselves to be in the circles and cycles of life.
It has taken years for me to feel like I’m providing space for people to get the same enjoyment I did from my teachers.
And isn’t that as it should be?
It takes time to;
• Learn to tune into the body
• Learn to communicate clearly
• Learn to sense energy
• Learn to be with the unknown
In a parallel Universe, I imagine the non-Nia version of me, suffering lack of confidence and physical decline.
I feel so lucky to have discovered Nia and to have this lifestyle practice that keeps me feeling connected and alive.
Ann Boon is a Brisbane-based Black Belt Nia teacher. Her desire is to share the JOY of movement with as many people as possible. If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, de-stress and connect, Nia could be just the thing for you.