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.
One of the perks of being a psychologist is that I learn ways to improve and maintain mental health. As a teacher of Nia I know that it plays a big part in keeping me both mentally and physically well.
To understand how participating in a Nia class creates mental wellness and happiness, let’s look to research from Positive Psychology.
This tells us that there are three sources of happiness – pleasure, flow and meaning (Seligman, 2002)
A healthy diet of happiness includes all three sources . In my experience, being a Nia participant taps all three (and even more so as a teacher of Nia).
The first source of happiness is a PLEASANT LIFE – one where we engage in doing things that give us pleasure. We get a quick hit of happiness by doing things such as eating a favourite food, drinking a favourite drink, watching a movie, shopping, gaming and, of course, moving to music in a Nia class. All these actions make us feel good at the time. However, the happy feelings may not last for long.
Science affirms what we intuitively know – that feeling connected is essential for our physical health and mental wellbeing. In this time of lockdowns, social isolation and physical distancing take time to tune in and ask yourself “what do I need?” Allowing whatever you feel to be moved and expressed is medicine for body mind and spirit.
Go gently on yourself… remember you’re doing the best you can!
Here are 5 simple science-backed self-care strategies to give your body, brain and mood a boost!
1. Move your body! Exercise improves memory, learning and concentration. Moderate intensity movement, sustained over time, promotes the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which causes nerve cells to grow and make new connections. It also helps improve your mood, boost your energy, and reduce stress in your body and mind. Read More >
We all have different opinions, beliefs and fears about what is going on in in our country and the world, but one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that it has certainly taken its toll on our body, mind, emotions and spirits.
Financial stress, being socially isolated, feeling like I can’t express myself authentically and anxiety around what the future may hold, have all had a significant impact on my own physical and mental health over the past 18 months. I have personally gained 30kg since January 2020, putting me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I have judged and beat myself up for this, telling myself “Erica, you know better. What are you doing to yourself?” I have set the intention to “start the diet” every Monday for the past 18 months and every time I don’t follow through, I judge myself more which just makes it worse.
Have you been thinking about your body’s immune system and what it needs to stay balanced in order to do its job most efficiently?
Like many of us, you may be navigating through both emotional and physical hurdles. What about taking time to tend to your well-being with a spotlight on your nervous system? The sensations of a state of ‘fight – flight – freeze’ (governed by the sympathetic nervous system) might be tightness in the chest, shallow breath, increased heart rate, joint pain, fear, sadness or anger. These are signs to reach into your Nia bag of energetic movement tools and utilise what is needed in order to return to a place of balance, and back to a state of ‘rest and digest’ (parasympathetic nervous system).
The variety of offerings, whether they be online Nia classes, NiaTV.fit offerings or the tools learned in any and all belt trainings, allow for the return of balance, health, peace and feeling good. Read More >
What was your biggest takeaway from this training?
There have been so many takeaways, where do I start! Being able to attend the unique experience of the White Belt ‘in person’ training was extraordinary in these times. I gained a new awareness of my body and my body’s way in moving. I was able to relax into awareness of my body and appreciated connecting to sensation gained through the repetition of movement katas (movement patterns). I learned to trust my body, to listen and feel the movements, giving myself permission to stay longer in the movement to open to potential and possibility.
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.
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.