Elegant Fitness: What PT Taught Me about Nia

nia is elegant fitness

This winter I had the unfortunate experience of first-time back pain. Anyone who has suffered from any kind of back pain can relate immediately to how debilitating this type of injury is. The funny thing is, this pain happened for me over the course of one weekend when I did entirely too much sitting in a car! As one of my Nia students said, “Erin, if there’s anyone who would get injured sitting it would be you!” I had to laugh too.

After being seen by a Nurse Practitioner I was encouraged to receive Physical Therapy for six weeks. Curious and new to PT, I eagerly attended as directed. I loved meeting the different PT assistants and working closely with one therapist. I learned about targeted exercises for the QL strain I had (that’s Quadratus Lumborum for all you unfamiliar with the muscle, technically part of the deep abdomen), and repeated them at least three times a week as directed.

What I learned from this new pain and the PT I used to treat it has only deepened my appreciation for the Nia Technique. Moving repeatedly through a series of 7-10 exercises and stretches was... how shall I say... a bit… well, boring! What I have grown to love even more about Nia is the efficiency of changing and varying the movements combined with the magic of music creates an effortless, elegant flow to a full-body, joyful workout.

The dictionary gives multiple meanings for “elegance” including:

1a. Refinement, grace and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners

… and ...

2b. Scientific exactness and precision

I love that precision is a part of the meaning of elegance, for it is through specific targeted movements that Nia conditions so well, yet offers each person the individual freedom to stylize and express their unique beauty, grace and refinement. Nia is indeed elegant fitness, and a practice I would not trade in this lifetime! Join me for class and experience elegance from the inside!


 

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Whether you live far away from where I currently teach, or just want more Nia throughout your week, NiaTV is now available to fill in the gap, or as one student of mine called it avoid 'Nia withdrawal' ! 

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Enjoy a selection of classes, from Moving to Heal to the 52 Moves and more. A small monthly fee gives you unlimited access anytime, day or night! As a NiaTV partner and Black Belt Nia Teacher, I strongly encourage you to check out this amazing resource and take advantage of it today! 

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Listen, and watch your relationships transform

LISTENinChinese
LISTENinChinese

What a powerful skill listening is! When we listen we are saying: I am here, with you, right now.

How well do you listen...

to your family?

to your coworkers?

to feedback?

to music?

to nature?

to your body?

to your dreams?

Listening in and of itself can transform the relationships in your life. Nia Headquarters published an article on the Alchemy of Listening... I encourage you to dive deeper into the practice of listening by reading it. Never underestimate the power of your attention!

Intentional Breathing

I came across this 18 minute Tedx talk by Max Strom that I hope you will agree is worthy of your attention. I encourage you to listen to the entire talk, in which Max touches on the root causes of some of our most common modern ailments (anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, to name a few), and speaks about the importance of the grieving process. At the very end (14:20) he leads the audience in a short and simple breathing exercise. Enjoy! 

With anxiety, stress, and sleep dysfunction skyrocketing around the globe, it's time we look at the unspoken reasons why. These debilitating challenges can be meaningfully impacted with ten to twenty minutes of breathing exercises per day. Max Strom, who has taught breath-work for 20 years, reveals his insights into the healing power of the breath.

My Body, My Community, My Planet

We live in amazing times. Opportunities abound for us to come together and make choices and changes that will impact the future of our species on the planet. We also live with the collective awareness that if these opportunities are not seized now, we may soon be too late to sustain human life on Earth.

I came across this powerful image from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website recently. It is a representation of all the water on our planet if it were consolidated. What appears on the surface to be so very vast, is really quite precious and rare. Even more striking is the percentage of our planet's water that is fresh...

waterlessearth_woodshole_960
waterlessearth_woodshole_960

When we consider the Body, on a personal level, as an integral part of the larger Body of the Planet, we are made aware of our interconnection, and even more so, of our inseparability. Like cells in a single body, we humans interact and respond to one another in functioning and non-functioning ways. We live benignly with one another, most often cooperatively: there is so much love expressed in each moment between us as a species!

We can and do, however, also form malignant ways of being: Toxic behaviors that enforce separateness and increase the isolation of individuals and groups.

If we care about the sustainability of our species, we must begin to embody the sustainability of our own Body, both personally, and planet-wide. For me, this awareness can start by simply slowing down, and noticing my breath. Bringing myself to the present moment fully. Noticing my thoughts, rather than being my thoughts.

Join me for Nia class and call forth the creative ways you have of sensing into our dynamic interrelatedness.

Let's step in now... together