Running for a cause: Healthcare shouldn't be a privilege

It's heartbreaking to hear the stories of people encumbered by medical debt, or avoiding treatment due to the high costs of healthcare. This year I have decided to run the Maine Marathon on September 30, 2018 to raise funds and awareness for the Portland Community Free Clinic.

The PCFC --now in it's 25th consecutive year of operation-- is almost exclusively staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses, therapists, and nurse practitioners. On a shoestring budget, the clinic sees over 500 patients a year who are working and stably housed but without health insurance. Learn more about the PCFC on their website, and click here if you are inspired to donate any amount.

In many ways marathon training reminds me of the kind of 'slow medicine' often practiced at the Free Clinic. Doctors and nurses take time to listen and treat the whole person. The time and commitment it requires to successfully train for a marathon requires a similar commitment.  It means I need to listen to my body and not overdo it.

The PCFC's volunteer docs and nurses show up for their once-a-month commitment reliably.  Likewise, I must adhere to my training schedule, rain or shine, whether I'm at home or on the road. 

I have found that the Nia Technique offers the perfect compliment to running: with its dynamic full range of motion moves, the low-impact and sustainable cardio, the focus on flexibility and agility, and the creativity I get to express at every cycle of the class.

We all know running can be stressful on the joints and repetitive as heck, that's why Nia is my saving grace when I am training for a marathon and am logging 5 runs per week, including one long run.

If you'd like to start running or connect with me on Map My Run (a free app that allows you to track all kinds of exercise) you can find me under my name, Erin Curren. If you need a running buddy, reach out! And if you feel inspired to give any amount of money in support of the Portland Community Free Clinic, please do! 

Thank you!

 

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!


 

Introducing NiaTV!

Master Teachers

Now you can enjoy the power and pleasure of a Nia workout any time of day, any place! Sign up for NiaTV and access Nia classes by master teachers from across the country and world. Take class with Nia Creator and co-founder Debbie Rosas! Explore what it feels like to follow the movements and cuing of a new person.

No More "Nia Withdrawal"!

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' ! 

Classic Nia, 52 Moves, Moving to Heal & More

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! 

Click HERE to check out NiaTV and sign up if you want!

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.