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!

"Move Me Tuesdays" Gentle Nia for New Parents

Local Nia Teacher Erin Curren offers gentle healing & energizing movement for moms with newborns.

About Nia: Founded in 1983, Nia is a fusion fitness technique that blends the martial arts, dance and healing arts. In Nia, we place an emphasis on choosing pleasure over pain, and on sustaining awareness of sensation while adapting the moves to your body’s way. Many of Erin’s students in the greater Portland area have found a deeper connection to their own bodies, emotions, minds, and spirits through the regular practice of Nia. This has certainly been the case for Erin, who began practicing Nia in 2008 and teaching Nia in 2010. 

Class Details: Weekly on Tuesdays from 1:15-2:15pm through mid-May 2017 at the Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Avenue. Donation-based class fee $5-$15. Smooth wood floors, abundant natural light, bathroom and kitchenette are features of this space, along with free on-street parking. The hour-long session is intended as a combination of guided movement and opportunities for mutual support. Studies have shown that moderate exercise and support are especially beneficial in the postpartum period, helping to decrease the likelihood of depression, and have no adverse effect on breastfeeding.

Enjoy the soul-stirring sounds of music from around the world and across genres while moving in new ways and having fun with like-minded parents of newborns. All welcome!


Photo: Erin is pictured here with a young Nia participant at the Portland New Church!

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

Watch Erin demonstrate some Nia Base Moves!

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Whenever I get the chance to share the practice of Nia with newbies, I seize it! In this video, I am demonstrating some Nia kicks on a public raft in Riverbank Park in Westbrook, Maine! Check out the Nia-balance I have on this moving raft... Not too shabby! I have to say kicking is even easier on solid ground ;) 

Knee Sweeps, Front Kicks, Side Kicks, Back Kicks... Rumble! 

Find out for yourself by joining me for class. Find a class that fits your schedule here.

Movement from the Core

p-c-h

Whenever I focus on movement from the core of the body – defined in Nia as the Pelvis, Chest and Head, I discover something new about my body. 

I remember when I first became aware of the sensation of these three body weights working in unison during a Nia class. It was complete revelation! My head, chest and pelvis were all nodding and rocking in a balancing wave-like pattern. I felt fluid yet stable, solid yet dynamic.

Sensing into the core of the body helps us bring balance to these three body weights. Imagine them like three bowls stacked one inside the other, moveable yet intrinsically and extrinsically connected. Improving alignment along the core also enhances breathing, allowing us to breathe more deeply and efficiently. It also improves our outlook! Bringing awareness to the core naturally improves our postural alignment and boosts our self-confidence. Yes we can!

Developing core power is integral to providing systemic strength to the entire body and increasing abdominal and spinal support. Everything comes back to the core, and our core powers so much of what we do! For instance, it’s easy for us to think that the leg powers a kick, but that’s only a fraction of the truth. Our core muscles are engaged when we lift and move our thighbone, just as our diaphragm provides support to our lower back as we exhale. What can we say; the core is… at the center of it all!

Join us for Nia! Find the full schedule here!