As I’ve been globetrotting to various retreats and on soul purpose adventures over the last few years, its no accident that two or more of the soul sisters I’ve met along the way happen to be instructors of the Nia Technique. My first concept of Nia was in Dec 2013, back then, I perceived that it was a kind of a free dance class and I seriously struggled with participating fully, never mind being truly interested in the theories behind it. Who knew that just 27 months on I would find myself actively gaining a certificate in the Nia “White Belt”….
“Nia is a holistic experience. It is Nia’s playful, integrative approach that evokes joy, pleasure and comfort. A self-expressive art, Nia is a workout, practice, and lifestyle that fosters vitality and well-being.” Debbie Rosas
Founded and devised by Debbie and Carlos Rosas, Nia is the definition of holistic fitness. It brings together the science aspects of anatomy and functional movement, the challenge of physical modalities such as martial arts; the flow of dance arts; and the therapy of healing arts, blends them with emotional expression; sensation; pleasure; sacred ritual and mindfulness, resulting in a fabulous workout that honours your body, bringing it back into alignment and strength, whilst simultaneously giving you a spiritual practice.
Having experienced only UK based courses prior to this, I found the content of the White Belt course was fresh, out of the box and brings together science, fitness and spirituality in a beautifully succinct way.
It turned out to be exactly what I needed to be doing for myself and something that I’d like to help bring out in the people of the world.
What did I get out of the White Belt?
When you take your body into doing anything new, you find it challenging and either enjoyable or not. Well, unless you have a fear of free dance (I hear ya), but there is nothing here not to enjoy and I found my body challenged in a truly positive way. I have experienced random Nia classes worldwide: Costa Rica, Toronto, Sedona, Edinburgh and Portland and then the White Belt, but there are several things that you will begin to recognise in any Nia class:
- No Judgement. There is No Judgement of yourself or others; not on clothes, abilities, styles of movement. Anything goes and nobody cares, and when you let that infiltrate into you and fill every cell of your body, there is nothing more freeing than realising you can let all and any “thoughts” go.
- Joy and Laughter. Moving like this is FUN. Whether you’re experienced and you know the routines and can completely let go and flow into it you are experiencing an abundance of joy, sensation and pleasure, OR maybe you don’t know the routines and giggle at yourself for getting it wrong (like me) – you are still experiencing fun, laughter and being joyous in the moment. You can’t fail.
- You will get a workout AND a holistic treatment. Even if you go for the least challenging movement, you are guaranteed to break a sweat and feel like your body has had a full workout. Holistic fitness means every part of your body will become mobilised and free, you will be breathing hard, your heart will pump, your brain will work to keep coordination, you will be meditating through concentration, you will be full of positive energy at the end, guaranteed.
- There is Magic in the room. The collective ‘flock’ of beautiful souls practicing in unison, all being present and together in the ‘now’ creates a spiritual moment. Its tribal and the collective happiness and joy lifts the energy of the class, the venue, and the people the tribe meet when they continue on out in the world afterwards.
- The healing power of music. Nia songs are very soulful and stir you up, releasing emotions, uplifting you and enlivening your senses. When you listen intently to the beats and rhythms, you will begin to feel differently toward all music and apply the feeling to dancing through life.
Integrating and Digesting
The wonderful thing about White Belt is that there was no entry level requirements and no examination at the end! So having had minimal experience of taking classes before the course and no pressure to teach following the course I have the luxury of absorbing the information and building a personal practice.
There is no doubt that the White Belt tools I have been given will apply to so many aspects of my working tool kit and my personal life. I’m looking forward to sharing them all.
Check out http://nianow.com for class or a White Belt course near you!
I studied with the wonderful Laurie Bass (First Degree Black Belt & Nia White Belt Trainer)