Friday, 17 June 2016

Re-Belted in White (a shinier shade)

I spent last week in Budapest retaking my White Belt, the first belt of the system we use in the Nia Technique to indicate the degree of depth into the practice. 
Having said that, I have moved with White Belts who have inspired me more than Brown Belts, so the degree of depth and understanding is very personal, however a formal gradation system exists.

Quite a few of my friends and students have asked me 'why do you take a training that you have already under your belt (pun intended)?' The answer is: to learn more, to go deeper, wider, to relax in my beginner's mind.
I have heard so many new things, my body has understood so many new things, my thinking mind has assimilated so many new things... Now I sense my White Belt is shining anew, and I am relaxed, alert, and waiting, doing my best to deliver inspiration and relaxation just like I have received.

What a gift, retaking a training and allowing my thinking mind not to get in the way. Thank you everyBody for making it a sensational week for me. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Drinking in the wisdom

I only have one body, and I have made a conscious decision to love it.
The conscious love process began when my body was far from the expectations of shape and fitness levels that media tells us are desirable. I didn't know if I ever was going to be a size 12, but I did know that this body would be my lifetime companion, and I didn't want to spend that lifetime in judgement and disgust.

I am fortunate to have found the spark that ignited my fire, the Nia Technique. From the simplicity of stepping with my heel first, rolling my body weight off the whole plantar fascia and off my big toe, to the more complex patterns that keep my brain engaged and stimulated. If you have found your spark, keep it alive and honour your precious lifetime companion. If you haven't, there is no time like this moment to step into a movement practice suitable for every body, every age, that could literally change your life.

Here's to love and joy.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Get down, get down

When was the last time you went down to the floor? Just for the sheer pleasure of rolling around, empty minded, giving yourself a great myofascial massage.
I probably did that just this morning. 
You see, I'm a lucky one, I'm a Nia 5 Stages practitioner.

The Nia 5 Stages keep my body fit for purpose; to make love, make tea, to skip over puddles (lots of puddles in England), to run after the bus or train, or anything that needs running after.
To go after my dream of living fully and purposefully in a body that is allowing me to do just that. And, in my book, that's really hot.
If you want to experience what the 5 Stages can do for you, check out my classes at or look for any Nia 5 Stages teacher near you.
It could be the beginning of a very beautiful, lasting friendship.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Good sensory IQ - practical applications during summertime

Ah, summer! Even more ahs when it's sunny AND warm. It was a good one.

It's still a little sunny in my part of the world, but I'm writing this wearing a jumper, long fleecy trousers, and socks. Still, I saw two mosquitoes yesterday, I guess they didn't get the memo - summer seems to be over.

Let this be a reminiscent post then, of all the fun and warmth of summer, and how a good sensory IQ can save you from a slippery situation or two.
Sensory IQ is simply the measurement of somatic intelligence, or awareness of the body. When I tune in and I mindfully register my body sensations, I am much less clumsy. I haven't tripped in ages (and I was tripping silver champion, not quite gold), and I haven't crashed into any piece of furniture for a while now, just to use a couple of examples.

This summer, I was in a very beautiful part of the world, and a mighty slippery one too. I saw a young woman lose her balance and fall down, landing on her coccyx. She was quite embarrassed and she didn't want to cry, but it looked very painful. Everywhere else there were people hanging onto other people's hands and arms for dear life, gingerly taking steps. I wasn't certainly breezing through it, but I plugged in to my sensation of centre of gravity and recovered from losing my balance again and again.
Eventually I reached a less slippery bit. I didn't fall, I didn't lose my balance badly. I can't quite express how much of an achievement this was for me.

Also, I went to an open air opera in a beautiful amphitheatre. We only reached the second act when, despite the balmy air, the skies opened with such fury that within 5 seconds people were running, screaming, and throughly soaked, me included. The stones steps were so slippery, I could see people struggling, unable to go down them unaided. Besides, we all were holding our soaked opera cushions, picnics, and drinks. Again I plugged in to the sensation of balance (I have practised cat stance a fair amount of times) and of spring loaded joints, power coming from underneath and behind.
I felt no pressure on the knees, or wobbliness in my ankles, despite the steepness and slipperiness.

Drier times before the deluge
Such is the great gift of a good sensory IQ. I didn't have much of it before I tried out a Nia class. If you already found it through yoga, Pilates, gym classes, Alexander Technique, then congratulations!
Do you want to see what the Nia Technique has to add to your existing knowledge? Then try a class, it's fantastic.
If, like mine, your sensory IQ has a lot of potential for expansion, please work on it with whatever discipline fills you with joy.
It will help you in any situation, and not just for summer ;)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

My heart went boom

This Friday I shared the joy of Nia with a beautiful group of yoginis and yogis. From my body, mind, and spirit to their bodies, their minds, and their shining spirits. For me, there isn't anything like the feeling of community that gels a group of Nia dancers, and all that sweaty, healthy laughter. 

I loved having the opportunity of sharing one of the big passions in my life with a big group of people, sensing their uniqueness at the very same time. 
Truly this path is a gift, and making dolphin noises is pretty great, too.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Running a Level 1 self-diagnostic, Data style

I do like love a good Star Trek reference, what can I do?

Earlier on this week during my Tuesday class, my body came up with this completely new movement, and it felt so rich that I gave myself plenty of time to explore it and connect it with my feelings and emotions, and my creative source. Not just the body, you see? In the Nia Technique we honour our minds and spirits, what makes us unique and gives us our own fairy dust to sprinkle throughout life.

I identified this new movement as being connected to an hour long practice of FreeDance, which revealed plenty of details and little treasured in the music. Now, FreeDance is serious business. I haven't yet experienced anything so complete and full of new movement-pattern creation, self-healing, joy, deep conditioning, attention to detail, and a long etc. as this beloved Principle 4 of the Nia Technique's White Belt.

During this hour, some pain came from doing a certain movement, and instead of thinking 'oh I will not do this again, pain is something to run away from' I stayed curious and I used my Principle 10 (X-ray Anatomy) to find out where this pain came from. And of course I found out, using my X-ray eyes :). Now I know how to tweak the movement and use my feet better to avoid this pain.
Nia can't hurt me. If I hurt myself doing anything, then I have hurt myself, and if I am clever enough I will take the opportunity to explore and fix the source of discomfort.

Every day I love living in this body more and more; not because is perfect and pain free, but because thanks to discomfort and awkwardness it allows me to increase my sensory IQ, to know myself better, to feel more pleasure. This is my somatic pension for when I get joyfully older.
Who wouldn't want such a thing?

I'm telling you man, do the White Belt, it's awesome!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Sharing is caring :)

I'm back, and ready. And full of admiration for the teachers, the mentors, those who lead us on any journey which entails self-exploration and any kind of development. There is no holding of hands and singing songs together; what there is is a raising of the bar, a blowing off the roof, a strong push towards our own personal excellence and mastery.

Now that I came back wiser, more flexible, more compassionate, now is when I can deliver the holding of the hands and the singing of songs together with my students. The fun we have, the smiles, the seeing the potential in each one of them. The teacher has to show the way, it has to show the infinite possibilities for reaching up and down, it also has to show the way to laying down and listening to the breath.
The Green is a good 'un. Time to share its power now.