Starting the week off with the first of my Nia Spring Series at Studio Sol with a Focus of Flexibility allowed me to start my week by stretching myself. When we stretch our physical bodies by moving energy out along our bones, we create space within ourselves and carry ourselves lighter and with more ease. In class, we explored how finding the sensation of flexibility in our physical bodies leads to cultivating more flexible emotional and mental bodies. The experience of beginning my week by creating space inside myself by consciously breathing and lengthening my muscles set the stage for a week of continued expansion.
On Wednesday, I led the second session of my Moving Inside Out River Workshop Series where we focused on Principle number two of the Nia’s Body’s Ways Principles, “The Body Demands Balance”, and what a powerful experience we had. In our play with Nia’s nine movement forms, we evaluated which movement form could bring bring more balance to our dance, and therefore to our lives. By noticing our comfort zones in terms of movement, we could also notice which movement forms felt a little less “homey” and therefore challenged us. By letting ourselves have an experience that is not our “norm” – for some, dancing in spherical, continuous movements as in Aikido, for others, the focused and linear motions of Tae Kwon Do, and for others, the more subtle and small motions of Feldenkrais – we found Balance in the most surprising ways. We found that by broadening our movement terrain, we experience more of ourselves and therefore feel the sensation of Balance. Many were surprised by what was revealed in their dance when they played in the unfamiliar….and how that brought Balance in a very new way.
I ended the week with a photo shoot by my dear friend and Nia student, Christy Goldsby. She had a very clear vision about photographing me in the element of sunshine and light. We played at Studio Sol (very appropriately as “Sol” means Sun in Spanish) in bright, bold fabrics and colors as I danced and moved to music and she captured these moments so masterfully. I have not yet seen the outcome of this photo shoot (stay posted) but I can say that the process itself was full of meaning and joy. Christy very skillfully brought her gifts as a Nia teacher and student to her role as photographer by assisting me to be present in my body. This made all the difference as I settled into an internal experience of being bold, light, serene, and joyful – dancing to the music, and being RAW (relaxed, alert, and waiting) – as Christy did her own dance of finding light, shifting angles, and interacting to direct me to new terrain. Certainly, the timing of the photo shoot felt right in many ways. Dancing this week and playing with stretching, balancing, and the element of surprise allowed me to be present to a very new experience of being photographed, being seen, and sharing myself fully.
Start your day with some simple stretches this week. Focus on moving energy out along your bones and finding the sensation of lightness, expansion, and ease and notice how this might set a new stage for your day. Or for those of you who practice Nia, play with the energy of the nine movement forms throughout your day and see how this variety and spectrum of moving and being in the world can help to bring balance to your day. Who knows, you might be surprised!