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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

eye-of-immortality

Make your way to a Nia Moving to Heal class, and you never know what new mind-body healing tools you will walk away with! Recently, I introduced a technique called, “The Eraser”, where students were invited to reflect on the words and thoughts that run through their mind that limit their potential. All of the…

“I can’t”s
“my body won’t”s
“my body used to be able to”

As if these words were written in chalk on a chalkboard, we imagined an eraser, and began to erase our minds clean, emptying our minds of the limiting messages, replacing them with positive words of hope, healing, and potential.

In Nia, we call this clearing of the mind, “Beginner’s Mind”. A state where we operate from the place of knowing nothing, present and clear in the now, experiencing everything, as if for the first time.

Feel free to try it now! Go ahead, and start erasing all of those limiting thoughts that hold you back from actualizing your healing and set your SELF free with ‘beginner’s mind’!

Here’s what student, Teresa Mallott, had to say about her experience:
“Walking into a recent Nia Moving To Heal class, I felt burdened by the heaviness of the self-doubt and self-recrimination that had arisen for me the night before. “Why can’t I get this? What’s wrong with me? When will I learn?” echoed in my mind. The process of learning new interpersonal skills isn’t always easy for me. I had come to the Moving To Heal class a reluctant student, hoping I would find some relief from this negative thought loop, yet fearing I would not. My teacher met me that day with an invitation to move into beginner’s mind. Part of this invitation was a guided imagery/meditation that involved imagining all of the thoughts and beliefs held in my mind and taking an eraser and erasing each one in order to empty the mind. As I allowed myself to do this, I gradually felt the downward pull ease and was able to glimpse the space of possibility I enter when I let go of all I think I know. I carried this image as I danced that day, me and my beginner’s mind forging an alliance that is still with me. What a difference the eraser made! What a difference this practice makes! Nia is helping me to heal from the inside out and I am so grateful!” —Teresa Mallott
Find  healing tools to amplify YOUR body and life! Find my Nia and Nia Moving to Heal class schedule and trainings at http://juleinthelotus.com.

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I am sharing this testimonial from Nia Student and theologian, Teresa Mallott, to inspire and encourage anyone who feels frozen from the pain of grief and loss, that there is medicine for the heart and soul through movement. I applaud Teresa’s insight and wisdom, after more than a month of grieving the loss of her mother, of recognizing patterns that freeze her up emotionally, and having the courage to step out the door, and step in to this powerfully therapeutic movement experience called, Nia Moving to Heal.

THIS is what COURAGE + HEALING looks like:

“This morning I returned to my Nia Moving to Heal class. It was my first time back since Dec 26. It was good to be back. To be embraced in a space that allows me the freedom to be however I am and to do whatever feels right.

My habitual tendency when experiencing intense emotions is to hunker down and to move as little as possible. For when I engage physical movement, I am even more aware of my feelings than when I am still. So it was a big step for me to step out on the dance floor this morning. It was an experience of feeling and knowing I am here and I am alive. This brought a mixture of emotions as my grief surfaced in the midst of this knowing.

I worked gently with myself throughout the experience, giving my body, my mind, and my spirit the space needed to just “be with it – to be with me.” And at the end of class, I was blessed by this song. A song of gratitude from me to me, from me to all that is beyond me, that is supporting me. And now it is a song from me to my wonderful teacher, Jule, and my fellow Moving to Heal artists. Thank you for being part of my returning and turning to life from a new space. Thank you body, mind, and spirit – I am healing.”     –Teresa Mallott. Connect with Teresa: https://www.facebook.com/teresa.mallott

 

 

thank you, Teresa, for this beautiful dedication of Sinnéad O’Connor’s, Thank You for Hearing Me. I am touched and honored.

 

Nia Moving to Heal is ‘Movement as Medicine’ and is for anybody seeking a gentler movement practice to compliment and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. “Healing” as defined by Nia is defined simply by “I feel better.” Students learn how to personalize movement to adapt to their comfort and health needs. Chairs are even made available for students to utilize for maximum stability, pleasure, and comfort. learn more about The Nia Technique + Nia Moving to Heal Training at http://www.nianow.com.

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Hands & feet are LOADED with Ligaments & Tendons!

study your hands & feet for a briliant 'view' of Ligaments & Tendons

Recently, I was asked to write for the International Nia Headquarters’ February 2012 Newsletter!  The topic, “Ligaments & Tendons”!  I am posting my blog below, but if you want to know more about the topic, you can visit the Nia website and hear MORE about Ligaments & Tendons from Nia Founder, Debbie Rosas, Debbie Priest, fellow Nia Black Belt Teacher and Stepahney Robinson, Nia Trainer & teacher, link to the blog/newsletter here:  http://www.nianow.com/node/60365.

Before we get to the blog, I offer my props to my dear friend, Amanda Miller-Marrone, fellow blogger & Nia devotee who inspired me with her blog…first to even begin writing…and then the creative action of tagging portions of blog posts with what’s “on the ipod”.  Amanda & I share a deep love & appreciation of music…it so often is the soundtrack to our lives.  I often quote music lyrics in usual conversation!  (a lil’ crazy, I know…).   So, inspired by my innovative, blogging buddy, I, too, communicate and inspire with song titles/lyrics 😉  Check out Amanda’s Blog, “Confessions of an Over-Eating Personal Chef   Who just had a Baby!” :   http://www.blogger.com/profile/00089178308984881225 .  And now onward…..to Ligaments & Tendons!!! oh boy!

(on the iPod:  We Are All Connected by Magic Sound Fabric on NiaSounds’ R1 album)

If we had x-ray vision to see underneath our skin, we might first imagine “seeing” the musculo-skeletal system…our bones (our structure) and our muscles (our shape) without considering the powerful, pliable elements of dense connective tissue that holds it all together…yes, I’m talking about Ligaments and Tendons!  But, without these amazing, functional elements, we would just be a pile of 206 bones and 700-ish muscles (as well as organs) accumulated on the floor!

When it comes to “connections”, ligaments and tendons, made mostly of collagen, form a “love-quadrangle”, so to speak!  They ‘meet up’ with their fellow bones and muscles, often coming together to liaison at a joint!  Collectively, ligaments & tendons form a ’stability pact‘ (Kieser), providing flexible-stability, bone-to-bone and muscle-to-bone ensuring the integrity of the joints and that movements are fluid and effective.

Ligaments, made up of dense bundles of parallel collagenous fibers, provide a flexible-stable connection between bones and other bones at joints (the place where two bones meet).   Visualized as fingers that connect bone to bone, their function is to balance movement with stability and to strengthen and stabilize the joint in a passive way.  Unlike muscles, they cannot actively contract, and for the most part, do not stretch.  They receive tension by certain positions of the joint and slackened by others.

While ligaments are not stretchable, they are “smart”!  They contain sensory nerve cells capable of responding to speed, movement, and joint position, as well as to pain.  Their sensory cells constantly transmit such information to the brain, which, in turn, signals the muscles via motor neurons, aiding the body in avoiding damage or undue stress to ligaments through corrective action.   When these intelligent signals are ignored, trauma may result in spraining or rupture of ligaments.

Tendons keep the musculoskeletal system stable and allow it to fuction effectively as they transmit force from muscle to bone. Tendons are a tough band of fibrous connecitve tissue capable of withstanding great load.  These fibrous bundles are covered by a tendon sheath, which increases the stability of tendons and their resistance to tearing.  Tendons and muscles work harmoniously to efficiently move bones…’maximum effect with least effort‘….dynamic ease….The Body’s Way.

(On the iPod: Before It Breaks, by Brandi Carlile on the album, Give Up the Ghost)

Ligaments and muscles are a tandem team: our ligaments secure and our muscles move and stablize joints.  In reality, most of us don’t give ligaments a second thought until we injure one.  For example, if we stumble, our muscle reflexes should provide protection.  If they don’t, the associated ligament has to withstand the entire load on its own. This can overstretch the ligament and tear it.  Tendons and ligaments are living tissue and so need care and attention. As with any other biological system, their response to a carefully measured load is to increase functional capacity.  In other words, if you subject them to weight-bearing movement, they become stronger and more resistant.  Function improves. However, if tendons are subject to an excessive load, e.g. the constant stop and go movements involved in basketball, tennis, football, etc. or monotonous movements at work (keyboard overuse) they become irritated and inflamed.  Moreover, if calcium is also deposited, the symptoms become chronic.

Metaphysics of Ligaments and Tendons

Some say that whenever we have an issue with the body, there is often a corresponding psycho-emotional stimulus that initiates or exacerbates the physical condition.  Folks who are experiencing ‘issues’ with their Dense Connective Tissue may benefit from looking deeper into their ability to “connect to and disconnect from others”, look into circumstances where they feel “tied to or torn apart”, where they are “wearing thin” and “holding on”.   Ligaments and tendons have your back!  They functionally remind us to seek and discover the path of least resistance…by design; they are there to support, and to unify.

Interesting Facts/Stats:

  • Ligaments and tendons, while not very elastic, can only extend 8% before over-stretching, separating or tearing.  Comparably, rubber extends 200-300%.
  • You can suspend a horse from a tendon!  The Achilles Tendon, anchoring the gastrocnemius muscle onto the heel bone, is  15cm in length and is the strongest tendon in the body, is able to resist tearing under 1,000 lb. (450 kg) load.
  • While the Achilles tendon is extremely strong, it is actually a weak point and so it is vulnerable.  It derives its name from the Trojan Hero, Achilles, in Homer’s ’The Iliad‘.  (As a baby, his mother plunged him into the river Styx making his body invulnerable, except for the heel by which she held him.  After slaying Hector, he was killed by Paris who wounded him in the heel.)   In fact, the Achilles Tendon is the tendon in the body most often ruptured!
  • In order to have the long, narrow fingers needed for delicate movement (like playing a piano), nature has devised an ingenius system.  To ensure that the hand is not packed tight with muscles, the body’s intelligent design provides space by connecting the muscles required for finger movements in the thick belly of the muscles located in the forearm, while the connection with the bones in the finger is provided by long tendons. (Imagine Darth Vader’s ’robot arm‘)

Tips to ‘connect’ and care for your ligaments and tendons:

  • Do Nia 5 Stages 5 minutes every day!  No questions…JUST DO IT!  Your ligaments & tendons (and whole body) will love it!  Learn more at www.nianow.com/nia-5-stages.
  • ‘Warm up’ the body (muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, etc.) before exercise.  Consider exercising in a space that is warm to facilitate tissue pliability
  • Avoid doing too much, too fast (yeah, this is for you, “Type-A’ers”)!  As with many things, slower is better!  Progress in your wellness regime, upping the load 5% at a time. With training, ligaments and tendons, like muscles, become thicker, but the process is much slower.
  • Mindfully move your 13 main joints to energetically ‘lube’ the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Be mindful of right alignment!  The mechanical integrity of a joint will depend upon the proper tensioning to the stabilizing ligaments and tendons, which in turn will depend upon proper alignment of the relevant bones.
  • The Body’s Way teaches us that “the body demands balance in yin and yang energy”… balance ligament and tendon usage with “opposing usage/stretch”, and rest.  Overuse is a common cause of injury.
  • When stepping back with force, ALWAYS step back on the ball of the foot, keeping the heel up to prevent injury to the Achilles tendon.
  • Initiate into your wellness practice, weight-bearing, muscle-conditioning training (Nia, Yoga, Strength Training, etc.) strengthening the connection between bones and tendons increasing load tolerance. When we tension muscles, we also train ligaments and tendons as the process of muscle contraction also stretches and stimulates ligaments and tendons reducing our susceptibility to injury.
  • Listen to ‘the voice’ of your ligaments, helping you determine a safe range of motion for your muscles and joints.  They remain healthy when you ‘listen and respond’, especially when the ligament says, ʻStop, that’s far enough.ʼ   Responding to the warning ʻstopʼ will safely guide you to shift alignment when necessary.  This reduces wear and tear that can occur in joints when you push them too hard.

Body Literacy Research Resources:

The Nia Technique Training Resources by Debbie Rosas-Stewart & Carlos AyaRosas

Anatomy of Movement, by Blandine Calais-Germain

A Handbook for Yogasana Teachers:  The Incorporation of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Anatomy in the Practice, by Mel Robin.

Wikipedia.com

Kieser Training International (www.keiser-training.com)

Holistic Reflexology FaceBook Page

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The dance of Nia infused with the art of Aikido...we love the way you move, John!

This blog comes to you with inspiration from a fellow ‘adventurer in wellness’.  John Lucas has been attending my Nia class for many years now, and I have to say, he is a true inspiration to me.  His passion for Aikido, blended with my love, interest and curiosity of this grounded, harmonious, non-aggressive martial art form, makes for many enlightening conversations before and after Nia class!  I have had the pleasure of witnessing how Nia informs his Aikido practice…and I see how Aikido informs his Nia practice….a perfect, harmonious blend!  Here’s what John has to say about his ‘dance’ of Aikido…

“Holistic Nia is great fun and I have enjoyed all of its 9 dimensions for the past six years.  Slicing out the Aikido component of Nia recently occurred to me and is paying great dividends in my Aikido practice.  Aikido is a core-based, internal martial art (non-aggressive, non-provoking) that guides attackers (we call them partners) back into harmony via redirection of their energy harmlessly away from the Aikidoist and the attacker.  Aikido seeks to merge aggressive, low vibration energy into neutralization and stay spiritually above (high vibration) the fray at all times.  As in dance and Nia in particular – Aikido movements are circular, elliptical, and cylindrical with an emphasis on using a lower, grounded center (core), and maintaining connection (in this case – with attacker) until the energy is spiraled away harmoniously.  The attacker doesn’t fully understand what happened via the merged and blended energy action except that they are decidedly not in an attacking position or mode any longer. 

I used Nia classes to train for my recent blackbelt test by focusing on a centered, whole, and fully Ki-infused body, interacting with surrounding energy and fellow dancers.  Using Nia dance movements with minor modifications I practiced aiki-taiso’s (Aikido exercises) and was pleasantly surprised by how many aiki-taiso’s secretly reside in Nia waiting to be expressed. The parallel in the two arts is merging and blending (Aikido- with the partner, and Nia-with the music) and moving the body’s natural way which is inherently non-linear and joyfully high vibration. Through developed awareness, consciousness and clear intent – efficient, elegant dance and martial arts are achieved – and we can experience more of our humanity in harmony with our surroundings.  We call our Aikido training “Aikido for Life” and use its advantages 24 hours a day.  I thank Jule Aguirre’s blackbelt-grade-Nia for its “Nia For Life” capability as well!”

– John Lucas, MoveStudio Student, Dallas, Texas

to learn more about Aikido, check out John’s Aikido Instructor, Lynn Fabia’s website (and book) :  http://www.lynnfabia.com/ and MoveStudio www.movestudio.comfor Lynn’s classes.

 

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move.  Be Moved.  BE.Let’s start with a metaphor from the movies.  In the final scene of Zorba the Greek, the intellectual, uptight writer, Basil, asks the exuberant older man to teach him  to dance—and thereby embrace life…and thus the dance begins…

Expressing joy, religious fervor, and other emotions, dance is probably one of the oldest art forms—dependent as it is on nonverbal use of one’s own body to communicate.  Using dance therapeutically—to lift spirits —is ancient, as well.  Dance has been an important part of self-expression, ceremonial and religious events, and health in most cultures throughout history.  For example, medicine men and women of many Native American tribes used dance as part of their healing rituals.

This shared expression of feelings allows the participants/clients to see and be seen, and break through some of the isolation caused by their mental/emotional imbalance.  Because the ability to verbalize was often impaired by their illness, dance and body movement became the pathway for communication and expression.  Nia provides this path as your body leads the way.

As Nia has developed over the last 30 years, at its core utilizing organic/authentic movement from nine distinctive movement forms from the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts, Nia naturally found it’s place in the world of psychotherapeutic healing.
Part of what makes movement in Nia so therapeutic and such a powerful tool is that it is preverbal.  Nia as a vehicle of self-realization opens doors of rational thinking, personal growth and transformation.  For patients with mental illness Nia can be a noninvasive solution to the mental/emotional blocks that hold them back from fully enjoying life and reaching their full potential.
While cognitive abilities and socialization may be impaired, the modality of movement in Nia works.  Nia’s tag-line and philosophy is “Through Movement We Find Health”.  So then, we may extrapolate that “through movement, health, healing and well-beingness is gained in the mind, emotions and spirit, as well as the body…thus people suffering from mental/emotional imbalances begin to embody new ways to relate throughout life, finding stability in all realms of self and fully thriving.

Nia uses choreography broadly. It creates dances with everyday movements put into sequences, to get to a metaphoric level, to use as insight into their lives.  Nia prompts patients to express their feelings as it increases their insight. They may not have the
skills to express themselves verbally.  That’s where Nia’s purposeful, expressive, guided movement comes into play.  Nia is an exceptional technique—and it helps.

Many people, including those with mental illness, often venture into thinking and talking into self-defeating patterns.  Nia gets them into their bodies, into new worlds they can’t manipulate.  This may sometimes lead to resistance, but once the music
begins and the movement is activated the spell is broken.  It has been proven that movement helps develop body image; improves self-concept and self-esteem; reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; decreases isolation, chronic pain, and body tension; and increases communication skills and feelings of well being.

Nia also provides the health benefits all exercise does.  Physical activity is known to increase endorphins in the brain, which creates a feeling of well being. Total body movement enhances the functions of other body systems, such as the circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and muscular systems.  Regular aerobic exercise helps with glucose metabolism, cardiovascular fitness, and weight control.

Since we are our bodies, the experience of Nia occurs within the self as it moves, with no transitional ‘object’ to mediate it.  This can be both profound and threatening.  There are breakthrough applications for Nia all the time.  It is offered as a health promotion service for healthy people, and as a complementary method of reducing stress in caregivers and people with chronic illness.  As a movement and life practice it can provide exercise, improve mobility and muscle coordination, and reduce muscle tension. Emotionally, it is reported to improve self-awareness, self-confidence, and interpersonal interaction, and is an outlet for communicating feelings.

Nia practitioners assist students to develop a nonverbal language that gives information about what is going on in their bodies, minds, emotions and spirit.  In a private setting, the Nia practitioner observes the client’s movements to assess and design a program to help the specific needs.  The frequency and level of difficulty of the integrative-therapeutic work is tailored to the needs of the clients.

Nia has at its core one of the 3 M’s – Movement. Movement is fundamental to human life.  In fact movement is life.  Contemporary physics tells us that the universe and everything in it is in constant motion. We can move our body and at the most basic level our body is movement.  According to the somatic educator Thomas Hanna, “The living body is a moving body -indeed, it is a constantly
moving body.”  The poet and philosopher Alan Watts eloquently states a similar view, “A living body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool.”  Centuries earlier, the great Western philosopher Socrates understood what modern physics has proven, “The universe is motion and nothing else.”

Nia, in a sense, is a psychotherapeutic use of movement for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditions.  Nia, as a therapy, strengthens the body/mind connection through body movements to improve both the mental and physical well-being of individuals.  As a form of expressive art therapy, Nia is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related.

What is the aim of this psychotherapeutic approach to movement that Nia uses?  It is a quest for self-revelation through bodily movement.  When we tune-in to the deepest well-springs of our Being we move with a grace, rhythm and beauty which is unique to each individual.  Through this “tuning-in” process we learn new aspects of ourselves and others without the need for the spoken word.  We can attain through this means – calm, peace, spiritual upliftment, self-confidence and greater physical energy for ourselves and others.

There is an enormous difference between what traditional fitness does and what Nia does.  The only purpose of the former is the exercise session and increased fitness.  What Nia brings and does also has the aspect of physical well-being but it provides an opportunity for emotional reactions and insights.  The aim is to bring about a feeling of “wholeness”.  Various styles of movement forms from dance  arts, martial arts, and healing arts are used but the emphasis is not on technique or performance.  What this approach offers is not a cure, but a means of discovery which brings about greater harmony between the realms of Body, Mind, Emotions and Spirit.   Through creating a “safe”, accepting, non-judgmental environment the student accepts or rejects an activity, he or she can express problems, unhappiness, hopes and fears through movement which originate from within our own selves.

Zorba the Greek wasn’t a therapist, but with his freeing effect on Basil as they kicked up their heels together on the beach, he might as well have been.

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Katie, a seasoned dancer and artist, is new to Nia….but she ‘gets it’ all the way!  Check out her thoughts about her experice of dancing my Nia Routine, Moulin Rouge.   Dancing this body of work with such a profoundly expressive, raw performer was, simply, THRILLING!

http://katiegoesto.blogspot.com/2011/06/katie-goes-to-kitchen-nia-class.html

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I have been a ‘mover’ my whole life!  From dancing in front of the TV with Tom Jones at age 2-3, to running, climbing trees, riding bikes, jumping, digging, rolling, tumbling, racing, splashing, growing up playing with ‘the boys’ (my younger brother and uncle who is 4 mos. younger than me….that’s another story ; ), playing in the “Little Dribblers” basketball league, softball, running track, jumping the long jump…my formative years provided an environment and opportunity for me to develop skill, speed, power, agility, self-mastery, ‘team-man-ship’, competitive spirit, success and zeal in being in a

BE.

moving body.  Growing up (not even in a small town, but…) OUTSIDE of a small town in East Texas, there was not much else for a girl to do but to entertain herself.  I did not have access to the arts, dance classes, music classes, etc.  So my way was to ‘PLAY’.  Play-pretend, play chase, play sports, play jokes, play games…  We only had 3 channels on the TV, so we did not sit around watching TV.  No video games or internet back then either. I did not even love to read.  What I did love was to MOVE & PLAY (excel and WIN)!

In my young adult years (18-present ; )  I did not want a job where I would sit or stand all day…I wanted to MOVE!  So, my first job I applied for a job at ‘Figure World’, where I could move and move others in the Pepto-Bismol pink women-only fitness center.  This transubstantiated my journey from the world of sports to the world of ‘fitness’.  I learned how to teach aerobics classes and eventually became a personal trainer for bodybuilders and ‘Average Joes & Janes’ who wanted to tighten up and get fit.  Still loving the act of moving…but not really ‘being moved’.  My movement throughout my life was to attain a result…skill, mastery, trophies, WINS, scholarships, tight bod, etc.  But I can’t say that I had ‘awareness’ of me being IN my body.  There was an excitation of what my body could DO, but “I” wasn’t necessarily IN THERE.  It was more a vehicle to achieve.  Nia was the entry point for me to have an experience….and awakening…to me fully inhabiting my body with awareness.  Here, I enter the place in my life where I was ‘moving…and Being Moved’.

<Here, an ancestral aside>  I believe the need to move is inherent in our DNA.  Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, suggests that dogs are ‘wired’ neurologically from ancestry to nomadically walk.  To go from point A to point B with purpose.  There is something about the walk itself that ‘sets’ their nervous system to a state of psychological balance.  This is different from randomly moving in the back yard, or dog park.  The walk itself is a homeostatic necessity.  The combination of the nomadic travel from point A to point B with the cadence of the walk, combined with the ‘cross-crawl/cross-pattern’ neuro-muscular stimulation, all combine to ‘callibrate’ homeostasis in the dog’s body, mind and spirit.  I was struck by this philosophy…and struck even more when I witnessed its truth in my dogs as I devoted myself to giving ‘my guys’ this gift every day…and what I noticed was that it stimulated a sense of balance in ME too!  As ‘hunters & gatherers’, I believe we humans are also designed to move, navigate, walk the earth…cross crawling, cross patterning our nervous system to homeostatic set points.  Here, movement not only serves to condition, but to ‘set’ the nervous system to a healthy state of equilibrium.  I can’t help but wonder how psychologically, emotionally and energetically balanced all humans would be if they moved…and better yet, PURPOSELY moved more.  When I think of our pioneer ancestors who worked the home, hearth and land from dawn ‘til dusk, moving their bodies all day long, how balanced their body, mind, emotions and spirit were.  Did the movement itself balance?  Or were they just too tired to be ‘disturbed’?  As a licensed psychotherapist, I pay great tribute to the power of movement in mental/emotional balance and well-being-ness and tout it to be THE path to condition body/mind/emotion/spirit wellness.

Now, back to “moving…Being Moved…and…”  As a life-long ‘mover’, I ‘got off’ on what my body could do.  When I entered the world of psychology/psychotherapy/counseling, I catapulted myself into the world of ‘fixing’ all the things that was ‘broke’ (in me and in the others)…this world I speak of is the world of ‘Self-Help’.  Yes, in this world, there’s an unending abyss of ‘issues’ that need ‘fixing’.  It’s the world of unending reading, talking, workshop’ing, conferencing, etc. where the ultimate message is that ‘you are not ok ’.  When I first read Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem and book, “The Dance”, I received the invitation that “I am enough…” and that to fully become the person that I already am—not always to seek change, but to rest in the bliss of “me—just as I am”.  In her poem, The Dance, she says,

“What would you do if you knew you were enough just as you are today, if you knew—really knew—that you were in your essential nature a compassionate, gentle being capable of being fully present with yourself and the world?  Would you trust yourself more?”

This brings me to “BEing”.  Moving…Being Moved….and BEing our elemental selves.  The REAL YOU…and it is enough.  It is MORE than enough.  It is ‘the all that IS”.  It is the place where my body, mind, emotions and spirit expand with the energetics of being “all that I am”.  This place of “BEing” is the symbology of the totality of me.  My geometry, archetypes, art, symbols, heart, essence, numerology, shapes, metaphors, postures, the big “I”…. all coming through TO BE in this body and in this life.  My 16-year practice with Nia moves me from the archetype of  ‘athlete’, ‘helper/healer/fixer’’, to the “Sacred Athlete” who plays the game of life with warrior-like prowess, confidence, practice, skill…blending all my life experiences and archetypes…to navigate the planet, fulfilled in ‘BEing Jule’.

Architectural Symbology.  My feet, large, grounded, stable…walk me, dance me through life.  Their anatomy/structure speak to me the state of my structural alignment and the terrain I move over.  They hold the energy and memory of my primal, warrior heritage…of my organic, earth-loving spirit.  My legs, long, have tremendous gait for traveling me on my life’s path.  They ‘reach me’ to high places.  They grow me to my highest and greatest potential.  My Core, vibrant and alive with energy centers, sense the world multi-directionally/multi-dimensionally and radiates my life force 360 degrees out into infinity.  My upper extremities reach out, extending to the world my gifts and then draw in receiving the gifts offered to me by the universe, conditioning my chest, back, arms and ‘winged spirit’.  My body, with over 200 bones and nearly 700 muscles, has unlimited potential for movement variety.  This 200/700 potential holds the possibility of infinite symbological states that emits an energetic vibrational message that speaks to humans, animals, the spirits, angels and cosmos…aligning to the BEing of everything…..all matter…antimatter…ALL.

Nia’s gift of 52 principles, 9 movement forms, 13:20 Natural Time Code, 200/700 potential, 5 Sensations of Functional Fitness, relationship and energy of the 4 realms, and 7 cycles of the Nia Class Format, etc. offer a menu of archetypal conditioning tools to, with dynamic-ease, fully exist in the truth of “move.  Be Moved.  BE ™”.  

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