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Posts Tagged ‘Nia Technique’

I was invited by Debbie Rosas, Founder of Nia Technique, Inc., to engage in “The Compassion Games” , sharing acts of kindness and compassion in my community. As a life-long helper + healer in my early career as a hospice counselor, through 20 years of sharing compassionate self-care through Nia, working with clients in my mind-body psychotherapy practice, and contributing to the work of alleviating Compassion Fatigue for thousands of professional caregivers in Ed-U-Care’s annual Compassion Fatigue Symposium, I have many stories to tell!  The one that yearned to be told is the one I currently practice going in and out of the hospital-based wellness facility at Baylor Hospital where I teach Nia and Nia Moving to Heal classes each week.

My story is called, #FlowerPower

jule-flower-powerEvery Tuesday and Thursday when I teach my Nia and Nia Moving to Heal classes at Baylor Tom Landry Wellness Center, my student, Sopana, gives me flowers, handpicked from her garden.

I used to keep them for myself, but I recently noticed as I passed through the exit, several people with chronic, debilitating illnesses waiting for their doctors appointment, and thought to myself…I can SHARE THE LOVE…and so I selected 2 people waiting and offered my flowers to them as a way to  bring beauty, light, love, generosity, and human connection to people who are distressed, isolated, and suffering.

Their smile says it all….and I walk away with my spirit expanded knowing that this very small gesture of passing on the gift, made a big difference to the person who received it.

This has become my weekly ritual. Today, it was a man in a wheelchair with an amputated leg and deformed arm. The flower brought beauty, and I brought human connection, he brought smiles.

I love the idea that I leave beauty, light, and kindness in my wake as I journey the world.

How does COMPASSION show up in your body + life? 

The place to begin, ALWAYS, is with YOU!!!  I have some offerings that will put YOU front and center of your compassion practice…then, with your well full, you have what you need to then go out and be an agent of compassion with the world!  check out my upcoming Nia White Belt Training in Dallas, TX, where you will experience phenomenal tools to GET IN your body, and make choices for your body and life from a place of compassion!  Or perhaps the Nia Moving to Heal program speaks to you! Check out my next training or BRING THE TRAINING to YOUR community!!!!

**Learn more about The Compassion Games at http://www.compassiongames.org

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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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Last month, I presented a ‘user’s manual’ for taking care of your body the Nia way!  But The Nia Technique conditions MORE than just your body!  This holistic, integrated movement practice also conditions and stimulates your MIND by engaging conscious awareness, directed focus, mind/body synchronized actions and neurological cross patterning, imagery, meta-perception (how one perceives oneself), etc.

ImageMany in Western societies, with our constant connection to TV, smart phones, iPads, and laptops, are training their brains to constantly be ‘entertained’, seeking stimulation outside of our SELF, rarely taking time away to ‘unplug’ from digital media and ‘plug IN’ to our own inner landscape.   We see it all the time!  Runners, cyclists, gym-goers mentally “check out” during their exercise activities with TV’s, texting on smartphones, rocking out to music or being taken on a mental journey via digital books on their iPods to distract them from the act of working out…detaching from their body and the multitude of sensations that happen as the body exerts, conditions, and trains itself.  In other words, many people go into “monkey-mind” mode, or as Deepak Chopra calls it, ‘baseline brain’ ..where mind is unsettled, unfocused, and unconscious, merely fulfilling the tasks of everyday life.

Nia offers a better way of moving, living, and truly BEing in a body!  With buzzwords like “neuroplasticity”,”Super-Brain”, ‘integrative’, ‘holistic’, etc, Nia is THE wellness program that delivers health and balance to both your physical brain and your conscious mind!

 But much like the credo, “use it or lose it”,  our brains are designed to ‘think’, be aware, focused, and engaged.  When we fail to exercise those abilities, we lose it.

Here are 9 ways that Nia conditions the mind and develops the body-mind connection: 

1.     AWARENESS:  Nia invites, engages, and stimulates conscious awareness of being IN one’s body by paying attention to body sensations…not just in class, but ALL the time!

ImageLet’s do it now!  Right now, as you read this blog post, direct your attention to your feet.  Sense your feet and notice what you notice!  What sensations are you aware of in your feet? (ex. I sense my feet inside my shoes; I sense pressure as my feet stand on the floor; I sense my toes wiggling; etc.)  Now, sense your spine…How about your hands…breathe….elbows…and so on.  This feedback loop between body (sensation) and mind (awareness) communicates to your 75+trillion cells that you are ‘in there’, consciously aware of your body.  Awareness trains the mind towards ‘presence’…being HERE now.

2.   Sharyn 2013 DMN Article5    VISUALIZATION, IMAGERY, and IMAGINATION:  Nia stimulates the mind by pairing suggested visual images with movement to trigger authentic, functional movement and conditioning the imagination.  Notice the difference in lifting your arms out to the sides and above your head as you inhale, and lower your arms as you exhale.  Now, imagine your arms as wings..lift and lower your ‘wings’…do you notice a difference in the quality and sensation of the movement?  Now, walk around the room…then, imagine ‘stepping stones’, or a HOT FLOOR… did the quality of your movement change as you engaged this imagery?  This pairing of visual imagery with physical movement engages MORE of your body…and has you moving from ‘the inside-out”!  It resembles the way children move and play, stimulating creativity, functionality, and authenticity.

3.     brain rt lt graphicRIGHT/LEFT BRAIN ACTIVATION:  The human brain has two hemispheres, the right and the left, each with different capacities and functions.  The left brain, manages language, logic, critical thinking, numbers, reasoning, linear/forceful/precise movements while the right brain governs creativity, intuition, imagery, color, expression and interpretation of emotions, fluid/continuous movements, etc.  Nia engages BOTH the right and left brain by utilizing both linear and fluid movements, choreographed patterns and freeform/creative movements, cross-patterning left and right sides of the body, and more to balance and optimize the functioning and performance of the two hemispheres towards “Super-Brain” status.

4.     highres_1768639WITNESS:  Nia encourages participants to ‘witness’/observe themselves, noticing (without judgement) their thoughts, choices, actions, habits/tendencies, etc.  This practice conditions insight, self-acceptance, and non-judgement, igniting a different way to perceive self and others with respect, compassion, and love.  Do you witness what you tell yourself about your body?  What are the messages you give it?  Do you focus on your self-perceived ‘flaws’ or do you celebrate your body and self?  Do you focus on what your body can’t do…or do you celebrate what your body CAN do?  These meta-perceptions are important in training your mind for optimal, whole-being functioning!

5.     NEUROPLASTICITY and TRAINING YOUR BRAIN:  Nia shakes things up…breaking up the ‘ruts’ of neuropathways, creating NEW paths for maximized usage of the brain and conscious mind.  As we witness our thoughts, choices, actions, etc., noticing certain tendencies…Nia invites us to ‘CHANGE!!”

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If I notice that I always lead with my right foot when I move…I can choose to change and lead with my left!  If I tend to dance to the rhythm of music, I can choose to experiment with dancing to the melody!  If I set the table a certain way, I can choose to change it to a different way!  Every time I choose a different way of doing things, I condition the neuroplasticity of my brain, thereby staving off brain degenerative diseases like dementia and altzheimers!

6.     FOCUS:  Every Nia class begins with a focus…something you will be aware of, observe, experiment with…as you move your body!    Having a set focus throughout the Nia class experience, ensures that you are IN your body, consciously aware, and purposefully directing all of your movement choices and actions, thereby keeping you safe, diminishing the chances for injury, as you move.

7.     MOVING MEDITATION:  Nia’s way of using directed focus, breath-work, consciousness, and mindful presence in the NOW, gives every Nia experience the sensation of being a ‘movement meditation’, achieving an alpha-state relaxation response, sensed as a calmer, saner way to move, live, and BE in the body, while countering the fight/flight stress response that gorges the body with streams of cortizol,inflammation, and stress.

8.     SelfHealingMENTAL HEALTH:  It is a well-documented fact that exercise helps to balance brain chemistry, positively impacting mental health.   The Nia Technique delivers MORE than just ‘exercise’…Nia’s holistic approach to addressing the body AND mind with awareness, insight, positive messaging, presence, healing music, gratitude, self-direction, meaningfulness, and many other tools for transformation…positively impacts mental health, balanced brain chemistry, and overall positive regard for self and others.

9.     CURIOSITY + BEGINNER’S MIND:  Nia encourages every participant to enter the experience with ‘beginner’s mind’…a state of consciousness to become fully present in the moment, leaving behind past learning, as well as expectation towards outcomes, entering the current experience with ‘new eyes’ and empty, readiness to experience, practice, learn and grow, creating a sense of relaxation, consciousness, and curiosity about the experience.

So, there you have it!  Nine tools that The Nia Technique delivers to ensure, not only a heathy, vital body…but a razor-sharp, calm mind and ‘Super Brain”!

Want more? Bring Jule to YOUR community for experiential workshops and masterclasses…or consider taking the Nia White Belt Training to actualize the Nia Practice into your body and life!   Learn more at http://www.juleinthelotus.com

find Nia Technique classes near you at http://www.nianow.com/find/classes

resources:  

The Nia Technique:  The High-Powered, Energizing Workout that Gives You a New Body and a New Life by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (2004).

Super-Brain by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. (2013)

**As with any new activity, or if you are having joint or bleeding problems, make sure you check with your physician or therapist to be sure you are ready to get started.

This is a Reblog of Jule’s recurring blog contribution to The Hemophilia Federation of America:  http://www.hemophiliafed.org/news-stories/2013/11/go-monkey-mind-super-brain-nia/#.UnsStigGZYI.facebook

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IMG_9360TweakedBWcropped If you have been hanging out with HFA’s FitFactor  for very long, by now you know their motto, “healthy bodies bleed less”… and it’s TRUE!

Doctors specializing in bleeding disorders stress that consistent exercise can prevent or reduce bleeding by strengthening muscles and vulnerable joints for hemophiliacs of all ages.  In fact, whether you have a bleeding disorder, or not, healthy, active, moving bodies don’t just survive, they THRIVE physically, psychologically, neurologically, and emotionally!

Nia

The Nia Technique is a unique, cardiovascular-based movement practice that stimulates and conditions body, mind and spirit through its conscious engagement of 52 Moves, 9 Movement Forms (from the martial arts, dance and healing arts) and focused attention, not on only on the outcome of fitness, but the SENSATION of “functional fitness”.  Students are guided to “personalize” their movements toward what feels right for them, allowing each individual to ‘do it their way”.  Mindfulness, imagination, and expression, are interwoven for a holistic, integrative, body-mind experience that leaves participants feeling energized, happy, healthy and WHOLE!  And the BEST part?  Anyone can do it!  Whether old, or young; fit, or not-so-fit; man; woman; beginner, or seasoned athlete; Nia Technique will MOVE YOU!

3 Ways Nia Delivers Health to Your WHOLE Self:

  • Nia Provides Diverse, Multi-dimensional Movement and Energy Variety:  With movements stemming from the martial arts, dance, and healing arts AND 52 distinct movements that address every part of your body (from your feet, to your head, to the tips     of your fingers), Nia Technique delivers a systemic movement program that is functional, conditioning, and FUN!  Unlike other movement programs that rely on repetitive, joint-stressing, unnatural movement, Nia will have you moving in alignment with the design and function of your body….what we call “Your Body’s Way”…with fascination and self-discovery.
  • Nia Invites You to Go INSIDE for Maximum Results and Safety:  Nia Technique is ‘sensory-based’, conscious, and self-aware, inviting participants to make movement choices based on SENSATION, moving from the inside-out, rather than simply following the directions of the instructor.  This allows each student to personalize, self-direct, and self-pace movement for what is right for them at any given moment, making Nia the most accessible movement program on the planet!
  • Integration:  more than just ‘exercising’, Nia stimulates and activates body, mind, emotions, and spirit, utilizing functional movement, imagination, expression, play, and connection to self with the world around, allowing individuals to fully embrace the magnificence of their whole being.

Nia 2Intrigued?  Stay tuned to FitFactor, as I will follow up in the coming months with more on specific aspects of Nia Technique’s transformative tools for body and life enrichment. Lear more!

Find a Nia Technique classes near you.

Click here to read about Nia at HFA’s 2013 Symposium in Texas!

*As with any new activity, or if you are having joint or bleeding problems, make sure you check with your physician or therapist to be sure you are ready to get started.

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Jule A - headshotJule Aguirre, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, is a member of the International Nia Training Faculty as Black Belt Somatic Educator + Trainer.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, JuleMOVES body-mind integrators, urban athletes & adventurers in wellness with her unique approach to blending conscious movement, body-mind awareness, and integrative psychotherapy to dynamically stimulate change and transformation through her trainings, classes, workshops and private sessions!

As a Licensed & Nationally Certified Psychotherapist, Jule’s gift is being able to integrate the wisdom of Nia with her counseling techniques to form an integrative, therapeutic program of wellness, healing & personal power for participants of her work.  Jule works privately with individuals seeking personal growth, self-actualization, transformation & integration of all parts of the self.

Jule was named in 2012 by ORIGIN Magazine as one of the TOP 124 people in the United States that INSPIRE!  juleinthelotus@me.com

http://www.hemophiliafed.org/news-stories/2013/08/working-in-by-working-out-3-ways-the-nia-technique-delivers-health-to-your-whole-self/#.UiDSChY73i7

Reblogged from the Hemophilia Federation of America |  join me monthly at HFA’s FitFactor for MORE on The Nia Technique + Wellness for people living with bleeding disorders!

photo credit:  Paul Echols at Studio 205 in Denton, TX

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