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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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What if the sky's the limit?!

What if the sky’s the limit?!

We are well into the new year and I want to check in with you!

What new desires, practices, choices, and actions are you igniting in your life?
What are you letting go of?
What words resonate with you for 2015?

Instead of resolutions (that notoriously fizzle), I have long chosen to find a word, yes, a single word, that sets the tone for my year. This year, my word is, SOAR! That’s right, SOAR…in all my realms (body, mind, emotions, + spirit), my life, my work, my relationships, and even SOAR with travel!

As I move through my year, SOAR will be my mantra…my mudra….my dance…it will be my talk…and my walk! I will filter my choices and actions through the sift, “does this (action/choice) resonate with my intention to SOAR?” If yes, BAM! Let’s do it! If it’s a ‘no’, ‘uhhh’, ‘I don’t know’, or ‘meh’…if it’s not ‘the wind beneath my wings’, it will be dropkicked out of my field of time + space.

I’m eager to hear from you! What tone have you set for your year? What do you want more of… less of…to SOAR in your body + life?

I have some offerings that may be a right fit for you kicking off the year with a self-loving BANG!

CHECK OUT my upcoming workshop
Awaken Your Body + Life with the Conscious Movement of Nia | 1/31 at MoveStudio
learn more

And SIGN ON for my next Nia Training in Dallas | Feb. 21-27
Learn more & register

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Over the last several months, we have explored Nia Technique as a movement and life practice that conditions the body, amplifying cardiovascular conditioning, building strength, flexibility, mobility, stability, and agility for optimal health and wellness at ALL ages and fitness levels!  We explored how Nia conditions the mind and it’s ability to go from “Monkey Mind to SUPER Brain” through engaging conscious awareness, imagination, creativity, directed focus, neurological cross-patterning and mind/body synchronized movement that delivers balance to both the physical brain and the conscious mind.  We even tapped in to Nia’s way of using emotional expression to take your fitness to the next level.  But one of the (many) things that makes Nia Technique truly extraordinary, is it’s appreciation of the individuality of each and every participant who steps into the Nia Class.  Every person in the room is ‘unique’!  Just like a snowflake, no two are alike!  Each, with gifts, talents, and ways of BE-ing, that are only inhabitable by that one, unique individual!  Nia ignites a call to the spirit of each participant, to be unfolded, let out, revealed in it’s uniqueness, pure potential, and ‘greatness’.   
 
When considering the word, “spirit”, depending on one’s frame of reference, it would  be easy to jump to the conclusion that Nia is “woo-woo”,  wondering, “is this some kind of new-agey-metaphysical-spiritual practice?”  No!  It’s much simpler than that!
 
TheFreeDictionary.com defines ‘spirit’ as:  
  1. The vital principle or animating force within living beings.
  2. Incorporeal consciousness. 
  3. The essential nature of a person or group.
 
YES!…not woo-woo at all!  Essentially, spirit defined as “life-force”.
 
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Nia defines spirit simply as, “uniqueness”.  The spirit/life force that resides in each of us is Unique, like no other, one-of-a-kind!  Spirit is the elemental energy that allows you to be you!  And when you connect to your spirit, that in you which is unique, there is a sense of intimacy, meaning, and purpose that allows you to feel existentially YOU….whole and complete.  How you move, how you express yourself, how you exert your own personality in the class is how you “do YOU”!   Now IMAGINE it!  A room full of people, each honoring, moving, and expressing their unique light!  A room full of people moving in their own way…in their own time…radiating their uniqueness!  Well, imagine no more!  Just get yourself to a Nia Class, STAT, and experience for yourself, how Nia Technique is the vanguard fitness practice that acknowledges, engages, and ‘conditions‘, not only your body and mind, but your Spirit, as well!
 

So many in our society (and fitness classes) are striving to ‘fit in’, or pushed toward conformity…but Nia invites us to ‘stand out’, shine our light, and radiate our essence self…because, out of all the humans who have ever lived…or who will ever live in the future, there is NO ONE like YOU!  Like Bono, from U2, says in the song, Original of the Species, “YOU are the ONLY ONE of your kind!”  I say, “Behave accordingly! (especially on the dance floor!)”.   

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5 Ways to Cultivate Your Spirit with Nia:
  1. Recognize your uniqueness!!  Make a list of all the ways you are unique!  Noting, what makes you, YOU?!!   Include everything…no matter how big or small!  All that matters is “uniqueness”!
  2. Say goodbye to ‘cookie-cutter’ methods of living/moving/BEing!  Say hello to your unique radiance!  You, doing YOU…in YOUR own way…and in YOUR own time. 
  3. Find the courage to ADORE all that is unique within you!  Have the courage to live, move, and BE, without analyzing, criticizing or judging yourself!  Just BE! 
  4. Find opportunities to experience community!  (you will find it every time in a Nia Class!)  Uniqueness is best explored in the environment of community!
  5. Become ‘spellbound’ with the uniqueness of every thing!  Not only are YOU unique, but so is EVERYONE (and everything)!   Enjoy the process of discovering uniqueness everywhere…and find bliss in acknowledging and interacting with spirit.
 
Want more? Bring Jule to your community for experiential workshops, masterclasses, and Nia Trainings and ignite your uniqueness, and  spirit!   Learn more at http://www.juleinthelotus.com!  Find Nia classes near you at http://www.nianow.com.

  

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).

 

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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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FAB blog with Dawn Montefusco at Nia Technique re: the intelligence of your TWO BRAINS! click the link & read on! if you want to learn more, I have a few spaces available at my next Nia White Belt Training (Dallas Dec. 7-13), where you can explore deeper, the Art of Sensation of your ‘Gut Instincts”…and MORE! 

“Nia White Belt training, The Art of Sensation, is designed as a living system to allow you to know things instantly and to connect to the gut, the body and all of sensation. Nia respects the natural intelligence of the body and who you are. It’s made to adapt to your own energetic fingerprint composed of a body, mind, and unique spirit. It is through this investigation that you get to know yourself, learn to make better choices and live a fuller and healthier life. As Nia says, “The practice is over, the game has begun.” Choice-to-choice, moment-to-moment, it’s the game of life defined by each day, by each choice, that guides us all. We are only using half of our potential to figure out choices if we rely only on our mind. We have to feel our way through life, not think it.
This system of combining the body and the mind is vital to the successful operation of your entire life. Nia is key to getting into the body, using it as your leader, and having the body be your guide.” 

via Think Twice: Brain and Gut Power.

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by  Jule Aguirre, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Nia Black Belt Somatic Educator & Trainer

You LIVE in a body…and it is the only one you will be given!  To keep it running and in good repair, you are charged with taking care of it.  With 206 bones, 700-ish muscles, 75 trillion cells, and numerous body systems…there is alot to take care of!   What if your body came with an “Owner’s Manual” to show you just the right way to upkeep required maintenance?

Now there’s the obvious, common-sense instructions that you are flooded with day in and out in our media-rich world like ‘eat right, drink enough water, get enough rest, exercise, etc.).  This is all good, and true…but I’m going to take you deeper…deeper into the design and function of your body’s way of living, being, and THRIVING, putting YOU in the driver’s seat of optimizing longevity, health, fitness.

YOUR top 10 ‘User’s Guide’ entries for taking care of your body The Nia Way!

  1. MOVE!  Our bodies are coded to move!  Every cell in the body has a mechanism that is triggered when we move to regenerate and triggered to degenerate or die when we are sedentary.  Movement is key to healthy bodies…but not just ANY movement!  Stop pounding, twisting and torquing your body with conventional, habitual, unconscious, repetitive, EXERCISE!  Start MOVING!  Walk, dance, climb, play, get up and down from the floor…get curious and become aware of the sensation of your body moving!  Moving with a sense of Joy is THE SECRET to a healthy body and a movement practice that is sustainable for a lifetime!
  2. Your body is designed to be BALANCED!  Move your body and aspire to equalize engagement of the right/left, top/bottom, front/back, intrinsic/extrinsic parts of the body.  Nia Technique is multi-dimensional, working your body from all of these vantage points.
  3. FUNCTIONAL FITNESS is The Body’s Way!  Some people are strong in their fitness.  Some are flexible.  Others are agile…but to be optimally fit, you need to equally condition flexibility, strength, agility, stability, and mobility in your body.  A body that is functionally fit can move through life with ease, get up and down from the floor, squat, kick, run, jump, play …DANCE!  Essentially, moving like children do!  So stop the rote exercise regimes and get FUNCTIONAL in your practice!
  4. The body THRIVES with VARIETY!  Many exercise enthusiasts get stuck in movement ruts, with little variation in what they do and how they do it!  Nia delivers movement and energy variety, moving fast and slow, linear and circular, low and high, inward and outward, forward, back and spiraling…with 52 unique movements and 9 Movement Forms (from the martial arts, dance, and healing arts), Nia is a practice with limitless variety, stimulating and conditioning not only the body, but the right/left brain and nervous system, as well!  So, mix it up!  Give your body the variety it needs!
  5. SENSATION is the language of the body.  Listen and respond to the voices of the body to guide your choices and actions based on what feels joyful, pleasurable, grounded, and powerful, allowing you to become your own teacher and conscious personal trainer!  Sensation will tell you exactly how to move, stay safe, and THRIVE!
  6. INTEGRATE!  Engage your whole body when you move!  Many movement modalities only guide students to move the extremities.  Nia will have you moving your WHOLE Body…feet, legs, pelvis, chest, head, spine, arms, hands and fingers…all active, engaged, energized, conditioned, and ALIVE!
  7. Breathe, in and out, all day long!  Inhale, smelling the moment.  Exhale a long, drawn out release…amplifying  your life force throughout the day.
  8. Go Barefoot!  With 27 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles in each foot, the design of the foot says “I’m designed to MOVE and articulate through the whole foot” and with over 7000 nerve endings, the feet send information to your brain so your body can move safely and efficiently.
  9. The body thrives on Dynamic-Ease…the ability to execute a movement with maximum effect with least effort…creating effortless power, elegance and grace…priming your body, energy system, and nervous system for balance.
  10.   Honor YOUR Body’s Way!  Every single body is different, has different strengths, weaknesses, shapes, sizes, life experiences, etc.  Be true to your body!  Love your body.  Have GRATITUDE for all that your body CAN DO!   Move and seek the edge of what is possible for your body…in it’s own way, in it’s own natural time.

Want more? 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

*Nia presented at the HFA
2013 National Symposium in Dallas, Texas with exceptional reception! [http://www.hemophiliafed.org/news-stories/2013/05/nia-dance-gets-us-moving-at-symposium-2013/#.Uhwf3BY70_q]

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).

Dr. Henry S. Lodge is on the faculty of Columbia Medical School and is co-author of “Younger Next Year” (Workman).

**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.

***While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content of each FitFactor post, these entries are not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.

***(Reblogged from Hemophilia Federation of America’s FitFactor)

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Discover why YOU should get to know Nia NOW, 30 years of barefoot movement that conditions, heals, transforms, unifies commUNITY, stimulates body+mind+spirit integration…and offers a life practice that will bring more Joy, pleasure and health to your body and life!

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