Inspired by NIA – a Multi-sensory Exercise Experience

I have been going to NIA classes for the past four weeks. And I happy to say that I love NIA! Along with the benefits of getting exercise & being in a dance class again; NIA inspires me: to think, act and react differently in the world.

Love WEEK

I started going to NIA during LOVE week (the week of February 14 & Valentine’s Day). The focus of the NIA class was to be love in the world. I was inspirted by the NIA class. I was inspired by the Beckoning of Lovely event during Social Media Week http://m.socialmediaweek.org/imps/smw/event.html?event_id=1033&rnd=1224773 And I was inspired with the new focus and energy I freed up by reducing my practice hours. The “youareloved campaign” is one such outlet. I attribute my ability to get this campaign started to the week of love.

The campaign is going well, up to 10 recipients now. Although I had hoped to reach one person each day my production is not as high as I’d imagined it could be. As I want each gift to be unique, I can’t set up an assembly line… Although I did for St. Patrick’s Day:

BIG WAVES & Comfort Zones

Ocean Recovery Alliance

Ocean Recovery Logo for Doug

My second week of Nia was focused on stepping outside one’s comfort zone. I was excited about this one, as Tracey, our instructor, used the analogy of living on one coral reef and taking a step off to explore the ocean. Because I have been involved in the HK Ocean Film Festival http://www.oceanrecov.org/hong-kong-san-francisco-ocean-film-festival/info.html I was doubly inspired by the Ocean films. As the NIA class imagined ourselves stepping off our familiar coral reef, we “felt” the waves grew large and scary – creating a great ride. However, when we made it to the next coral was worth all the fear; the next coral was an exciting and beautiful place.

This week made me think a lot about my life: my issue as an urban nomad, I don’t have a regular. I feel like everything is new each day. There is no regular place for me to go (although I have been meeting people regularly at MANA!) There is no regular place for our family to hang out (although the walk up the Peak and a trip to Saffron Bakery is lovely). These kinds of “regular” are good! I feel that coming to a completely different continent is a “step outside” my comfort zone. Moving house every two years to a different country is another step beyond comfort. My comfort zones are more about interacting with the world wherever I am – learning to trust the abundance of the world.

WomenHood

During women’s week, we were to celebrate life, celebrate woman-hood. That day, our Nia instructor asked us to do one thing special for ourselves. We celebrated and had a party. Every class there is time for a dance party. The NIA class participants move their bodies to the extremes. I enjoy my little weekly dance party with my dance partners. We always steam up the windows!

Relaxed Aware Waiting

Last week we were discovering the RAW that is NIA – learning a new way to listen.

This week I have trying to be RAW in my interactions with my friends and family. With everyone I meet really. The idea is that you keep your body relaxed with your mind alert for subtleties and wait for the message from the other being. When you truly pay attention to the words of others, you will truly hear their story and have empathy for their situation. It is easy to become distracted by other things, or even your own thoughts. Now I am keeping the RAW motto in my head so that I stop what I am doing, relax my body and become aware of the thoughts in my head and I wait for the words of the other person.

Tomorrow I am excited to take a special NIA class with a guest instructor from Beijing, Jen Schwerin from Beijing http://www.nianow.com/niachina a NIA black belt holder! I am excited to learn how Jen will guide our class towards the merging of the Music and Movement and watch us create Magic. Join us?

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