I wish I could say I love being 65...
... and that I love my "silver" hair and the other physical transformations that I continue to see as I get older. But that would be a lie. What I can say is that I'm lucky to have family and friends whom I hold dear, and lucky to be able to continue dancing with kindred spirits. There is no doubt that dancing in community (even via Zoom), is what helps keep me moving and resilient, and I am grateful to you for being a part of that.
I am also grateful for having (years ago when I was in my fifties) made the commitment to myself to make time for the self-care and healing that my then exhausted body and depleted spirit was crying out for. Nia turned out to be the key to my revitalization. Looking back I wish I had made that decision earlier, but the result was no less impactful.
💓Taking care of yourself makes everything else easier. It's not a luxury, it's essential.
And speaking of ways to take care of yourself: I am very excited to be a newly certified Zumba instructor and I'm looking forward to sharing classes online and through A2 Yoga starting in August.
If you are looking for a higher intensity cardio work out to complement the more gentle and mindful approach of Nia, then Zumba may be right for you. We'll be easing into the moves and building as we go.
I have noticed a significant improvement in my heart health since I began the training and have also (unintentionally) shed a few pounds -- and WOW! -- what a blast of endorphin fueled joy.
By the way, much to my surprise, training for Zumba has caused me to fall in love all over again with the mindfulness, richness, and systemic wisdom of the Nia Technique. I feel as though having both Zumba and Nia in my life has created the beautiful balance I'd been looking for all along!
Thanks for reading.
Yours in Joyful Movement,
I consider myself pretty fit --and, thanks to Nia, reasonably conscious of what is necessary for keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy. But sometimes, we think we are doing all the right things only to find that we've missed a key element.
That's where I find myself today, as neck stiffness and pain, which may or may not be related to my left shoulder pain, is sidelining me from the things I most enjoy: dancing in full-out joy in my Nia classes, and continuing to make gratifying progress in my yoga teacher training.
My first steps in finding resolution and relief were to
Equally important though, I am grateful to have the resources to enlist the help of two excellent physical and massage therapists to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible. These professionals provide not only the benefit of their knowledge, experience, and skill, but they also offer an un-implicated framing of the problem and its possible resolution that is essential to coming up with a useful strategy. This support has been a huge boost to my morale and progress.
We have just begun the process but, with their help, I am confident that I'll be dancing with both arms again sometime soon.
Earliest indications are pointing to my computer use at work and at home as the root cause of the problem, but updates to follow. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor and on the yoga mat!
When I stumbled upon Nia as a student years ago, one of the first routines we danced was OPAL. I didn't know its name at the time, but I knew that the music and movement was something that had been missing from my life for far too long.
We danced it a lot before eventually moving on to other choreography. Years passed and I was reminded of it again when I saw the music for purchase on the NiaSounds site. Happy to see it, I bought it and then forgot about it again. By this time I was teaching Nia, and I was busy learning other new and wonderful routines, so I didn't think about it again for another long stretch.
Finally about a month ago I listened to it again and became obsessed with teaching it. I've learned and taught 7 routines since I started teaching Nia (under two years ago), but this was an altogether different experience.
What was different this time?
I was returning to the music and the movements with my original memory of the experience. But my body awareness, after these years of practice, had changed dramatically. Thanks to my training, I was now sensing my movements as coming from the inside out, making it a much heightened sensory experience. In short, I was now present to my body in a way I had never been when I first danced it.
Why is this important?
Dr. Mark Dunn describes it this way:
"Your body needs consistent awareness to maintain and repair itself. Your energy and spirit need to be present for longer periods of time for magic to happen and you need a skillset to do that."
Thank you, Nia, for providing me with the skillset and the magic for optimizing health and joy!
Dominique is a certified Zumba teacher, Nia Black Belt and a 52 Moves and CRYT 200 hour Yoga teacher. The Nia Technique is a holistic fitness practice that combines the expressiveness of dance, the power and explosiveness of martial arts and the wisdom and mindfulness of the healing arts.