Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it. ~Martha Graham
This weekend I experienced a Nia class. It's not exactly yoga and it's not exactly a free form dance class either. Julie*, my instructor informed that Nia came out of Portland with two people with fitness backgrounds who wanted to create something that had more of a mind/ body/ spirit connection, no impact and that allowed the body to move in a way it was designed to move and express itself using dance, martial arts-like movements and yoga. Let me be completely honest: for me, the first 10 minutes were torture. (If you were with me in Oregon when Puja and Beth made us "dance" free form around the room with our eyes closed... then you know how painful this was!) But, after I checked the clock, I realized that I could either surrender to this new experience or I could be miserable for an hour. My kids do this all the time right in our kitchen to their favorite songs, why can't I?
I went with it, and the next time I looked at the clock, we were finished. The music was beautiful and the movement was dynamic- some guided, some not. There was only one other woman there who had also never done Nia before, so there was certainly no hiding! I found the movement to be much like Kriyas. Some repetitive motions that morphed in to moving meditation. I was able to let go of my fear of doing it wrong or not having enough choreography to go on and just enjoy the music and moving. With tears streaming down my face, I had allowed myself to feel somewhat exposed and didn't care. I'm sure the emotion of the weekend in Austin visiting an dear college friend helped trigger the emotion but the movement allowed a release. Sometimes you just need a good cry.
Never trust a spiritual leader who cannot dance. ~Mr. Miyagi, The Next Karate Kid, 1994
Learning to dance,
*Julie will be in Houston next Monday, October 12 to teach a 6am class. (That's early for a holiday!) www.niamoves.com for more info.