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juleinthelotus:

insightful commentary on “loving your body” from fellow Nia Faculty Trainer, Allison Wright. Well, said, Allison! Now, will YOU accept the invitation to ‘drop in’ to sensation? …The entry point to “body love”.

Originally posted on allisonwrightsblog:

photoYou know that old adage that says if you want the right answer, you first have to ask the right question? Well just over a month ago, my Nia Trainer friend, Maria Skinner, called me up with just one of those questions.

“Do you think we really teach people how to love their body?”

We talked about it for a few minutes and shortly thereafter I found myself propelled into a several week conversation with my own body, a conversation that has sent me down the rabbit hole of sensation to rediscover and remember how I came to the place where I could authentically say, “I love my body.”

We use the phrase “Love Your Body” a lot in Nia marketing and classes. It’s on t-shirts, flyers, bumper stickers, and for a long time was the signature statement people saw on the website. And yet more often than not, the…

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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

How are you aware?

juleinthelotus:

Advance your Evolution! My upcoming “Awaken Your Body + Life to the Conscious Movement of Nia” Workshop will highlight Nia’s methodologies of conditioning awareness! Saturday, 1/31 2:30pm at MoveStudio.

Originally posted on the biology of belief:

“Awareness” is the primary trait offered by the nervous system.  The more evolutionarily advanced an organism is, the more awarenss it possesses.  Scientists generally consider the degree of “awareness” as the primary measure of evolution.  Humanity is on the verge of a dramatic increase in our “awareness.”  We will begin to become aware that each human being is the equivalent of a “cell” in the body of of a superorganism, Humanity.  Currently, humans are fighting each other, which is the same as when cells in the body attack other cells in the body.  When body cells fight each other, in medicine, we refer to the resulting illness as representing “autoimmune disease” (translates as “self-destruction”), where the body destroys itself from within.  The survival of humanity is now threatened by the equivalent of “autoimmune disease” since humans are killing each other.  When we become aware that we are all cells in…

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juleinthelotus:

We’re gearing up for the next Nia White Belt Training in Dallas, July 13-19. Let me know….did I hit all of your questions in the blog? If not, just message me & I’ll answer any questions you have, clearing the way for YOU to step IN to this magnificent week dedicated to YOU!

Originally posted on :

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

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You may have seen it… flyers posted throughout the studio… or announcements posted on Twitter and Facebook over the last several months…

You may have wondered… ”what is this thing called Nia White Belt…and why do I want to become one?”

You may have heard it… announcements after Nia class of upcoming trainings or conversations with classmates who have said, “I’m a Nia White Belt!”

Great observations!  Great questions!  Now I am here to dispel any questions or misconceptions you may have about the Nia White Belt Training!

So, let’s begin with the beginning!  What is Nia?   (for those who have yet to step IN to your first Nia class experience).

Nia is the “Love Your Body Workout!”  A powerful, unique, and inspiring, cardiovascular-based movement practice that stimulates and conditions body, mind and spirit! …

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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).

 

You may be moving in your fitness program….but are you “Being Moved”?  Taking your fitness to the next level requires you to bring more of YOU to the experience!  While most exercise programs have you pushing your body with more reps, more resistance, more speed, more duration…being a purely physical experience, you are left feeling dry, stagnant, bored, forced, and watching the clock for it to be over.   Without stealth willpower, this workout regime is not sustainable.

But what if…what if your movement practice was FUN?!! …more embodied with ‘You”?!!  What if, in addition to pumping your heart, strengthening your muscles, burning calories, trimming your waistline…you felt ALIVE?!! THIS is how we roll in Nia! 

Nia post 2Nia is a LIVING, INTEGRATIVE-WHOLE-BEING experience!  When you bring the dynamic of expression to your workout, movement, and LIFE, you exponentially amp EVERYTHING ..making every movement more real, more authentic…using more dynamic force, burning more calories, breathing harder, sweating more, and feeling more vibrant!

By employing emotional expression to your movement practice, you create uniquely personalized, whole-body engagement!  Try it now!

  • Make a fist and punch forward.
  • Now, make a fist, punch forward, and dynamically  express a Jackie Chan, “Hai!”  Feel the difference?  Notice how  MORE of you and your body was engaged?
  • Now, thrust your fist to the sky.  Do it again and proclaim to the world, “YES!”  Wow!  Now how would you like to be able to consciously bring more “YES!” into your body and life?

Expressing yourself seems like a really simple concept…and it is…but so many people have stopped ‘getting emotional’!  Logic, propriety, ‘not making a scene’, has taken over ever since we stepped in to our first grade school class where we were told to sit still, be quiet, speak when spoken to, etc.  But all emotions live inside us and their only way out is through expression!  When we stifle them, the emotions become energetic blocks that create imbalance and sometimes even disease!

Nia 12-6-13 take a cue from Nia Technique and express yourself to gain, not only a more vigorous workout, but to experiment, explore, and experience YOU fully embodying YOU through emotional expression (not only on the mat, but in your life too)!

Here are 8 ways to activate emotional expression into your fitness and life practice!

  1. Test your emotional vocabulary.  At any given moment, ask yourself, “what am I feeling right now?”  Tag it.  Name it….and move on (or in my world…put on some music and dance it out!).  Being present enough to be able to identify your emotions at any given moment is a strong indicator that you are in touch with your relationship to your feelings and emotions.  Your ability to express your feelings creates intimacy…you with yourself…and you with those around you.
  2. But what if you get stuck in one, two, or just a handful of emotions with vary little variety….or are not able to even identify how you feel?  Worry not, my friend!  This happens to many people!  The way we condition our relationship to our emotions is to play with them!  Try using an Emotions Chart like this one shown on Pinterest. Use this chart to either identify your feelings…or simply choose an emotion from the chart and ‘play’ with trying it on and expressing it.  Try this… walk across the room, or dance, using the emotion of ‘anxious’.  Now try on ‘bashful’.  How about ‘confident’ or ‘excited’?  Do you sense how infusing your movement with emotional expression really amplifies the energy dynamics of the experience?  Notice how you are able to use just the movement quality to express the emotion…and other times you use vocalization!  This practice helps you to condition what we call, “emotional pliability”….the ability to access, activate, and express a wide range of emotions without getting stuck on a single one.  Children are naturals with emotional pliability…being able to go effortlessly from happy, to sad, to agitated, to curious very naturally.
  3. Consciously know that there are no “bad” emotions.  All emotions represent vital life-force energy  and should be expressed, not repressed, to instill a healthy body, authentic movement, and emotional well-beingness.
  4. Nia Man your arms, hands, and fingers to express.  (In fact, try NOT using your arms, hands, and fingers to express and notice how challenging it is!)  This is one of the gifts of our upper extremities.  They are designed to communicate feelings, emotions, and expression!  Say, “I love you” without using your arms and hands.  It’s flat, isn’t it?  Now say, “I love you” and use your arms and hands to express what you are feeling.  Much better, right?  Now try, “I won!” without using your extremities.  Now again, WITH your arms, hands, and finger expressions!  Totally authentic, yes?  Integrating this kind of expression within your movement practice will prolifically condition your upper body, authenticate your movement to reflect what is real with in you, and instill integrated health in the physical and emotional realms.
  5. Pair vocalizations such as, “yes”, “no”, “ahhhhhh”, “hai!”, etc. with your movement to engage and integrate both the physical and the emotional body.
  6. LAUGH out loud for 60 seconds.  Sense the physical engagement of the core of the body (yes your abs)…and, likewise, know that the act of laughing also releases neurochemistry that literally makes you feel good!   So the next time you sit down and get ready to do 100 crunches…instead, just LAUGH OUT LOUD for a minute…you’ll have more fun….and feel GREAT!
  7. Pay attention to your physical posture…it ‘speaks’ of your emotional status.  For example, slumped shoulders are indicative of a depressed mood….a barrel chest communicates over(false)-confidence…eyes down, shy….shoulders scrunched to ears, fear…  Consciously choose your body posture to express how you want to share yourself with the world.
  8. FEEL to HEAL.  Having a healthy relationship to your emotions is THE JUICE of living fully and authentically in your body and life.  You are here, now, on this earth to live totally and completely into your greatness.  Part of what makes you, uniquely ‘YOU’ is your authenticity, your emotional expression, your essence!  Recognize, feel, and express all that is in you as a means to be free…to be full-on YOU…to not hold back your multidimensional, kaleidoscopic  life force…and to fully express the authenticity of each and every moment…on the dance floor…and off…

So there you have it!  Eight ‘toys’ to play with to enhance your emotional expression, pump more ‘juice’ into your life, and going from just ‘moving’…to ‘Being Moved’!.

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**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.

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! 

Find Nia Technique classes near you!

*Jule presented The Nia Technique at HFA’s Symposium in Dallas, Texas!  Check us out next year at the 2014 Symposium in Tampa, Fla!

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About the Author

Jule A - headshot

Jule Aguirre, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, is a member of the International Nia Training Faculty as Black Belt Somatic Educator + Trainer. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Jule MOVES 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.

 

reblogged from Jule’s contribution to the Dec. 2013 FitFactor/Hemophilia Federation of America Blog:http://www.hemophiliafed.org/news-stories/2013/12/want-take-fitness-next-level-express/

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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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