April Nia Focus ~ The Beginners Mind

By On March 27, 2012 · 3 Comments

In Nia there are several routines that we get to learn, experience and play with. Each Nia routine has a focus and an intention accompanied by an eclectic compilation of inspiring music that is choreographed in the 7 cycle class format that makes Nia unique. The 7 cycles are a road map that invite us to mind fully partner with the entire experience of the class from the intention of stepping into the space, warming up to the aerobic crescendo and then cooling down with floor play! I am always attempting as a teacher to connect to the energy of all the people in class, whats happening in the music and being conscious to bring forth a new energy when I am teaching a routine that I have taught several times. I invite students who have done a routine before to “find a NEW experience and expression that only this moment has to offer”. I often suggest to approach the class from the “beginners mind” which to me has meant that it is being experienced with fresh senses as if it were the first time.

I started to ponder this and have a new appreciation for what it is like to be doing something for the “first time”. Most first times doing pretty much anything, especially physical, typically create nervousness and tension.  It is a lot of work to be introduce to new movement for the first time. Lora & I attended a Gyrotonic hip workshop and I became aware of how much mental energy it takes to organize everything. I laughed out loud as I observed myself trying so hard that my movement was stiff and uncoordinated. I took a deep breath and began to relax and enjoy what I was doing, relying on all of the experiences that I have had in my physical body. I felt the confidence of knowing myself & the trust I have in my process of learning returning back into my extremities . I was reminded of what it is like to be a beginner again.

I thought about all the students that show up every week to Pilates Studio City to move their bodies and how sincerly proud I am of the courage that it takes to build not only a strong and supple body, but to also learn the skills of taking in information and translating it into movement! All the while navigating our monkey mind, emotions and judgements that we may have about our bodies and our ability. Through the practice of Nia, Pilates, Gyrotonic or Yoga we start to gain an awareness of confidence in our bodies due to our movement experiences. This confidence transcends the Pilates mat and the dance floor and flows into our every day lives! It is from this “personal core strength” that we can support ourselves in all of our new beginnings and have a fresh fulfilling experience!

Happy Spring!


3 Responses

  • DrSally April 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm · Reply

    Love it, lady! Beautiful thoughts on dropping in…

  • Debbie April 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm · Reply

    I’ve only seen a Nia class online, so love to try a live one. I tried a Gyrotonics class at a yoga studio, and the few people there knew the routine and I felt awkward. I would think Nia would be a little less awkward to a newbie. I’ll have to try a class soon.

    • Pilates Studio City April 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm · Reply

      Glad you’re so interested Debbie. We’re offering free Nia classes May 13-19. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

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