Prior to the practice of the Nia technique, life has been an evolutionary process into personal, physical,mental and spiritual development. I can recall the anatomy sessions in school with dead animals to dissect and lots of names to learn. Beside the theory, sport was a releasing time without much emphasize on body awareness or condition. Fortunately the time came to meet a taoist master whose approach was more experimental and personal. The world of energy opened to the mind and breathing started to be of main importance. Visualizing, looking inside, sensing organs, muscles and bones was part of the training. Awareness was a principle that suddenly changed the whole picture of the body/mind connection. And sure, strength could not exist without flexibility, speed without mobility and precision without stability. The rhythmic of katas were not following regular beats but waves of movements accelerating and slowing down, with a great deal of agility some time! Animals were the symbols of the Chinese used to train and condition the martial artist, anatomy came later.
A giant leap forward was taken with the practice of yoga and meditation. Suddenly,the inner reality of my physical consciousness was visible with closed eyes, using breath as life force power engine and the chakras as symbols of life realms. Life as energy in motion with visions and imaginary flowing from the thrid eye, and a deep sense of unity opening from the crown of the head. Being resident of a intentional and spiritual community add the meaning of seeing the body as part of a wider and bigger body, humanity, the planet and the universe. There, Iyengar yoga is the most strict and precise physical approach to understand the physical reality. With lots of anatomy details during classes, one can dive as deep as he wants into his own body awareness experience, thus developing body and mind together. At the same time teaching tai chi was also a way to use all the names of the movements such as combing the mane of the horse, searching the needle in the ocean, the cloud hands or the bamboo leaves in the wind, leading the body into a playful experience of acting out the pictures to widen the conditioning to other realms of life practice.
When Nia came into my life, i thought immediately of the book of Sri Aurobindo about the Supramental Manifestation upon Earth as the first part is all about the divine body being a representation of a new consciousness being born.
Almost at the same time we could participate to a training in Pilates Body Motion, a great body/mind conditioning program created by two German dance and fitness professionals. Included into the sessions were templates from Eric Franklin visuals that he used for body awareness training and healing programs. Amazing resources of creative pictures to describe bones, articulations, muscles and movements. Anatomy was becoming joyful and artistic, leaving space for personal enrichment and self discovery. Together with the principles of breathing, centering and awareness, all the exercises on the floor started to look more like a dance, therefore bringing joy and smiles on the faces and in the body of the students.
After the taking of the Nia White Belt and the revelation of the X ray anatomy principles and the 3 body parts, intensity levels and range of motion, movement had become a body/mind/emotion/spirit experience based on the sensation of joy . Awareness is also one of the first 13 principles, allowing us to pay attention to details and especially sensations of the body. Later on with the other belts, principles such as floor play, music movement magic or developmental anatomy and the energy beings and warriors took us to sense the Nia practice as a self realization journey completing the initial community experience in india.
Since then Nia has taken us to travel extensively to meet other teachers and students, learn more about human condition and human body, train and spend time with fantastic people in Europe, India and America. Life has become the body itself and the practice has taught us how to create new workshops, events and sessions collectively such as Nia and the 5 elements, the 5 continents, the 7 chakra system, self healing, yin and yang, the 5 sensations, the 8 paths of Patenjaly yoga, live music with drums and didg...music especially is for us an amazing tool to connect visuals and body parts, symbols and anatomy knowledge, seeking seamless continuity to perform the Nia promise and blend our life into the life of others. Sabine perceives Nia as her healing practice and Philippe sees in Nia a way to manifest the integral yoga in the world of today, and what we both sense if that we are all connected, dancing Nia being a gift of sharing human unity in music and from the heart.
Thank you Debbie and Carlos and welcome to all the Nia movers to create a new paradigm rooted into peace, community and personal power.