I spent all of my childhood and young adulthood overweight. My parents put me on diets when I was in grade school. By the time I had entered high school, I had done Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig. All of this before I was 14 years old. In my early twenties I was at my heaviest. I was more than overweight...I was morbidly obese. I was completely disconnected to my body and my body followed that disconnection by gaining more and more and more weight.
At the age of 24, I made very private decision to begin the process of living a healthy life. I ate differently, I exercised, and the weight started to come off slowly and naturally. I did find a connection to my body through yoga but it wasn’t until I moved to Santa Fe and took my first Nia class at BODY that my body-mind-spirit-emotion connection felt truly activated.
As with many Nia converts, I was addicted immediately. My first teacher and mentor was Kelle Rae Oien and through her guidance and love of Nia I discovered my love for it. I was about 20-30 pounds heavier than I am today and my body continues to change. The truth is that Nia is a kick-ass workout (but does not feel like a workout because it is so full of joy) and can change your body and life almost immediately.
I believe that what has caused the most dramatic change for me is the realization that I am incredibly lucky to be in this body and to finally feel body-love. The moments that I can look into a mirror and feel genuinely happy to be in MY body are transformative. That is the joy that shines through, and makes people say, “There is something different about you,” or “I didn’t recognize you at all.”
I am a totally different person because of Nia. Now, 100 pounds lighter (and counting) than I was at 24, I continue to tone my body and lose weight. But it is the body-mind-spirit-emotion connection that changed me. Without the full spectrum of what Nia offers me from the inside-out, I would not be where I am today: teaching Nia, sharing the joy of this beautiful practice, and helping people change their own bodies and lives just as I did mine. I am so incredibly lucky to love my body and be in MY body.
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