Nia Testimonial: Christina Wei, Nia Graduate
PhD, RN, PMHNP
Christina has been doing Nia for her health and well-being since she took the White Belt Training with Holly Curtis in 2008. Christina started teaching Nia in 2010. Christina's career passion is helping restore individual and community mental health through nursing research and practice. She has been a registered nurse since 2002, and a psychiatric nurse since 2004. Her area of clinical expertise includes primary coordination of care and administrative coordination of care for individuals with mental illness and co-occuring disorders in inpatient and outpatient settings. She completed her PhD in nursing in May 2009, and she completed her her post-master's certificate as a family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner in May 2010. Christina is a native of San Antonio, Texas where she resides and is currently raising her four children with her wonderful husband, Ray.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
Exactly two years ago in 2008, I took the Nia White Belt Training with Holly. I had never taken a Nia class before, but after a friend told me that I should try Nia – and after reading about Nia on the internet – I was convinced that Nia was the right thing for my body. I was initially drawn to Nia because, even though I had been physically active most of my life, I had never come across an exercise that was as physically comprehensive as Nia and as safe for the body’s natural mechanics. I had a blast at Holly’s training. I would come home at the end of the day energized. Nia immediately brightened my face and helped me move my body more fully so that I could enjoy being more physically active with my children.
After completing the White Belt Training, I decided to become a White Belt teacher. I have performance anxiety, so making the decision to teach was difficult for me – but I knew that my body needed to do Nia and that I wanted to share Nia with others. In the two years after the training, I gave birth to my fourth son, finished my PhD, finished my nurse practitioner certification, and took the Awakening the New Feminine Spirit workshop with Debbie, so I was quite busy. Even with my busy schedule and frugal mentality, I kept going to Nia classes with Janet at Spectrum and occasionally at The Synergy Studio, taught a few Nia private lessons, and I kept doing Nia at home. Thanks (very much) to Claudia at CentroFitness, I will continue to teach Nia at CentroFitness at least once a week. Also, thanks to Adelle, I was given the extra boost that I needed to re-enter the teacher mentality.
Nia brings so much joy into my life. I am learning to become a focused and serious teacher (I have that problem of having too much fun sometimes with Nia – remember “sense your funny bone”). I love that once I’m in front of my class, I learn to release my anxiety and have fun. My heart is filled with joy teaching Nia at CentroFitness because I am with mi gente on the south side. Another thing that had drawn me to share the joy of Nia with others is that Nia can be done without shoes or expensive workout equipment. All you have to do is put on some music and move! I love sharing Nia with people who otherwise would not have access to classes due to financial or geographical constraints. Now, Nia means so much more to me than when I first decided to take the White Belt. Each time I do Nia I am enthralled with the beauty of Nia. The flexibility, agility, strength, balance, spiritual, and healing benefits bring me so much joy, health, and well-being. I love listening to the Nia music, dancing and having fun! I love being able to share Nia with others. I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to embark on this awesome journey of improving my self-awareness and expanding my abilities as a Nia White Belt graduate. Now for goals #2 and 3: travel to StudioNia in Portland and StudioNia Santa Fe.
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I take Nia classes with Janet Oglethorpe at Spectrum Club and I also take classes at The Synergy Studio in San Antonio, Texas.
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
Nia IS for EVERYBODY. Nia is essential to achieving and maintaining health. There is hardly anything that "has it all," but Nia really does. The three major components of Nia (the natural, healing, and martial arts) are healthy for the entire body - physically and mentally.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Nia is for EVERYBODY. Talk to with your instructor and classmates before and after your experience to clarify any questions or concerns. Feel comfortable knowing that as long as you are moving in your body's natural way, then you are doing a great job for your body and you are doing Nia! There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to do Nia. Don't worry about feeling like a "newbie" or looking out of place; instead, listen to the joy that your body experiences when it moves to the music. If you need to stop and take a break for any reason, that's ok, jump back in at any time!