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Body Evolution!

Next Generation of Trainers

Body Evolution!

By Jamie Klausing on June 12, 2011

With my increased practice of teaching the 52 moves video in combination with a variety of Nia routines each week, my awareness level of my personal symbology has increased and my body has taken on spontaneous evolution!

My visual check points in the mirror have taken on a loud voice and are showing me much more detail in the symbology of my Nia movements.  I teach in several locations without mirrors and recently discovered my “vision” had become similar with or without mirrors in classes.  I was able to sense a certain amount of energy in both of my arms and in my core during executing "blocks" without mirrors.  Although as I brought more attention of the symbol of my body, I witnessed that during talk points and cueing movement changes the architecture of my blocks was not always existent or consistent.  As my blocks are evolving I have become aware of many moments where both of my arms are not engaged in the blocks.  I learned that my opposite arm of the one blocking was quite often tucking itself near my heart and or around my solar plexus, sometimes it looked limp or lost.  With my heightened sense of awareness I have been able to see with stronger, more detailed eyes the structure of my blocks, my body has begun to spontaneously adjust itself.  This practice of modeling the symbolic shape is building greater strength in both my core and my upper extremities.

I have been experiencing a great deal of pain in my right foot and ankle over the past year and a half.  It has been a combination of plantar fasciitis and stiffness in my ankle.  During the NGT summit in January I chose to bring a stronger sense of compassion and slowed down my physical action to deepen my intention of healing this agony in my foot. Upon returning I began to increase my attention to symbology in my classes as well as making a major shift in my approach to the base moves.  I chose to bring my stances closer to my center, to bring my steps inward and nurture the form and details in a closer to home type of way. Simultaneously I had scheduled "Craniosacral therapy" sessions.  The therapist shared with me my foot did not want her to move her energy away from the unwinding of fascia in this area, and that she also sensed the fascia was tightly bound around my hip sockets and the out of balance of my pelvis.  During the first few hours after the session my body was challenged by walking and I felt my legs searching for their old familiar distance from the floor.  Felt like I was falling down, I decided to lie down and allow my body time to self organize itself into this new place.  The pain completely disappeared over night, yet shortly after I taught my next class or two it returned and loudly told me it was back.  I had another Cranial Sacred treatment.....again after one to two classes it came back again.  Ok... now I knew it was time to investigate at an even deeper level all of my personal stances and steps as well as my emotional habits contributing to this out of balance.  Leslie Kaminoffs’ book, Yoga Anatomy, has brought me excellent pictures/diagrams of the feet and wrote about the relationship between the deeper muscles that support the arches becoming weak and the superficial, noncontractile plantar fascia becoming overly responsible for preventing the total collapse of the foot.  This knowledge has contributed to a much more dynamic practice of my own squish walk, duck walk, rock around the clock, toes in, out, parallel and whole foot.  My attention to strengthening and conditioning the deeper muscles of my feet, ankles and entire base has greatly expanded.  At this time I am combining the assistance of my Craniosacral therapist, the form of my Nia movement practice and consciously bringing new awareness to my emotions and mental thoughts as my personal prescription for continuing to heal this imbalance in the base of my body.

One day in Nia class I noticed while I was doing a closed stance/ forward bend that my body spontaneously chose to fold at the hip socket, knee's and ankles, as my chest rested on my thighs my body felt amazing, I wrapped my arms around my thighs and relaxed.  When I returned to the forward bend I felt increased flexibility and more stability. It felt so right I found myself leading this creative movement discovery during another class with my students.  About a month later I opened one of my anatomy books, Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by H. David Coulter, where he describes in detail the exact movement series step by step with the addition of a 30 second hold of the folded position.  It was identical to the shapes my body had guided me into.  The section of this chapter discusses the Nervous System and Reflexes.  The sensory receptor for the ”clasp knife reflex” is the Golgi tendon organ.  Most are located near musculotendinous junctions where they link small slips of connective tissue with their associated muscle fibers.  “Golgi tendon organ is relatively insensitive to passive stretch but it begins to fire nerve impulses back to the spinal cord as soon as muscle fibers start tugging on it”,(Coulter).  He further explains how the movements described above allow the Golgi tendon organ to stimulate the hamstring muscles to relax by way of the “clasp knife reflex”.  Once the hamstrings relax there is more flexibility and comfort in the forward bend, and for me in my hamstrings themselves!

Integrating anatomical knowledge, with learning to master the form of the 52 Moves, and modeling them with consistency, has enhanced my personal healing, conditioning and BODY EVOLUTION!