Earlier this year, I was all set to start teaching Nia here in Monterrey. My well-laid plans were postponed by the onset of severe morning sickness during early pregnancy, which made the very thought of moving unappealing. General pregnancy malaise made me hesitant to start Nia practice again, until the arrival of backache in my seventh month. I very quickly learnt that a half hour of Nia is all that stands between me and a sleepless night of tossing from one uncomfortable position to the next.
Although I am not currently teaching Nia, I decided, with the wonderful encouragement of my husband, to start sharing my explorations of Nia here. I hope that what I write will inspire all readers - women, men, all ages, pregnant or not, all levels of fitness and body functioning - to connect with their bodies through movement and explore the wealth that Nia can bring to body, mind, emotions and spirit. And in due course, I really hope to share these experiences with you in person.
One of the key themes that I would like to explore in this and future posts, is that of Transformation. Since Nia came into my life, it has been crucial in shaping the way that I am, which has led to a domino effect in creating substantial positive change in my life. These transformations are nearly always unexpectedly rapid and often occur in unanticipated directions.
Pregnancy is a substantial physical change. Although everyone tells me how small I look, my sensation is one of massive clumsiness. My feet feel like distant relatives and my back struggles with the extra weight, as I've always had a naturally slim build. Getting up off the sofa requires considerable effort, and getting into my low bed results in a few minutes of waiting for my heartrate and breathing to normalise.
Yet when I remove my shoes and the first few bars of music start to play, my body remembers the lightness it always used to feel. As I start gently warming up, the stiffness lifts from my joints and my spine starts to feel an incredible openness. With the next few songs, I am careful to monitor the intensity of my movement. (A good rule of thumb for pregnant women is to ensure you are always able to speak normally while exercising in order not to push the heart rate too high). Yet suddenly my movements are flowing and effortless, and glancing in the mirror, I see none of my customary awkwardness. The session is rounded off with a gentle cool-down, during which I pass through the body, checking in on all parts and giving loving attention wherever it is needed. Thereafter, my body is happy to settle down even more and relax. During the last few moments I'm able to focus on the miracle happening inside me, bring attention to the beautiful baby that has been dancing with me, and empower myself for the chidbirth experience lying ahead.
When I finally step out of this space that has held me for the last minutes, a glance in the mirror shows a rejuvenated woman with upright posture, a relaxed, happy face, a song on her lips and the willpower to create...