Dealing with Healing | Touched by a Dance, the Dance of Life

Exercise came early in my life. As a young girl I participated in competitive gymnastics, and later, skiing, running, aerobics, lifting weights, and smearing myself with oil to compete in bodybuilding. I tried them all, either ending up bored or sore, living by the outdated principle of “no pain, no gain".

I was young in the 80’s, devouring life, living superficially, acting like “little miss perfect”. I traveled a lot, took every opportunity to run away to new adventures, creating my occupation as a buyer and fashion designer. In the 90’s I had become an “expert” of living a life ignoring myself, living from the outside rather than the inside. Little did I know about the universe inside me and the sensation of living in a body. I eventually fell in love, got married and had my first kid. I didn’t spend much time at home, I was occupied in making a career, in wanting to be wanted, which fueled me to work harder. We bought and remodeled a house, moved, and then did it again. I started my own business and had another child. I worked hard to achieve superficial goals. I spent energy making myself to be what was expected of me. But it was inevitable, after many years at this pace, when my husband asked for a divorce.

The divorce was not only a painful separation from my husband, but also became the painful divorce from who I had become. Step by step I learned to recognize pieces of me that for many years were forgotten and overseen- the true me. Not long after, I went to my first Nia class. I wanted to try something new, not another class where I would feel lost in choreography or jumping up and down on a step board. Nia grabbed me. When I danced, layer by layer was peeled off. How could a fitness experience touch me like that? I just had to know!

This propelled me to take my first White Belt with Ann Christiansen, a star Swedish athlete, a true master in a field unknown to me. She guided me by delivering, encouraging, and inspiring me moment to moment, day after day. Those seven days I was stretched inside and out. New to me was laughter, tears, moves, attitudes, and most importantly, new to me was ME. The list of all the ”new to me” that week was in fact much longer and still is unfolding.

My intention was never to become a Nia teacher, but signing the license at day 6 of the training was inevitable. A new journey had begun, beginning from the inside with multidimensional qualities. This time, I embraced my feelings and wisdom, without judgement. Nia invited me to move with pleasure as a guide, to achieve the goals I wanted to stay fit and healthy.

It is now 12 years since I taught my first Nia class. Here I am with my own Nia studio, in a beautiful spot on the southern coast of Sweden. A beautiful healing studio with a light atmosphere and inviting wooden floor. It is complete with sun, sand, wind and water in all shapes and directions. My body needs me to move it, dance it, respect and honor the way my body is designed. My studio is the perfect place.

To say I am grateful is an understatement. Dealing with healing my body every day is my journey. Genetically predisposed, I am suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I have learned to listen and choose pleasure, even though pain is present. On the dance floor, my pain melts away, and nobody can tell. My body absorbs the movements from Nia and every class that I teach or take is deeply self healing. I’m grateful to share the language of sensations.

My body keeps me aware. This is my choice for my future. My journey has just started.

- Jonna Beldt, Nia Blackbelt teacher, owner of Niastudio Höganäs Sweden, owner and designer of Soul of Jiva.