Examiner.com - Eastsider teaches movement and creativity classes at Evergreen State College
By Nina Bondarook | Examiner.com :: September, 2012
"Nia is playful, integrates body, mind and spirit, has been taught around the world and promotes physical and mental fitness. Each workshop has been a joy to present and students definitely remember it."
Little did Sarah Love know that when she started taking Nia classes in 1999, she would become one of the movement’s most dedicated instructors and eventually teach college students about the role that movement, visual art, music, writing and media can play in problem-solving.
Love, who holds a blue belt in Nia, a "fitness-fusion" program, lives in Woodinville, Wash., and is a member of Startup Sisters of Kirkland. She recently finished teaching her fifth “Movement & Creativity” workshop as part of The Evergreen State College Tacoma's "Therapy Through the Arts" program, and says each interaction with students there is even more invigorating than the last.
It’s a three-section program designed to show the correlation between physical and mental agility, and creativity: Section I focuses on Movement & Writing, the second one explores Movement & Drawing; and the final section is an experiential mini-Nia class.
Nia was developed by Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas in 1983. It draws from Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, jazz dance, modern dance, Duncan dance, yoga, Alexander Technique and teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais. Love combines movement from all 9 disciplines into 60-minute cardiovascular workouts she teaches weekly at the Circle P Barn in Woodinville.
During the Evergreen College workshops, she says students fall in love with Nia because of its ability to stimulate creativity. An added benefit is what Nia does for physical health. According to the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, an estimated 1.9 million people die each year as a result of illness brought on from lack of physical activity — a statistic Love shares with students in an exercise called “Why Move?”
“Nia is playful, integrates body, mind and spirit, has been taught around the world and promotes physical and mental fitness,” Love says. “Each workshop has been a joy to present and students definitely remember it.”
That’s because she teaches them to use Nia to work through mental blocks and the stress they feel when they have papers due or presentations to prepare: “They find that Nia’s simple, everyday movements and the hands-on activities we deliver help them overcome fears and find new ways of coping with their stress, which leads to enhanced creativity and energy levels.”
Love’s day job is as a marketing writer and editor, and she says teaching the workshop and weekly Nia classes helps keep her centered, as well. Her classes are from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Saturdays. Today, Sept. 15, she is teaching a special class: The Base Moves of Nia’s 52 Basic Moves. It precedes her regular Nia session, and will explore how feet, stances, steps and kicks provide stability during movement. The charge for both is $15 per person. You can find more information about Nia and Love's classes online.