Becoming a Sensation Scientist: Course Introduction

Welcome to Nia’s continuing education course, Becoming a Sensation Scientist. In this course, you will learn to research The Body's Way to develop body literacy, or the ability to “hear,” understand and consciously respond to the information your body sends to you via sensation. This is the Nia way of gaining information about your body and your current state of health and wellness.

We will begin our course by exploring breath, and then move on to systematically research the entire body, including all its individual parts and systems. In the title of each month’s topic, you will find the word “awareness." This provides a constant reminder that as sensation scientists, awareness is the first step we take in becoming body literate—it is the foundation of our study.

First, let’s take a look at:

  1. What it means to become a sensation scientist, personally and professionally
  2. What it means to develop a highly tuned state of personal body wisdom (body literacy)

So what exactly is a sensation scientist? What is body literacy; and how do we, as Nia teachers and seasoned students, develop it?

To be a sensation scientist means to live in constant awareness of sensation—to closely observe and respond to the information our bodies are sending us at all times. This allows us to develop a deep level of self-knowing, so we can continually grow and endlessly explore the “200/700 potential” of our human form. (“200/700” is a phrase from Nia White Belt Principle 10, referring to the 200+ bones and 700+ muscles in the human body—and the infinite movement potential they contain.)

To be body literate is to be able to read the signals of your body—to fluently “speak” all four languages of its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms. This may sound like a lot to process at once, but rest assured, you already have this ability within you. You were born a sensation scientist.

Think about it: The first information you ever gained came as an infant, through a pre-verbal world of “sensing to know.” In this phase of awareness, you simply sensed life through your body and responded. Through an ingenious, almost magical design of cells, muscles, bones, joints, connective tissues and neuromuscular systems, your body told you, “I need food. I want to be held. I need my diapers changed. I feel pain. I feel comfort.” There were no words, no quantifying ideas about whether an experience was “good” or “bad.” Your body just guided you through the world via sight, sound, smell, touch, taste and emotion—through sensation. This is what the body is naturally coded to do. Essentially, as an infant, you were already practicing sensation science—in fact, you were in the highest state of body literacy possible!

Now just imagine if your life as sensation scientist—if your acute awareness of and connection to sensation—never took “back burner” when you began to speak. Imagine if you remained body literate through adulthood, reading the signals from your body and allowing this information to guide you into your fullest state of health, happiness and fulfillment. How would your body be affected? How would your mind and emotions change? How might your self-confidence, self-trust and self-knowing be affected, and how would this impact your relationships with others?

By reclaiming ourselves as sensation scientists, we tap back into our natural state of body literacy and deep self-knowing, which allows us to live happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives. This is the ultimate goal of all Nia education, which reveals that by following The Body’s Way, we can all achieve life mastery.

In this course of study, we will become sensation scientists by…

  • Acknowledging that we were born sensation scientists—we have all the tools we need.
  • Objectively researching the form and function of the human body, by systematically exploring the 200/700 potential of The Body’s Way.
  • Applying the study of sensation to gain a better understanding of how to move, communicate with, and live in our bodies in more healthy and functional ways.
  • Learning to transform cognitive knowledge into physical sensation and vice versa—blending what we objectively understand with what we subjectively sense to create our desired state of fitness, health, body awareness (Sensory IQ), and personal connection (self-knowing).

Begin your study by…

  • Consciously recognizing that you are both the scientist and the laboratory itself.
  • Developing an ongoing relationship with sensation (the “voice” of the body).
  • Consciously committing to body literacy each day. For example, each morning upon waking, make a practice of noticing the very first thing you sense in your body, mind, emotions and spirit, an then speak each sensation aloud.

Next up: Our first course topicAwareness of Breath: Tracking the Tide of Life. Stay tuned!