Nia Testimonial: Shannon Mairs, Nia Teacher
Shannon first experienced Nia on the 2003 Shape Your Life Retreat with Shape Magazine at Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. Recognizing the power of the unique movement, she returned to Dallas and immediately began taking Nia classes. Shannon completed her White Belt Training in February 2004, her Blue Belt Training in June 2005, her Brown Belt Training in July 2006, and her Black Belt Training in July 2008. Dedicated to developing her Nia practice to share the power of movement with others, Shannon has also completed Nia's "For All Belts" (FAB) Training (2004), EMT training (2007), and the Nia 5 Stages of Self-Healing Teacher Training (2008) with Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas, the co-creators and founders of Nia. She completed the Green Belt Training in February 2009 with Carlos Rosas. Most recently, Shannon has stepped into the Next Generation Trainer (NGT) Training Program, with the intention of becoming a member of the Nia Training Faculty. She will assist in training future White Belt students when her training is complete. For Shannon, Nia training changed her path and her life, empowering her to shed 45 pounds! In addition, she recently completed a Masters of Science in Natural Health and currently coaches her students on how to create healthy, joyful lifestyles.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
I practice and teach Nia to fulfill my commitment to myself and my body. That commitment is to always dance within the Nia light and to never forget pleasure or its purpose in my life. I am dedicated and devoted to my body’s quest for healing, pleasure and health. Professionally, my Nia desires involve teaching and gifting others with this light that dances with me, the light of awareness through the practice of Nia. I wish to help others heal. I wish to help others see themselves through their own loving eyes, and help them awaken to their own possibility. This path I walk, teaching and practicing Nia, was always the path I would walk. It was mapped out long before I even stepped into my first Nia class. The more I learn and the more I teach, I realize that my calling is to teach and to help others heal through pleasure and love.
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
Most recently, I was in Boulder, CO for the Nia Blue Belt Training with Carlos AyaRosas. Over the years, most of my training has been completed in Portland with Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas. I did my White Belt Training with Holly Nastasi, and I have done many events with Helen Terry in Houston, Texas. Jule Aguirre mentored me here in Dallas, before I had a full teaching schedule. I attended her classes regularly, and now I attend special events with Jule when I can! In addtion, I have participated in workshop weekends in San Antonio with Ann Christiansen. I am looking forward to participating in a Green Belt audit with Winalee Zeeb and Caroline Kohles early next year! Winalee is my mentor in the NGT Program and I am excited to learn with her in the future!
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
I find people are amazed when they learn Nia has been around for 25 plus years! I think it is great that I get to tell people about Nia and what it can do for them, igniting the flame of what might be if they are willing to patiently connect to their body. New students are fascinated by the fact that Nia is a new experience each and every time a student and a teacher steps into class. There is never boredom in Nia... each class is like an organ in the body, constantly changing and regenerating into something completely different from the day before! The mystery is what I will receive in any given Nia experience! Interestingly enough, I always receive what I need most. What people don't know is that the body is the place to hang out and get the information needed to be healthy and heal. Awareness, sensation, and pleasure... the trifecta of healing!
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Remember the child! Bring the willingness to PLAY! Laugh with and love yourself! Immerse yourself in sensation and exploration; not judgements or boundaries. I also encourage new students to attend at least four Nia classes before forming any concrete opinion about Nia, as each class is different and unique!
What, in your opinion, is your purpose as a Nia Teacher?
My purpose is to shine the light of love on the body and to give hope to those who have had none. I wish to magnetize people through movement, igniting the flame of community where there was none before. I believe the human connection is real and true and important. I wish to carry the torch and light the way for exploration through movement creativity, and to bring light into the darkest places of the human soul. I believe I was always meant to do this work, to teach Nia, and that my walking this path was in motion long before I was aware of its existence. Each and every day I feel I am blessed to have the ability to gift this work to others!