Sunday, July 28, 2013

What the Mirror Sees (not my Y but close to what mine looks like)
I've written about Nia  my favorite type of exercise these days — and since Nia is all about "experiencing joy and connecting with one's self," I wanted to share what I noticed about me this past week.  

I always head for the corner of the room farthest from the entry, and while that places me directly in front of the mirrored wall, I plant myself so far into the corner that I am below a wall-mounted trapezoid speaker.  Though I am smack dab in front of the mirror, I never look myself in the eye. I look at my feet, I look over my head, if stuck looking straight ahead, I divert my eyes to stare at my midriff.  I actually do everything I can to avoid looking at my face.

Our teacher Patti repeatedly tells us that Nia is about finding the movement that works for you and Nia is not about everyone looking the same or doing things the same way.  This is part of the ritual of starting every class.  Still — whenever I can't do or don't do what Patti is doing, I find I spend a lot of the time grimacing.  Even though she's made it clear that there is no messing up and no one is judging me, that Nia is all about "doing it your way," still — I feel my face grimacing.  I don't see it, but I feel my facial muscles contorting to express my own judgment and disapproval.

Nia is not just about movement it's about making sounds...about "sounding." Patti has a newsletter she sends out and this issue* was all about the sounds. She writes:

"Nia class is a safe container for playing with sounds - yes, no, trills, whoops, kias, hisses, belly laughs. Pretend to be a warrior, a lover, a little girl, a little boy, a dragon, a kitten - and see what sounds emerge."

Making sounds?  I have the hardest time doing this!  You would think a person would welcome a choice to sound-off — to make sounds and release what's inside — but it is SO hard to get anything to come out of me!  In class I hear Patti (and the others) yipping and grunting and gutturally proclaiming "HUNH!" with each side-thrown fist punch and I want to join her, I want to show solidarity with the class, I want to let go of what's built-up inside, but it's trapped — by me and my inability to just let'er rip.

Sometimes we end class by laughing — just laughing — my friend Nancy is very good at this and seems to really connect with her laughter, but for me, laughing is tough.  I sit there and try and eventually force a laugh or two outta me.  But it's not joyful as it's meant to be and sadly, I don't feel connected to any joy within me.

But maybe there's hope.  I went to Nia three times this week, at three different Y's, each time, hiding in my same spot, hidden in my little corner.  Finally, on Friday — I managed a sneak peak.
*If you want to read more, here's a link to Patti's August Nia News.  


  1. I so wish *I* could see your face!! The way you write about Nia makes it sound wonderful, but there aren't any classes near me. (Maybe that means I need to get certified to teach it myself??) But, coincidentally, I've just borrowed two videos about healing sound from my local library, inspired by looking into qigong, which uses quiet, controlled sounds for healing. That's been a good place for me to start. Maybe it would be for you, too? E.g.,
    Love, WK

  2. Thank you WK..I was JUST thinking about you! Bummer that Nia is not in your area but glad you will pursue other means of healing..I will check out qigong and call you soon!