by Jule Aguirre, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Nia Black Belt Somatic Educator & Trainer
You LIVE in a body and it is the only one you will be given! To keep it running and in good repair, you are charged with taking care of it. With 206 bones, 700-ish muscles, 75 trillion cells, and numerous body systems, there are a lot to take care of! What if your body came with an “Owner’s Manual” to show you just the right way to upkeep required maintenance?
Now there’s the obvious, common-sense instructions that you are flooded with day in and out in our media-rich world like ‘eat right, drink enough water, get enough rest, exercise, etc.). This is all good, and true, but I’m going to take you deeper…deeper into the design and function of your body’s way of living, being, and THRIVING, putting YOU in the driver’s seat of optimizing longevity, health, fitness.
YOUR top 10 ‘User’s Guide’ entries for taking care of your body The Nia Way!
- 1. MOVE! Our bodies are coded to move! Every cell in the body has a mechanism that is triggered when we move to regenerate and triggered to degenerate or die when we are sedentary. Movement is key to healthy bodies…but not just ANY movement! Stop pounding, twisting and torquing your body with conventional, habitual, unconscious, repetitive, EXERCISE! Start MOVING! Walk, dance, climb, play, get up and down from the floor…get curious and become aware of the sensation of your body moving! Moving with a sense of Joy is THE SECRET to a healthy body and a movement practice that is sustainable for a lifetime!
- Your body is designed to be BALANCED! Move your body and aspire to equalize engagement of the right/left, top/bottom, front/back, intrinsic/extrinsic parts of the body. Nia Technique is multi-dimensional, working your body from all of these vantage points.
- FUNCTIONAL FITNESS is The Body’s Way! Some people are strong in their fitness. Some are flexible. Others are agile…but to be optimally fit, you need to equally condition flexibility, strength, agility, stability, and mobility in your body. A body that is functionally fit can move through life with ease, get up and down from the floor, squat, kick, run, jump, play …DANCE! Essentially, moving like children do! So stop the rote exercise regimes and get FUNCTIONAL in your practice!
- The body THRIVES with VARIETY! Many exercise enthusiasts get stuck in movement ruts, with little variation in what they do and how they do it! Nia delivers movement and energy variety, moving fast and slow, linear and circular, low and high, inward and outward, forward, back and spiraling…with 52 unique movements and 9 Movement Forms (from the martial arts, dance, and healing arts), Nia is a practice with limitless variety, stimulating and conditioning not only the body, but the right/left brain and nervous system, as well! So, mix it up! Give your body the variety it needs!
- SENSATION is the language of the body. Listen and respond to the voices of the body to guide your choices and actions based on what feels joyful, pleasurable, grounded, and powerful, allowing you to become your own teacher and conscious personal trainer! Sensation will tell you exactly how to move, stay safe, and THRIVE!
- INTEGRATE! Engage your whole body when you move! Many movement modalities only guide students to move the extremities. Nia will have you moving your WHOLE Body…feet, legs, pelvis, chest, head, spine, arms, hands and fingers…all active, engaged, energized, conditioned, and ALIVE!
- Breathe, in and out, all day long! Inhale, smelling the moment. Exhale a long, drawn out release…amplifying your life force throughout the day.
- Go Barefoot! With 27 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles in each foot, the design of the foot says “I’m designed to MOVE and articulate through the whole foot” and with over 7000 nerve endings, the feet send information to your brain so your body can move safely and efficiently.
- The body thrives on Dynamic-Ease…the ability to execute a movement with maximum effect with least effort…creating effortless power, elegance and grace…priming your body, energy system, and nervous system for balance.
- Honor YOUR Body’s Way! Every single body is different, has different strengths, weaknesses, shapes, sizes, life experiences, etc. Be true to your body! Love your body. Have GRATITUDE for all that your body CAN DO! Move and seek the edge of what is possible for your body…in it’s own way, in it’s own natural time.
Want more? Consider taking the Nia White Belt Training to actualize the Nia Practice into your body and life! Learn more.
**As with any new activity, or if you are having joint or bleeding problems, make sure you check with your physician or therapist to be sure you are ready to get started.
***While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content of each FitFactor post, these entries are not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.