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Movement Matters: build flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability for your whole life with awareness-based fitness through Nia classes, training materials, and private sessions.
This beautiful video of baby Liv is a marvelous expression of what our human form is so well designed to explore and do for, and with us.
In my movement fitness classes I often encourage exploration of horizontal energy and spinal alignment moving into vertical through the 5 Stages (of Human Development) practice (or pieces from it), all the while maintaining the greatest ease and awareness. Baby Liv is an especially elegant practitioner of the 5 Stages, being so delighted with her new skills.
Because she is directly relating to her environment through physical sensation, and gathering information about what works better, and what does not so well through noticing/observation and experience, there is no editorial opinion about whether or not it is “good” or otherwise. It’s what she’s designed to do. It’s the Body’s Way.
When we move from laying prone, forehead resting on floor or hands, place our palm spread hands beneath our shoulders and press to raise our core skyward, we can also experience that sensation of “it’s what our bodies are made to do”, yet often it is also discovering a new perspective, a new view for some. An enlightening view and expression for most.
When we lift up, look up, and breathe upward, we are able to sense elongation in the spine and a teaser of possibility for the vertical plane that awaits us. Looking consciously is powerful - watching as the body moves, and seeing further with the eyes enhances body awareness (“where am I in my environment?”), and adds to potential energy expressed.
Teasing gravity, playing into the up of this cobra position/exploration (extended from tops of the feet past our hips on the floor and pressing up with hands, arms and shoulders – to a high level that is both comfortable and sustainable for a breath or two), we activate and strengthen our core (the entire spinal column – pelvis, chest and head), with particular awareness in the back body, while challenging arms, breath, and stability of our whole system.
Liv demonstrates the journey to increased flexibility, mobility, agility, strength, and stability, with ease and organization. Using the least possible force for the basics leaves us plenty of energy/power, should we need a burst of speed, and forceful punch, or strike.
Pushing the hips up from the floor…we arrive in an “all fours” crawling or table position. It’s one of the most important developmental stages for us, where the brain gets one of the best workouts. When we “cross-crawl”, with alternate hand and knee moving forward, we are actively exercising and developing new neural connections that cross the midline between the brain’s hemispheres.
In still, moving the spine up and down from that table allows the neck, head, belly, and breath to expand naturally and sequentially. Lift nose up, look up, breath up (both head and tail now)…and then down again, breathing out, belly/back arching high like a cat…we expand range of awareness and motion.
Notice all of Liv’s variations and options.
Now…I invite you to get down on the floor, and explore them, too! Take your time, use a yoga mat, or blanket. Or do it on your bed for starters. The firmer surface of the floor (carpeted if you prefer) is actually easier to navigate. Start gently and VERY SLOWLY! Playing with gravity, down on the floor, is one of the best workouts!
And take a rest now and then, like Liv.
What do you sense? What’s feels new, different to you?
NiaBoston (all of New England) community of teachers includes a wonderful diversity of styles and energies, with many class locations.
Here is a lovely introduction to Nia video created for Jenny Silverberg and Amy Podolsky, teachers/co-owners of StudioJoy in Northborough, with students and teachers from the area! Have a look (you’ll see me!)
Classic Nia classeswith Marcia, as well as modified Nia movement fitness (for Active Older Adults) at the Foxborough Y each week. Find your safe challenge!
In a recentvideo conversation with Clara Angelina Diaz,of Clarafying and Clarafying TV, with life and business wisdom for spiritual entrepreneurs, we spoke about bringing awareness to our lives, for fitness, nutrition, and financial wellbeing solutions.
What intention are youimagining for yourself, and what can help you reach it? Share below, keep it simple, and let’s get going!
How to improve your brain and your body? Move them differently.
Learn something new, explore new movement sensations that allow you to experience something slightly outside your comfortable, familiar habits, or maybe something slightly “scary”…this is our path to vitality. The brain experiences a need to provide a new neural pathway, and it does.
Bingo…you have brain vitality and new physical skills under development. Go you!
Food calls me…to find creative and health supporting things to make, and to satisfy cravings. I love to immerse myself in the concepts of food…the growing, gathering (shopping, gardening, storage), cooking/preparation, and eating, too. Recipes fascinate and distract me. I spent almost as much time reading cookbooks in the library stacks as in every other area, in total, during high school), and beyond some good basic instruction from my folks, I am a self-taught and intuitive cook, cultivating skills for more than 45 years. Food has a lot to say to me. Continue reading →
What are you doing to counteract the debilitating sedentary life of modern America? Here are simple and direct actions for you and your family to adapt and adopt for life long happy bodies. The answer is NEAT—nonexercise activity thermogenesis.
from MindBodyGreen.com BY DR. JORDAN D. METZL
“Sitting,” says Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who has researched the dangers of a sedentary life for the last 15 years, “is the new smoking.” Levine’s studies have shown that sitting around—as many of us do for both work and pleasure—is bad for your health. Spending more than just 6 hours a day on your backside drives up blood pressure and places you at a greater risk for diabetes, obesity, depression, and some types of cancer. People who already have chronic illnesses see an increase in their symptoms. And that’s just for starters. Continue reading →
Inspired, thrilled, and moved to tears reading Dr. Daphne Miller’s Farmacology.Thrilled that she is working with folks from all around this conversation of farm(er) ecology and medical ecology to connect more of the dots. I was deeply moved by stories of personal transformation through deeper connection to understanding and supporting our own bodies, to place, to food, and to the earth/soil in which all is grown.
The human body’s systems are remarkable in a carefully calibrated, nuanced for interaction and restoration. To ignore, neglect or interfere with the nurture flow can quickly move it towards dwindling resources, to longterm catastrophic breakdowns, though the outward symptoms may be slow to be revealed or aggravate. There is little that doctors are trained to seek about the whole patient’s function and fulfillment in their in addressing the effects and symptoms that bring a patient to their office. Dr. Millerwas unsatisfied with this pattern repeating in too many patients. She sought new understanding and solutions. Continue reading →
Inspiration and opportunity come in many forms, and our “job” is to notice. And, we need to be open to receiving the hint. Many opportunities and insights appear as subtle yet persistent nudges and nigglings. Being ready to receive this intuitive information is one important benefit of quieting the mind, as a practice, a habit, as a choice.
I often teach about how mind/body movement such as with awareness building Nia,creates new neural connections and brain (as well as body) health, and that learning something (anything!) new keeps our brains vital. Quiet mind practice enhances the brain in another related and important direction. Continue reading →