I went through a seven day process to train as a White Belt in NIA dance a couple of weeks ago. It was intense! We were moving for a large part of the day and learning some pretty esoteric stuff about music and movement as well.
It was also an intense self-learning time as we all saw our tendencies in movement come up time and again. We got our buttons pushed in ways that we protect ourselves from in our normal lives. Most humans move within a certain chosen restricted range and we spend a lot of time in our heads instead of our bodies. The more time we can spend actually feeling at home in our body the easier it will be to adjust to the ebb and flow of our lives. As my first transformational teacher said back in the ’70’s, “Our heads and minds are the last to KNOW anything”.
One thing that came up in the sharing was that three of us had been short-sighted as children and that had not been recognized by adults around us for a long time. We had all chosen to adapt in different ways to not being able to see clearly but it clearly isolated all three of us and caused us to become introverts. I also had a movement pattern of holding my chin up trying to see better which I have not lost to this day, after Rolfing, Feldenkrais training and a zillion other bodywork modalities.
After witnessing this pattern so clearly and having the cause pop up in the general sharing I am able to shift it more easily, in my dance and in my life.
We all have traumas and resistances of various kinds that affect our movement. Recognizing them and releasing them through the dance is a hugely healing part of NIA.
I find that now I am dancing for an hour a day, I am less inclined to enjoy long periods on the computer. I WANT to be in my body again. I think I lost that joy of movement after menopause and after giving up on relationship. Dancing in a group of mostly women is a safe place to explore being in my body more fully.
So this is about me, and about the rediscovery of the joy of being in my body, but it’s also about bones. My bones are so happy that I am moving vigorously every day! I am almost able to back bend to the floor again as I did as a child. When I first wanted to do that a voice in my head said, ” Be careful, what about your bones, what about fractured vertebrae.” Now I get it that my body knows what it can do and what it can’t and I just have to be quiet and listen as I move.
Not everyone has access to NIA dance in their community and hardly anyone has as wonderful a teacher as I have found in Kate, but there are videos available and there are other forms of dance like Zumba, the five rythyms and salsa that are becoming more common across the country. See what you can find.
In my whole life I have never enjoyed working out to the point of sweating, never! I really thought I couldn’t sweat. Now I lie in a soggy puddle on the floor at the end of every class and feel connected to Heaven and Earth through every happy cell in my body.
I feel so blessed that this has come into my life when I am still young enough to enjoy it, in fact, I feel twenty years younger than when I started in February.
So please, get your tushes out of your chairs and tear your eyes away from those addicting screens and join me in the dance of life.