Thursday, January 7, 2010

space, stepping in, flow

Today's tidbit is about flow, space , and stepping in....

This time of year it's always fun for me to teach class as there is often an influx of new to Nia students. Lot's of people set intentions for the new year, and want to get some movement going. It's so fun to hear their comments at the end, and most recently I am finding that the new students seem even more ready than ever to receive the promise of Nia. That promise being moving the body/mind/emotions/spirit to find both fitness and pleasure at the same time. One of the things that I am sure new students feel is how the space itself feels different than a traditional fitness space. As I am looking at potential space for a Nia studio I spend time thinking about Saradance. Saradance has it's perks and it's downfalls, one of the perks being we have danced there for 10 years. We have created space there through 7 Nia White Belt Intensives, and we collectively have danced through many life transitions in that space.
I am very interested in noticing how I relate to space. This includes noticing how I can shift it, change it, stagnate in it, be repelled by it, bounce off it, or communicate with it...and on an on. I can put space between myself and another, I can fill space up, I can clear it literally and figuratively. I also know it's easy for me to judge space itself as either "good" or "bad" when space is really just that, it's space. It gives me sensation. Space is invisible yet it can be felt very clearly through the skin, the senses, and breath. When I feel I don't have enough space, I am often focusing more on that which is taking up the space vs. noticing the space available. My breathe is effected by this perspective from me. I can blend and harmonize with space, slap it, tickle it, ignore's endless..yet what I give to space effects what I get out of it. Sound like a love relationship?
As Nia teachers, we practice "creating space" through stilling the body and mind. It is a practice that is valuable in and out of Nia class. You can create space for any activity, creative pursuit, relationship,or idea. The art of creating space is to bring your body, mind, emotions and spirit in to complete stillness at will. Neutral. A group of people creating this stillness together is even more effective at expanding the space. It is quite simply, noticing space versus noticing noise, or what's filling up the space. What you notice expands. What a group notices expands more.
At the beginning of Nia class, there is a shift in the space when everyone arrives. Often it's a little frenetic. People going this way and that. Greetings, getting things ready, using the bathroom, etc. Then with cycle 1, we all get on the same "page" when I set focus and intent. Cycle one helps harmonize the group. This helps everyone to get their bodies and minds directed.
Cycle 2 is the actually or metaphoric "step in". Doing something physically as an action to prepare and let go of any distractions. Saying to the mind " I let go of anything outside this room .". This stepping in is vital to increase the space around us all. This step creates the needed flow to move into cycle 3 warming up. Once this is done, the space feels different. To me, it's as if the space itself says "ahhhh, thank you for recognizing me!". Step 2 is a vital bridge that prepares the body and mind.
My tip for you today, is to notice something in your life that you either feel struggle, contraction, or stagnation around, or that you'd simply like to see more "flow" with. Ease....Set your focus on that. Perhaps it's some personal intentions for 2010. Intend to have movement. Do something physically that initiates a letting go of distractions. It can be stepping through a door, 3 claps, facing different directions and making it more ceremonial or whatever you can make up. What you do doesn't matter so much as long as it's purpose is to let go and become more present. Enjoy warming up into the next cycle and keep dancing through life with Nia! I hope this note inspires you in some way. As always, if you wish to be removed from my email list, or if you know of someone who would enjoy these Nia tidbits , just pass it on or let me know. Love, Kelly

Kelly Atkins©Black Belt Nia teacher ©ACE certified personal trainer©Certified Wellness Coach- Coach "K" ©PhysicalMind Institute Certified Pilates Mat teacher