Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thankfulness and Sharing

Autumn Flowers 
13.5" x 16.25"
Petal images embedded in cotton,
Machine stitch drawing 
October 2016

It’s time to say “Thank you.”  Thank you for the air that I breathe.  Thank you for the hands that love to create.  Thank you for a body that loves to move and sense joy.  Thank you for the gift of thinking and being able to learn and change my mind or shift my thinking to more kind ways.

On a using hands and head note:

I’ve given myself a little time to get to my art studio to create.  'Autumn Flowers' has its origins in flowers long past.  By putting the pigments of the petals in the cloth and stitch drawing, the energy of the flowers live on.  


Details of Autumn Flowers


If you're curious to see some of my small art quilts up close, I'm sharing a few at the Winona Arts Center's Holiday Show on December 3, 2016, 9am -4pm.  The Winona Arts Center is located at the corner of Franklin and 5th Street.  You may also  see other art in my gallery on Breeze on my Skin

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nia for Health, Fitness, Beauty and Power

Nia is a movement practice that enlivens the body and spirit.  It has elements of dance, martial arts and healing arts.  In this article published in NiaAustralia, Sophie Marsh expresses the health, fitness, beauty and power of Nia.

Photo credit: StudioNia in Portland, Oregon

Health, fitness, beauty + power
Posted 16th August, 2016 by Nia Australia

In a society that generally promotes an image of health, fitness, beauty and power that is air-brushed, ageless, homogeneous and unattainable, Nia says, ‘Come as you are, in your glorious wholeness and imperfection, learn to listen to your body’s wisdom, be kind to yourself, and dance like no one’s watching.'

No more apologies, guilt, comparison or shame. What if ‘Health’ was about choosing Joy and expansive self-love? What if ‘Fitness’ was measured as your capacity for pleasure playfully expressed? What if ‘Beauty’ was defined as inner peace? What if ‘Power’ meant owning your magnificence and honoring your temple body?

Nia is a movement practice that begins with tuning IN, accessing that powerful inner-sense that holds the beauty + essence that is YOU. There’s no pressure to perform or any expectation around keeping up. There is an invitation to leave distractions behind and Be Here Now. There is permission to play as big or small as feels safe for you. There is a delicious mix of music and movement, designed to condition and heal in your body’s own way and natural time. There is freedom for you to fully express all that you are. There is a wonderfully supportive community. There are 13 White Belt principles that can guide you into ‘Embodiment in this Lifetime’.

Nia welcomes without judgment your saggy and wobbly bits (and tight and toned bits too). It makes space for your 2 left feet (or wherever your coordination is at). It supports your nervous system to relax, adapt and create. Nia invites you to pay attention to your pain and bring your intention to heal and feel pleasure. You can move through your disappointments and celebrate your determination to be the best version of yourself. There’s no story around your tight shoulders, your dodgy knees, your shitty mood, your busy mind, your ‘hell yes’ or your ‘f*@# no’. Dance whatever is real and true for you in this moment. Seek inner stillness. Sound your authentic voice. Laugh. Cry. Be Seen. Disappear. Sweat your prayers. Move through your fears… or come home to your comfort zone. For it is ALL welcome for you to explore on the Nia dance floor.

It is exciting to be part of a global movement that is pioneering a multi-dimensional, inclusive, and empowering perception of health, fitness, beauty and power. 

Step in (again and again) to a Nia class, retreat or training and remember how good it can feel to move, create, express and be in your amazing body.

by Sophie Marsh
Sophie Marsh is Australia’s first Black Belt teacher and only Nia White Belt Trainer. She has dedicated nearly 2 decades to educating and inspiring people to move, heal and transform through Nia, while collaboratively building a vibrant Nia Australia community.

To learn more about the Nia Australia follow the link.

Currently, Mary Lee teaches Nia in Winona at the Friendship Center, 221 Main Street : 

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  

She teaches Nia at the YMCA on Sundays at 1:30pm.

  • Monday and Wednesday 4:00pm
  • Thursday 5:00pm
  • Sunday 1:30pm

For additional Nia classes in other locations, check with NiaNow and type in your address to find a class near you.

Hope to dance with you soon!




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