Showing posts with label Somatic Practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Somatic Practice. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Body & Mind Growing


My body is moving through time in a faster motion than I can keep up with.  This 63 years is a strange sensation of new possibilities and also aches, pains, and a need to double down on my self-care.

I’ve been a person who has loved to be outside and active.  I’m a bike rider, a dancer, a walker and a hiker.  I like going to the gym to do fitness classes as well.











When I got into going to the YMCA, I wanted to get my daughter involved in fun and active things. She had different ideas and that idea for her did not stick.  But it did for me.  I didn’t think that I could do Pilates—I didn’t have the core strength.  And then I tried it.  It was challenging, but my teacher encouraged me to do it in my own way and my abdomen, arms and legs grew stronger.  It is today one of my favorite exercises to build core strength, balance, and connect in with my body to feel what she needs.

Twelve years ago, I learned about Nia—a fusion movement/fitness practice that involves dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  We move to fun music with the intention to feel better every time after we dance.  It is a somatic practice that involves the mind and the body to sense pleasure and pain in the body.  By adjusting the movement, we can bring more pleasure to how we move.  And with the pleasure, we desire to do it again and again.  Because Nia is designed for every Body, all the variations work well for a beginning person doing Nia to an advanced athlete.








Some of the friends who dance Nia at the Friendship Center: 

front row: Barbi, Kathleen, Anne; back-row, MaryLee, Diana, Mary, Leanne, Kathie


Twelve years ago, I was much more uptight about my body shape.  Lots of my body parts I did not like. My hips were too wide, my belly was too soft. My feet looked weird.  I liked my arms and back—they were thin and wiry like I wanted my whole body.  I wanted the look of a boy; though I would not have admitted that then. I am a woman and those curves and softness will always be with me.  Lots of voices in my head were shaming to me.  As I change that internal narrative and grow to accept my body just as she is, I grow to enjoy who I am in the world and what I do in the world.  I grow to have appreciation for all the things my body could do instead of looking so critically at just how one part looks to the outside world.

Coming to the present moment, I am still growing in love and appreciation for my body and her changing ways.  I am growing my strength to counter osteoporosis with weight training through Barre classes.  This is new to me.  I am hiking more to be out in the beauty of nature and found a friend who loves this as much as I.  We spur each other on to keep going and we have a great time together.  I’m making new friends at the YMCA.

I teach Nia and Pilates classes for me and to pass to others this love of growing a strong body.  When I look in the mirror and instead of criticizing the wrinkles on my face and neck—I choose to say thank you face and neck for your abilities to sense—see, hear, smell, taste and speak your truth. Most of the time--I can still be very judgemental of myself. Here's what Diana shared with her friends about Nia:

"I’m not an expert, I’m clumsy on my feet, But I feel like a “butterfly” lots of times and it relaxes me so much."

It is a dramatic shift in connection with me and the world.  It is an ever changing landscape in the aging process.  I extend my hand to you.  Let’s walk together in this time on the Earth.  Join me in this conversation or moving more in your own life for health and wellness.

You’re invited to join me for Nia classes currently on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Iron Bluff Fitness and the Winona Friendship Center:

Tuesdays, Iron Bluff Fitness: 8am – 8:45am Classic Nia through May 24, 2022

Iron Bluff Fitness is located in the Winona Mall. Check their website for all they have to offer along a variety of fitness classes.

Tuesdays, Winona Friendship Center: 11am - Noon Classic Nia

Thursdays, Winona Friendship Center: 3:00pm -3:45pm Moving to Heal Nia,a gentler form of Nia

                                                                       4:00pm – 5:00pm Classic Nia

The Winona Friendship Center is located in downtown Winona at 251 Main St. Classes cost $3.00 for members and $5.25 for non-members. 

Call about membership or with any questions: 507 454-5212. 







Another invitation: 

Pilates classes on Wednesday evening:

Wednesdays, WK Gym: 6:15pm – 7:00pm Mat Pilates

WK Gymnasium, 365 Mankato Ave, Winona, MN 55987

Drop in classes are available for the current session for $10.00 per class.  Next 5 week session starts early May through Community Education, Pilates for Everyone, Section 4 to register and find out more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bringing Peace to Healing Pain

Mind Fog, and Growing Stronger No Matter What

 Brown eyed Susans

Today, I’m awakening with numbness is my right forearm and an ache through my body.  Lots of mornings lately, I’ve been moving slowly with some sort of pain.  At times the pain was so debilitating that I just wanted to lie down and try to escape.  At other times, I learned that when I got moving, the pain would reduce. Some of the huge challenge with the pain is the mind fog that comes with it.  When the body is screaming about pain, it is very challenging to focus on other topics.  

Here are a few things that I’ve been working with to manage pain this summer.  I’ve used soothing music to listen to in the night when I would awaken and could not sleep due to pain.  The music softly and gently floated me back into sleep.  I would plug in my ear buds to keep the music helping me and let my sweetheart still have his sweet repose.

Last night, I felt a deep numbness and pain in my upper arm nerves.  I would have reacted to this in the past with anger and a feeling of “Why do I have so much pain all the time?”  Last night instead, I was able to image being wrapped up tight in a blanket—and the blanket was physical and had the energy of love.  Those thoughts soothed me back into sleep.

I have used healing meditations from Kris Carr.  Her positive voice and energy along with being calm and reassuring that my body was healing and taking care of me was very affirming. 

I have used positive self-talk.  When I would find myself saying disparaging words to myself, I would say, “Cancel, clear,” and then say two positive things that were true such as “My cats love me,” and “The sun is shining in my heart.” That one came a lot when the sun was not shining.

I have a movement practice called Nia that I use to help manage pain and anything that comes up in my body.  This practice also uses music to move in ways to pleasure changing the movement, if it causes pain. Another practice in Nia is 5 Stages of Healing. 

 The 1st Stage involves rolling and moving lying on the ground or carpet softly moving your arms and legs like you are a swimming embryo. Moving on your side, belly, back are all stage one.  

Stage two is creeping—move to the belly and the elbow bends to the knee on one side of the body as the other side is long. Then the long side becomes short with elbow to knee and the other side becomes lengthened.  One alternates this move.

Stage three is crawling on hands and knees.

Stage four is turning the toes under then lifting the torso to a squat.

Stage five is walking

At any point, one may go back to the previous stage or earlier stage.The stages are done for as short or long a time as desired.  One may do them with in silence or with quiet music.

Nia is a somatic practice to use the mind to direct the movements for the greatest ease, alignment, and pleasure.  Injury is a great teacher about how alignment works and how to use the mind to ease the healing. Nia is a pleasure based practice.

I teach Classic Nia and Nia Moving to Heal at the Winona Friendship Center.

Classic Nia Wednesdays 4:00- 5:00pm
                    Thursdays 5:10-6:00pm

Moving to Heal Nia  Thurdays 4:30-5:05pm

Mind and body are so connected.  Let them share the love to help heal and feel better.

[This pain and mind fog was the result of an accident on a bicycle that I had earlier in the summer 2018, when I was thrown off the bike and broke my elbow.  Read here to learn more details about the healing through injury, part I, if interested. The body has an amazing capacity for healing.  Sometimes it seems a slow process.  Easy and gentle works well and compassion for ourselves can work miracles.]


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