20 July 2010

Nia for joy

Do you feel run-down and tired of the same old gym routines? Why not try Nia, an exciting fusion of dance, martial arts and healing arts, that will revitalise your mind and body.

Oh my goodness! I had absolutely no idea that Nia could be so much fun. I went for my first Nia class this weekend, and it was out of this world! I just loved the music and dancing - and the freedom of expression on top of all that was absolutely exhilirating!

I have always heard people rave about Nia and how addictive it can become, and now I finally know why: Nia is all about JOY! I have been initiated.

To be honest, this joyful experience came as a bit of a surprise to me, as the session that I attended in Cape Town actually was a Nia Alchemy Workshop called Beating the Black Dog (Gently) - a workshop teaching tools to combat depression. Yes, that's right: depression - the complete antithesis to joy. So, why were we all so happy?

"This workshop introduces tools that lift the blues and spice up low periods to find joy again," says Kathy. "We practice what it means to choose joy - a separate kind of energy, different to happiness. Joy is a choice, ready for the taking. We learn how the joy and energy of moving your body can help you to re-connect with yourself and restore vitality."

Apart from a short introduction and short but powerful motivational talk by Kathy, the entire workshop was focused on free movement, expression and the awareness of body and mind. "These are the core ingredients of Nia," says Kathy.

What is Nia?

"In Swahili Nia means 'with purpose'," Kathy explains, "and that is how Nia teaches people to move. It is a path to condition, heal and express yourself though movement and sensation. It addresses the whole person."


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