Next Generation of Trainers

symbology conditions with depth

By Kelly Atkins on June 28, 2011

Every day, when I wake up and do a body scan, I gather information from my body that I begin to utilize before my feet even touch the floor.  My conditioning begins with sensing and then "seeing" within my body awakening to my dream for that day.  I feel for sensation, I notice my breath and bring appreciation to the moment for the gift of life.  Through x-ray vision, and years of being in fitness before practicing Nia, I have images of my body that greatly enhance my ability to move my  energy with intention, depth, and clarity.  This in turn makes conditioning something that begins with my first breath, and is something that is happening all the time throughout my day.  

When I am in a Nia class, I see my muscle fibers connecting together to create contractions and hug into the bones.  I see the bones smiling, and ecstatic in the embrace, stimulated to increase production of more bone.  When I stretch I see the lines my bones make and the shape of joints as portals to allow light through and out.  This, at least, doubles the challenge to my body from a physical sense, and stimulates more pleasure and play as I explore conditioning.  Ultimately , this has added up to me taking less time "out" to workout and needing less stimulation for the same amount ( actually even better) of outcome compared to years of traditional fitness.  

Knowing anatomy has supported me in being present to my body, inside my body, for most of my day.  Whether it's picking my 2 year old, getting down on the floor to pick up toys, carrying groceries from the car I am able to appreciate through xraying my body, the art that it is as it functions so beautifully for me.  Conditioning my body is something that I am doing throughout my day.  When I play on the floor with my kids, I am in pigeon pose.  When I cook a meal at the stove, I am in Tadasana, mountain pose.  These moments in class, or out, where I fully feel the lines, angles, and curves of my body , add up in intensity and quantity to give me an athleticism I didn't have I taught aerobics 7 times a week and did competitive weight lifting.  

The imagery I receive from my body are like packets of energy being directed through my physical body from other realms.  The effect is a more whole body engagement and more depth physically into the area I am "seeing".  Energy follows attention, and expands when directed.  This is a power that I am grateful for in helping others to heal and to become more fit as well.  In class symbology conditions my body through a sense of "expanded energy" when I take a shape, I freeze it and feel the bones and joints being held like a "teaching sculpture" for my students to see and sense themselves.  

After my body scan, I often journal in the morning and uncover "who" I am that day.  Noticing my attitude, my thoughts gives me information about my archetypal self.  Certain "selves" can spiritually deplete me, so I choose each day which archetype will support me in being my best self.  My Sacred Athlete is always present, in just the dream of reaching my potential.  Underneath her, I call on my warrior, or Goddess, or Mother , or Lover.  These archetypal images shift my posture, my voice, my focus as I approach the day.  My choices in what I eat, how I think, what I choose are more empowered, and this feeds into my physical conditioning as well.  

Ultimately, the power of symbology and of visualizing and seeing all of my body in my mind has given more pleasure in becoming fit, and less effort.