Next Generation of Trainers

Inspiration from Symbols, Conditioning for my Body.

By Jill Pagano on June 17, 2011

Symbols are alive and ever-changing in my somatic journey. Visions in my head build pathways for me to internally see and sense my body. This is not only for individual parts of my body, but also for my body as a whole, a standing up-right human. Whether I am walking, dancing, sitting or lying I sense my body and my creative mind brings me a symbol, sometimes without me even asking for it. Some “make sense” and others don’t have a definition or context. And yet all symbols that arrive in my brain do connect me to my body when I explore them.


The world is a series of symbols that are always moving, changing and evolving. Just as I watch a bird create a round, symmetrical and elegant nest from the simplicity of a piece of branch or twine, I am reminded that my body has parts and those parts contribute to the creation of my whole design.


Over the years symbols for my body have changed. For some years, I imagined my ribcage area as just that, a metal cage, laced with individual strands that wove an open container for my organs. A month ago at my White Belt retake, the image of a beautiful beehive came to me and landed me in my rib area. That symbol was new for me. The image came during the intensive when we were looking at large black and white line drawings of anatomy pictures. My visual was inspired by the roundness and imaginable structure within the beehive-- volume, space and energy that I want to have in my own beehive. I also began sensing the energy of the bees buzzing inside and how they create vibration. That vibration relates to my own sensations when I sound, breath, shimmy and undulate.


In addition to anatomy, each and every one of the nine movement forms of Nia brings their unique symbol inspiring me to create in-the-moment conditioning experiences which fulfill my needs and desires. Whether I sense wind and become the willow branches flowing or sense the speed of a flame’s flicker, my body receives and embodies the artwork of my mind. By connecting emotionally, visually and physically, I stimulate unique pathways of expression which influence the dynamic energy my body uses for conditioning.


The possibilities for my mind and body to play in the field of organic symbol creating are endless and bountiful. The power of symbols supports my connectedness and enhances my potential for self-healing, aliveness and endless personalization thus enhancing my movements like perfect pieces to my puzzle.