Most people come away from a Nia experience and express how it was “magical”. Part of this perception comes from the environment Nia is experienced in. When the space you’re in adds to the experience, the magic is even more profound.

Magic is one of those things we often relate to pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It’s more than that. It’s medicine, and it’s everywhere. It’s something children are deeply connected to. I believe that’s because magic connects us to the same energy that play, joy, love, and prayer do. I also think keeping magic alive in life is one way we can stay healthy and well.

A magical place to experience Nia classes and trainings is at trainer Helen Terry’s Soma Ranch. Having been there several times offering Nia 5 Stages, 52 Moves, MOVE I.T, and Nia belt training’s, I know there’s great magic to be had there. Whether it’s for a Nia training to enhance your body and life, or to experience somatic workshops and classes, Soma Ranch is a must!

If my White Belt was a fiery rush of revelations of my passion for the human body and its capacity for movement, my October Blue Belt at Soma Ranch with Helen Terry, Nia trainer for over twenty years, was a deepening comprehension of the systemic processes supporting that passion.

Perhaps this is a common comparison between belts, but for me, the rural rancho setting, with the donkeys hee-hawing and coyotes howling, wholeheartedly grounded the training as an earthy experience.

From Soma’s spacious dance floor, I would look out at grinning green pastures, a pond full of catfish and the sun setting on the horizon. Processing the day’s lessons, I was grateful for the ease of my cozy, hip dorm and the warm homestead where Helen’s fellow Soma Ranch creator and jolly husband, Joe, prepared rejuvenating Body Ecology meals. These meals have so much freshness and incredible flavor-balance. I could only perceive that the mystery ingredient at every setting was love. From the quinoa at breakfast, to fulfilling salads and my new favorite soups for lunch, to dinner’s Peruvian Stew, Frittatas or Tex Mex Casseroles – Joe’s passion for serving fine food was delectable. You want a fire stick? Sure, no problem!

Having worked over thirteen years in an old passion for hospitality, I thought I had felt most attitudes, but never have I experienced Helen and Joe’s warmly balanced, casual yet wholly attentive style. They nail it. They meet every guest’s needs – even when they seem more like wants. Before Joe popped to the store one night, he routinely checked for any requests. I facetiously appealed for a fire twirling stick (a new passion) for the upcoming bonfire. We laughed, but the next day he sorted out barn materials so we could make one. And we did. Writing this now, over six months later, I’m still in awe about that event.

Directly following the Blue Belt was the annual Soma Summit, now in its third year. With a special celebratory focus on the Men-of-Nia, the event honored our practice’s under-represented gender with sessions from the three uniquely diverse, yet equally magnificent and passionate Next Gen Trainer Men. Rolf Erickson introduced Transcendental Meditation healing techniques to our Nia practice in his ‘Move to Heal’ workshop. Bill Stewart shared his tools in accessing his vibrationally soothing instructor tone in ‘Find Your Voice.’ 52 Moves Master, Kevin VerEecke, imparted his extensive anatomy knowledge and wisdom in the ‘Sacred Athlete’ session.

The summit opened on Friday night with, what to me was a large bonfire; but on the second night I realized it was only a teaser. Helen’s magical Nia session followed to the trippy Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as ‘The Wizard of Oz’ projected on the studio wall.

I’m always passionate to move with a Nia tribe, but it was the time between the dance floor sessions, when we enjoyed random ranch activities with this diverse group of Nia practitioners from all over the planet, that, in my Nia journey, was unique to Soma Ranch. Whether it was the group hayride to the pond, problem solving the stubborn lighting of Saturday’s mega-bonfire, or the free and easy discussions in the hot tub under a gorgeous full moon – Soma Ranch widens my appreciation for Nia beyond the dance floor.

Soma Ranch is the embodiment of Nia White Belt Principle 11: Creating a Sacred Livelihood. Helen and Joe Terry’s blazing yet grounded passion for a well-lived life is infectious. Soma Summit has become the highlight of all my passion-filled Nia travels, as this was where I started to develop a grounded earthiness to my understanding of passion. Maybe I’ll move with you and your families next at Summit 2014.

For more information about Soma Ranch visit: www.somaranch.com