Nia Testimonial: Laura Inman, Nia Student
baton rouge, Louisiana, United States
I am a SURVIVOR of childhood sexual abuse. I am proud to make this my first statement because although it doesn't define me completely the experience has certainly shaped the "me" of today. My new goal is to let go of the shame that keeps my light from shining. Healing is a life long journey full of peaks and valleys and I find that I am once again climbing up a rather large mountain. But with each new mountain I climb, I learn better tools to help the ascent.
Last weekend I had a true "grace" moment and had the opportunity to go to a woman's retreat with other sexual abuse survivors. During the retreat I discovered Nia. This was an amazing experience for me. I love to dance (when no one is looking). I can really get down, but this required me to put it out there in front of 15 strangers! Well, I was really uncomfortable. I realized for the first time how deeply uncomfortable I am in my own body. My husband always teases me and tells me that I'm like a foot with only half my sock on at any given time. Sometimes the whole damn sock falls off. Dancing in front of 15 strangers, even though we were all there for the same reason, felt so scary. I could feel my body and soul wanting to break out of my self imposed prison. I felt the strong desire to feel the music and let my body move like the sea but I just couldn't let my soul free. Each time I tried I would shut myself down. Later during the retreat I had an epiphany. I keep my light under a bushel. I don't let my light shine for fear that it will attract people who will try and take it away from me. I don't stay in my body because it's too painful to be there.
In discovering Nia, I re-discovered myself. I found a foot hold that I can use to continue climbing the mountain.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
I'm just starting but I find it helps me reconnect to my body.
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I have just been practicing at home with a video. There are not local classes available. I have considered becomeing a trainer :-)
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
I'm not sure but for me it's about connecting to my body. It's about being present in the moment and feeling comfortable moving my body in a way that is joyful.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Just DO IT! Fight through the fear. It may not feel good at first. It may evoke strong emotions but that is okay. Allow the healing to take place but don't give up. Keep practicing.