Nia Testimonial: Natalie, Nia Graduate
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Full-time singer Australia and South East Asia (Band of the South Australia Police + numerous cover and original bands) 1994-2003
Fulltime wife and mother Houston, TX and Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 2004-2008
200hr yoga teacher certification Yoga Institute Houston,TX (Lex Gillan)
Part-time yoga teacher 2008-2009 LA Fitness + private
Basic Core Certificate early childhood education UCLA extension 2012
Part time Early Childhood Education Assistant Teacher Riviera Playschool, Redondo Beach, CA 2012
Early Intervention Program - autism spectrum disorder Certificate Flinders University 2013
Nia White Belt achieved Melbourne 2013
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
Nia is a very deeply spiritual practise for me. Finding my friends and teachers in California was so inspiring. Being in the presence of the power and energy of Jodie, and the grace of Chrissy, and the elegance of fellow student Rose, as well as enjoying the companionship of other students was different from any other physical health practise I have experienced.
I found that I was set if I started with Nia early in the week. Everyone involved with this practise is so open, radiant and caring - genuinely. What a nurturing environment.
I have rediscovered my sensuality after having been very content in my mommy-ness for a few years, and Nia brings me back to the being of me, time and time again.
The reason I am about to teach so soon is that I moved back to my home city of Adelaide, Australia and discovered there is nobody currently teaching Nia that I could find. I couldn't go too long without my classes, so what better way to learn more about this practise that I am only beginning to understand than teach it ?!
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I was taking Nia classes with Jodie and Chrissy in Torrance, CA until we moved back to Adelaide in January 2013, and I decided to take my white belt. Currently my teachers are Debbie Rosas on DVD, and an incredible community of cyber Nia teachers, sisters and brother Australia-wide.
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
Most people don't know the multitude of layers being positively transformed when a student or teacher of Nia starts to really energise the moves - body, mind, emotions, spirit, community. Most people don't know that it can sometimes also take just one class to feel that transformation.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Go slow, regardless of how fit you are - in fact especially if you are really fit. Even though Nia is non-impact, the level of energy used in making connections between body movements, together with all the sensory experiences can be quite intense.
What do you recall about your very first ever Nia class?
I had previously embraced Iyengar Yoga as my health practise of choice. I'd loved this practise for around 15-16 years on and off and I still do love yoga. When I heard about Nia I was living in Houston, TX. I went along to a Nia class in the Heights. As the teacher drew our attention away from checking our technique in the mirror, I remember suddenly feeling mesmerised by the movements of my hands. I hadn't never been told to watch my body as I moved. Rather I was used to checking my alignment - heel in line with arch of opposite foot, hips squared, outer edge of foot pressed firmly into the floor - perfect alignment - perfect alignment. Then the Nia teacher told us to free dance. This was quite confronting, and didn't come naturally to me. At a disco back in the day, no prob. In the privacy of my living room for sure. But amongst strangers? Oh dear. Anyway, I did as I was told, and I did find myself caught up in the enthusiasm of the other participants, so I thought "what the heck? Go for it. Nobody knows you here..." Before long we were cooling down and I felt good...and then I felt emotion well up inside of me. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been given permission to be free like that and I was immensely grateful.
Oddly enough I didn't take my next Nia class until a few years later when we moved near Torrance, CA and I found the Nia Playground with Jodie and Chrissy - natural time xxx