S E P T E M B E R | 2 0 1 0
By holding weights to push and pull, my hands have enabled me to create the rest of my fit body. They’ve played a key part in my yoga training; supporting my Downward Facing Dog, handstand and plank poses and centering my energy at my heart. In Nia, my fingers, hands and arms help me demonstrate and lead my classes. Personally, my hands complement my sense of humor by assisting me in creating good physical comedy.
This month, I encourage you to become more aware of what your fingers, hands, and arms are doing. See if you can Dance Through Life with a little more pleasure by tuning in to your upper extremities.
HAND IT OVER
You can use this move the finger extensions as a mini-meditation whenever you need to.
The Thumb = Nurture. Point it toward yourself and feel the self-nurturing that is there. Hold a glass of wine with four of your fingers. Feel the precariousness of the hold. Then, wrap your thumb gently around the other side and feel the support and ease of holding on. Spend a minute appreciating the existence of the thumb and your ability to use it to create structure, support, and ease and know that your thumb represents part of you and you can do those things for yourself as a whole.
Index Finger = Desire. Point it at something and feel the, “I want” feeling that is there. When talking to the Universe about your wants and desires, focus your physical self on your index fingers. Follow your finger as if you were in a point-and-click situation. “I want that!” Point to it and mean it.
Middle Finger = Power. Aim it at the ground and feel the powerful grounding that is there. When you are struggling to maintain balance, either physically or emotionally, get those middle fingers into action. Press middle fingers down into the earth.
Ring Finger = Commitment. Is there a ring? Feel your emotions toward commitment. Spend a moment meditating about work/your career. Test the strength of your ring finger when considering your commitment to your professional growth.
Pinky Finger = Boundaries. In the air draw your personal space . See what’s in there with you. Use your pinky finger’s line-defining ability to make sure that you are not saying, “Yes.” to everything at work.
How have you used your finger extensions to back up your meditations? Write and tell me.
Extreme Measures – Arms, Hands and Fingers;
The Upper Extremities of the Body
September Suzworks Nia classes are focused on the Arms, Hands and Fingers or The Upper Extremities of the Body. We are looking at how to move these highly expressive body parts to enhance our mind-body-emotion-spirit experience. Every routine we do in Nia class uses Nia’s 52 basic moves and allows students to explore the use of the arms, hands, and fingers in an endless variety of ways. The exploration of the Upper Extremities is keyed into sensation, sound, emotion, gesture, choreography, the music and more.
You can learn more about dancing your Arms, Hands and Fingers – The Upper Extremities of the Body and enhancing your mind-body-emotion-spirit experience by coming to a Suzworks Nia class!
Make sure you check the new schedule below – There are a few changes. Suzworks Nia classes are held at five area studios and we have more events scheduled than ever before. Please, share the news with your friends and neighbors and enemies.
UPCOMING SUZWORKS AND NIA EVENTS:
Friday | November 12th | 7:30- 9pm
Nia Jam! Six Nia teachers lead one Joyful Dance-a-bration!
NiaWear, NiaSounds, and Nia Education DVD’s available for purchase.
Suggested donation $15 at the door
Fall 2010 Weekly Nia Classes:
New information listed in Suzworks Pink
Hot Yoga Studio in Cleveland Park, DC
Tuesdays | 10:30 am
Thursdays | 10:03 am
Drop in or Class Pass
The Mindfulness Centerin Bethesda, MD
Tuesdays | 7 pm Suz
Thursdays | 7pm Lisa G
Fridays | 7am Amy
Sundays | 11 am Suz
Drop in or Center Pass
Jewish Community Centerin Rockville, MD
Sundays | 9 am
Drop in or Membership
Nu-NeHe Fitness Center in Woodley Park, DC
Tuesdays | 8am
Thursdays | 8am
Drop in or Class Pass
LivingWell Health Club at The Hilton in Dupont Circle, DC
Thursdays | 7 pm
Day Pass or Club Membership
Nia Jam Series
Nia Playshop Series
Nia FAB: For-All-Belts Learning Series
|HAND ME DOWN. HANDS UP!
Turn on your Conscious Personal Trainer and become aware of what your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, and collarbones are doing. How do you use your arms to creatively express yourself? I am sitting by the pool while I write this piece and in the five minutes that I’ve been here, I have observed a woman hugging her child, a swimmer propelling himself with great force through the water, a man gesturing to the waiter to come take his order, myself texting my friends to come join me, people shielding their eyes from the sun, picking up and moving lounge chairs, adjusting bathing suits, stretching and turning pages of magazines. The upper extremities are an integral part of expressing our existence.
This month in Nia class, we are focusing on these parts. In the 24 classes I’ve taught on the focus, I have found an endless variety of options for creative expression and fitness exercises. The idea in class is that we use all the actions of life in an intense hour of dancing. Chopping, flicking, punching, painting, pointing, clapping, snapping, slapping, pushing, touching, blocking, and striking are just the top of the list. When we dance, we do all of those hand and arm movements with the different energies of dance, martial arts and healing arts, on all three planes of motion, at all three levels of intensity, in isolation and with other body weights in concert. Our purpose is to explore these options and then allow the awareness of them to enhance our dance through life.
Just now, as you are reading this newsletter, become award of your fingers. Become aware of your shoulders. Sense your collarbones. Think, “How do these parts feel? Actually feel how these parts feel. Now, change the channel. Relax parts that were tense. Infuse the relaxed parts with dynamic energy. Float the heavy parts away from the earth. How does the awareness change your relationship to your parts?
I do a lot of arm-oriented activities as I mentioned in my introduction, so my arms are always tired. Changing the channel as I’ve suggested is a good way for me to make it through my life with busy arms. Often, I catch myself gripping my steering wheel or my cell phone and when I do, I mindfully change the channel. When I walk down the street I’ve noticed that fully swinging my arms helps me move faster with a better distribution of work throughout my body. Recently, I quit biting my nails, and got a manicure. The channel on my hands has been dramatically changed; I am much more expressive with my hands.
Of course i suggest that you come to a Suzworks Nia class and get the learning that happens there, but for the sake of living a fully Niafied life, I suggest trying the following to see if it makes your dance through life more enjoyable.
When you get a chance, check
or bag your own groceries and do it with awareness. When you greet friends, family or colleagues, do it with gracious open arms. When you cook a meal, do it while you sense the flow of continuous motion. When you dress, do so as if you’ve never donned those clothes before. Swim, or shower with minimal use of your shoulders.
Just see what happens.
|SUZFINDS THIS MONTH: YOGA
Duh! It’s National Yoga Month
Yoga master and hip-hop artist MC Yogi was named “one of the brightest lights coming out of the North Bay music scene” by Pacific Sun. Layering beat-boxing with sacred chanting, he creates a unique blend of Indian music and mythology and infectious rhythm.
Four Workshops with Max Strom at Hot Yoga
(info and registration)
Max Strom is known for inspiring and impacting the lives of his students, teaching with the aim of personal transformation and has become one of the most revered and respected Yoga Teachers in the US and abroad. He founded Sacred Movement, Center for Yoga and Healing in Los Angeles, and now travels extensively teaching and lecturing on yoga and spirituality. You can see more of his work on his DVDs, Max Strom Yoga – Strength, Grace, and Healing, and Learn to Breathe, to heal yourself and your relationships.
Strength, Grace, and Healing
Saturday, September 25th 2010 : 10am – 12pm
The Healing Power of Forgiveness