Monday, July 13, 2015

Shake, Rock and Roll Your Bones!

Good Morning Friends!!!
 
How are your 206 bones today??  Do you know:
  • We all had more than 300 bones at birth, which transforms to 206 bones as an adult. Over time, many small bones making up the skull and the spine fuse together as the body grows and becomes older.
  • The only bone in the human body not connected to another is the hyoid, a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue.
  • Bones are made up of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and other minerals, as well as the protein collagen.
  • Every second, our bone marrow produces two million red blood cells.
  • Over a period of about seven years, each bone in our body is slowly replaced until it is a new bone.
  • Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete, the Femur bone is the biggest and strongest bone in our body. It is easily capable of lifting or supporting 30 times its own volume and weight!
  • Our ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time we breathe!
I love these fun facts and it reminds me that my bones are ALIVE and it is important to keep them healthy and happy.  Our bones love to Shake, Rock and Roll and that is just what we do in a Nia Class.  Our bones give our body form, protect our internal organs, and allow us to be mobile in our world.  In a Nia, we create shapes with our bones; we fold and unfold our bones; we spiral our bones; we punch, block, and kick; we vibrate, shimmy, snap, crackle and pop our bones; we walk, skip and play on the floor with our bones; and we create healing in our bones and the rest of our body with the 5 Fitness Sensations of Nia...Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength and Stability.  So vital to keep our bones healthy and strong.
Last week I had my yearly wellness exam and I am so excited about my bones!!  I was diagnosed with osteopenia several years ago. Osteopenia refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.  This is diagnosed via your hips and spine.  Through diet and conscious weight-bearing exercises, my spine is back to normal (YAY!) and my hip is on the way up!!!  What is the
​weight-bearing ​
exercise
​ I do?​
  Primarily Nia.  Yes!  In Nia we shift body weight, balance, and create endless variety and energy through the 9 Movement Forms (Principle 2 of Nia White Belt) th
​at​
help keep bones strong, resilient and adaptable to all kinds of forces and stress.  We also move through 3 planes of movement - low, middle, high - (Principle 7 of Nia White Belt) which adds positive stress to your bones.  We do this in class and we can also do in life.  Join me in these daily ways to build strength in your bones.  We call this Dancing Through Life!
  • Use the Nia base move, Whole Foot, as you walk through your house.  Shift your weight completely to each foot and hold for a couple of seconds.  Change the pressure by acting as if you are going to fall, but don't.  We call this on-off balance - great for your bones!!  Great for your hips and spine!
  • ​ You can add some intensity to the above movements by holding and moving through high, middle and low planes of movement on 1 foot.  Hold onto a chair if you need to.  You can also do this while waiting in line at the grocery store!!!​

  • Get up from your computer or from watching TV and shimmy/shake your bones!!  Vibration increases circulation and re-aligns your bones.  And it feels great!!
    ​   Shimmy on 1 foot!!!​
  • Extend the bones of your fingers way out into space and then draw back in with strength like you are squeezing your fingers around a ball.  We call this Flexibility and Strength.
  • Stand up and lift your arm bones to the sky, smell the moment, and open your your heart!  Sense your ribcage expanding and contracting.  We have 24 bones that create our ribcage!
  • And take your shoes off!!  We have 26 bones in our feet and the best way to keep them strong and agile is to go barefoot!
Have fun and I hope to see
​you in ​
​m​
y classes this week:
Monday (TODAY!) and Thursday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
and Sunday at 4:00 pm at The Synergy Studio

AND - have you heard???  Adelle and I have added a Nia White Belt intensive to our schedule for July - a split weekend at The Synergy Studio.   There is still time to sign up!!   It is a great opportunity to take the Nia White Belt and only take a couple of days off from work. The training starts at 3:00 pm on Thursday, July 23 and will go through Sunday, July 26.  The 2nd weekend is Friday , July 31 - Sunday, August 2.  Here is the link to the registration and where you can get additional information:  HERE!
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Form and Freedom - Expressing Who You Are!

Good morning my dancing friends!
Blessings to everyBody as we step into our 4th of July celebration week!!  Join me in Nia all weekend as we play with Form and Freedom, celebrating our uniqueness and freely expressing who we are!    So what is Form and Freedom in Nia?  Think of Form as the katas (movement sequences), the 9 Movement forms of Nia (Martial Arts, Dance Arts, Healing Arts), Nia 52 moves, 7 cycles of Nia, and even the music (sounds, silence, rhythm, melody, harmony).  Freedom is how YOU uniquely dance and express within Nia's form, connecting to Your Body's Way (YBW), Your Spirit's Way (YSW), and Your Emotional Range of Motion (YEROM)!  This is when the fireworks go off!!!  We use form to find freedom and we use freedom to transcend our form.  As a Sacred Athlete, the potential is limitless as your freedom comes alive with your creativity, beauty and expression.  Let me give you an example.  In Monday's class during the cool down we played with the form of one of Nia's base moves, A-Stance.  Staying loosely with A-Stance, we uniquely played with all the possibilities to move, explore and create magic within this form to stretch and strengthen...no thinking - pure sensation and joy.  It was beautiful to witness!!!!  I invite you to experience this right NOW! 
As with everything we do on the dance floor, we can take into life, for Nia is a life style practice.  Find Freedom in everything you do:  your job, cleaning your house, walking your pet, grocery shopping, being with your family and loved ones...  Endless possibilities to express who you are! 

Join me on the dance floor...let's celebrate and create fireworks!!!  Be safe my dear friends!!!  I love you all!
My classes this week:
Thursday (TODAY!) at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am (4th of JULY!!!!! - wear red, white or blue!!!)
Sunday at 4:00 pm
AND - have you heard???  Adelle and I have added a Nia White Belt intensive to our schedule for July - a split weekend at The Synergy Studio.   It is a great opportunity to take the Nia White Belt and only take a couple of days off from work. The training starts at 3:00 pm on Thursday, July 23 and will go through Sunday, July 26.  The 2nd weekend is Friday , July 31 - Sunday, August 2.  Here is the link to the registration and where you can get additional information:  HERE!

Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/

Nia - Somatic Education for EveryBody.  Nia is an expressive movement form & lifestyle practice that uses The Body's Way to achieve physical, mental, emotional & spiritual fitness & well-being."   

75 trillion cells in your body…Play with them all with Nia!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dancing our Beautiful, Magical Spine


Good morning Friends!

Our spine consists of 26 vertebrae: 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, the sacrum (5 fused), and the coccyx (4 fused). 
When I look at a picture of a spine, I sense within me a "curved" like energy running through me from my base all the way to the crown of my head.  In fact our spine has curves four distinct curves: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), lumbar (lower back), and sacral (pelvis level).  What the curves tell me is my spine is not meant to be straight, and is very important for supporting and transferring our body’s weight.  In Nia we move our body in all directions, we use our eyes to look out, up and down, we circle and bump our hips, undulate, and shimmy, resulting in a spine that is flexible, agile, mobile, strong and stable....AND a spine with beautiful curves.
The curves and their specific shapes are very important for supporting the body’s weight, and if one curve is misaligned, the rest of the curves (and body) will be affected.  At birth, our spine was C-shaped. As we developed, learning to creep, crawl, stand and then walk, our spine shaped and adapted, becoming flexible, mobile and strong.  When we were about 10 years old our lumbar curve fully assumed to its adult shape, which has natural curves that form an S-Shape.  Close your eyes and visualize your spine as a beautiful string of pearls shaped as an S along you back.   This magical structure gives you the ability to lean sideways, twist, vibrate, undulate, rotate, flex, stretch and move effortlessly through 3 planes of movement.  Our body is amazing!  
I love hand Mudras and here is one for your spine called the Meru MudraWhen we sit for hours our body tends to collapse, putting a lot of pressure on the backbone, which can weaken our spinal cord. To strengthen your spinal cord or when you feel tired, do this Meru Mudra by folding all the fingers in your right hand towards your palm except your thumb finger, which should point towards the sky.  Now breathe and say I love my spine!  Sense a massaging effect all the way up your spinal cord.  I have a picture below. 

See you on the dance floor!  My classes this week:
Monday, and Thursday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
and Sunday at 4:00 pm at The Synergy Studio.  

AND join me Wednesday morning at 9:00 am for Nia at the Witte Museum!!!  The class will be held on the Charles Moulton Serenity Floor, overlooking beautiful Brackenridge Park.  Classes are $5 each for members and students, $10 each for non-members.  Reservations required; call 210-357-1910 today!!
 
​Meru Mudra

Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/

Nia - Somatic Education for EveryBody.  Nia is an expressive movement form & lifestyle practice that uses The Body's Way to achieve physical, mental, emotional & spiritual fitness & well-being."   

75 trillion cells in your body…Play with them all with Nia!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Manifesting the UltiMMMate Experience!!

 
Yes fellow dancers, I misspelled Ultimate on purpose!  The 3 Ms in the word are for our big "mama" Nia Triad Music - Movement - Magic...MMM!  This week we will explore Nia Blue Belt principle 11, Music, Movement, Magic...Manifesting the Ultimmmate Nia Experience. 
What if when you stepped into your Nia class you acted as if this was you last Nia class?  Or as Carlos AyaRosas, co-founder of Nia, has said...what if this was your last act? How would this change your experience?  How would this change your dance?  How would this transform your life?  When we approach our Nia dance as our last act grounded in the sensation of our body, our body knowledge and emotional expression, and are connected to the Joy of Movement while being seduced by the music, the Magic will happen!  This is what keeps the promise of Nia ALIVE!.  No matter how many times I take a Nia class or teach a Nia routine, I can create the ultiMMMate experience when I open to my potential and unlimited possibilities, and invite Magic in.  This brings me into the present moment and into the sensation of gratitude for my body and my life.  MMM!!!  And this is class...wait until you take this out into your life!!!
Join me this week in MMM! 
Monday (today), Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am.  All at The Synergy Studio!        

And did someone say Magic?  Nia White Belt for U!!!   Our next Nia White Belt will be at The Synergy Studio. We will teach with a split weekend format, allowing space for you to work around weekly schedules. Mark your calendars and register here.  June 4-7 & 12-14, 2015... a transformational and Magical week dedicated to YOU.
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/

Nia - Somatic Education for EveryBody.  Nia is an expressive movement form & lifestyle practice that uses The Body's Way to achieve physical, mental, emotional & spiritual fitness & well-being."   

75 trillion cells in your body…Play with them all with Nia!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Movement from the Top - Our Nia Focus!

"So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about!"  Marilyn Monroe

Hello my smiling, dancing friends!!

Did you know your head weighs between 8 and 10 lbs? 
To sense this weight, take two 5 pound bags of sugar or flour and hold them with one hand.  Now cup your hands and allow your head to rest in your hands, and sense the weight and also sense your upper back.  Our head is so important in our daily activities and plays a vital role in our alignment and health, and that is why in Nia we integrate our head in all our movements.  Through Head and Eye movements (HEM), we organically move our head by using our eyes to follow our hands or follow a butterfly through the room.  This allows us to learn and sense the design and function of our head and help us move with mindfulness and pleasure.  One of Nia's 9 movement forms is the Alexander Technique, with the catch phase "movement from the top".  The Alexander Technique teaches us to be in relationship with our beautiful head, and to connect with electromagnetic energy from above as we initiate our movements to keep the energy upward.  I like to call this Heaven's gravity!!  We can do this by imaging a feather is connected to the base of our neck, lengthening upwards toward the sky. Imagine that the feather is so tall you can tickle the belly of the clouds. This image draws attention upward, gently lengthening our neck and all seven cervical vertebrae.  Now release your jaw and say 'AHHHHH" and then SMILE!!
Movement from the top - our Nia focus.  I will SEE U in class at The Synergy Studio!
Thursday (today) at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
Sunday at 4:00 pm
And Monday (May 4) at 8:00 am and 5:30 pm.

Nia White Belt for U!!!  I had an incredible Nia White Belt Training with Adelle, graduating 5 new Nia belts, and teaching with the extended family of CaliforNia in our classes. It was an amazing and heartfilled 10 days!!  In six weeks, we are ready for YOU to join us! Our next Nia White Belt will be at The Synergy Studio. We will teach with a split weekend format, allowing space for you to work around weekly schedules. Mark your calendars and register here.  June 4-7 & 12-14, 2015... a transformational week dedicated to YOU. Be sure to talk to our newest White Belt in San Antonio, Shannon Kratky!  She traveled with us to Ventura, CA for the experience! 

Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dancing Through Life with Your Fingers, Hands and Arms!

 
Happy Thursday!!!

Expressing ourselves with our upper extremities is a natural part of living in a human body—we do it all the time! Our arms, hands and fingers express joy, pain and pleasure; intimacy, protection and excitement. When we are hurt, our hands reach for our injuries. When we are deeply moved, our hands reach toward our hearts. When we are excited by our achievements, our arms burst up to the sky, toward unlimited possibility. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are always communicating our thoughts, feelings and emotions through the movement of our upper extremities. Tuning into your upper extremities—your arms, hands and fingers—allows you to tap into your full range of movement and expression, naturally healing and conditioning your body by simply interacting with the world.

This is the Body’s Way, and
that is why 18 of Nia's 52 moves are dedicated to our Fingers, Hands and Arms.  They add so much to our dance and conditioning!!!  All of a sudden a bow stance is your dance in flight as you imagine your arms as beautiful white wings of light; a heal lead is an opportunity to paint the space around you with your fingers; and stepping onto the ball of your foot is a determined reach toward your dreams with your hands! 

Join me in dance at The Synergy Studio.  I'll be teaching some songs from the new Nia routine called Reach, which is an excellent routine for conditioning and expressing our upper
extremities.  Fun!!
Thursday (today) at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
Monday at 5:30 pm
 
Right NOW give yourself a hug and receive the healing touch of your hands on your skin.  I then invite you to give that hug to someone and allow them to sense your healing touch.  It just might be the best gift they have ever received!!!

April 17 Adelle and I are leaving for Ventura, CA for a Nia White Belt intensive.  We have 6 radiant beings stepping in, and who knows, maybe more!!  Get ready for our June Nia White Belt intensive here in San Antonio.  It is a split weekend - great opportunity to take the white belt and only miss a couple days of work.  Click HERE to find out more and register!

And...one last thing.  Dancing Through Life.  See how these tips can potentially change your day and your life!!
- As you walk, allow your arms to swing freely to relaxed shoulder joints.
- As you work at the computer, set reminders throughout the day to notice the sensations in your neck and shoulders. Then, consciously relax the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back as you type.  Use Creepy Crawlers to stimulate movement of your joints in your hands.
- When you finish working for the day, practice Palm Directions to release your shoulder joints and stretch the front of your chest.
- To release tension and stretch your hands, integrate Webbed Spaces into various activities in your day, such as when walking from your car to the store, as you wait in line, etc. 

Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Awareness - key to Transformation!!

Hello my dancing friends!

In Nia, Awareness is the art of paying attention to my body...slowing down and noticing, and inviting me to be in sensation every waking moment.  Sensing pain, sensing pleasure, sensing self healing.  When I am in awareness, I can awaken to my potential, explore all the possibilities and make decisions that are right for me.  It is a relationship with my body, and is a technique for living a conscious life.    Not until I am aware can I transform and change.  This is why Nia is called a transformational practice.  At the heart of Nia, is the invitation to live in our body and move towards love, joy and feeling good!  The more you use body sensations and notice pain, love, comfort, discomfort, and joy, the more you can unlock your healing potential and start to transform your body.  Awareness...principle 5 of the Nia White belt is a one word principle BUT it is HUGE in it's ability to transform. 

This week we will focus on this magnificent principle as we dance to the Nia Routine called RISE, activating awareness in every single movement!  Transforming our body, transforming our lives.  The power of Nia is how her gifts start in my body and then transcend to my mind, emotions and spirit as I notice my thoughts, beliefs, feelings and habits, and open to possibilities of transformation.   Using the wisdom of my body, mind, spirit and emotions, I live the path of a Sacred Athlete to reach my fullest potential.  Transformation!
Oh and you will love the music - a compilation of sounds filled with sensuality and power!

My classes this week:
Monday (today!!) at 5:30pm
Thursday and Friday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
and Sunday (yes Easter Sunday) at 4:00 pm
A Nia class can be like snorkeling on a beautiful reef - we enjoy being on the surface of the water, diving deep sometimes but only for brief moments. In the Nia White Belt Training we put on on full scuba diving gear and get to dive deep for longer periods of time in an extraordinarily beautiful and sensual world of music, movement and magic. If you enjoy Nia classes, you will LOVE the Nia White Belt Training.  Check out my trainings HERE!
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

MELT Certified Hand & Foot Instructor
Yoga Teacher (certified in the YogaFit Warrior Program)
Journey Dance Facilitator
Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/