Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sensation of Health!

Hello my Dancing Friends!

Nia defines Health as "...a sensation of making right choices and decisions for your body and life. It comes from knowledge, practice, and the right kind of daily movement."  I love this definition and over the past 20 years of practicing and teaching Nia, I have discovered the power of movement and choices to heal my body, and also my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Health or being healthy is not something I achieve, it is a constant activity, where my movements and choices are powered by the question:  "Does this make me feel better?".  If the answer is Yes, I know I have made the right choice for this moment.  The movements and the choices can change; the motivation and outcome of living in pleasure is always the same.  This is my medicine. 
In each Nia class, and in daily life, we are invited to find the healing aspect of what we are doing by paying attention to our body sensations, our thoughts, and our actions.  This is Awareness and the path of the Sacred Athlete!  As we dance this week in class, I invite all of us to find the healing in all our movement.  What is the sensation of health when I do a cross front, cha cha cha, when I FreeDance, in my closed stance, in my breathing, when laughing?  Whether it is a smile, a laugh or a reach to the sky, we all have the ability to self heal and sense health.  Choices and decisions right for me - personal and unique!

My classes this week:
Thursday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 am
Sunday at 4:00 pm.
And on Monday, Labor Day please note:  I will be teaching the 8:00 am Nia class and there will be NO 5:30 pm Nia. 

What to do deeper?  Take the Nia White belt intensive in October!
  Whether you want to teach Nia or take Nia for personal growth, it is an amazing experience!!!   The October training is a split weekend.  T
he training starts at 3:00 pm on Friday, October 17 and will go through Saturday and Sunday.  The 2nd weekend is Thursday, October 23 - Sunday, October 26.  It is a great opportunity to take the Nia White Belt and only take a couple of days off from work.

Check out other dates at: http://www.nianow.com/joanie#trainings.
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.com
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Art of Play

Good morning Dancing Friends!

"Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities".  Stuart Brown, MD 
"We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

 

Are you ready to playPlaying is so good for our brain, our nervous system, our emotions and our general well-being. Play refreshes your body, sharpens your mind, and restores your energy. Play is a creative act that inspires imagination and gives you a means to reach beyond your usual limits. Play can show you a world that is filled with possibilities and allows you to examine your life within that limitless context. Play gives you a chance to ask "What if," and explore your options. 
You may not realize it, yet each time you step into a Nia class you are playing! We play with music, emotions, creating shapes with our body.  We pretend, "act as if", sing, laugh, roll on the floor, and interact with each other. 

Play invites us to be in the NOW, be spontaneous, discover new things about ourselves and be open to new challenges. 
According to Marianne St. Clair, Life Coach, and author of the Art of Play, the top ten benefits of play:  
1.      Play can inspire you to think differently
2.      Playing can bring greater joy into your life
3.      Play is known to reduce stress
4.      Playing on a regular basis can increase longevity
5.      Play can reduce struggle, conflict, and worry
6.      Play can increase your sense of lightness
7.      Play can stimulate the imagination, curiosity, and creativity
8.      Playing softens the heart...as the heart becomes malleable, the risk of hypertension and depression decrease
9.      Play can greatly enhance your energy levels
10.     Play can provide you with an opportunity to take risks

So let's play this week and choose to embrace a playful mood today and everyday.  You just might find that life becomes much brighter!!!  Oh and have a good laugh...laughing releases endorphins, strengthens your immune system and is great for strengthening your core!!!

​ Many opportunities to PLAY this week.  And as I continue my Nia 20th anniversary celebration...we will PLAY with different Nia routines!  HMMM...tonight we will Play and Dance to Fantasia.  Fantasia was created by Carlos Rosas, co-founder of Nia, in 1997.  It's fun!  See you on the dance floor!
Classes this week:
Monday (today!), Thursday and Friday at 5:30 pm
Wednesday morning at 9:15 am (subbing for Adelle)
Saturday morning at 9:30 am
and Sunday at 4:00 pm all at The Synergy Studio
On Sunday, August 24, I will also be teaching a special JourneyDance class at 10:00 - 11:30 am. 
Open to the energy of abundance that is a constant in our Universe.  Abundance is there – we just need to recognize it surrounds us and open our body, mind and soul to its presence.   It all starts with love and gratitude.  Together we will dance and take a deep, personal journey and open to the joy of our life – open to Abundance.   Cost is $15 or a punch on your Synergy Studio card. Please bring a journal.


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

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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, August 7, 2014

Pelvis - Chest - Head...3 Body Weights...Energy Centers!

Good Morning Dancing Friends & Family!


“Sense breath, sense consciousness expanding, forgive self, acknowledge the light of yourself. Be aware of spirals of energy moving through your spine. Let the heart open. Let the breath flow, the diaphragm be full and free in its movement.”  
Dhyani Ywahoo

Isn't this quote beautiful!! 

When I first started practicing Nia (20 years ago!!), I thought the core of my body was limited to my abdominal area. AND I did not have a good relationship with that area of my body!  Nia awaken and expanded my perception of the core of my body, and gave me new ways to move and heal.  Now there is nothing more healing to me then dancing my pelvis, chest and head.  This is the gift Principle 8 of the Nia White Belt gives...connecting me to the sensation of 3 body weights:  pelvis, chest and head and to my energy centers:  7 main chakras.  Principle 8 trains me to isolate my 3 body weights and integrate them via my spine.  This principle also invites me to use sound, breath, emotions and my chakras to energetically move and express, and tap into my intuitive self.  And the sensation is very YUMMY.  Nia has only 7 moves for the core of the body, and for me, they are the most healing and DELICIOUS sensations of all the 52 moves.  As you dance through life today, experiment with these sensations:
  • Use your eyes to explore your environment  (Head and Eye movement).  Notice how this brings you to the NOW and can bring the sensation of gratitude.
  • Undulate your spine while setting at your desk (Undulation).  Notice how your breath expands.
  • When you reach towards earth to pick something up, go down in a wider stance and then rise through the base of your spine, stacking your pelvis first, then chest, then your head (Spinal Roll).
  • Take an afternoon pick me up break by shaking and shimming your chest.  Smile or even add a little sound when you do this!  (Shimmy).  How do you feel?
  • When you are paused in traffic, bring mobility to your chest to release any tension (Chest Isolations).  Notice  how your breath expands and relaxes you.
  • While standing making a meal, circle your pelvis in both directions and sense the release in your lower back (Pelvis Circles).  Add little bumps with your hips and notice how this makes your feel a bit sassy!!!  (Hip Bumps)
Many ways to self heal our body, mind, emotions and spirit!!! 
It is going to be a fun weekend healing and exploring our Pelvis - Chest - Head. See you on the dance floor!

My Nia Classes this week:
Thursday (Today!!) 5:30 pm

Starting Friday, Adelle and I will be team teaching a new Nia routine called FEELING - it is a magical routine!!  Join us in these classes: 
Friday 5:30 pm 
Saturday 9:30 am 
Sunday 4:00 pm all at The Synergy Studio

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

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!

Monday, July 21, 2014

200/700 - Potential/Possiblities

Hello dancing friends!

This week I am dedicating my classes and dance to my nephew, Conrad, who turns 12 this Thursday.  Many of you have danced with him over the years, and have witnessed his growth and progress.  He makes my heart sing, and reminds me to live in the moment, and to be open to possibilities and potential.  This is the path of the Sacred Athlete!  In honor of Conrad, we will focus on a concept in principle number 10 of the Nia white belt, called "200/700".  “200/700” refers to the 200+bones and 700+ muscles in our body, and the potential our body has to move in an endless world of movement possibilities.  When I get out of my head and into my body, my body guides me to move in new and exciting ways to condition and heal...more ways than my mind could ever create!!! 

So let's open up to all the possibilities our body and our life have for us as we dance this week...it is ENDLESS; let's open to our potential...it is LIMITLESS!!!   If you have not met Conrad, I invite you to read his story at http://www.conradsmiles.com/.  Also, on Thursday you can dance with him at 5:30 pm, as we celebrate his actual birthday!  It has become an annual event (I'm thinking this is about the 5th!), and his Nia teacher friends will also be teaching with me.  We have a wonderful playlist!!!  See you on the dance floor.  

My classes this week:
Monday and Thursday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 pm
and Sunday at 4:00 pm
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
http://www.joaniebrooks.me/
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sensing Wings!

 
"The shoulder blades, for me, are the "hands of the Goddess". They’re always there, always touching me. When I’m reaching up, it’s like the support of every goddess, every angel on the planet, is right there for me. And this gives me an opportunity to remember that if I’m in relationship with my body parts, I’m receiving what my body has to give me."  Debbie Rosas, co-founder of Nia

​Hello my dancing Friends,
I love to be in sensation of my shoulder blades.  Many of you know, our clavicles are my favorite bones; however, 2nd place I would have to say is our Scapulae, and I love the visualization of my shoulder blades as elegant wings expanding out the side of my body.  This visualization stimulates full arm movement and reminds me that in Nia, our upper extremities are more than just my arms, hands and fingers.  My arms actually start in the back of my body - my shoulder blades.  When I use my shoulder blades to reach, extend, hug and move, I condition not only my arms, but also all the muscles in my upper back.  Wonderful!!! 

Your shoulder blades (scapulae), are flat triangle shaped bones that lie on top of your upper back, and float and glide over the first seven ribs.  With the help of our rhomboid muscles, our shoulder blades like to slide and glide along the back of our body as we dance through life using our hands, and lifting and lowering objects.  One of the best Nia moves we can do for our scapulae is palm directions. Reaching for the sky with my palms open and then lowering as I rotate towards earth...Yummy!!
So let's fly this week in class and sense our wings...our shoulder blades...our scapulae.  And as you pause during you day, take a moment to sense the hands of the goddess on your back and listen for her voice..."I've got your back".  And maybe just lean into those hands and exhale.  See you on the dance floor!
My classes this week:
Monday and Thursday at 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:30 pm
at The Synergy Studio  

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

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Magic of Sound - The Magic of You!

           
        
“Sound has a profound effect on the senses. It can be both

he​a​
rd and felt. It can even be seen with the mind’s eye. It can almost be tasted and smelled. Sound can evoke responses of the five senses. Sound can paint a picture, produce a mood, trigger the senses to remember another time and place. From infancy we hear sound with our entire bodies. When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears. Sound speaks to the sensorium; the entire system of nerves that stimulates sensual response.”
― Louis Colaianni, The Joy of Phonetics and Accents

​Good morning dancing friends!
I am home from a wonderful YogaFit Warriors certification in Minneapolis.   It is a wonderful and enlightening training, and I am excited with the potential of all I have learned and hope to share.  I am happy to be home - YAY!! - and look forward to dancing with you.  On to our focus!!

Have you ever wondered why we sound in our Nia classes?  
Sounding in class is Nia's way to help you relax, become stronger and to condition not only your body, but your mind, emotions and spirit.  In a way sound is magic!!!  Sounding your voice strengthens your physical body, empties and clears your mental body, cleanses your emotional body and enlivens your spirit body.  Nia uses the voice
​as a way to ​
enhanc
​e​
your wellness and your health, and it can be as simple as sounding with your breath.  Right now take a nice full breath, as if you are smelling roses, and then as you exhale, sound a big "AHHHH!".  Using sound as
​we release our breath can stimulate relaxation, and at the same time give a spark of energy!!

Every time you make a sound (in class or in life) you stimulate an immense number of sympathetic vibrations within your body.  When you move energy with words and sound, you connect to a very powerful source - your voice. Trusting your voice, getting to know you own tone and power comes from speaking out, from making sounds and tones.  There is so much power in speaking/sounding your voice!  Affirmations and prayers are more powerful for me when I say them out loud vs. just saying them in my mind.  Hearing my voice gives me the sensation that I am harmonized and connected to life and with the Universe.  Nia recognizes this.  From the circle at the beginning of class where we sound our name and affirm who we are, to the end of class where we sound with our breathe or say YEAH! as we step out into life, we engage our voice.  I love a class full with the beauty of students voices!!  I have had many students tell me their stories of how the simple sounding of YES and NO during class has helped them say YES and NO in their life outside of class. What is your story? 

​Let's sound together this week in class as we sing, laugh, chant and harmonize with the Universe.

My classes this week:
Monday
​(Today!! at 5:30 pm
Thursday
​ ​
at 5:30 pm​
​Friday ​
Nia
​4th of July class with Adelle at 9 am (WOOT - sound your FREEDOM!)
Saturday at 9:30 am
and Sunday at 4:00 pm
all at The Synergy Studio.  

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

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Energy of Your Heart!

 
Good morning Dancing Friends!
 
In the glow of completing my 10th Nia White Belt training, my heart is open wide and full of love for my family, friends and YOU, my fellow dancers.  Movement is medicine, and through movement we find health and joy!! 
Focusing on the Energy of Your Heart this week, I will be facilitating a JourneyDance™ - Energy of the Heart (Click on the word JourneyDance and it will take you to the registration) workshop this Saturday, June 21, from 3-5:00 pm at Total Yoga Harmony Studio in The Alley on Bitters.  Wonderful studio!  I have a few spots left and would love for you to join me.  Cost is $25 if you register before this Thursday, then it goes to $35.  You will love the dance and the movement exercises.  Register a partner!! 

Take a deep breath with me and then release with the sound "AHHH", and let this sound vibrate and expand your heart.  Have you ever noticed how we use this sound when something deeply touches us, or when settling into the arms of a loved one?  Now, place your hand on your heart, in the center of your chest, and sense the beating, the unique rhythm of your heart.  Did you know that every day your heart beats about 100,000 times, sending 2,000 gallons of blood surging through your body? Although it’s no bigger than your fist, your heart keeps blood flowing through 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues...your entire being!  Your incredible heart! 
In Nia we shimmy, use chest isolation's, and spinal undulations; we smell the moment, sing, laugh, cry, growl, say Yes and No, all to move the energy and condition our heart.  We also connect within and with each other as we dance, making our heart strong and resilient.  Join me in Nia class this week...your heart will thank you!!

My classes this week:
Thursday Nia at 5:30 pm
Saturday Nia at 9:30 am
and Sunday at 4:00 pm
all at The Synergy Studio
Love & Light,
Joanie Brooks,
Nia Training Faculty, Nia White Belt Trainer, Nia 1st Degree Black Belt

DoTerra Essential Oils Representative:  http://www.mydoterra.com/joaniebrooks/
Journey Dance Facilitator Nia 5 Stages of Healing Facilitator
Mindful Change Coach
Laughter Yoga Leader


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!