Moving to Heal

Dancing while sitting in a chair feels different. As I described to the co-owner of the Nia studio, it feels more “settled.” In some ways, it requires more emphasis on the arms, and restricts movement in the legs (speaking as someone who has full use of legs). It still activates the core, though, in the swaying, moving, and sitting upright.

On Sunday, I went to a Moving to Heal class.  These kind of Nia classes were originally developed for cancer patients and then expanded to include anyone in need of healing, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual.

I found it more free flowing than the typical Nia class, and it still had structure with stances and steps. In all Nia classes, there is the open invitation to follow one’s body and move accordingly as needed. In this Moving to Heal class, with a slower pace and several chairs scattered throughout the room, that invitation seemed wider and deeper.

I initially chose to sit in the chair to explore what it was like to modify the moves.  I allowed myself to rest in the gentle movement, and my tired muscles got some relief from the consistent on-my-feet moves of that morning and the previous day.

I looked around the room:  there were people of all ages, more women than men.  A man who is recovering from a stroke was standing and swaying to the music.  Several women were sitting in chairs, making expressive movements with their arms and more subtle movements with their legs and feet.  Others were on their feet, following the teacher’s soft and fluid movements.

When the class ended, many people were on the floor and slowly made their way up to standing.  There was a sense of peace in the room.  I relished in the gentle energy, grateful for how Nia has helped me heal.


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