Joy of Movement


A card my therapist gave me.


I’m doing a self-study program of the 13 Principles of Nia – the White Belt principles.  Each month – in my case, from full moon to full moon – I am incorporating a principle into my life and movement and using Nia continuing education materials to enhance my practice. It’s called the 13 Moon Plan.  My hope is to integrate these principles more into my body awareness and base of Nia knowledge. This past month, I’ve been focusing on White Belt Principle #1.

The first principle is Joy of Movement. This joy is beyond emotional joy; it involves seeking the sensation of Universal Joy through movement.

I’ll describe the principle in the context of an exercise:  Take a moment to move around the room, whether dancing or walking. Pay attention to how your body feels. If you find discomfort in an area of your body, change (or in Nia terms, “tweak”) your movement until you find more ease, more pleasure. Once you find this, see if you can sustain the movement and the joy.

When I connect with Universal Joy, I connect to and with energy. My fingertips tingle and it feels like I’m holding a ball of light between my hands. In my body, I find more ease and stability. I give myself more permission to play and experiment.

I’ve consolidated my journal entries from the past month’s exercises to share with you here:

Joy of Movement involves:  Sensations. Physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual. Connecting with my own energy, and the energy around me.

I know I have found it when I connect to my emotions. When I feel my heart open to how my body wants to move.

Universal Joy feels like: softness, ease, an invitation, flowing, free, peaceful, centered. Taking away the noise of the mind and embrace sensation in body and spirit. When I explored the Joy of Movement exercises, I felt soft, alive, present, open. Sensations in my body: tingling, a sense of cool smoothness throughout my muscles; an awareness of the interactions between my skin and the air, of touching and being. For my nervous system, it created more ease and space for breath and smoother sensations. I felt less tense, I anticipated less. And I felt more.

Emotional joy is like keys on a piano. Universal Joy is like a symphony, resonating wider, deeper. I sense the vibrations of the music in the floor.

Universal Joy is like connecting with Spirit or Source. It’s beyond joy as an emotion or even a concept. When I tap into Universal Joy, I tap into a field of energy.  With emotional joy, the energy is still light and beautiful, but it feels less expansive.

On repeating individual movements to find joy: there is part of me that wants to shift movements more quickly. I am definitely curious and present, but I also sense some impatience for the flow of many movements as opposed to connecting with and tweaking one movement.

It’s easier for me to find joy when moving through space: more intuitive, conscious, and creative. In stillness, my thoughts tend to wander more.

Sometimes I tweak moves I find slightly uncomfortable and am able to find more joy in them. At times, the visible difference is razor thin but the difference in sensation is remarkable.

Physically, this principle helps me change the way I move, increase comfort and body awareness. Subtle changes can decrease physical discomfort. Bringing joy to my body brings more flow and ease to my movements, more pleasure and relaxation to my nervous system.

Mentally, in seeking joy of movement, I shift how I make movement choices. My thoughts become lighter, more curious, more experimentation-oriented, like: what does this feel like?  I focus less mental energy on concentrating and striving.

Emotionally, I create more space to feel deeply. Increased sensation increases emotional awareness. It’s like it opens up a field where emotions can move more freely.

Spiritually, Joy of Movement connects me to my own energy.   I feel more connected and at home with myself.


3 responses to this post.

  1. I found this very interesting! I love learning about new things, great post. XX


  2. […] I mentioned in this post, I’m currently focusing on one Nia White Belt principle per month as part of a […]


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