Posted by: turtlebella | 17 June 2007

In the series of Nia: white belt

So this will be a new series on Slow but Steady…blogging about Nia.

Nia is a completely unique mind-body-spirit fitness practice. It avoids high-impact injury-resulting aerobics, it does not nia-logo.jpgsubscribe to the ‘no pain no gain’ ethic of workouts, it does not make you feel bad about your body or how you do Nia. What it does do: make you feel great, allow you to find joy and health through movement, give you one hell of a workout while you have more fun than you ever have had working out. I found Nia several years ago in Charlottesville, VA at Studio 206. Since then, I’ve also taken classes here in St Paul. While still in graduate school I thought about what it would be like to teach Nia. But I wasn’t quite ready to let go of academia and my dream of being a professor. Once I did make that decision, I knew that teaching Nia would be in my future.

This last week I went to StudioNia in Portland, Oregon. This is where the co-creaters of Nia, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, hold intensives- week-long trainings for teachers. I attended a white belt intensive, which is what you need in order to teach Nia.

The white belt focuses on the body (Nia incorporates body, mind, emotion, and spirit bodies) and all the things we learned started and came back to the body- and the sensation you feel in your body. For example, how joy is found in your body through moving. It was pretty cool and very intense (after all, it was an intensive!).

So now that I have my white belt, I need to start what Nia calls “continuing education” – listening, learning, and sharing a routine. The first routine I am going to start listening and learning is DreamWalker, which was choreographed by Carlos. I have already started listening to the music and tomorrow I will take my first ‘class’ (i.e., watching the DVD and moving along) of DreamWalker, although I have done the routine a couple of times with one of my Nia instructors, Brian. Wish me luck!



  1. turtle!!!! I’m SO looking forward to reading this!!!!!!

    I’m going through some health problems, so it will be wonderful to read about how you are claiming your health, and you’re doing in a way that helps others!!!

    good luck good luck, i know you’ll do wonderful…

  2. D – i think it’s fabulous that you are doing this. I can’t wait to read more.

    all i can think of right now (it’s 7am and i’m sleepy, so do excuse my craziness…) is this song, do hum along:

    “I’ve just closed my eyes again
    Climbed aboard the dream WALKER train
    Driver take away my worries of today
    And leave tomorrow behind

    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe you can get me through the night
    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe we can reach the morning light

    Fly me high through the starry skies
    Maybe to an astral plane
    Cross the highways of fantasy
    Help me to forget todays pain

    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe you can get me through the night
    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe we can reach the morning light

    Though the dawn may be coming soon
    There still may be some time
    Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
    And meet me on the other side

    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe you can get me through the night
    Ooh dream WALKER
    I believe we can reach the morning light
    Dream WALKER
    Dream WALKER
    Dream WALKER”

  3. leigh, I like the re-interpretation!!!! I’m impressed all the words came to you at 7am! yikes.
    bfp, I’ll keep ya updated…you know there was a woman in my class that was there for her health (some people take the intensive without the intention of teaching but for their own growth) and she said she could tell that Nia was helping. And the founder, Debbie, told us that she had suffered many many ailments – from severe excema all over her body to migraines to severe asthma – and when she started doing Nia, they all disappeared, as if by magic. So it seems pretty powerful stuff! I’m generally pretty cynical when it comes to alternative medicine, but I dunno, with Nia it’s like you choose to self-heal and this helps, somehow. I heart you, and send lots of good health vibes out!

  4. sounds fab!
    can’t wait to hear about your journey!

  5. Wow, turtlebella, it sounds totally cool. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

  6. i am so proud of you. i read today’s blog and was so inspired and empowered. your words were much the same as mine and although i will not choose this source as my own voice for expression. your words are a clear reminder that i do need to journal and write about my own experience in order to keep it alive. you make me very excited for this next step. sounds like i’m on the same train as you, my dear. i took a nia class in seattle on saturday morning and then flew home to ak in the evening. i took yesterday and today off, but am having dinner with my nia instructor tonight. my husband and i have been listening to dreamwalker over and over again, and tomorrow i’ll do the routine. i’m slowly putting practice together and i’ve already been approached to teach a session of classes through parks and recreation. it could all happen much faster than i initially intended. i wish you lots of luck, healthy and universal joy!
    peace and light!

  7. Hey Maria! I’m so glad you stopped by! I’m rather obsessively listening to the music too. Did the routine for the first time and it felt good! Need to FreeDance. That’s awesome about the opportunity to teach a class. Last night my teacher says that the JCC where he teaches wants someone to teach classes in the morning/noon and he’s never been able to do that, but I can! Am psyched that it might be *that* easy to get a class…I didn’t think it would work that way!

    Sudy&Melissa- thanks, you guys.

    And everyone: if you’ve never taken Nia I SO WHOLEHEARTEDLY encourage you to get out there and find a class! More likely than not it will change your life (for the good, I promise) :)

  8. Hi, Turtlebella –
    It’s not a good as taking a class with you, but your blog is a nice substitute. The white belt inspired me to journal for the first time in many years. Also taking time to listen to music and doing the five stages. Thanks for sharing! Happy dancing –

    Judy in PDX

  9. I also am looking forward to finding out more! Keep the posts on this coming!

  10. i like2 so sweet

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