This is THE POST

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THE Post. You know. The one that I’ve written, time and time again, in my head. This is the post that was supposed to get my blog moving. So why is it that every time I attempt to write it down, I freeze up and can’t remember what I wanted to say? Well, here goes anyway. Let’s see what comes.

I began thinking about re-visiting the concept of blogging when I moved to New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey inspires me. Well, not exactly New Jersey, but Hoboken.

As our first school year in Hoboken started, I set out with my youngest daughter on our daily walk to school. What seemed to be a simple means to an end — leave house, walk child to school, leave child at school, pick up later — is actually more of a daily practice. At least that’s how I experience it.

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Every morning in Hoboken — Monday through Friday — waves of people move across the grid. Parents and children walk to school — or scooter or bicycle. Men and women walk to public transportation, work or the local college. Teens in red, black, grey and white collared shirts and kaki pants head over to the Hoboken Junior Senior High School. Crossing guards guide those on foot and those on wheels (2 or 4) to safely reach their destinations.

I am ensconced in this flow every day of the school week. Sometimes, our movement is easy, lilting, light hearted. Sometimes, we are in staccato, struggling to get where we are going. None-the-less, we are outside, breathing the air, making eye contact, even saying hello and chatting (or maybe arguing) together as we go.

Movement. So integral to my being; yet, somehow, elusive to my conscious mind. I had danced and moved throughout my life — alone in the sanctuary of my bedroom. I tried. I tried to dance in the world amongst the people who dance. I couldn’t. You see…I was kind of chubby, always a little bit “fuller.” (Still am!) I just couldn’t dance with myself, the me in the mirror, amongst the skinny, wafer-thin “others” I saw in the reflection.

So, I went stealth, inward, ninja. I packed up myself and receded into my room. There, I danced and sang for me and the audience in my mind — well hidden from the rest of the world and my image in the dance class mirror.

The Universe kept sending me hints that I should consider coming out of my closet, but I wasn’t receiving the message. I wasn’t listening when I got the role of Cha Cha (the key dance part) in Grease my senior year of high school. I couldn’t hear in the clubs of mid- to late-80s Manhattan when people would pick me out on the dance floor for a fleeting together groove. And in my mid-20s, I could only stand as a green belt in awe and envy at the competitions in Kentucky when the Black Belt Martial Artists would compete to music in “American Martial Arts.”

It wasn’t until post-40 that I began to listen, hear and receive. It was around that time that a very special friend mentioned Nia. “I think you would like it,” she said. Ha. Like it? I love it!

For me, Nia was a coming out of my proverbial closet into the world of movement, of dance, of martial arts set to music, of yoga and other healing arts infused with sway and swag. Nia seeped into my life quickly and was the beginning of deep-seeded movement. I moved from Cambridge, MA, to Tel Aviv, Israel, and then to Hoboken, NJ, dancing Nia all the way.

And so now, I find myself living in a community that moves mostly by foot and vehicles with 2 wheels or less. I am entranced and inspired by the movement. Actually, as I am writing this post, I am thinking back over my adult life, I’ve been choosing communities like this since my early 20s, since the choice was mine to make: Boys’ & Girls’ Towns in Chicago; Porter & Harvard Squares in Cambridge, MA; Bavli & Yehuda Macabi in Tel Aviv; and now the streets of Hoboken, NJ.

There it is, again. Movement. I’ve been searching my whole life for my passion. Could it really be this obvious?

#GetFitNia

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Imagine a fitness class that you want to attend. 

Imagine an experience that invigorates and relaxes you while increasing muscle tone and cardiovascular health.

Imagine a community of people forming connections throughout the world, choosing health and healing through movement.

Imagine Nia, a blend of dance, martial arts and healing arts. Imagine moving beyond traditional aerobics to work out (not wear out) your body, mind, emotion and spirit.

You can continue to imagine or you can come to Nia and get hooked.

In-Body Chakra Balance

As a New Years present to myself and my students, I have decided to create an eight-week Chakra Dancing curriculum. Beginning the first week of January, we will alignimages-6 our weekly Nia class focus and intent with each chakra and then culminate on week 8 with a full-on Seven Chakra Dance.

So that we don’t get to heady or “far out there,” we’ll anchor our chakra knowledge and dancing in specific areas of the body where the particular chakra resides. As Nia trainer, Ann Christiansen, reminded us on the very first day of my first Blue Belt training, “Nia is a BODY-based practice.”

We will ground ourselves in the sensations of the body to better understanding of how energy flows and how movement can help us shift that energy. Expect the same great Nia music and the original 52 Nia moves.

My students can step in and out of the weeks as their schedules allow. I invite them and you to relax and enjoy the Journey. In the the coming weeks, I will share my exploration and learning as I build my own understanding of the chakra system, the beliefs that revolve around it and the relationship each chakra has to the body.

My desire is to bring a balance to my energetic body in 2015 with the intention of heightening my awareness of how my energy ebbs and flows. What is your intention?

Awaken to Nia Naturally (a recent article I wrote for a magazine)

NIA: Fitness Fusion for Your Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit

Imagine a fitness class that you want to attend. 

Imagine an experience that invigorates and relaxes you while increasing muscle tone and cardiovascular health.

Imagine a community of people forming connections throughout the world, choosing health and healing through movement.

Imagine Nia, a blend of dance, martial arts and healing arts. Imagine moving beyond traditional aerobics to work out (not wear out) your body, mind, emotion and spirit.

You can continue to imagine or you can come to Nia and get hooked.

“I had always searched for a fitness class that would keep me coming back,” says Nia Black Belt Instructor Amy Warshawsky. “With Nia, I have been coming back for more than 7 years on average about 5 times per week. Nia keeps me in shape, toned and happy.”

Nia is a high energy, low-impact class taken barefoot to soul-stirring music, a sensory-based movement practice that benefits the body, mind, emotion & spirit. Created in 1983, Nia combines movements and philosophies from three forms of dance arts (Modern, Jazz, Duncan Dance); martial arts (Taekwondo, Tai Chi, Aikido); and healing arts (Yoga, Alexander and Feldenkrais Techniques). And, although you may not have heard of it yet, Nia is taught in more than 45 countries by more than 2500 licensed teachers.

Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities.

“Nia is the perfect combination of dance and fitness taught in a mindful and holistic way,” Jennifer, a student of Nia, says. “The classes help lower my stress, give me energy, and motivate me to tackle the rest of my day and week. The best thing of all is that it’s fun.”

Everything in Nia is perceived, experienced and processed through the body to develop a knowledge of The Body’s Way and your individual Body’s Way. The mind is used to imagine, witness, focus and direct attention. The emotions are used to personally engage the individual with activity, thereby creating the coupling effect needed to trigger the mind-body connection. Spirit is used to honor the uniqueness of each individual.

“In my 20’s, I went out dancing all the time and took for granted how freeing and fun dancing feels. Now that I am a busy, working mom in my 40’s and clubbing is no longer an option, I go to Nia,” says Pamela, a Pilates teacher and Nia student. “After the class, my body is warmer, my joints more limber, and my mood is lifted and happy.”

The first thing you’ll notice in a Nia class is the smiles, fun and genuine sense of Joy — in addition to the sweat. You’ll see bodies of all ages, shapes and sizes and people from all lifestyles, professions and movement backgrounds. Each Nia class includes both structured and free-form experiences, a harmony of movements soft and powerful, sharp and fluid, linear and spiraling, explosive and relaxing. Sounding and vocalizations are used to release tension and to engage the core muscles of the body. While’s Nia’s 52 Moves provide the choreographic foundation for each class, each person’s movement is guided in the voice of their own body.

“As a teacher, I encourage my students to listen to their Body’s Way to guide them through the movements,” Amy says. “The choreography is user-friendly and can be adapted to fit personal needs so my classes have students of all levels of fitness and ages. When I taught at Tel Aviv University in Israel, my youngest students were in their 20s and my oldest students were in their 70s. It is inspiring to think back on the intergenerational mix of people dancing in the same room together all getting what they need for their bodies from the same class.”

Step into your own journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.

For more information on Nia and to find classes near you, please visit NiaNow.com. For Nia classes and events in New Jersey, NiaNow.com/NiaSite/new-jersey. Amy Warshawsky is a Black Belt Nia Instructor as well as Nia MoveIT certified. She is a former AAA Intermediate Martial Arts Champion who studied Shaolin & Wu Shu Kung Fu. Amy teaches in and around Hoboken, NJ, and can be contacted through her website: www.feelaliveinyourbody.com

Experience the Benefits of Nia:

•Strengthen muscles, improve muscle tone, and increase muscle definition

•Facilitate weight loss and proper weight maintenance

•Calm the mind and relieve stress

•Improve endurance

•Increase grace and flexibility

•Balance the autonomic nervous system

•Improve posture and even increase height

•Improve organ function, particularly that of the heart and lungs

•Enhance sensory awareness

•Build reservoirs of chi energy

•Alleviate emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, and stress

•Improve circulation of blood and improve lymphatic drainage

•Strengthen immunity

•Improve concentration and cognitive function

•Increase the pleasure of living in your body

This is THE POST

THE Post. You know. The one that I’ve written, time and time again, in my head. This is the post that was supposed to get my blog moving. So why is it that every time I attempt to write it down, I freeze up and can’t remember what I wanted to say? Well, here goes anyway. Let’s see what comes.

I began thinking about re-visiting the concept of blogging when I moved to New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey inspires me. Well, not exactly New Jersey, but Hoboken.

As our first school year in Hoboken started, I set out with my youngest daughter on our daily walk to school. What seemed to be a simple means to an end — leave house, walk child to school, leave child at school, pick up later — is actually more of a daily practice. At least that’s how I experience it.

images

Every morning in Hoboken — Monday through Friday — waves of people move across the grid. Parents and children walk to school — or scooter or bicycle. Men and women walk to public transportation, work or the local college. Teens in red, black, grey and white collared shirts and kaki pants head over to the Hoboken Junior Senior High School. Crossing guards guide those on foot and those on wheels (2 or 4) to safely reach their destinations.

I am ensconced in this flow every day of the school week. Sometimes, our movement is easy, lilting, light hearted. Sometimes, we are in staccato, struggling to get where we are going. None-the-less, we are outside, breathing the air, making eye contact, even saying hello and chatting (or maybe arguing) together as we go.

Movement. So integral to my being; yet, somehow, elusive to my conscious mind. I had danced and moved throughout my life — alone in the sanctuary of my bedroom. I tried. I tried to dance in the world amongst the people who dance. I couldn’t. You see…I was kind of chubby, always a little bit “fuller.” (Still am!) I just couldn’t dance with myself, the me in the mirror, amongst the skinny, wafer-thin “others” I saw in the reflection.

So, I went stealth, inward, ninja. I packed up myself and receded into my room. There, I danced and sang for me and the audience in my mind — well hidden from the rest of the world and my image in the dance class mirror.

The Universe kept sending me hints that I should consider coming out of my closet, but I wasn’t receiving the message. I wasn’t listening when I got the role of Cha Cha (the key dance part) in Grease my senior year of high school. I couldn’t hear in the clubs of mid- to late-80s Manhattan when people would pick me out on the dance floor for a fleeting together groove. And in my mid-20s, I could only stand as a green belt in awe and envy at the competitions in Kentucky when the Black Belt Martial Artists would compete to music in “American Martial Arts.”

It wasn’t until post-40 that I began to listen, hear and receive. It was around that time that a very special friend mentioned Nia. “I think you would like it,” she said. Ha. Like it? I love it!

For me, Nia was a coming out of my proverbial closet into the world of movement, of dance, of martial arts set to music, of yoga and other healing arts infused with sway and swag. Nia seeped into my life quickly and was the beginning of deep-seeded movement. I moved from Cambridge, MA, to Tel Aviv, Israel, and then to Hoboken, NJ, dancing Nia all the way.

And so now, I find myself living in a community that moves mostly by foot and vehicles with 2 wheels or less. I am entranced and inspired by the movement. Actually, as I am writing this post, I am thinking back over my adult life, I’ve been choosing communities like this since my early 20s, since the choice was mine to make: Boys’ & Girls’ Towns in Chicago; Porter & Harvard Squares in Cambridge, MA; Bavli & Yehuda Macabi in Tel Aviv; and now the streets of Hoboken, NJ.

There it is, again. Movement. I’ve been searching my whole life for my passion. Could it really be this obvious?

Black Belt: The Accidental Click

I have a secret to share. Prior to my Nia Black Belt Training in September, I thought that this intensive might be my swan song. I thought that I may actually find that through this training, I had closed the loop, done all my belts and would stop teaching. So I thought.

As it happens, quite the opposite is true. Since the training, I am on fire — burning up the dance floor and building the Nia community here in Hoboken, NJ, one person at a time. Now I Am so clear about why I teach, what Nia is to me and how to express this to others. I let go of all airs and excuses about who should dance Nia and why. My statement is simple:

“I believe that every BODY should try Nia at least once. Perhaps you will fall in love and continue to take classes or even fully embrace the practice like I did. Perhaps, Nia is not for you, yet, you will pay it forward to others who you know would enJOY it. Either way, Nia is good for every BODY — yours included.”

This honest, straight-forward statement of my belief resonates with the people I speak to and they come. The community is growing, and I see it flourishing in no time.

Over the last few months, I have been trying to figure out what happened during this intensive to create such a shift and such clarity for me. I believe it was “The Accidental Click” — Stage 7 of the 8 Stages of FreeDance in Nia.

FreeDance Stimulates movement creativity in relationship to music and the 52 movements of Nia. The 8 stages teach you the process used to create body-centered choreography. (White Belt Learn Book, The Nia Technique)

Stage 7 is The Accidental Click: Music & Movement Integration. The Accidental Click trains me to place 100% of my attention on the relationship between my movement and the music. The Nia Technique says that the Accidental Click is sensed as a harmonious, somatic fit between the body’s movement and musical sound. When practicing the Accidental Click, I dance to the music and wait to sense a click. When I do sense this click, I sustain the movement to develop my Nia craft.

For me, the piece of my craft that was sorely lacking when I walked into the Black Belt Intensive was my ability to verbalize the Nia Promise with confidence and conviction, even with honesty. I could talk about Nia. I could teach Nia. However, I could not put into my own words the harmonious, somatic fit between my experience of Nia and the possibilities Nia presents to every Body.

I had entered the training with a clear intention — to be open and to receive whatever the Belt had to offer me without assumption or judgement. During that seven day training in September, I danced to music of all kinds for hours each day. When I came home, I felt a little rocked in my core sensing a shift without the words to explain what had happened and why I was feeling so agitated.

I waited. I processed. (Thank you, Black Belt Roomie, Beth Foster!) I read. I wrote. I received.

The Accidental Click

I sustained and still sustain the movement to develop my craft. I sustain the practice of Nia in my life. I do not abandon it. And within the Click, danced and sensed over and over again — with each class I teach, each routine I embody, every piece of music I learn, every conversation about Nia — I find harmony.

 

 

Who am I and Why am I here?

Good Questions! Seriously good questions. Now, how to answer them…

In 2011, I opened my blog with my first-ever post. Exciting! R-i-g-h-t.

I’ve been back so many times to my blog that I can’t even count those times on my hands and toes. I’ve played with pages, updated my class information, reread my first post, but I never wrote anything new. I must say that I am always amazed at how much time I can spend thinking and not doing.

So why come back to my blog? I have this sense, right now at this moment in my life, that the return to writing on a regular basis will increase my awareness of everything I do and don’t do. I want to document my journey and to keep myself moving, growing, and lovin’ life. And I want to share all this juicy movement with you 😉 I do.

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Whether it’s my bare feet across the floor dancing Nia, my eyes soaking up words from a page or my fingers across the keys of my Air, I love to move. When I move, I learn. I explore. I feel alive in my body, mind, emotion & spirit.

Yet, I am such an unfettered spirit in some ways that I lack accountability and consistency. (I said spirit — not person. That’s another post for another day.) I’ll make this my journal space, I’ll use you as my inspiration to come back, again and again, to write and share.

Right now, I’m into Nia, figuring out what to do when my girls grow up and the raw food movement. Tomorrow, who knows?

What I do know is that writing, in its own way, has been a lifelong companion. From my earliest journals at age 13 when I smeared large black letters across the page from desperation, hurt and pain to my latest crafted flyers, I have been writing all my life.

So…why not blog?

Check out my Facebook Group!

My Blog Alive

Just like you…I am on a great Journey.

It’s called Life. And it ain’t perfect. But after turning 40 a number of years ago, I’m finally learning the meaning of that old saying, “Life is what you make of it.”

I’ve also learned not to care. Can you believe I just said that? What I mean is that I’ve learned what is truly important to me and to focus energy there. Let’s be honest about this. I fall down. I find myself engaged in ridiculous musings about petty persons but for the most part, I have more focus and grounding and clarity that I ever did before.

Yet, of course, I still struggle with weight loss, parenting, anxiety, who to be and where to live when I grow up plus a whole lot more.

So, why are we here? Together. On this page.

I’ve decided to give up the struggle and to accept myself as I am. I’m dedicating myself to discovering and learning and faultering and getting back up and doing it all again. Only this time, I’m planning to write it down.

Simple. Honest. True.