Someone recently asked me "are Nia Trainings as "intense" as the word "Intensive" applies?"
I had fun reflecting on my own Nia "INTENSIVE" training experiences, looking up the definition for intensive, reviewing what we've created as a training facility and celebrating what has been manifested for ultimate trainings at Soma Ranch.
The Nia educational program is based on a series of what are called "Nia Intensive Trainings". 25 years ago when I signed up for my first "Intensive", it was to experience the entry level, White Belt training, course in Portland, OR with co-founders Debbie and Carlos Rosas.
The course was fully inclusive. We stayed at their house. We were provided breakfast, lunch and dinner, mostly eating out around town at fabulous restaurants and cafes! (I was in food heaven!). The course was long hours, included extensive times in two extremely "new skills to me": FreeDance and Meditation. There were opportunities for self expression through talking and dancing. I remember shedding a lot of tears on the dance floor and also down the phone with my new groom (I got married to stay in the country to take the Nia training!).
Looking back I conclude the course was "intense" for me, and all my following trainings had similar "intensive" impacts on my life. I entered the blue belt an angry atheist and left with enough curiosity to begin a spiritual path that led me to Christianity, I took my brown belt 8 months pregnant, I seriously considered separating from my husband in Black belt.
What I loved about those early day Nia trainings was the opportunity to be 100% focused on the "work", the joy and discovery of Nia Technique. Many distracting decisions, like where to eat and how to plan for commuting and navigate traffic, were eliminated. Most of all, these immersion trainings were a unique and marvelous opportunity to get to know my training teachers (Debbie and Carlos) in a most intimate way, both on and off the dance floor.
Fast forward to the present day, Nia trainings have been developed and the technology has come a long way. From the clearly designed curriculum, the beautifully built PowerPoint presentations and the elegant supporting materials, I feel proud to be a member of the training faculty and deeply appreciate the ease with which we can deliver the promise of the Nia trainings. Through a thoroughly well thought out program, with exquisite architecture, we've built a monumental Body Mind program that changes lives and restores relationships.
So - back to the initial question - How INTENSE are these Nia trainings these days? I suggest as intense as you'd like them to be. Participants have the luxury of concentrating on a single area within the Nia technology for a whole week. These trainings are an opportunity to learn more about Nia, the body's way, and (like it is impossible to study the body without the mind and visa versa) so it is impossible to study the body's way, without looking into our own way, our soma, our personality and our lives.
The good news is trainees have their own volume control, to turn up and turn down the intensity (Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually) as they please. We embody the training experience with the pleasure principle, encouraging each participant to self-monitor and make choices according to their body's way. For example I had one lady take the entire training laying on her back, exploring the movement components with only her fingers!
By the end of the course her back felt better and she exclaimed she had learnt so much about herself AND Nia by doing it on her back!
If you find a Nia training to intense...
Physically: drop down to level one, or sit down and watch, or lie down and relax, if something hurts, rest and ICE.
Mentally: trust in the process, let go of needing to understand it all in the moment, remind yourself you have a learn book, supportive Nia community and a web site with a wealth of information to follow up later.
Emotionally: practice self-care, make sure you're getting as much rest and sleep as possible, ask your trainer for help, check in with fellow participants, journal
and with all 3, entertain booking a massage ;-)
At Soma Ranch I bring my passion for my first "early days" Nia trainings and my experience from amazing locations around the globe, to fuel my desire to build the ultimate training retreat facility.
Learning style is Safe, Pleasure based, Guided Discovery with plenty of breaks!
Safe: I believe the best learning happens in a safe, happy and pleasurable environment and therefore strive for every session to be upbeat, fun, clear, easy to understand and enjoyable.
Guided Discovery: Whenever possible, I teach through guided discovery techniques, as research shows when a learner figures something out for themselves the information is more likely to stick and they become empowered and encouraged. Ideally I help participants arrive at important conclusions on their own.
Plenty of Breaks: Are you challenged to do anything for a long period of time? I support the research that indicates optimum learning is best done broken into easy to digest chunks. By providing plenty of healthy breaks to allow the information to be assimilated, participants come back refreshed, ready to build upon what has already been learned.
We don't sit for a long period of time and back jacks are available if someone needs support. We don't dance for long periods of time and participants are invited to sit whenever they prefer.
Beyond the "classroom/dance hall" participants at Soma Ranch are submersed into supporting activities and options:
nourishing nutrition: yummy meals support vegans to paleos, with gluten and dairy free options
therapeutic options: complimentary Sauna, Hot Tub, Lap Pool and Massage therapy and foot detox by appointment
animals and nature: rescued friendly donkeys and horses, 15.5 acres, 1 acre pond, porches, swings, bonfires, fire flies and stars!