Nia

Fabulous Soma BES 2018 retreat.

This year we celebrated 25 years of marriage and 25 years of teaching Nia. Yes Helen and Joe married so Helen could take the Nia white belt training, the beginning of a wonderful journey!  A super week to enjoy friends in a most relaxed atmosphere at and around Soma Ranch...

Enjoying baby donkey Conrad during our retreat was like icing on the cake

We were blessed with water as smooth as glass on Lake Conroe. Boating, tubing and Paddleboarding were so much fun. Especially with folks jumping on for the first time!

Swimming, dancing, meditating, walking the labyrinth, laughing, eating and enjoying each other's company was most delightful during our retreat...

Our final class, our delicious nap/meditation and seeing relaxed faces as guests departed, all added up to a retreat I'll cherish for a long time. Soma Ranch has blossomed into a wonderful Haven for relaxation, fun and friendships....

The Joys of Budapest & Finland, Part 1 ~ Intro

In June I traveled to Europe for a lovely string of events:

BudapestNia 5 stages
HelsinkiAgeless Grace seminar & Nia MasterClasses
Kuopio5 sessions at the Kuopio Dance Festival
Budapest5 days of specialized coaching
Budapestoodles of fun classes
BudapestFirst Ever Ageless Grace Class

Did you know Hungary and Finland are cousins when it comes to language? Not understanding either language, I was amused to hear conversations and enjoy the similarities in sound and rhythm!

Helen with Eija in Finland

Helen with Kinga in Budapest

Big thank you to Kinga (Budapest, Hungary) and Eija (Helsinki/Kuopio, Finland). How wonderful to manifest magic with you! ~ watching the joy, connection and healing appear as communities get together to dance and share their expressive brilliance! Something I adore about this practice we call Nia, and the livelihood I’ve created around it, is how, around the globe, I now have fantastic friendships with brilliant passionate women, leaders in their own right, bringing people together to make a difference. All through dancing to music!

My Path to Nia Brown Belt

Curious Blessings

4 years ago, almost to the day, I stepped into my final training practicum at Nia HQ to become a Brown Belt Nia trainer. Minutes later I received a call from my family, my course changed dramatically and I was taken on a fabulous Healing Energy Ride….

The year before The Terry Family had declared Mummy would travel less and stay home more, spend less and earn more, to focus on the development of our newly acquired Ranch, then Carlos Aya Rosas, co-founder of Nia, announced his retirement and the Terry family flipped a 180! I felt called to attend all trainings with Carlos until he left, this required extensive traveling, increased spending and reduced earnings. Joe and Liliana graciously supported the decision, seeing it as a wise investment and something important for me both personally and professionally.

Then here I was,in Portland, finally stepping into my practicum to become one of the first Brown Belt Nia trainers in the world (beyond the founders) and I receive a call from Joe. (I can hear Liliana screaming in the background) “Hi Buddy, Liliana’s injured her knee at the tennis tournament, we’re on our way to the emergency room, everythings going to be OK, stay on your course, we’ve been working together as a team towards this week, you’re almost there, we know how important this training is, you don’t need to come home….” I had minutes to make a decision… I chose to return to Houston and grabbed the next flight back. (I think it was the same plane I had landed on!)

We discovered Liliana had ruptured her ACL, this was devastating news to my teenager with aspiring dreams of going to College on a tennis scholarship and playing at Wimbledon.

We’ve been through a curious 4 years, personally I’ve questioned a lot about myself, my ability to teach, to train, thoughts about Nia, my relationship with Nia, etc. It’s been quite dark and depressing at times. I find it curious how the knee joint represents standing up for ourselves, “making a stand”, Louise Hay shares “Knee problems represent stuboborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in.” The healing affirmation is “Forgiveness. Understanding Compassion. I bend and flow with ease and all is well”. Both Liliana and I have “grown up” through the process of her knee healing.

The good news is today I’m so super happy with my choices. Although my family could have coped well with me staying in Portland, my actions of coming home spoke volumes, it confirmed, other than God, my family is the most important thing to me. No matter how passionate I am about my Nia practice and all the wonderful possibilities, God and family come first. My soul searching inward time, my long term stall on developing as a brown belt trainer has been humbling and healing. I’m a much more patient, open, understanding, relaxed teacher and, more important, a more compassionate human being for the experience.

I’m left with gratitude for Nia Technique, Carlos Aya Rosas and Debbie Rosas who have provided me with an opportunity to create an amazing full time livelihood for over 2 decades, supporting my family financially, for making great life long friends, sustaining a fabulous business partnership with Kristie Bryant for over a decade, co-owning NiaMoves, a world class Nia Studio full of vibrant community with fantastic teachers, and also co-owning Soma Ranch, an amazing retreat center. I’ve been able to spend more time at home, be more present to enjoy my precious daughter’s transition from highschool transition into college.

When we look at Energy (the focus of the Nia Brown Belt) Everything is matter, in some ways we can say everything matters, and these days I sit back and smile, in awareness of all that REALly matters in life. I’m able to let go of a lot more of stuff which simply doesn’t matter, at least it’s not worth worrying or getting bothered about.

I invite you to ponder what matters to you? what can you let go of TODAY that really doesn’t matter in the big picture? what would you DIVE IN to if you knew you couldn’t fail? are you scared about something? play with asking what’s the worse thing that could happen? and recognize how 80% of what we worry about never happens! let your worry bucket be light and your prayer bucket full :-)

PlayList for WHY routine

i LOVE this new and improved routine.
Each song has something to do with WHY (or Y!). I giggle as I remember back to when our daughter, Liliana, was about 2 and her response to everything seemed to be “WHY” ~ we called her “Liliana Why” for about a year! This is the “Nia Routine Why”… don’t ask me why!

Track Length ArtistAlbum
Don’t Know Why3:06 Norah JonesCome Away With Me
Things You Don’t Have To Do 5:23 Peter MalickNia Humanity
Why Can’t We Live Together?6:39 Steve Winwood About Time
Shadows 4:19 Enigma Love Sensuality Devotion
Check Yes Juliet 3:40 We the Kings Check Yes Juliet
Y.M.C.A. 3:45 Village People Disco Gold
Yo Vivire (I Will Survive) 4:24 Celia Cruz Buddha-Bar IV
Why (Ext. Mix) 7:11 DJ Sammy Why
To The Rhythm 5:14 Lionel Richie Time
Why 4:54 Annie Lennox Diva
Why Should I Worry 3:56 Karen Peck & New River No Worries
You’ve Got A Friend 6:03 Various Tapestry Revisited

Team Awesome is coming to town

I’ve invited a “gaggle” of awesome Nia Brown Belt Teachers to join me for a week at Soma Ranch. It’s to help me prepare for my first upcoming Nia Brown Belt (April 25 - May 1) and celebrate my 50th Birthday.

Most of these super special folks from around the WORLD have hosted me for events, I’ve often stayed in their homes. Now I get to share the ranch with them, and share them with you. It’s a very special week/opportunity. I hope you can come enjoy some classes.

There’s currently a fun promotion with Nia called “WhatIfNia” - for me.. it’s… What if you could choose exactly what you wanted for your 50th birthday, what would it be: I’d invite incredible like-minded friends to come join me for a week of depth, connection and fun.

Cool thing is I asked, they’re coming, we’re doing it.

Price:

$15per class in advanceregister below
$20per class on the daypay at the door
$100for all 10 classes

Schedule

DayDateTimeClassTeacherColorRegister
Sun2/811:00amRisingHelenRed
Sun2/85:15pmPhysicalTeamRed
Mon2/911:00amPassionHelenOrange
Mon2/95:15pmMentalTeamOrange
Tue2/1011:00amEmotionalHelenGreen
Tue2/108:00pmPink FloydHelenGreen
Wed2/1111:00amPraise!HelenBlue
Thurs2/1211:00amSpiritTeamPurple
Thurs2/125:15pmCreating SacredHelenPurple
Fri2/1311:00amCelebration!TeamWhite

Playlist for January JAM at NiaMoves

fabulous JAM at NiaMoves,
here’s the play list
Focus of 5H (Heal, Hara, Heart, Head, Hands) worked super well.

Bem Devagar ~ Heather 4:51 Bungalove
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) ~ Liz 6:29 Rodney Hunter
Corazon Espinado ~ Liz 4:36 Santana Feat. Maná
Bailando ~ Kristie 5:00 Chuck Love
Saturday Song ~ Kristie 5:41 Bungalove
Give It All ~ Heather 3:57 Suryan
Purple Haze ~ Peggy 5:22 The Cure
Amma ~ Anita 6:26 James Asher And Sivamani
Hercules ~ Anita 4:19 NIA
If I Were Brave ~ Helen 5:04 Jana Stanfield
How Beautiful ~ Helen 4:45 Jana Stanfield

SUPER Moon: Enjoy Nia Pink Floyd Followed by Moonlight Swim!

Enjoy a Nia Class to Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon with laser lights, synchronized with The Wizard of Oz on the big screen, followed by the option of a Moonlight swim at Soma Ranch!

Dark Side of the Moon Nia Class 8:30 - 9:30pm
Hot Tub and/or Moonlight Swim 9:30 - 10:30pm
$15 when pay by midnight Friday
$20 on the day/door

On July 12, 2014, we have the first full moon after the June 21 solstice. What an AWESOME time to enjoy to Soma Ranch with the Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon Nia Experience 8:30 - 9:30am. Entertain staying for Moonlight Hot Tub and/or Swim

Here’s more information about the moon…. Around this time of year, in North America, buck deer start growing antlers, thunder storms rage and farmers struggle to pile up hay in their barns. Thus, according to folklore, we call this full moon the Buck Moon, Thunder Moon or Hay Moon. The July 2014 full moon is also the first of three full-moon supermoons in 2014. Previously, we had two supermoons in January - on January 1 and 30 - but they were new-moon supermoons. The full moons on July 12, August 10 and September 9 all enjoy the supermoon designation because the centers of these full moons and the center of Earth are less than 361,863 kilometers (224,851 miles) apart. The closest supermoon of the year comes with the August 10 full moon, with a moon that’s only 356,896 kilometers (221,765 miles) from Earth.

Nia Fiesta Play List

Cinco de Mayo inspired this play list. Super fun class. I selected songs from previous routines that give a Fun Fiesta Feeling then added a few more from B-Tribe. I’ve been dreaming of including Fiesta Fatal in a Nia class for years. Great way to slip in a couple of songs from Bailando.

The “mudra”/signature for the routine is Creepy Crawlers rising arms with hips (Jazz), Calm slow touch down (Tai Chi), Figure 8 (Aikido).

Focus: Fiesta Fun with Happy Hips, Hara, Heart, Head & Hands.
Intent: We will feel fabulously energized

  • relaxed spine and joints
  • enhanced expressiveness
  • lifted spirits
Love, Tears, Heartaches… 5:33 B-TribeFiesta Fatal
Marrakesh Night Market 6:30Loreena McKennittThe Mask & The Mirror
Amore (Sexo) 3:52 Santana Feat. Macy Gray Shaman
Shadowman 6:36 Afro CeltVol 3, Further In Time
Lo Siento 4:45 B-TribeFiesta Fatal
Samba Natural 3:48 Bungalove Bailando
Jogando Capoeira6:20 Beatfanatic Clarity
I Just Wanna Be Happy 3:54 Gloria Estefan gloria!
Habanera Redux (Carmen) 4:52 East Village Opera Co EVOC
¡Fiesta Fatal! 6:00 B-TribeFiesta Fatal
Forgiving7:58Parijat Bailando

Special Daily 11am Nia Classes at Soma Ranch

Blue Belt

Folks are coming from around the country to attend the Nia Blue Belt. This 2nd level training focuses on Communication, Relationships and Intimacy. Each day we offer a public class at 11am and YOU are invited! These special classes are perfect if you’re new to Nia.

The weather is super for experiencing Soma Ranch in its glory.

Entertain staying on for lunch at noon!

Classes

TimeDayDateFocusRoutine
11amSundayMarch 16The Joy of Being in RelationshipInfinity
11amMondayMarch 17Pearls and the RealmsAfro Celt
11amTuesdayMarch 18Guiding Systemic MovementSexi
11amWednesdayMarch 19Expressing Feelings and EmotionsRise
11amThursdayMarch 20Music, Movement, MagicTaking Requests

Prices

11amClass$15
NoonLunch$15
Class LunchCombo$20

List of Nia Routines

I’m so WHOPPING excited about a “new skill to me” I discovered on my own website! Some one asked for my Whitney Houston Play list. I knew I’d listed lots of play lists and information about Adapted Nia Routines on my blog and have wanted to create some easy way for folks to find them rather than flipping through the many blog entries. This evening I discovered the way! my search button on the front page. DAH! Simply entered “routine” and 30 references popped up. I think this link takes you there directly - enjoy /display/Search?moduleId=12236317&searchQuery=routine

Nia Time ~ the most romantic, sexy, personal routine.

“Time” is the most sexy & personal routine I’ve ever created. The lyrics are very moving and romantic.

I created this routine when Liliana was young enough to be in a car seat that faced the back of the car, which means it’s about 17 years old! I used to click my fingers to stop Liliana from crying. It was one of my funniest, handy little trick to distract her from tears to fascination. One time, driving to class, I was listening to the Lionel Richie CD (my “routine work in progress” at the time), Liliana was playing (as usual) with her fingers, mushing them together to see if she could click them like her Mommy… and there, in that moment, Liliana clicked her fingers for the first time. I remember hearing the noise, looking down to see Liliana’s beaming face, her eyes sparkling with joy, communicating “look! yes! I did it! I clicked my fingers for the first time” it was a most remarkable moment in time that I think I’ll remember forever. I did the usual “relay takeover” with Joe in the parking lot of the YMCA and dashed into class.

I put on the CD and begun “teaching on the fly” ~ teaching class and creating the routine as I went along. In the first song I began in a closed stance and began clicking my fingers from side to side, the movement was an instant match to the music and the moment, something in Nia we call the “accidental click”.

I use every song from the CD with the exception of “I hear your voice” which I refuse to include in the mix. It’s a moving, heart felt song that I depressing ~ a good one to play when I want a good cry!

I find each of these songs very meaningful, there’s a click that connects with a personal story in every track. Maybe later I’ll fill in the gaps. For now I’m off to celebrate 20 years of marriage to Joe - it’s my wedding anniversary. I look forward to many more clicks…

Whenever I can I prefer to create routines to follow the order of the tracks on the CD. This routine is an exception, the songs click better slightly shuffled, Michael Buble is the perfect ending to the experience. I encourage to to take a fun safe risk, download the CD, freedance to it, entertain teaching class with some simple Nia moves (at least with your teddy bears!) Here’s the order:

Lionel Richie: CD Time

Closest Thing To Heaven 4:01
That’s The Way I Feel 3:07
Zoomin’ 4:23
Touch 5:08
Forever 6:13
Time 6:12
To The Rhythm 5:14
Stay 4:10
Someday 4:23
Everytime 4:16
Lady 4:28
Feeling Good 3:57 Michael Bublé It’s Time

Why this routine today?

simple:
1. it’s the most personal - every song has a hidden story behind it about my relationship with Joe, lines like “you’re my everything”, “you’re the closest thing to Heaven”

2. it’s got history - I can think back on most “stages” of my marriage with Joe, (the good, the bad and the ugly) teaching this routine and the feelings I had. I have a sense of accomplishment playing the music and dancing to it today.

3. it’s sexy - oh my! Lionel Richie is up there with Barry White for me with regards sexy - and fortunately I still regard Joe as being top of my list when it comes to sexy :-)

Now off to enjoy our day, swim swim brum brum :-)

2 for 1: Sade "Lovers Rock" to Nia Routine AO

Fondly called “Flounce” this routine begins and ends with the same song. A fun way to deliver the promise. Notice how you feel in the song at the beginning of the routine, then notice how you feel at the end with the same song. In Nia we define Self Healing as any thing that feels better. If you notice anything feels better, recognize this as self healing and give body gratitude.

Focus: At the beginning of class I introduce the concept flow and bounce, how the body thrives on the dynamic ease. We physically get a sense of shifting our connective tissue by softly moving arms in the circle. We Step In with a question. Choose to step in with what will serve you best for class: flow or bounce.

Cycle 3 Warm Up: In the first song we play with rhythm and flow through the 13 joints, starting with one side, then the other, the whole body. The next few songs follow the choreography to AO, sometimes tight sometimes loose. In Slave Song, the peak of Cycle 4* Get Moving*, I play with the concept of bouncing a ball like playing basketball and acting as if we have high level skills :-). The songs progressively move into flounce (a combinations of flowing and bouncing). Lovers Rock is my favorite song, rich words, music and something magical comes through from flow, bounce and flow. My favorite song for choreography is Immigrant: simple bounce, flow and flounce moves that work forwards, back, lateral and diagonal travel in directions.

At the end of class we often Step Out with a 2 question quiz:

1. what do you choose to step out with to serve you in your day best, flow or bounce?
2. what do you choose to step out with to serve you well if you can choose flow, bounce OR flounce.

Sade Lovers Rock

By Your Side4:35
Flow 4:34
King Of Sorrow 4:53
Somebody Already Broke My Heart 5:01
All About Our Love 2:41
Slave Song 4:14
The Sweetest Gift 2:19
Every Word 4:04
Immigrant 3:49
Lovers Rock 4:15
It’s Only Love That Gets You Through 3:54
By Your Side4:35

How to enjoy time and avoid jet lag.

I’m back from a fabulous training in Japan.
My day began with glorious sunshine in Japan and ends with the same, home, in Houston.

After a 28 hour day, I’m ready for sleep in anticipation of some great dancing at NiaMoves at 8am in the morning.

Here’s somethings I do to be able to enjoy time and avoid jet lag

  1. Remove watch and don’t look at time while flying
  2. Drink lots of water before, during, after flight
  3. Get outside ASAP after the flight, preferably for a run/walk
  4. Avoid alcohol
  5. Avoid wheat
  6. Avoid sugar
  7. Avoid caffeine
  8. Take own food on plane when possible
  9. Stay awake until it’s the destination’s time for sleep
  10. Do Nia 5 stages as soon as possible upon arrival
  11. Minimize working on computer upon arrival