We have choice

Yesterday we enjoyed a fabulous “open house” playing with the latest Nia Routine “GO”. Thank you all who choose to come join us. With participants, who feel more like friends, some coming for 10+, 15+ and 20+ years to attend classes with Helen, it was a great day to be alive!

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 6.23.19 AM.png

Attitude is the most important choice we can make. We made an attitude choice yesterday, and we make another choice today.

Let’s make a choice: participate. be a contributor. be optimistic. be curious. be a learner. be an encourager. bring out the best in others. give people the benefit of the doubt. forgive. be hopeful instead of fearful.

For the most part, you are not able to choose what happens today. All you can choose is what your attitude will be. And the choice you make will determine what kind of day it will be.

Thank you Jim’s Daily Awakenings for this inspiration

A New Baby Donkey at Soma Ranch!

We have a baby donkey at Soma Ranch!  

Of all the donkeys born at Soma, this fella is by far the most spirited one we've met. 

He was born on the day my dear friend Constance died. I immediately I thought "Ha! we'll call the donkey Constance"!  I then discovered the donkey was a boy and could hear Constance exclaiming  "you can't call a boy donkey Constance!".

After consulting Constance's daughters they have named the donkey, and I think it's a fabulous, creative solution.

Please welcome Mr. Conrad Henry, the most spritely donkey ever to be born at Soma Ranch!

All our donkeys have been rescued at Soma Ranch. i.e. we've not gone looking for them, and none of them have been bought. Most often we've received the request to take in a donkey when the previous owner falls on difficult financial times and/or they no longer have grass due to lack of water.

We keep our male donkey in a separate pasture, with a neutered male donkey to keep him company. (donkeys get depressed when left alone). 2 summers ago Nibbler (our boy donkey) did an impressive "limbo" under his fence AND under the fence into the main field, where all the girls hang.  We herded him back pretty fast, however he was able to get Sarah pregnant in record time!

BTW all visitors are welcome to go home with a free donkey. We prefer you take 2 at a time ;-) We love our donkeys, we have plenty and are most happy to share.

Soma Wild Playshop

Today, at our "Play Shop" for the lastest Nia routine "Wild", I received so much joy, value and fun, I feel like I could run all the way to the bank of cosmic salary! What do I mean by this? It's a concept we introduce in the Nia White Belt, coined by fellow Nia Trainer Ann Christiansen.  In life we may choose to do things for money and then there are things we may do for free that are still extremely rewarding, the latter is what we call cosmic salary!

Today 11 participants showed up to dance and play. There were 3 brand new people (a lady who's been on my email list for 14 years!) and a couple who were friends of fellow teacher Peggy Renfroe, looking for something new. Congrats and thanks to all the teachers who lead songs (JoAnn, Peggy, Kristi, Lola, Helen)


In a circle I lead a gentle warm up to the first song, then we played with introductions (Where are you from, where do you live, something quirky and why are you here). It was lovely to hear the stories and giggles, like learning someone, as a child, had a pet squirrel! Then we got into a lovely flow:

  1. take the class - EveryBody dance to a song with Debbie on the big screen
  2. review moves - Helen highlight some of Nia 52 moves
  3. play leading - teacher volunteer to lead the group 
  4. brag - teacher share 3 things they did well
  5. boost - group share what they loved about the experience

The teaching was off the charts! Every very single teacher lead with joy, relaxation, fun, smiles, sticking with moves they'd picked up from the DVD, tweaking and creating moves on the fly as needed. This group of teachers were most "Loose but Tight". It's a concept we recommend in Nia teaching, meaning stay relaxed have a good time, don't get uptight about remembering the moves AND do your best to deliver the promise of Nia (technique, choreography, workout).

It was Kristi's birthday today and she choose to step in and teach Nia for the very first time! If this is what she's like having completed 75% of the white belt, look out world for when she's done a little practice LOL...

The group was super supportive and lots of fun. After going through the above 5 steps for the first 5 songs we took a break. I relished in the thought.. "where else on the planet can we break to sauna, hot tub, enjoy nature, chat, laugh, pet and feed donkeys!"

We learned a few more songs then finished with cool down, floor play and stepping out.  It was a great day, moving forwards we'd like to offer this free community PLAYSHOP event one Sunday afternoon a month! the next one will be to learn the newest Nia routine RIDE!

Debbie Rosas, founder of Nia, will be at Soma Ranch January 27 & 28, sharing more about Wild and also providing a full day "Festival of Nia" event.

Nia Cycle 3 ~ Warm Up

Cycle 3: Warm Up 

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 6.52.23 PM.png

In a Nia Class the Warm Up activates the 13 main joints, slowly increases range of motion and heart rate to prepare you for moving more fully and intensely. 

Warming up into the New Year is the skill of taking action, creating new healthy habits, yet not so drastic that at the first hint of failure or temptation we drop off the band wagon back into self destruction. It's like the story of the frog, put him in boiling water (a drastic change) and the frog will jump out quickly. Put the frog in cool water and slowing increase the temperature and he never jumps out. The moral of the story, warm up into 2018, take baby steps, like the phrase I love "you can't eat an elephant in one day!"

(and for the assurance of a happy ending for the frog, rest assured I'd be monitoring the water temperature at all times to be sure to scoop the frog out at the optimum time, with no harm caused, and for the frog to live happily ever after!)

Helpful hints for warming up

  • write down your desires and intentions
  • tell a friend, build accountability into your action plan
  • expect, prepare and celebrate set backs! it's all part of the path
  • learn and be motivated by your failures and slips, 
  • every day is a new day
  • get up early!


Fun Family Idea for NYE

5 years ago, late one Saturday night my daughter, Liliana, lost her entire film footage collected for her weekly broadcast, deadline Sunday afternoon! Feeling panic creeping in, we quickly changed gears and, on the fly, created and captured this game on video. What began with disaster turned out to be magical BEYOND the original plan! I love having this funny exchange between us documented.

If you're with family or friends (either in person or even on Skype) entertain playing this simple 3 round "how well do you know me" contest with a loved one (or two!)

Here's how to prepare and play the game.

  1. Each person write down 3 sets of questions about yourself, 3 easy, 3 medium and 3 difficult (like levels 1, 2 & 3 in Nia Technique!)
  2. Set up 2 chairs or stools and take it in turns to ask a question.
  • Dressing up is not required - however we did have a lot of fun doing it!
  • An Audience is not essential- however it could certainly add to the entertainment.
  • Lights, Camera & stools are optional - and they enhance the dramatics of the experience!
  • Of course - it's a bonus if you have the opportunity to film the exchange
  • We'd love to see what you created, to learn more about you and your friends/family

Happy New Year!

love the Terry Family (Joe, Helen, Liliana, Phelps, the horses and all da donkeys!)

Don't quit your day dream

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 2.07.10 PM.png

This "don't quit your day dream" message outside the beautiful Just BE studio in Dubai struck a cord with me. Stepping into 2018 I want to be a dream weaver for myself and many others, including you! 

I love the image of being a fairy godmother where I help others dreams come true. 

I'm here to help encourage you ~  DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY DREAM, and let me help!  Big or small, dreams, the pursuit of dreams, the striving for dreams come true, the achievement of dreams and even our fallen dreams, are what brings sparkle to life. Without dreams I suggest we are bankrupt,  in the stagnant land of inertia. So, what moves you? what may I do to help your dreams come true?

  • Receive Personal Coaching with Helen (one on one, small groups and retreats)
  • Choose a Nia trainings and/or retreats to inspire you.
  • Classes, retreats and special events are available to you at Soma Ranch
  • Be part of a free, supportive, online 30 day Body Cleanse group
  • Speak up, connect, let me know what I haven't dreamed of yet that could be helpful to you!

Read more about Helen and coaching/guidance options.

This "daily awakenings with Jim" spoke to me this morning:

In physics, inertia means that objects tend to remain stationary until another object makes it move.  Once moving, it takes only a fraction of the energy required to move it in order to keep it moving.  Therefore, objects in motion tend to continue moving until something intervenes. If nothing stops the movement, it will eventually slow down and stop on its own.
In relationships, inertia means nothing changes until someone starts the process. Once action is initiated in the relationship, it takes a lot less action to keep it going.  But if there is no ongoing action to keep it moving, the relationship will revert to where it started. 
The same principle of inertia applies to the habits we need to break in the New Year.  It requires a new, positive habit to displace an old, destructive habit.  But if we don’t keep moving, we fall back into our old ways. 

Next: As we prepare for the New Year, you're invited to play with applying the concept of Cycle 1 of the Nia Class experience ~ "Setting the Focus and Intent"

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