WEEK 9:  Nia Now!
March 6, 2016

We're into our final month of the challenge and now that you've laid a strong foundation by tackling the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle - body image, diet, support network, work habits and more - we're getting into the nitty gritty of the practices offered at Embody.

Those of you who take my classes or know me know that Nia is my passion. I am never shy to say that Nia is why I opened Embody - I wanted a place to teach Nia.  I believe this practice changes lives. I experience it in myself and see the changes in others every day.

Almost three years ago to the day - I completed my Nia White Belt training - and my life will never be the same.  

Read on for this week's Wellness Feature, Journal Activity, Wellness Coalition Partner, Prize Details and more!

With love, respect and joy!
Christina Wolf

Movement Focus: Nia
Debbie Rosas - Co-Creator of the Nia Technique

One day Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas walked into a dojo, hoping to learn something about the belt system used in martial arts, which they wanted to apply to their own burgeoning fitness practice.

The teacher told them to take off their shoes. Then he told them to move. Seasoned aerobics pros, the two performed their usual exercises: jumping jacks and leg lifts.

"That is not moving," their teacher said. "You have forgotten." He taught them how to move with more softness and intention.

That day in the dojo changed everything. Instead of the high-impact, repetitive aerobic moves the pair had been doing, Debbie realized they could tap into the energy patterns and movement of martial arts and other forms. She and Carlos embraced the idea--still radical even today--that you can get the gain without the pain.

Originally called Non-Impact Aerobics, Nia was born in 1983 in Marin County, Calif., where Debbie owned a studio called the Bod Squad. There's a video with fab footage of Debbie and Carlos' 1986 appearance on the "Sally Jessy Raphael Show" here. Nia has since grown into a lifestyle practice adopted by more than 100,000 students in 45 countries taught by 2,500 licensed teachers.

Nia is often referred to as "sensory-based." The intent is to use music and sound to spark imagination and emotion, triggering action in the muscles and joints. This integrates the body, mind, and spirit for a powerful, holistic practice that can bring about both physical and lifestyle changes. 

The health benefits of dance have been well-documented. Dancing burns roughly the same calories as jogging, and it can make your heart stronger and improve coordination and balance. It targets your core, arms, legs, rear, and back, strengthening the muscles in all of these areas. Nia specifically addresses the body's five main sensations: flexibility, strength, mobility, agility, and stability. 

Dancing can actually retrain your brain, too. It's noted as a good exercise for older people, as the choreography works to challenge your mind's patterning skills. And there's more. It's long been known that seasoned ballet dancers don't get dizzy when spinning. Originally this was chalked up to a technique called "spotting," in which they turn their heads, fixing their gaze very quickly on one spot. But researchers discovered that the dancers had actually changed the way their cerebellums interpret signals that cause the perception of dizziness. Brain scans comparing them to non-dancing athletes revealed the difference.

Nia incorporates movement from the dance tradition, from martial arts, and from the healing arts as well. In just one class, you might find yourself moving from a jazz step to a t ae kwon do kick to a yoga pose. But these are not arbitrary mashups--the Nia technique has been carefully crafted to take the "energetic personalities" of these movement forms and weave them into a choreography that addresses the science of physical movement; integrates the mind, body, and spirit; and allows students to tap into their body's own wisdom.

While more women than men seem to gravitate toward Nia, remember that its co-creator is a man, and many men have discovered Nia's tremendous benefits. 

If you've never tried a Nia class, step on in. It's a total misperception that you need dance experience to do this. Even if you're the type who typically remains seated when the disco ball starts spinning, you'll find your place in Nia. 

For those of you who already practice Nia, each time you step into class, know that you get to re-experience that wonderful revelation that Debbie and Carlos had back in the 80s, when they first took off their shoes and learned how to really move.

Journal Prompt: Your Body's Way

If you're already on the Nia dance train, describe your experience with the practice. How has your relationship with your body changed over the time that you've been taking Nia? How do you see yourself now vs. in the past? What do you love about yourself now? What's new? What's the same? Record any observations about yourself as a student of Nia in the beginning, with that first class, and now.

If you've never tried Nia before, give it a whirl! Then come back to your journal and record your impressions. How did it meet, break, or exceed your expectations? What was surprising? How did you feel?

Embody's Featured Wellness Coalition Partner: 
Beautiful Skin Spa

Beautiful Skin Spa - located in Historic Downtown Centralia offers Facials, Massage, Waxing, Lashes, Make-Up Application and more!  Started by Embody client (and 2015 Embody Health Challenge Grand Prize Winner) Kim Chase, Beautiful Skin, now features 3 wonderful practitioners - each offering their unique specialities!  

Kim started Beautiful Skin with a passion for skin care. 

As Kim says, "I have been in the beauty industry for 16 years and can still say I feel so very lucky to do what I love and have the most amazing clients in the world. I am in constant education mode! Looking for new ideas and techniques to compliment my treatments. My desire is for every woman to feel "Beautiful" and loved for who she is. I look forward to everyday and thank God for given talents and may we all find them and use them. Look forward to seeing you in My world soon!"

Visit their website or drop by their downtown location at 408 N Tower - just a few blocks away from Embody!

Beautiful Skin has donated a Brow Waxing service to our weekly giveaway and $75 toward a service of your choice to the Grand Prize Package!

"Even though I am not nor have I ever been a size 10, I have a wonderfully strong, capable, graceful body. It can do more now at 57 than it could at 37!"
 - Donna Wyatt, Nia Graduate and Social Worker

by March 12th

Quick Links
Class Schedule
Workshops & Special Events 
90-Day Challenge Facebook Group
Nia Facebook Group
Yoga Facebook Group
Tribal Belly Dance Facebook Group
Embody on Facebook
Returning Challenger Q & A  
with Kim Hawkins
Kim on a hiking trip.  
(Notice her gorgeous Willow Woodcut Earrings from Embody?!?)
Q: What was the biggest factor in your success in completing the challenge last year?
A:  The punch card was a big motivator for me. I started the challenge late last year and wasn't coming to Embody as regularly, so the card really pushed me to finish the challenge.

Q: Who or what was is the greatest support for your practice?
A:   The Embody tribe! It was so wonderful to come through the door to a place where everyone was smiling and welcoming and supportive of others.

Q:  How has your practice enhanced your life?
A:   I feel so much better, both about my body and about my place in the world. I can move in ways that I know will make my body feel good. I can step in to a Nia class in a bad mood and leave sweaty with a huge smile on my face. I dance in the hallways at work and around my house. I have Nia music running through my head most days. And I can't wait to get back and do the next routine or class or workshop. I've truly found a happy place.

Week 9 Prize Giveaway
Week 9 Prize:
For the week of 
March 6th - March 15th

Brow Wax Service from Kim Chase at Beautiful Skin Spa
Willow Woodcut Earrings from  Embody

Week 8 Prize Winner:
Kim Hawkins
Congratulations to 
Kim Hawkins who won our 
"Week 8" Challenge Prize
$20 Embody Boutique Gift Certificate toward Jane Iredale Cosmetics or other product of your choice  from  Embody

Embody Lifestyle Boutique Deal of the Week:
Willow Woodcut Earrings
THIS WEEK ONLY! Challengers receive 10% off Willow Woodcut Earrings

Willow wood jewelry is handcrafted from 1/16" furniture grade veneers and hardwoods. These woods include Cherry, Walnut, Maple and Mahogany. All the wood is harvested from sustainable tree farms. Ear wires are surgical steel with crystal accent beads. 

With every piece of jewelry you purchase, Willow will plant a tree in cooperation with the Eden Project. This will help replace our dwindling forests and save lives. Learn more at www.EdenProjects.org.

Embody Movement Studio & Lifestyle Boutique | www.EmbodyCentralia.com
(360)330-BODY(2639)  | 115 S. Tower Ave Centralia, WA 98631