Dancing in the Snow

In Sensatioin on December 4, 2010 at 12:58 am

The holidays and merry-making associated with this time of year is making me feel more joyous and loving than usual. I hope you too, are experiencing heightened enjoyment! Allow yourselves to find those sensations, both in class and in everyday life, that make you exhale with a satisfied, “Aahh!”

When we are surrounded by the opulence of this season, and all our senses are on high alert (smelling spices, hearing music everywhere, tasting treats, seeing twinkling lights and touching sumptuous textures), we have even more times and places to revel in the gift of our 5 senses. Our 5 senses have enormous power. By bringing 100% of your focus onto a beautiful sight or mind-blowing flavour, you automatically become present. Being present is the state in which we cannot experience worry or stress, because we are not contemplating time outside of the present moment. The longer we can extend this moment (and it is infinite by the way!) through engaging with our senses, the more relaxed we will be. From this place of relaxation we can move, think, and feel more deeply and freely. Our experience of life will be enhanced, and whatever stressful or worrisome situations do arise (as they always do) can be dealt with far more easily and with more clarity.  So, the next time a beautifully decorated tree catches your eye, or a mellifluous tune tickles your ear, pause and enjoy the peace you find in the sensations in your body.

With this profound gift of sensation, we can be our own zen master teachers. It is possible for us to come from a place of observer and witness, where judgement is reserved. A journey of learning has frequent stages that necessitate reflection followed by assimilation and integration. And let it be noted that the best reflections come through when we hold back our judgement. Let your thoughts and feelings out, however they come – no editing, no rephrasing, no erasing or changing ideas mid-sentence.

What IS she rattling on about? I hear you ask; well, when one first starts out making a point of noticing sensations, one isn’t going to notice that much… at first. One might start the day intending to notice sensations, but then the activity of daily living draws attention outward, and the intention gets forgotten. A good way of keeping up with becoming present is to record your sensations somehow. It can be in a journal, a sketch book, point form on the ‘notes’ app on your iPod, or just an alternative to counting sheep as you drop off to sleep at night. Whichever way suits you, you will soon find yourself needing to highlight your favourite moments, as there will be too many to record. When this happens, a physical record may not be necessary anymore. I still record some moments that touch me more deeply than others. I do this with the intention of developing that deep engagement all the time. Eventually, the deeper we get and the longer we can stay in the present, the closer we come to experiencing life as One. One with all life on the planet – One with the planet – the planet is a living organism, after all.

Through Nia’s attention to sensation in the body, a specific method is outlined by which we can access and maintain presence in all areas of life. Our practice time is in the Nia class. We are given a safe, totally accepting space, music, and guidance to SENSE, FEEL, and IMAGINE. This guidance leads us to create moments of presence throughout the class that eventually link together giving us a continuous, hour long moment of presence. Once we step out, it is up to us to bring that awareness with us. Since Nia is for everyBody, your pace is your own. No one is going to rush you. No one is going to slow you down. This is truly a magical element of the potential Nia has, as a presence-awareness learning tool. I have definitely used up my class time just dashing about to the beats and paying no attention to the sensations of my body. And afterwards my body lets me know about it with aches and soreness the following day! This is my lesson: bring mindfulness and presence to movement in order to heal and nurture. What is your lesson?

Lessons change, and you are your own teacher, zen master, or guide. You know when and what is best for you. Lessons that leave an impression are the fun ones and the exciting ones, and the ones that perhaps hurt a lot. BUT! Remember, Nia follows the pleasure principle: if it hurts, stop what you are doing and tweak so that comfort is regained. This can be applied to anything. So apply it! This is a season for sharing and receiving. Share openly and receive gratefully. Become present as often as you want to or can. Inhale deeply, look up, trail your fingers in the snow piled along fences and say YES to delicious sweet meats! Revel in the season’s delights and LOVE YOUR BODY!


Love, Praise, Gratitude

  1. Howdy! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you may have right
    here on this post. I will be coming again to your blog for extra soon.

    • thank you!
      Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I have been busy AND I am not used to getting comments!
      But I do love getting them!
      See you here soon!

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