iSpirit Dancer











{January 21, 2011}   Speak Your Vishuddha

Folks, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post this but, besides being busy, this subject is a hard one for me. I would say most of my life I have not spoken, or spoken up. I would get angry, and explode, and hurt people from exploding, which is bad… Or I would communicate through writing which I was excellent at that. Otherwise, I would literally be seen and not heard. If it wasn’t for Nia I would still be very silent and reclusive. Keep to myself, terrified of getting up in front of people and talking and always watching and listening to other people’s drama. Afraid if I did speak up, people would think, god she is stupid. Or they would laugh, people always would laugh at me and I felt pretty much like an inarticulate idiot. Now there are many sides to this: 1- You learn a lot. 2- You can really be taken advantage of. 3- It’s hard to connect to people when you are like that. 4- Shutting down during conflicts. 5-Suffering from regret. I wish I would have said that, I wish I would have spoke up for myself.

I am convinced that I developed hypothyroidism, because I didn’t speak for nearly 3.5 decades. I bottled up my emotions. I became short tempered, because I suffered from misplaced anger. Went off on a hitch. So, now I have hypothyroidism, I am over weight, chronic fatigue, etc. etc. whatever comes with that chronic disease. Now, I’m still working through my voice and Nia has been such a Godsend for me. Before, I was terrorized to get up in front of people and talk, not anymore.

Now, as far as one-on-one I’m still working on that type of engagement. I am still cleansing, but I am discovering so much and well, here is what I learned:

What Creates an Unhealthy Vishuddha
The way your family communicates affects this chakra. Now, think about this one.

  • Did you come from a family that says, I child should be seen and not heard?
  • Or perhaps you came from parents who didn’t know how to resolve their issues and were quiet. Think about that.
  • Were you one of these kids that weren’t spoken to?
  • Was there a lot of screaming in your home? Perhaps you shut down because of this.
  • Were you allowed to speak your truth?
  • Empty promises, did your parents make a promise to you or even empty threats and didn’t come through with them. Parents constantly lying to you create an unhealthy throat chakra. Did you learn to lie because of these empty promises?
  • Do you feel that you must protect yourself by lying? Constantly lying to the point that all lies have become truths for you.
  • Did people listen to you? If not, perhaps you didn’t see the point in speaking.
  • Were there long periods of time where your parents would not speak to you?
  • Did your family resolve their issues through communication?
  • The list can go on and on. Please share.

The list goes on and on, check out “The Chakra System, A Complete Course in Self-Diagnosis and Healing” to go deeper. By Anodea Judith. A fantastic course where she breaks down the chakras, what causes excessive or deficient chakra, mental dis-ease and health dis-ease, blockages, the psychology behind each chakra that affects us, plus ways to heal them.

Healing the Vishuddha with Your Nia Practice
This is how I have been going about healing my Vishuddha. First and foremost you must heal old wounds, the wounds in your old chakras. See my other chakra blogs: https://aumnation.wordpress.com/chakra-blogs/
Practicing sounding is a great way to open and heal this chakra. Once again, using your 3rd Chakra, the Will – Manipura to motivate yourself to sound during class. Now, some people are afraid to use voice because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. Folks, you are the only one going to die on your deathbed, so by all means, do everything you possibly can to find your way into heaven. Live your life! Find your resolve! Find your pleasure!
So, perhaps at the beginning of class, you are extending your arms up above you taking a deep breath in and on the exhale (while lowering arms) you let go by sighing the word “Ahhhhhhhhhh.” What a great way to step in by letting go with voice.

  • Resonate sounds during class – Ohhh, Ahhh, Sooooo, Ommm or even the Mantra for the Vishuddha “Ham” during class would help heal the throat chakra. Listen to the music, connect to it, sound with it. If a Nia instructor initiates sound that gives you permission to voice yourself.
  • Try singing during some of your favorite songs.
  • Working with Emotions:

  • During routines you could add emotion to that routine and scream “Haaaaaa! Or Yeahhh!” During punches, Strikes like Elbow strikes, and kicks!
  • During touches, you can express joy, like “ahhhh, or ohhh” using emotions to bring out the movement and sound.
  • During shimmys’ express excitement with a “Whoaaaah!”
  • Speak your truth, dare intimacy!
  • If you are a Nia Instructor – have students engage each other through routines. I have gotten to the point where I have students greet each other like butterflies greeting each other or butterflies greeting a beautiful flower. Then engage each other by saying hello to each other.
  • During Cool Downs:

    • Sounding with neck rolls.
    • Incorporate massaging your neck and jaw during floorplay.
    • More sighs and ahhhs as you cool down. If you cannot start with voice, start it with inner voice.
    • Work with healing colors like the color blue which is the throat chakra’s color.

    Chanting During Nia

    – “Ham” is the mantra for Vishuddha. During Nia class or you feel compelled to, chant “Ham” vocally or mentally.

    A very excellent site on mantras and how to use them is right here: http://www.swamij.com/mantra-use.htm

    Enjoy!



{July 13, 2010}   Be Still, My Beating Anahata

Short story that goes with this particular chakra and this is something I feel that must be shared.  Simply due to my own experience when opening the heart chakra that was a pivotal change in my life. Plus, if you are working with any chakras, you really need to be conscious of the potential harm that can be caused. This is because people are just not conscious of their actions and most of them are looking for a magic pill. Which as we all know is dangerous. This is why so many Gurus suggest that you find a guru before you work with this type of science.  Unfortunately, not everyone has access to true teachers, so they must go with their gut, their heart and their logic and use their own selves as an experiment and recognize the potential dangers and embrace the “awakenings” that occur. A lot of people are ready, or feel a call, but they don’t have access to a spiritual teacher, so they rely on Spirit to guide them.

So, my first heart chakra experience happened nearly eight years when a friend of mine brought in Bhagavan Das into Cincinnati for a Kirtan.  This was very exciting for me, not only did I help with the marketing of the Kirtan, I also just read the man’s book, “It’s Here Now (Are You?): A Spiritual Memoir. ” A really honest, almost outrageous autobiography of Bhagavan Das and his adventure to India and his love for Neem Karoli Baba. This book really brought some things in my own life to my attention.  The kirtan, especially, was a real eye opener for me, because of one particular song.  This song, called “Sri Krishna Arti,” was loved by Bhagavan Das’s Babaji and if I remember correctly even he wept to it.  You can here it on his myspace page. http://www.myspace.com/bhagavandas

Before Bhagavan Das sang the song, he gave us a disclaimer; he said something to the effect that the listeners may get caught up in Maya or their own delusions of their life during this song.  If this was to occur then they should call on their deity to bring them back to reality or the here and now.  (Note: this is why I am so huge on the mantra while practicing Chakra Dancing with Nia, because it is wise to have a safety word. Now he said deity, however, I have found any word will work.  Of course, I’m sure there will be people who argue with me on that, but with all my studies into Hinduism, Daoism and Zen I realize that just a word can keep you in the present, grounded and focused. However, a devotee would feel the strength of their saint, deity etc. because of their devotion alone. Which makes sense.)

Anyways, back to the story. In the middle of this beautiful song a presence came to me and a voice said, “You didn’t receive the nurturing you needed as a child.”  At this point, I started to cry, my chest hurt like a dam broke in my heart and all the emotions gushed like Niagara falls out this tiny little space.  My chest hurt, my throat hurt, my head hurt and I could not stop crying for the life of me.  I was so hurt. I felt like I was going crazy and my body was completely out of control. The tears kept coming for what seemed like hours, but it was only seconds. I actually thought I was going to die right then, but I remembered my safety word. I chose Ram at the time.  Which could be very dangerous in itself.  However, I feel like this, if you are sincere, They will understand and I was never more sincere then at that moment. So, I chanted “Ram” over and over and over again till I could stop crying.  It took quite a while and a lot of concentration.

So, that was my first experience of an unhealthy chakra opening and how powerful and dangerous it can be if you are not guided.  But, what is most important for the Nia participant and any good Nia Instructor will tell you, it is okay to cry during class, because you are cleaning yourself out. Becoming conscious, you are in fact having a revelation, an awakening, a cleansing, however you describe it. People have asked teachers during class, “Is it ok to cry?” It’s fine! Please do! Just do not have any attachments to it, because it was the past. Learn what you need to learn and let go.

Ever since that day, I felt a weight that was lifted from my body. I felt liberated from a lifetime of hurt and suffering. I became very conscious of why I am the way I am, the things I react(ed) to, why I chose to do the things I did in the past and my anger. It all came to fruition when this chakra was opened and the healing began.

Of course, like all things in life, all things must be practiced or worked; there are no magic pills! If we do not, we can fall back into old behavior patterns that will keep us stagnant and from progressing.  If your heart is closed, you will not be open to the Universal Spirit and the love the Universe has to offer to you. You do not want to leave this earth with your heart closed.

What Creates an Unhealthy Anahata

All the experiences in relationship of all the previous chakras play a role in the heart chakra. All the abuses, all the neglect and the lack of love. The heart chakra is like the middle pillar between the base and the roof. So, it is important to find and remain balanced or the roof will cave in and all kinds of craziness will occur. In order to do this you must be in touch with your emotions.  In my life example that you read above, I was the type of person who held back and my heart was hard. People described me at times as cold, antisocial because I was not in touch with my emotions. Heck, I feared emotions. When someone displayed emotions I would either run from them or get angry with them, because emotions were alien to me or…  Perhaps, I was then holding back, when I myself needed to cry. But, as a child, I was not allowed to speak my mind or allowed to express myself and the people that was placed in my life at the time was so self-absorbed they didn’t have time to hear what I had to say.

Characteristics of an Unhealthy Chakra

·        Hyperactivity is a sign of an unhealthy heart chakra. The Hyperactive Active Child, let’s think about this one. A hyper child maybe a child that has special needs or lacks the nurturing in his or her life. This child needs (or feels the need) to be nurtured so much that he/she will do anything he/she possibly can to achieve this attention. This hyperactivity will occur in their body’s mind whether he or she is conscious of this need or not. Everyone around this child will experience the hyper child. But, let’s not make any assumptions, just because a child is hyper does not mean they are lacking the nurturing.  Our actions in this life often dictate what happened in our past life whether or not we are conscious of it or not.

·        Cold
·        Anti-social – inability to connect with people.
·        Reserved, quiet
·        Self-centered
·        Lack of esteem
·        Easily manipulated
·        Picks the wrong people to love – consistently taken advantage of.
·        Fear of relationships
·        Holds grudges
·        Lack of compassion
·        Anxieties

To go deeper, check out “The Chakra System, A Complete Course in Self-Diagnosis and Healing.” By Anodea Judith. A fantastic course where she breaks down the chakras, what causes excessive or deficient chakra, mental dis-ease and health dis-ease, blockages, the psychology behind each chakra that affects us, plus ways to heal them.

Healing the Anahata with Your Nia Practice

Using the third chakra, your will, to heal the fourth chakra is essential. Which means, you must use your will power. What I love about Nia is, it’s an opportunity to express love for yourself. However, I’ve noticed that people fear doing this because they fear what others will say. A Nia class is suppose to be a sanctuary and if others can’t honor this then you need to find another teacher who pushes the sanctuary concept. Nia Space is your space and it’s supposed to be a safe place, no judging of others, no judging of self. I’ve dealt with teachers like this and I refuse to come to their class. Birds of a feather flock together, their students exhibit the samve behavior. So, non-judging being practiced will help you let go and let loose and when you are comfortable your muscles in your body will become softer and you will be more open to flexibility. Plus, as all things, practicing healing the chakras needs to be practiced. It’s like getting ready for a play or a game.

So, to start off, connecting to your heart by putting your hands over it will allow you to connect to it. Once you feel connected go into your routines.

Nia Teachers know this song: I found the second song, “A Different Space,” of Alpha Omega to be a great start to opening the heart chakra. Bob Holroyd website.

· Starting with the pulsing of the heart to start – visualize your heart opening and getting ready for love that is to be received and given. I like to use a lot of creative visualization like “Angel Wings” reaching into your heart then extending your arms is like Angels extending their love and compassion to the world. This is during the step touch.

· At some point in that dance pattern, you step touch back and do a chop of the hand. This is where I tell students to cut through the mental noise, “fear, anxiety, anger…”

· In the middle of the song where we bring our feet together and we extend our arms side to side – Receive Love. Then we give love by extending arms in front of us.

· Then towards end where we receive and extend – we add a melodic movement and in the song the woman speak, “Love and Compassion….” This is where melodic movements come in a great opportunity to express love through melodic movements.

· You get the idea; feel free to share other songs with similar intentions.

The song Butterfly Heart:

This routine has a great part in it that Debbie Rosas choreographed together where we are melodically moving our arms together like butterfly wings. Which pulses the chest and undulates the spine – great for the heart chakra.

More for the Students:

· For the students, melodic movements have the potential for an expression of self-love. This will take a lot of will power because you are actually going to express oneself to the room. In a good class, people will be so self-involved they most like won’t be watching so feel free to be free. But since this is a test of wills, use your will power to work through any hesitation to express yourself freely.

· Reaching in from the heart then extending your arms to the community to give of one self.

· Swimming motions in foreplay exercise the heart chakra.

Chanting During Nia

– “Yam” is the mantra for the Anahata. During Nia class or you feel compelled to, chant “Yam” vocally or mentally.

A very excellent site on mantras and how to use them is right here: http://www.swamij.com/mantra-use.htm

Replenishing and Reprogramming with Healthy Emotions

  • (If you are right handed) Left hand to the sky to receive and right hand to your heart connect to your heart by feeling the beat of our heart. Once you feel connected invite love for yourself.  As it is in Heaven, so it is on Earth – I connect to the Universe Love.
  • (If you are left handed) Right hand to the sky to receive and Left hand to your heart connect to your heart by feeling the beat of our heart. Once you feel connected invite love for yourself.  As it is in Heaven, so it is on Earth – I connect to the Universe Love.
  • Visualize a green light coming from the heavens and following your upper arms to the right arm and filling your heart.  Then when the connection is made, extend that light outside of yourself for others to feel. Then take the light, melodically move that energy up from the top of your body then down to your feet with a tai chi like motion. Fill your whole body with this light and get all sides.
  • Surrender to the love, I know this can be hard for many to do, especially since many of us been programmed to believe we do not deserve to be happy or in love. However, there will be no progression, evolution, no end to suffering if you do not surrender to love.  The end of suffering begins with your self.

    Nia Namaste,
    Tina



    {February 6, 2010}   That Gut Feeling ~ Manipura

    Something I found interesting and am totally convinced of, because of my experience when studying and working with the Manipura is we have a strong connection between our brains and our guts. Reason being, the two parts evolved from the same clump of cells when we were born. Plus, one half of our nerve cells are located in the gut. 100 million nerve cells are located in the small intestine alone. So, think about that when you stuff that baconotar down your throat, we certainly become what we eat. Cows living depressed and with anxiety, full well knowing their fate. You are what you eat and we wonder why so many people today live with depression and anxiety. Oh, wait there’s more ->

    What Creates an Unhealthy Manipura

    Many things in a power-hungry society can influence the Manipura. Let’s use some examples, overly strict parents who strongly use their authority over you and how you handle that power is one way of creating a deficient Manipura. You may have a tendency to fear challenges because of authoritarian rule. A parent who feels they need to break the will of a kid is only going to end up with a hurt child with problems. Now on the other hand, you may have parents that are the complete opposite, and let you run wild. Lacking those healthy boundaries that a child needs. Let’s just face it, all things need a happy medium and the right discipline is needed, kids need that because they need to know they need to know they are being looked after and nurtured.

    Over-stimulation, lack of stimulation, neglect, abuse, domineering parents and children not allowed choice are more things that can create an unhealthy Manipura. Parents who undermine you, “How could you do that?” “You broke another plate!!!” “You do such stupid things!” “Your stomach is too big,” when you wear zeros. Verbal or physical actions that give you a sense of shame, shame of what you say, your body, etc, paralyzes the Manipura.

    Deficient Manipura include:
    · Lethargy
    · Lack of will
    · Stomach troubles
    · Gas
    · Apathy
    · Chronic fatigue
    · Not enjoying what you do, you dread doing

    Excessive Manipura:
    · Egotistical
    · Hyperactive
    · Can’t sit still
    · Controlling
    · Can’t discharge energy
    · Type A personality
    · Bragger

    To go deeper, check out “The Chakra System, A Complete Course in Self-Diagnosis and Healing.” By Anodea Judith. A fantastic course where she breaks down the chakras, what causes excessive or deficient chakra, mental dis-ease and health dis-ease, blockages, the psychology behind each chakra that affects us, plus ways to heal them.

    Healing the Manipura with Your Nia Practice

    One of the things I love about Nia is, we are constantly doing these beautiful unusual twist and turns. If you watch these twist turns, they seem to travel from one part of the body to the next; from top to bottom which often includes the solar plexus. This is a great thing, because lack of blood flow to the solar plexus is also key to anxiety, so the twist and turns are perfect.

    When you get started, focus on the Manipura, if you need physical visualization, make an upside down triangle with your hands in the solar plexus area: Chant the Manipura mantra. Start working your solar plexus with waves or rolls of your solar plexus. Visualize a fire purifying you.

    If anxieties or apprehensions begin to occur – That would be considered a good sign as you are beginning to detox. Use breathing or chanting to keep focused and not get caught up in those emotions. If that doesn’t work, call on your deity/God. If you need to hurl, that’s ok too, run to the bathroom and let go. These are just toxins that need to come out.
    Any apprehension occurring then after the stomach rolls and body twist you can also push that energy from the solar plexus then push it into the ground from stomach, to pelvis and through the ground to let Ma Earth recycle the energy.

    Other ideas during Nia practice do something spontaneous that you wouldn’t ordinary do. Mental noise like shame, aggression, anger, fear visualize those things in your head then shake that energy off, don’t claim it, lose your attachment with you. Throw it to the ground. If you have a tendency to be quite and withdrawn, get flirtatious, use a lot of sounding, let go, scream your head off. Any ideas that come to mind use it. One of the things I love about Nia is when we step in, it’s a no judgment zone, and this includes judging yourself. Have fun!

    Chanting During Nia

    Deep Sounding with deep breath can generate strong blood flow to the Manipura. Much like fire breathing meditation, but I wouldn’t recommend fire-breathing meditation during Nia – you’d pop a lung or something. But with a deep breath in adding to a warrior cry or an anxiety relieving “ahhh” would be helpful.

    – Ram is the mantra for the Manipura. During Nia class or you feel compelled to, chant “Ram” vocally or mentally.

    Now, I also want to mention which I haven’t mentioned in the other earlier Chakras, there are also Bijas, (seed mantras reverberations). Manipura is RuNG. Svadhisthana is VuNG and Muladhara is LuNG.

    Note: The NG is said with the tongue on the roof of the mouth.
    “U” or “Am” is said much like “Aum” or “Amen.” Also note, RuNG sounds much like ram.

    Replenishing and Reprogramming with Healthy Emotions

    Raising hands to heaven lovingly collect any joy energy or reclaim your will, allowing yourself “choice,” see yourself with self-confidence, feel pro-active, see your will growing strong, see yourself more patient or what ever you feel you need.

    Turning and twisting your arms using the power of the solar plexus, visualize the positive energy coming to joy, love, compassion for self, visualize it. Collect that energy and use that upside down triangle to bring that energy down and bring it into the solar plexus. Do this 3 or 8 times.

    Have any more great ideas, then feel free to add.
    Tina



    {December 4, 2009}   Oh, So Sweet! Svadhisthana

     

    With Nia there are a lot of healing movements pertaining to all the chakras and in this session we will focus with the second chakra known as the Svadhisthana or the sacral chakra or even the sex chakra.  As we are going beyond the correspondence, please check out the following link if you want to learn more about the correspondences:  http://www.chakra-colors.com/Sexual-Chakra/

    The Svadhisthana involves emotions, sexuality and fluidity/flexibility of the body.  It is located at the sacrum, genitals, affecting hips, knees and the lower back. So, movement will be based on those areas. But, before we get into the movements let’s discuss what creates an unhealthy sacral charka.

    What Creates an Unhealthy Svadhisthana

    As Svadhisthana chakra is ruled by water, water-signifying emotions. Know that, water should naturally flow. So, think of good, healthy flowing water that is drinkable. Where stagnant water is undrinkable because it’s poisonous. So, the question needs to be asked, “How does one become undrinkable?” 

    A unhealthy Svadhisthana chakra signifies restrictions. Parents who are restrictive equal a child not allowed to speak.  I’m sure many of you heard the saying, “A child should be seen and not heard.” This child will not be allowed to speak out when he or she needs to be heard. This child will cry and will not get the response that she is crying for. Neglect plays a big role in this child’s life when proper nurturing is needed.

    This child will be denied the creativity and live in an environment that shuns creativity. These restrictions will deny the good healthy natural pleasure that balances us emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Children love to interact with their parents, they loved to be heard, and they should be heard. Plus, children are naturally creative, we can learn a lot from a child’s natural creativity. Parents should be receptive to their child needs. Otherwise, as Anodea Judith puts it so well in her literature, a child will become emotionally illiterate.

    So, if this programming is set into our minds and our bodies, what are the consequences?

    If this chakra is deficient, we are subjected to fear:

    • Fear of change,
    • Fear of contact,
    • Fear of intimacy,
    • Poor social skills,
    • Feeling emotionally numb
    • Avoids pleasure, looks at pleasure like its evil.
    • Lacking that spark to life, lacking desire, and passion.
    • Depression

     

    If this chakra is excessive:

    • Very sensually driven, prone to sexually act out
    • Sexually addictive
    • Constantly have to be stimulated by sights and sound.  Watches a lot of tv, constantly going to the movies, constantly listening to music. They have to be stimulated all the time and can’t sit or be silent for a minute.
    • Drug addiction/alcohol addiction
    • Addicted to drama, only feels alive when drama happens.
    • Easily hurt, always off on emotional roller coasters.
    • Have a tendency to emotionally attach to a person, and can go as far as stalking them because they feel that this person is the only one who can satisfy them emotionally.
    • Manipulates people emotionally, seducing people to get their needs met.

     

    What happens to the body?

    Emotions play a pivotal role with the physical body and its muscles. As emotions must naturally flow like water, if it doesn’t then naturally there will be physical consequences. Stagnation will occur; the body becomes stiff, losing its flexibility and we are only as healthy as we are flexible.

    To go deeper, check out “The Chakra System, A Complete Course in Self-Diagnosis and Healing.” By Anodea Judith. There she will go deeper into the Svadhisthana, how if affects your desires, emotions and fear of pleasure. It’s a fantastic course where she breaks down the chakras, what causes excessive or deficient chakra, mental dis-ease and health dis-ease, blockages, the psychology behind each chakra that affects us, plus ways to heal them.

    Healing the Svadhisthana with Your Nia Practice

    Start off mentally focused on the idea of “change.”  Change is pivotal in healing the Svadhisthana. So, invite change into your life. Since emotions are related to desire, focus on those types of emotions and work through them with your Nia practice.  Now, if you notice that you get caught up in those emotions and you start to cry.  It’s ok, it’s good that you are crying, however if you feel that those emotions are overwhelming.  Focus on a word, that word can be anything.  It can be the name of your deity, saint, or just a word.  The purpose of the word is to ground you. Chant it in your mind or out loud.  Sometimes just saying “Ahhhhhhhhh” is a great way to ground.

    Nia Movements:

    When ever the opportunity occurs and it will because Nia works with all 13 joints, which includes the hip joints.  Focus intently on your hips movements.  Hip bumps, pelvic circles, free movements that involve hip movements. This is the time to connect to the emotions that involve the Svadhisthana. Nurture those emotions, recognize them for who they are then, recycle those emotions by sending them into the earth then ground. Ground them by pushing those emotions down through your legs with pelvic pushes.  Emotions will spiral into the earth.

    As you continue your Nia practice, you will start to feel more natural ways to move that energy, those emotions and go with it.  This is what Nia is about, it’s natural, it’s The Body’s Way.

    Chanting During Nia

    – Vam is the mantra for the Svadhisthana.  While you are practicing any Nia movements or you feel compelled to, chant “Vam” vocally or mentally.
     

    Replenishing and Reprogramming with Healthy Emotions

    Now that you have released unhealthy emotions, it’s time to replenish/reprogram your body with new emotions.  Those of you who have taken Nia will understand the next bit of info.

    • When you extend your arms to the heavens, invite joy and happiness into your heart.
    • When you extend your arms to the community then embrace yourself, embrace joy and happiness.
    • When you extend your hands to heavens, use your body to spiral happiness and joy throughout your body. Shifting your upper then lower body, spiral head to toe pushing that energy throughout your body saying to yourself, I accept and deserve joy and happiness.

    When ever your work with space, your space around you, and the three different levels extend joy and happiness energy to your aura.



    Something I forgot to mention in the first blog this is not a magic pill. Everyone is looking for a magic pill to heal their body and emotions, but there is no magic pill. If you want to heal you have to make some serious lifestyle changes. That could be anything from changing your diet to getting some exercise. Plus, you have to want it, you have to desire the change, take hold of that change and embrace that change. You deserve happiness!!!  But, you got to allow yourself to have it. So, you have to do these practices consistently. I promise you it works, I know from my own experience, which I’m not going to bore you with that drama. So, let’s move on to the Muladhara.

    Energy Currents

    There are energy currents that run through to all parts of your body. The primary currents run from chakra to chakra.  These currents connect your chakras to your body, that’s why people who have a deficient/excessive Muladhara may have issues with hemorrhoids, stiffness in legs, poor circulation in legs, obesity, etc. etc. etc.. Plus, an unhealthy Muladhara may lead the other chakras being unhealthy.

    Note: There are many different ideas of chakras having no relation to the body to the chakras having direct relationships to particular organs in the body. I believe, as do many others, that it’s not necessary the organ that the chakra may live in that causes dis-ease. It’s the energy of the emotions that cause stress and the body’s reaction creates dis-ease in the body and those organs.

    An example would be a person who was physically or sexually abused as a child and their coping strategy is to be out of your body when the abuse occurs.  The coping strategy says to them, we got to be somewhere else. Even after the years of abuse may end the chakra may still be programmed to react that way. You see, it’s a trickle down affect.  The programming remains with the chakra, then the mind, to the body. Those emotions take it’s toll on the body. Unhealthy emotions, for example, depression and anxiety kicks in, like worry, fear and anxiety.  Eventually you’ll feel like you are dying inside and hopefully nothing worse then will occur. Don’t let the worst happen, we all deserve to be here!  We all deserve happiness! Accept it!

    In Nia, it is taught that adding emotion to your practice is way to cope, release and work those body parts, activate muscles, etc. where those emotions lie in. This is why Nia can be such an emotional release. This is why some people cry in their Nia classes and they even come up to their teachers and ask, “Is it ok for me to cry?” Some people may laugh and laugh, some people may even feel uncomfortable in their body because they just have no idea what is going on and they won’t come back. They should come back!

    Specific Nia Movements were designed to work those muscles and release those emotions. So, since we are talking about the Muladhara and when you are in closed stance and open stance and there is an emotion that you want to release. Use those motions discussed in “Claiming Your Ground – Muladhara Part 1” to release those emotions. Take that emotion, let it drain from your body, instigate those emotions being pushed out with your pelvis, etc. etc. Then prepare yourself to replenish your body with new emotions, which we will discuss next.

    Replenishing and Reprogramming with Healthy Emotions

    Once you have released unhealthy emotions, now it’s time to replenish/reprogram your body with new emotions. Those of you who have taken a Nia class will understand the next bit of info.

    • When you extend your arms to the heavens, invite joy and happiness into your heart.
    • When you extend your arms to the community then embrace yourself, embrace joy and happiness.
    • When you extend your hands to heavens, use your body to spiral happiness and joy throughout your body. Shifting your upper then lower body, spiral head to toe pushing that energy throughout your body saying to yourself, I accept and deserve joy and happiness.
    • When ever your work with space, your space around you, and the three different levels extend joy and happiness energy to your aura.
    • Finally standing in closed stance (mountain pose), ground happiness and joy to your body. Invite it, embrace it and accept it. You deserve it!

     

    Once you practice Nia practice and do it consistently, new motions will open up to you, that would be your instincts kicking in.  You should add it to your Nia practice.

    Okay, that’s it for now. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have the next chakra, Svadhisthana the sacral chakra, typed up and share it with you. Peace!

    Tina



    I haven’t been posting or blogging like my usual self due to I’ve been studying chakras.  My intent is to apply chakra healing to my Nia practice, especially since Nia HQ eliminated Chakra Dancer from their routines because of copyright issues.  Luckily, I have a Nia Instructor who is guiding me through the Chakra Dancer process.  I’ve also been studying Anodea Judith’s Chakra System books, mainly because she works off of Arthur Avalon’s book, “The Serpent Power.”  A man I take highly serious, not only because I have studied his teachings for the past 10 years, but also because Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das recommends his teachings.

    This blog is dedicated to the root chakra, technical name: Muladhara.  Now, if you want to learn the correspondence to the chakra’s check out the following link: http://oneyogalife.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/a-brief-description-of-the-chakras/

    In this blog, I am going beyond the correspondence and discuss the healing emotions relating to the Muladhara chakra, applying it to your Nia practice to strengthen the healing process.

    What Creates an Unhealthy Chakra

    Muladhara is a chakra about survival instincts, things that we are not thinking about yet we have this innate intelligence ie instinct.  This chakra is molded and shaped starting from the time in the womb till about 12 months of infancy.  So, it’s starts with how your mother feels about her maternity and on.  Complicated birthing process may weaken the Muladhara, where healthy births create a healthy first chakra.

    If a mother is unhappy about the pregnancy or she is having complications or she may feel abandoned or alone because she herself is unwanted. Her feelings and fears make her body contract and when her body is contracted, the muscles in the womb contract and feel tight and tense.  Instinct tells the baby being here is uncomfortable.

    When baby comes out of the womb and is not greeted by loving touches, kept warm, supported, held comfortably by loved ones, physically abused, malnourished, overfed, and/or if the parents fears are passed down onto the child. The infant will remain contracted and mistrust is developed. Unfortunately, these emotions will naturally be programmed into their minds and can stay with them life long.

    The mental state of a person with an unhealthy first chakra are; frequent fear, fear of change, anxiety, spacey, lack of discipline, restlessness and laziness.  Physical states would include either obesity or underweight.  These people will have a tendency to hoard and be materialistic.

    Depending on the individual, the chakra can be excessive or deficient and the body reacts creating various illnesses. Excessive means your body will not release energies, deficient means we are not in the body; we don’t want to be in the body, we fear the body.

    To go deeper, check out “The Chakra System, A Complete Course in Self-Diagnosis and Healing.” By Anodea Judith. A fantastic course where she breaks down the chakras, what causes excessive or deficient chakra, mental dis-ease and health dis-ease, blockages, the psychology behind each chakra that affects us, plus ways to heal them.

    Healing the Muladhara with Nia

     

    I have noticed with a lot of the Nia routines, Carlos and Debbie Rosas choreographed movements that work with the chakras as their intentions are to add various holistic practices and apply it to Nia.  This is what makes Nia so unique and you can add anything you have learned here to your Nia practice. As you grow with your Nia practice some these movement will naturally become apparent to you.  If you are taking a Nia class you are on your way to healing or connecting to spirit, healing your mind and body.  You obviously want the change, so we applaud you in your efforts!  A healthy you creates a healthy planet as we are all connected.

    So, let’s start with the basics:

    Since the Muladhara is connected to the feet, legs and the base of the spine, a lot of the Nia movements deal with those areas.

    The Focus and Intent – If your instructor has not set a focus or you just want to set your own focus, think of something about yourself that you want to heal. Concentrate on that focus during your Nia practice.

    The “Step In” – Let go of any distractions to help focus.

    Connecting To Space/Your Space – Everyone who has taken Nia knows what this means.  Use this as an opportunity to collect and gather thoughts and emotions you want to heal. Visualize yourself connecting to these emotions, loving these emotions no matter how hurtful these emotions are, and then prepare yourself to recycle them into the earth.

    Closed Stance/Open Stance – a great opportunity to root yourself, grounding your energy.  When you are in closed stance visualize roots extending from your feet deep into the earth. Here is an opportunity to recycle any emotions or energy needed to heal into the earth.  Visualize all those feelings draining from your body through the roots to be grounded into the earth.  The earth has the power to cleanse that energy, recycle it into something positive.

    Creating a Spiral Through Your Legs – Starting from the tailbone, activate your Muladhara by pushing your pelvis in a downward motion.  This will create a spiral of energy through your legs.  Here is a good opportunity to take emotions, that something that needs to heal and spiral it into the earth.

    Spinal Rolls and Undulating the Spine – Roll/Undulate as your Nia Instructors instructs you to.  Feeling gravity connecting and rooting you to the earth as you push down with your feet. With your upper body you awaken the chakras as you roll upwards feel yourself lift and grow out of the earth.  Energy anew.

    Chanting During Nia – Lam is the mantra for the Muladhara.  While you are practicing any Nia movements or you feel compelled to chant “Lam” vocally or mentally.

    Temporary Conclusion

    Before this gets any longer, I’m going to conclude here and I will add more in a Part II of Claiming Your Ground – Muladhara.



    {September 13, 2009}   Be Here Now ~ Living in the Moment.

    “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly—you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

    Recently, I saw a great You Tube video with Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now” on Facebook. The interview was outstanding not to mention very hip. People should see this video, whether you suffer from depression, anxiety or whatever dis-ease that affects your life.

    In the beginning of the interview, they did a bio on Tolle, stating that Eckart Tolle was depressed, had anxiety and was suicidal up to his late twenties. Somehow, he defeated this by “Living in the Moment.” He suggests to train your mind to not live in the past or the future. Live in the Now! When we live in the past, we have a tendency to fall in regret and guilt. When we live thinking of the future, we have a tendency to get caught up with worry, anxiety and fear. The way to defeat that, is to live in the now.

    “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness” – Page 19 ~ The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle.

    Now, I personally believe that living in “The Now” takes practice. Being a Taoist by nature and a Nia Instructor, I have learned, there are methods that help people calm this mental dis-ease. To be in the now, you must concentrate on that very moment. For instance, as you are walking inner dialogue will say, left foot step, right foot step. Do you see where I am going with this? So, in Nia, your inner dialogue will say something similar to, “I lift the chi (Qi). I am crossing my right foot in front. Left foot, Heal Lead. I am stepping into space. I watch my arms float beautifully up, down and all around.” These are just a few examples of mind, living in the moment.

    3563222104_686e735563
    Photo by Raymond Larose, to see more of this talented photographer’s pictures, check out; http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenscrack/

    Here’s the link to the video on You Tube, check it out. Peace, Tina



    {August 21, 2009}   The Rule of Finding Pleasure

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    “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

    Last night’s Nia class motivated me into some thinking about how down people are on themselves. One of my students didn’t get a move and I wasn’t concerned about her getting the move as much as I was concerned about her enjoying herself. She was busy beating herself up something awful. This is a real shame, because the majority of the time, girlfriend really dances well!

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”~ Buddha

    I barked at her, I said, “No Judgments, especially not of yourself! There are no pleasures in judgment.”

    Then I got to thinking. It amazes me every time when beautiful, talented and intelligent people are so hard on themselves. I have beautiful friends that could rule the world with their beauty alone. Yet, they are so hard on themselves, so insecure that the world picks up on it and will use it against them. Considering it’s bad enough the world is down on us, why should we join in by supporting their negative input.

    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
    ~ Buddha

    When it comes to Nia there are no rules, except the Rule of Finding Pleasure. In every class, invite yourself to let go and be yourself. If that doesn’t work for you at first, be someone else for a while. What is important is to find the pleasure, play with the pleasure and become the pleasure. I promise you, it’s all inside of you, all you have to do is find it, surrender to it and allow yourself to have it only then you will become it. Pleasure will resonate through you and the world will pick up on it and admire you. Good things will come to you because it will be attracted to you.

    Finding pleasure and becoming it is an exercise no different than any other form of exercise. We have to exercise confidence to become strong in it and this is what the world wants not to mention needs right now – strong, confident people.

    When you become this pleasure, things like, not getting a move will not even bother you because you will be confident enough to know, you’ll get it next time. Smile; enjoy yourself because if you do you are producing positive energy not just for yourself, but also for the world.

    “With our thoughts we make the world.” ~Buddha

    One more quote, because I lika da quotes:

    By choosing your thoughts,
    and by selecting which emotional currents you will release
    and which you will reinforce,
    you determine the quality of your Light.
    You determine the effects that you will have upon others,
    and the nature of the
    experiences of your life.

    ~ Gary Zukav – from “Seat Of The Soul” ~

    Namaste,
    Tina

    Credits: Picture by benipop.



    {August 1, 2009}   Empty Your Cup

    tea cup

    “One day an important man, a man used to command and obedience came to visit the master. “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was one used to getting his own way.

    The Zen master smiled and said that they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea was served the master poured his visitor a cup. He poured and he poured and the tea rose to the rim and began to spill over the table and finally onto the robes of the wealthy man. Finally the visitor shouted, “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?”

    The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.”

    When practicing Nia, one must learn to let go of any expectations you may have learned via any other exercise regime. They teach us to enter Nia with a beginner’s mind. I like this approach as it says to me, enter Nia with the mind of a child and in doing so you get to savor new experiences and sensations.

    In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s there are few. – Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

    Namaste,
    Tina

    Credit: Photo by Creativauy.



    {July 18, 2009}   Rumble Those Buns

    I posted this on the Nia Moves Me website, however I wanted to post it here.

    A few weeks ago, a couple of my students were teasing me about wiggling my buns during the song Opal. They had these big cheesy smiles on their faces, too. So, my face turns completely red, I just smile and say, “It’s soooooooooooo good for your nervous system, Rumble Those Buns!

    I got quite a response from this from other Nia Instructors but the one that stood out of my mind was from Jason Alan Griffin, Nia Instructor in New York, New York. He stated the following:

    There are some massage techniques that use the same technology. Tapotement is the act of literally tapping or pounding on the muscle tissue. It ‘tenderizes’ it. The nervous system gets overwhelmed by all the stimulus and the result is that the the muscle tissues relax any excess tension.

    Another related technique is the work of Trager, in which he takes a body part and shakes it or vibrates it thereby causing the muscle tissue to let go.

    Both of these things are at play in the rumble and the shimmy. This is why the movements feel so good and invigorating. They are literally relaxing the muscles.
    Keep on Rumblin!

    1079064_68867851Yeah, baby yeah! This is why I get so high during those rumbles, and why chronic headaches go away, and why people have this big huge smile on their faces as they leave class. The rumbles, the shimmies and the quivers relieves tensions and motivates the body to let go.

    Feels sooooo good, so good for your body. Thank you, Jason, I knew it was fantastic for the nervous system but I didn’t know how in depth those techniques went. Can’t leave without a quote:

    Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself. ~Havelock Ellis

    Credit: Picture designed by Yoshi Aka.



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