Nia classes with Ann Marie

Current Class Schedule - updated Aug 28th, 2013

Mondays ~5:30-6:15pm Lower Native Sons Hall, Courtenay - new session starts Sept 16. Drop-in or register through the Lewis Centre, open to all.

Tuesdays ~ 3 to 4:15pm. Ongoing- d'Esterre House, Comox. Drop-in or register at the door, open to all.

Thursdays 10:30 - 11:30am Lewis Centre Gym - Special Need Adult Class - starts again in September.

Friday 9am - 10:15am. Ongoing Comox Seniors' Assocation. Drop-in or register at the door - reduced rate if you are a member of the Comox Seniors' Association. Open to all.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Updates for Nia Classes and Dance Opportunities

March has been the month of Flexibility in Nia classes, the sensation of energy moving out along the bones.  We've been focusing in on the sensations deep inside to have a sense of where inner begins, before it ever becomes outer.  Some of you have mentioned that what you're getting out of this focus is a greater awareness of your bones, the framework that makes movement possible out in the world.  Some of you have noticed a deepening of the chest cavity, feeling deeper into your torso and really noticing the solar plexus area.  As spring days arrive and we all begin to move out into our yards for gardening and other outside activities, we can continue to sense into our bodies first, and then feel for the ways our own inner is traveling out along our bones to connect us to the world around us.

You might even want to try consciously moving through your garden or on your favourite trail or walkway with this focus in mind.  Notice how you sense your own bones and the energy that is within, moving and circulating.  Then begin to notice the ways you sense that movement and energy traveling out along the bones as your feet step, as your arms swing, as you turn your skull to listen to a bird or to catch sight of a flower. Bring your Nia practice with you out into the world!

There are many updates I'd like to share with you, and I've sent out an email with the details.  If you'd like to receive a copy of this email, make sure I have your address.  You can email me at annienia(at)yahoo(dot)ca and ask for it.

Here are the basic details:

New Thursday night class starting in Comox on April 4th at 6pm in the Little Red Church.  We need 6 people to sign up for the class to be a go, so pass on the word.

There is a Nia playshop on March 30th in Nanaimo with Marth Randall, who is the trainer I did my White Belt with to become a Nia teacher.  I'll be going for sure!  March 30th from 1 to 2:30pm, $25,  at the Yoga Weir just past Nanaimo. click here for map

Ongoing Class Details:

Monday night classes resume on April 8th in the Florence Filberg - this is a big deal for me!  We have been trying to get back into that wonderful space for over a year, so let's show the city that we're grateful for the space by filling it up with students.

Tuesday and Friday classes at the Comox Seniors' Association (d'Esterre House) are ongoing - Tuesdays at 3pm and Fridays at 9am.

There is one more session of Special Needs Nia before the summer starts, so if you know any adults who might like to try dancing with us, let them know it starts on April the 11th and goes until May 30 at the Lewis Centre Gym.

Embodying Gratefulness - Denise Nadeau is offering a series of classes in May that focus on embodiment and gratefulness.  click here for details.

This summer I will be teaching Creative Dance classes for kids through Courtenay Recreation.  The details are still being worked out, but the summer program guide will have all the information. There will be two age groups and both classes will be like Nia, but with less structure, and more emphasis on spontaneous play based on an imagined theme of the week.  I'll keep you updated as the details are firmed up.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ahhhh - time to revel in the inner warmth we create when we start moving and dancing!

I found some great music during the holidays that I hope you'll enjoy.  I've linked to a bunch of youtube videos below so you can get a taste.  The videos themselves are just a means to an end - try listening with your eyes closed, or dancing away from your computer screen.

Looking forward to teaching you the new moves - it feels so good to get moving again after the holidays, doesn't it?

Monday, April 30, 2012

What a fantastic weekend of spirited movement

I had the good fortune to take in quite a bit of dance during the last two days.  April 29th was International Dance Day, and the day before I had been invited to talk to the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship about the philosophy and spirituality of Nia.  One of the dance workshops I attended was to learn Hula, the sacred and festive dance of Hawaii.  Taught by a fellow Nia teacher from Gibsons, Dhyanna, this workshop was an absolute joy to be part of.  We learned a couple of hula dances that taught us the ways in which all the hula movements are symbols.  Dhyanna danced one of the ceremonial hulas, and then explained how the movements were symbolic of nature and the prayers of thanks for the elements and to the creator, the great spirit.  This was no touristy performance, but a deeply moving moment of embodied prayer.

As the days lighten and warm up, I sense a lightening in my own heart to continue bringing more and more embodied movement, Nia, and community dance to this beautiful place where I live.  I have deep gratitude for all the students who help keep my dream thriving, coming to classes and workshops, and so obviously enjoying themselves.  If it takes two to tango, it takes a whole community to dance prayers and gratitude and joy and connection.

There is an opportunity coming up this Saturday, May 5th, to once again be part of the co-creation of community art.  We've all been invited to come and dance while the Letz Sing choir sings in the Sid Williams courtyard.  It's at 2pm, and you would be so welcomed into the circle of movement to help create a mandala of music and movement.

Monday, April 16, 2012

May 6th Playshop on the 9 Movement Forms

Time for diving in deep again, looking at more of the components of what makes Nia.  In the last playshop we went over each of the 52 moves in detail, learning about placement, alignment, and our own body's way as compared to The Body's Way.

In this playshop we'll be looking that closely at the 9 movement forms:

Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, Aikido
Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Jazz
Alexander Technique, The Work of Moshe Feldenkrais, Yoga

Debbie and Carlos have taken something from each, the essence of each practice, and woven them all together to create the practice of Nia. 

We'll take time to explore all  nine forms, and then there will be time to reflect in movement as to which movement form you resonate with the most, which you find most challenging, and what the gifts of the movement forms are for you in your Nia practice and in your daily life.

The class is limited to 12, with a minimum 8 registered required to run.

Sunday, May 6th
1 to 4pm
Island Pilates Fitness Studio

Register by paying Ann Marie with cash or chq.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spirituality in Motion

On April 28th, a Saturday, I will be giving a talk about the philosophy and spirituality of Nia for the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship.

1 - 2:30pm
Comox United Church 250 Beach Ave
Call Lynda to register at 250-339-7679

There will be talking and listening and gentle movements and meditating. 
This will be a chance to listen to some of the deeper philosophy behind Nia, and to get in touch with it's ability to intimately connect body, mind and spirit.

All are welcome!
Contact me for more information:
Ann Marie 250-336-0238

Thursday, March 15, 2012

52 Moves Playshop was Fantastic!

Okay, so there was no way we could do everything I had planned in only 2 hours!  So, next time we'll make it three hours and get a chance to put it all into practice to music. 

The response was overwhelmingly positive that the practice of breaking down the moves was helpful to participants.  The chance to ask any questions and to check alignment in the mirrors were high on the list of things people appreciated most. 

I've got my next palyshop date set at Island Pilates Fitness, for May 6th from 1 to 4pm.  If you've got any requests for a theme, let me know!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

52 Moves - Nia Playshop on Sunday, March 11th,
from 1 to 3pm
at Island Pilates Studio
click for map to studio

This 2 hour playshop will focus on learning
the 52 moves of Nia with attention to detail, function, and
following The Body's Way.

"Whaddya mean there are only 52 moves in Nia?
I've been doing hundreds!"
The 52 moves are the foundation of Nia  They come from all 9 movement forms which Nia is created from, and are designed to be performed in The Body's Way.  Why the capital letters there?  Because we each have our own body's way of doing the moves, and then there is the way that is most efficient, safe, and health-promoting - The Body's Way.

Think of when we are in class and using a movement that is "toes out, toes in".  I'm cueing you to move that from the hip socket, moving the leg from the thigh bone, not just the toes.  This is so that your movement will not place unneeded, and unhealthy, stress on the ligaments of the knee joint.  This is one example of using The Body's Way to enjoy a move with your own level of intensity, adding personal expression in ways that won't pull on the knee in ways that aren't healthy.

The best reasons I can think of for you to consider taking this playshop:
 You will get more out of your regular Nia classes. 
You'll have the ability to transition in and out of moves more easily,having practiced the individual moves that can fly by pretty quickly when we're deep intothe middle of a routine, keeping up with the beat.  You'll have more variations available to youfor changing your own intensity levels - adding intensity without having to add more force.

I'm keeping the class small so that you can get hands on guidance to align your body in The Body's Way of the moves.
You'll have time to ask questions about your own body's way within the moves. This isn't about correction or getting it perfect, but it is about taking time to focus on how the moves of Nia were designed to create a safe, healthy, awesome movement practice.

It'll be a great workout!
Just like in a Nia class, you will move everything you've got, but with attention to the detailed landscape of your own body.  We'll be in the Pilates Studio on Cliffe Street, which has great mirrors to check out your alignment - observing without judgement!  Without mirrors it can be hard to tell if our head is above our chest and our chest above our pelvis.  Here we'll be able to see the alignment, and then learn how it feels in the body.  When we go back to our weekly classes, we'll have that sensation memory to help guide our alignment again.

There are 12 open spots for this playshop, and it's open to everyone including first-timers.  This might be the perfect way to introduce someone you know to Nia.

Register by paying $25, cash or cheque, to me,
Ann Marie Lisch.

I will let you know when the class fills, or if there are spaces open for you to drop-in at the last minute.
A minimum of 8 participants are required, so I'll also let you know if it looks like it's not going to make it.

Contact me at 250-336-0238 or with any questions.

Hope to see you there!