angela, canon digital rebel xti
In my twenties, when I lived in Berkeley, I went to this amazing spirit movement class named Karuna. Twice a week men and women would gather in this large dance studio and for over an hour, we would get out of our heads and into our bodies. The energy was tingly and wild and free, the music tribal and inspiring. Our beautiful instructor was so in touch with her body and nature that when we were around her, we felt like one with the elements. The way my body moved in that class felt other worldly. I think of those classes often. I think of how we ended in a large circle, all looking at one another, holding hands, smiling and then bowing to one another. It was a community of earth children where the connection between us was totally unspoken.
I've missed that feeling.
I have heard about Nia for a few years now and my YMCA finally just started providing the class, although I found myself hesitant to go because I thought nothing could compare to that Karuna class. I was being stubborn.
Today, as I was standing against a wall and stretching, this lovely woman approached me with bright eyes and a warm smile, asking if I had ever taken a Nia class. She then went on to share how it has shifted her life in such a positive way. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself filled with an anticipation I haven't felt in a long while.
I love to dance. Dancing has always come so natural to me. It is what I would always do as a child out in our backyard...blast my stereo and leap, twirl and choreograph my own modern dances. I was never taught to dance. I just jumped in and knew what to do. I can be such a klutz walking around a room, bumping into things and tripping but when the music comes on and I truly let go, I have a gracefulness that surprises.
I'm not sure why I tend to forget how healing it is for me. How it can become a way of expressing myself when words do not measure the fullness of what I am experiencing.
This woman today opened up that place in me and I was reminded. She then confessed she was teaching the next class in five minutes and I followed her into the studio like a giddy little girl.
Oh wow. I have been reborn. The movements were so very healing for me. There were moments when I cried and smiled and giggled. What I loved most about the class is that the instructor leads but also encourages that we go with what our body is telling us to do and so many times throughout the class we get to break free and dance around the studio. Sometimes we imagined swimming in an ocean, sometimes we were trees blowing in the wind and other times, we were grounded to the earth and scooping up the energy from its roots. It brought back the freedom I felt in that Karuna class.
I've needed this so much. I've needed something new and fresh. I've needed a way to open my heart where I didn't have to attach a language to it. I feel like I've written and talked so much about this journey and have been searching for another way to express what I am going through inside.
Not only do I feel inspired to take Nia as much as I am able...but also to perhaps someday teach a class. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Thinking about inspiring others to open up and free their bodies and connect themselves to their heart, the elements and other people moving around them. It's something I am feeling a calling for and its bubbling up inside of me as I write this.
I was talking with a dear friend the other day, who has also walked this fertility path and she said whenever she felt she was getting to the end of her rope, that she knew she needed to try something new. She asked me what that looked like for me and at the time I wasn't sure...but I asked. I asked God and spoke that question out loud to the Universe. I put that energy out there and opened up a space for clarity. What newness do I need to bring into my life?
Then a little angel took me by the hand today and answered my question.
Dance. You need to dance.