In cultures where we often feel disembodied and ’stuck in our heads’ I believe this plays out in our work for change and justice in the world. To help counter it I teach joyful movement practices that help us reconnect to the wisdom of our bodies.
I trained in the Nia Technique, a grounded, non-impact cardiovascular fitness programme that teaches us to move joyfully, be expressive and remember how to enjoy moving our bodies.
I currently offer movement coaching for individuals and workshops (which I call Playshops!) for groups and organisations.
The movement practices I work with can be adapted to any body circumstances and are suitable for any body size or shaped. I have worked with people with physical disabilities.
Our current cultures very often shame or marginalise our bodies. I make a deliberate practice of disrupting that by welcoming all bodies to my work.
One of the things that Nia taught me is to that we can re-learn our 'Body's Way' which is all about listening on the inside, to the movement practices that feel joyful and pleasurable in our bodies instead of getting information about how we look and feel from without. Connecting to your body's unique way is a powerful route to reclaiming your love for your body just the way it is and can help you develop your own strategies to listen to and look after it in future.
We are embodied beings. Marginalisation and disconnection are experiences inflicted on bodies. The practice of reclaiming our own body's wisdom can be a valuable support o our change making work, helping us to act with integrity and look after ourselves as activists and change makers.
To start a conversation about working with you or your organisation using joyful movement practices please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a lovely lovely day, Ver interesting in many ways. And so so great to allow my body to just be and to move and to feel it's instinctual nature. I loved feeling 'in' my body. It was fun too. You were amazing..So calm and confident...And what a wonderful dancer and mover you are. You were inspirational.
Karen Higgins, Shadow Work Coach
As an average sized, approaching middle age guy who (in all honesty) is more familiar with sitting a desk all day and then on the sofa at night, I approached the Nia class that I attended with Mary Ann with some trepidation. I’ve had a nagging back complaint and my right knee is weak and I was worrying about injuring myself or not being able to participate fully.
Well I needn’t have been concerned. The atmosphere was relaxed and supportive and at all stages I was totally free to move as my body wanted to, not follow a prescribed series of moves. The pace built steadily through the first half (after a very relaxing start) and by the end of the session I could really feel how good a workout it had been and how much my body had enjoyed the experience, as well as my mind.
If you are thinking of trying Nia, do. I loved it and will be back in the future.