Showing posts from February, 2010

notes from Healing Arts of Nia: student playshop in Houston

This playshop was a fantastic experience, despite not being what I had planned.

Instead of following the syllabus I had created and followed in the New York version of this playshop, we went into a discussion of how to make each Nia class a self-healing experience.

The main pearls of this playshop were:

"You need to be in the driver's seat of your Nia class experience"
"Add your personal focus to the teacher's focus"
"Be aware of yourself first"
"Explore the best way to do each movement"
"do it your way"
"you have permission to do it 'wrong'"
"every sensation you experience is your choice"
"choose pleasure"

Here are some comments made by students in this playshop:

---I had a blast dancing with Jason this weekend. It is always so cool to watch a master at work, then have him discect what he did and why it was so effective. Especially enjoyed the male energy he brought to "Bond Girls".

---I th…

Pearls for Self-Healing from Feb 20 Nia Playshop

February's Playshop-of-the-Month was an exploration of how to recognize and utilize the Healing Arts in Nia. These Healing Arts are, namely, The Alexander Technique, The Work of Moshe Feldenkrais, and Yoga.
The common elements of all three of these arts is an inward focus and awareness with a desire to change old habits and to move in a way that is more in keeping with our natural-born ease and simplicity.

Many of our movements are learned and then relegated to 'habit'. This allows us to do things automatically and prevents us from having to use a lot of brain energy for simple things like walking, getting up out of a chair and tying our shoes. The downside of these habits is that they aren't necessarily always the most efficient nor simple way of doing the activity. Our body will recognize it as "familiar" and we will interpret that familiarity as "correct" even though it may be fraught with lots of excess tension, physical imbalance and extraneo…

notes from February Healing Arts Playshop in New York

Dear Participants of the 2010 Healing Arts of Nia Playshop,
Thank you so much for being there today and helping to make this playshop such a success. I had a great time and learned things and I hope you did too.

Here are my notes from the playshop:


PEARL: relax in order to idealize

We did three exercises.


The purpose was to slow down to such a degree that we heightened awareness of choices about our movements that we were making unconsciously. Extraneous effort. And eventually our bodies find the least amount of effort necessary.

We learned to examine our own movements through repetition and relaxation, which is directly relatable to when you're in Nia. Each movement starts anew. Rather than letting the repetitions build on each other, you relax into a neutral position in between each movement so it starts…

Fifteen Reasons Why I Prefer to Work Out at Home Rather Than at a Gym

1- I can control the music

2- I can control the temperature

3- I save about half an hour each workout just on the commute alone

4- I can wear whatever I want

5- I save about $1000/ year

6- I don’t have to wait my turn for anything

7- I know it’s clean

8- I don’t have to be self-conscious or compare myself to others

9- I don’t have to hear other people’s inane conversations while I’m trying to focus

10- I can do it any time of the day or night and on holidays

11- I can take my workout with me when I travel

12- I can choose to do it outside

13- I can work out with friends even if they’re not “members”

14- I’m not distracted by people dropping weights, grunting or yelling

15- it smells much better

Full Page Ad in New York Times

I don't get the Times, but I started getting emails from my friends asking if that was me in the cheese shop in the New York Times.

I checked it out and it was definitely me. Or, at least, it was my head.

Capital One Bank had taken a shot of a guy standing in a cheese shop and photoshopped my head onto it. It was pretty surreal to see me with a completely different body. I've never had a gut like that.
The best scan I could get, because of the size of the ad and the size of the scanner, is here:

It's a pretty good job. I can't tell it's photo-shopped, but it kind of gives me the creeps to know that someone was meticulously cropping my head and neck and cutting and pasting it onto that other guy's body.

It showed up on Page 7, Metropolitan section, Sunday, Feb 1. New York Times. If anyone can get a scan of the entire full-page ad, I'd love to get a copy of it.

The original shot, where my head was taken from, is here: