Category Archives: Movement

Take 5 & Move with Ease

mountain lakeHow would it be if, at the end of a busy week, you could give your mind and your body a real treat?  What if you could find some simple moves that would release all that tension you’ve been holding in your shoulders? What if you could do some really gentle exercise that would lubricate your joints, and soothe your spirits and then you could just relax and float away without feeling guilty for doing nothing for a full 20 minutes?

Well, here’s the good news. You can! I’m currently taking bookings for another Move with Ease session on Friday. And do you know what? as it’s almost as relaxing to deliver it as it is to participate.  I consider it a success if someone falls asleep! So do come and chill out with us. Please contact me as soon as possible to book your place.

Have a great week!

Nia move of the week – Head and Eye Movements

Be curious – what do you see around you? Use your eyes to look and follow the direction of your eyes to move your head. Follow a body part – hand or foot with your eyes and allow your head to move with them, in order to engage the muscles of the neck integrate the top of your spine in your moves.

Press your chin down towards your chest to open the back of your neck; then take your chin up and back and look at the sky (opening and closing your mouth will help condition the muscles under your chin). Nodding, shaking and rolling your head helps to find the right balance and releases tension.

Watch it here.

What I’m reading

Jade Barbosa, Brazilian artistic gymnast, performing a turn during a floor routine, 2007Like me,  you may have enjoyed watching the floor exercises at the Olympics last week and cheered, as I did, when Amy Tinkler from Bishop Auckland won her bronze medal. Most of us would never dream of even attempting the kind of floor work she does, but getting up and down from the floor is the first skill we learn as toddlers and a really important one to maintain as we get older.  Here’s an interesting take on “Why the floor is your friend” by Stacy Barrows

“If you’re like most of us, the word “floor” probably makes you think more about tile, hardwood and carpet than friendship….it’s not the first place your mind goes when you think of relaxation, repose and rejuvenation. The floor, after all, is for foot traffic. It’s hard… needs a good cleaning, and is much farther away from our derrières than the comfy sofa. The floor has a bad rep.  But as a movement therapist, I have learned that the floor is my friend. Here are three reasons why…”
Continue reading

Classes & Events – Dates for your diary

26 August,  18.30 – 20.30 – Move with Ease – r-e-l-a-x on Friday evening
Aditi Yoga & Pilates, Darlington

An alternative Friday night out!  Join me for this two-hour session with a focus on breath and body, mind and spirit, relaxation and self-healing.

Learn some simple moves to help relieve tension and back pain, move mindfully to soul-stirring music and then relax completely to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep. Contact me now to book your place.

5 September – 3 October, Mondays 18.30 – 19.30, new block of 5 Nia classes, Pioneering Care Centre

Full details of all Classes & Events

Take 5 & Move naturally

Just a quick note this week to remind you about the “Move with Ease” workshop this Friday, 15th July, where I’ll start to incorporate some of the other techniques I’ve learned in addition to Nia.

Our Nia move of the week is Pelvic Circles – a great one to play with and a video with a cute baby who has a lot to teach us about natural movement.

Have a great week!


Nia move of the week – Pelvic Circles

This week, we’re moving from the Base up to the core of the body (in Nia terms, the pelvis, chest and head).

Pelvic circles strengthen your back and core and your abdominal muscles.

You can stand in a comfortable open or ‘A’ stance for you and circle your hips in one fluid motion – like playing with a hula hoop. Change direction, vary the size of the circles and your speed. Have fun!
Here’s Laurie Bass’s take on it:


What I’m watching

Here’s a great video about awareness through movement, which inspired Feldenkrais, which inspires Nia… It’s all about gentle natural moves. It’s how we learn about our bodies, ourselves and the environment in which we find ourselves.

Classes & Events

Move with ease posterMove with Ease, Friday 15 July, 6.30 – 8.30 p.m., Venue:  Aditi Yoga and Pilates, Darlington
A two-hour session where you’ll learn some simple moves to help relieve tension and back pain, move mindfully to soul-stirring music and then relax completely to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep.

Full details of all classes and events

Take 5 & Move with Ease

I am really excited to share a new event I’m planning: a workshop I’m calling “Move with Ease” where I’ll start to incorporate some of the other techniques I’ve learned in addition to Nia. The details have only just been confirmed – so you’re the first to know. You’ll find some information below and full details on the classes and events page. The venue is the lovely, restful Aditi yoga & pilates studio in Darlington (not far from Morrisons on North Road). Why not join me on 15th July at 6.30? But be sure to book, as places are limited.

This week I’m also planning the first of the classes im doing for the “Colour your life” programme at the Pioneering Care Centre, starting this Friday 8th July. Again, details are on the classes and events page.

A new block of four Nia classes will start next Monday night at the Pioneering Care Centre. Only four this time because I’m taking a break in August and with the Bank Holiday on 29th there were only two other Mondays in the month. However, I intend to start again with a new block of five in September. Look out for details.

Have a great week!


Nia move of the week – Knee Sweep

Lift one of your knees up and then sweep it out to the side, from the middle to the outside of the body. Repeat on the other side. This move improves stability and agility in your hip joints. If you need a gentler version, draw a circle on the floor (clockwise with your right foot; anti-clockwise with the left). Or, lifting the foot, draw the circle in the air – imagine taking it over something a few inches high. Increase the height and energy of the move, depending on your body, using sensation to guide you.

Watch it here.

What I’m reading/watching

Parkinson’s Patients See Benefit From Movement, Dance Therapy.

What this article and video doesn’t say is that the participants are doing Nia! Caroline Kohles who appears in the video is a Nia teacher who said in a recent Facebook post: “I was asked to be the program director to develop fitness programs for people living with PD at JCC Manhattan for this partnership. I jumped at the chance and The Nia: Movement, Music + Magic for Parkinson’s program grew to become a bit hit. In fact, it has become the star of the program.” And the program she is talking about is now carried out in 4 locations in the USA.

Classes & Events

New class: Mindful Movement – 10 sessions starting 8 July
Please contact the Pioneering Care Centre (not me) for more information or to book a place.Move with ease poster

New block of 4 Nia classes, Pioneering Care Centre
Starts Monday 11 July 6.30 p.m. £14.

Move with Ease, Friday 15 July, 6.30 – 8.30 p.m., Aditi Yoga and Pilates, Darlington
A two-hour session where you’ll learn some simple moves to help relieve tension and back pain, move mindfully to soul-stirring music and then relax completely to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep.

Full details of all classes and events

Take 5 & the best three things

So what are the best three things about your day so far? (if you’re not sure what I’m referring to, see last week’s blog under “What I’m reading”). Have you been recording them at the end of each day? How did it make you feel?

Musical notesLots going on this week:  a free online event to help you age well; links to information about the music that people ask me about all the time; this week’s Nia move of the week – Side Kick; and a link to an article about someone with Parkinson’s who has found Nia very helpful.

Oh, and I nearly forgot – you’re the first to hear about a new 10-week course of “Mindful Movement” I’m doing at the Pioneering Care Centre from next month.

Have a great week!

Nia move of the week – Side Kick

With your weight on the supporting leg and your knee soft throughout the move, raise the kicking leg, pulling your heel up and back towards your buttocks. Kick to the side with the side of your thigh towards the ceiling. Imagine kicking a door shut. You might like to sound “Yes!” as you do it (just a suggestion…).  Bring your leg back in and replace your foot on the floor. It’s another folding and unfolding of the leg, like the front kick.

Watch it here.

Ageless Summit

A free online Ageless Summit started on 20 June. This is aimed at people over 40 and covers a wide range of areas related to successful ageing. Denise Medved, from whom I learned the Ageless Grace technique is of the contributors. She says that although you won’t learn how to live forever, you will learn how to live a healthier life and see growing older in a positive light for a change. Topics covered during the summit include:

  • Hormones
  • How to improve your sleep
  • How to exercise over 50
  • Why Cholesterol isn’t the problem
  • Thyroid health
  • How to lose weight after 40
  • How to create a life of significance
  • How to restore your natural movement and balance
  • Maintaining your energy
  • Ways to reduce your chronic stress

More information and to book your place, visit the Ageless Summit website.

Music from “Grace”

GRACE imgEvery time I use a track from Fiona Winter’s routine “Grace” people ask me where they can find the music. It happened again at Monday night’s class at the Pioneering Care Centre. So here, once again, is the link to the handout for the workshop I did last year and which tells you about the music and the routine:  Grace workshop handout

Other Music I use for classes

Visit the Nia online store where you can check out the music for each routine by clicking the album cover and then “preview music”. Nia music can now be purchased as a digital download.

What I’m reading

Accepting an Uninvited Guest in My Body: Parkinson’s
By: Shannon McGuire

outdoor hikingI have lived with Parkinson’s Disease for over 10 years, yet I am living proof that there are multiple benefits from dancing for those suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. Nia, in my experience, is particularly beneficial because it combines multiple disciplines to challenge many aspects of our physical selves; not only adding relief to the symptoms of disease, but actually fighting the disease itself…  Continue reading

Classes & Events

Full details of regular classes and special events on my classes and events page

New class: Mindful Movement – 10 weeks starting 8 July
Please contact the Pioneering Care Centre (not me) for more information or to book a place.
Mindful movement


Take 5 & Move to heal and stay young!

Hello. It’s good to be back.

The Nia Moving to Heal training in Burntisland was excellent. Lots of ideas for adapting Nia and with an emphasis on self-healing. Look out for some specific Moving to Heal classes in the near future. Then a few days taking it easier than usual. I’m usually so busy doing that I forget that I need to rest and switch off sometimes. Ironically that’s when some of my better ideas come to me – when I’m not really thinking about them. So my promise to myself this week is that I will programme in some time off. And not just an evening here and there, but a few days at a time. I was just beginning to really relax when it was time to get out and about again.

Although I need time off and time to be still, the weekend course did impress upon me that movement can not only help us heal in body and mind, but it can also  help us stay young. You may have come to the same conclusions if you watched the two BBC programmes “How to stay young”. More about that below.

I just have time to give you a quick reminder about the new Nia class tonight at the Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe. It’s at 6.30 p.m. but you’ll find me in the cafe from about 5.45. Why not join me for a cuppa and catch up first?

Have a great week!

Nia Move of the week: Cross Behind

This move develops mobility and stability in the legs, helping you to move more efficiently.  You start from an Open Stance, imagine you’re standing in the centre of a clock face, and step your left foot behind the right – your ankles making a small “x”  Come back to the Open Stance and then repeat with your left foot, keeping the back heel high. Keep your arms relaxed and natural. Cross Behind can be combined with a Cha Cha Cha and a Cross Front.

Watch it here as Nia trainer Helen Terry suggests ways of energising and adapting the basic Cross Behind.

What I’m watching

How to stay young, BBC One
I enjoyed  the two programmes with Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken who  looked at the latest experiments and research that could “help put the brakes on the ageing process”.

There were lots of tips about healthy eating and what science has discovered in recent years, but I was delighted that dancing and walking came out as two excellent ways of staying fit as we age. Dancing in particular is good for exercising the mind as well as the body, but then we knew tha didn’t we?  You can read about it here or catch up on the iPlayer here. And isn’t Angela Rippon amazing? I hope I look that good at 71!

What I’m reading

Feel the Joy!(1)Article – The Body’s Way: 5 Reasons to Dance Nia

“In 2010, I realized something in my life was missing, but I couldn’t get a hold on what it was. I stopped my usual workouts at the gym and started taking some serious Pilates classes in a small studio next to my office… “ Continue reading

Classes & Events
Starts Tonight – Monday 18 April, 6.30 p.m.
New Class
, Pioneering Care Centre, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF

Nia adele an otherClasses on the following Mondays:

18  and 25 April; 9, 16 and 23 May.

Special introductory offer – £17.50 for all five classes if paid on 18 April.

Minimum of six people required to run the class.

NML HeaderNourish Move Love
starting 30 April 2016

It’s not too late to join us.
Full details and booking form to download, or read more here.

Jump to the Classes & Events page for full details of all classes, workshops and events.