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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 and Move with Awareness

Last week I wrote about moving mindfully in the moment. Following on from that, I got to thinking about how much more aware I am of how I move,  and how it FEELS. And I’ve  learned that from Nia.

How interesting it was to find an article that claims that slow movement with body awarenesss, associated with cardiovascular exercise can help a whole range of ailments. Read on for more about the article and for a tip to increase your own body awareness.

Have a great week

Slow movement and body awareness

“There is mounting evidence that slow movement, with body sense awareness, has astounding health benefits by itself and in combination with regular exercise routines…”

“There are a growing number of pain clinics and integrative medicine centers that offer slow movement, awareness-based therapies (like hatha yoga and tai chi) for pain in a wide variety of conditions including pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases and conditions.”

“Throw away the pills? Stop getting injections? Scrap the pain management therapy groups? Stop the sweaty workouts? Maybe not entirely, but regular slow movement classes are increasingly seen as having essential “nutrients” for the body.”
Read the whole article (by Alan Fogel, first published in Psychology Today, 6 July 2010)

Tip of the week – Move with Awareness

Find a piece of music you love, something soothing and restful and walk in slow motion around the room. (If you can’t think of some music to use, try this track: Sweet Timelessness).

First notice the moment when you place your front foot down.

  • Which part of your foot touches the floor first?
  • How does it feel when the rest of your foot touches the floor? Does the whole of the foot go down together or do you “roll” through your foot, with your toes going down last.

Now switch your attention to the back foot.

  • When does your heel lift?
  • Notice the moment when you roll through the ball of your foot and your toes leave the floor.

Notice the relationship between the movement of the back foot and the front foot.

Your attention may move to your toes, or your ankles. How do they feel and move as you walk.

You’re moving mindfully with body awareness.

What’s on

From 1 December there will be a few changes to my Nia class schedule. Please check the Classes and Events page next week for details.

Relax your Mind, Move your Body, Revive your Spirit, 6-8 May 2016

If you’d like a relaxing weekend with some Nia, maybe a holistic therapy, some quiet time out in the country and a few surprises why not join us? Contact me now to request a booking form or download one from the Supple Change website.

Please note that places will be allotted on a first come, first served basis to those who have completed and returned the booking form and paid their deposit. Please send yours as soon as possible. Rooms are filling up fast!

What people said the last time:

It’s been absolutely perfect – the classes, Haybergill, food, the fabulous mix of people.”

All classes were excellent and the food delicious. it was lovely to be able to get out and have a walk in the surrounding countryside.

Full details


Take 5 & lead with your heel

Did you enjoy the sun today? Down in Darlington, it didn’t start off very bright at all, and during my first Nia class this morning we used the routine “Soul” which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It’s the most amazing blend of Native American music and uses all 52 Nia moves.

You might have heard of a Native American “rain dance”, well, we did a “sun dance”. And it worked! Half way through my second class, the sun was shining and it’s now early evening and the sun’s still out. Whether you believe or not that we worked some Nia magic, we enjoyed a magical time together, focussing on the base of the body. And my tip of the week today, focuses on one of Nia’s key moves for the base of the body – the Heel Lead.

I suppose it’s A good move for the time of the year when we’re going forward into a new school year, a new term and starting everything again after the summer. By the way the Nia class at Oakleaf Sports Complex begins again tomorrow at the new time of 6.30 p.m. for a four week block. I look forward to seeing the regulars and maybe some new people too.

Have a great week!

Tip of the week – lead with your heel

Or, Nia move “Heel Lead”
Walk upright, without leaning forwards, backwards or slouching and allow your hands and arms to move naturally as you take a step, consciously placing your heel down first, rolling through the ball of your foot and then placing your toes on the floor.

Walk round the room, slowly and mindfully, leading with your heel. Step forward and back, leading with the heel.

Imagine your foot is fifty times normal size and walk round the room again. Step forward and back again – with Big Feet!

Here’s Nia Trainer Helen Terry demonstrating the move:

What I’m reading

Moving mindfully forward, was something I was reminded of when reading one of my favourite blogs just now. Colette Baron-Reid was talking about that Back to School feeling at this time of year and mentioned that she broke her toe. Her interpretation? “Ah yes a reminder to move forward in a conscious and thoughtful manner. And, to not be too hasty to take on new projects on top of what I already have.” Wise words. You can read the rest of the blog here.

What I’m listening to

VibeI’m always surprised when I hear music from a Nia routine in a completely different setting and the other day I heard one of the tracks on a tv programme. It’s from a routine called “Vibe”.  It was a different version to the one on the “Vibe” CD and I discovered tonight that there’s a version by Bob Marley on YouTube.  So which one do you prefer?

Dates for your diary
  • 8 September: Move & Chill after a busy day
    Tuesday Nia classes re-start at Oakleaf Sports Complex, on Tuesday 8 September, initially for a block of four classes. Introduction Registration and Payment on 8 Setpember 6.30 – 7.30 p.m. £20 for the block (unless you have classes remaining on a card bought before the holidays – in which case, the block will be priced accordingly for you).
  • 12 September – Early bird pricing ends for:
    The Myth of Ageing – a Hanna Somatics workshop
    Saturday 19 September 2015, Woodham Community Centre 10 am – 1 pm
    Contact me to book now!
    During this Workshop you will be introduced to the 8 basic exercises originally presented by Thomas Hanna in his book Somatics – Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility & Health. These are commonly known as the Myth of Ageing series, hence the name. More information and how to book.
  • Re-launch of Woodham Community centre,
    Friday 25 September 6 – 8 pm.
    Re-opening of the community centre after major re-furbishment. Come along and meet the people who run it and find out about the wide range of activities that take place here.

  • 8 October: Move & Heal – Woodham Community Centre on Thursdays at 3.30 p.m. A gentler, more relaxed Nia class, partially standing, partially done seated. Introduction, Registration and Payment on Thursday 8 October, 3.30 – 4.30 p.m. £20 for the block.

  • 31 October deposits required for: “Relax your Mind, Move your Body, Revive your Spirit”, 6-8 May 2016, The Haybergill Centre, nr Appleby, Cumbria. Leave your cares at the door and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Good company, amazing scenery, Nia classes and more. More information & booking details.

Take 5 – did you miss me?

Did you even notice that I missed my usual Monday morning slot this week? Maybe you were also too busy!

I worked Bank Holiday Monday and took yesterday off to meet up with a couple of friends I don’t often see and we spent a lovely day at Bowes Museum. I can highly recomment the Yves Saint-Laurent exhibition. The clothes are exquisite. If you ever wondered why designer dresses are so expensive, this exhibition will give you an answer. I even got to practise my French by not watching the sub-titles on the introductory film!

The reason I’ve been so busy is that I’ve been finalising the autumn schedule of Nia classes and events, getting some new flyers and posters ready and I’m able to share it with you now.

New Schedule for Autumn 2015

The main changes are at Oakleaf and Woodham where we’re kicking off the season with a block of classes. The first class in each block will be an introductory session with registration and payment. I’m going to need a minimum of 8 people in each class for it to go ahead, so please encourage friends to come along and try something a bit different.

The first class of each block will be a gentle introduction, looking at basic moves and catching up. Beginners are always welcome, but anyone who likes to start with other newcomers may find this a little less daunting.

Move and Heal will be the emphasis at Woodham. In the main it’s a sightly older age group, so the moves will be gentler and some of the class will be done seated.

Move and Chill will be the theme at Oakleaf. The class is in the evening at the new time of 6.30 p.m., so after a busy day, not only can you move to exercise your tension away, but we’ll finish with some quiet time to help you chill and relax fto prepare for a good night’s sleep.
NB Returning class members will be able to use cards with classes remaining to help cover cost of the new block.

You can check out the new schedule on my Classes and Events page or on a new calendar view. In calendar view, you can view the events by day, week, month or in a list (agenda view). You can see more detail by clicking on the class or event. You can print by clicking the Print Icon or dowload the event to your own Google calendar.

Full details of forthcoming events will be in my newsletter/blog (Take 5). If you don’t already receive it by email, you can subscribe from my home page.

Download Classes – events Sept Oct 2015
Download Schedule Sept Oct 2015

The Myth of Ageing – a Hanna Somatics Workshop

Early bird price of £27 ends on 12 September. After that it’s £30.
If you’d like to attend please contact me as soon as possible to book your place as I need to confirm numbers. Full details.

Woodham Community Centre re-launch, 25 September

This takes place on Friday 25 September from 6 – 8 p.m. This is a chance to meet the people who run the centre, the groups who use the centre and try out some of the activities. I’ll be there to answer any questions about my classes.

Deposits for “Relax your Mind, Move your Body, Revive your Spirit”, weekend at Haybergill, 6-8 May 2016, due on 31 October

Yes, hasn’t it come around fast? If you began putting £5 away every week since the dates were announced, you should have the £100 deposit by 31 October. I need a minimum of six people for this weekend to go ahead. So far, only four have expressed an interest. Contact me now for a booking form if you’d like to join us. Full details

Take 5 & ponder…

Do you ever take time out just to think? To stop the “busyness” and distractions? I was reading a book the other day (details below) about changing your mindset, cultivating a positive outlook and harnessing the power of the subconscious and one of the things the author advocated was just taking an hour out. It seems when the mind is allowed to dream, to ponder the subconscious can come up with creative solutions to knotty problems.

In recent years, I always seem to be too busy to take time out, but I do remember from years back when doing translation work, that the just the right word or phrase for a sentence I was having troubly with, would often come to me when I was doing something completely unrelated. Usually ironing!

So how about it? This week. Give yourself time to “Take 5 & ponder…”

What I’m reading

The afore-mentioned book: “How big is your but!” by Simon J Gilbert. The exercise I mentioned is on page 77.

What I’m watching

Britta Von Tagen, Nia teacher and trainer talking about her routine “Soul” which I’m teaching again this week in my classes:

Where you’ll find me

It’s Whitby Folk Week. I didn’t make it at all last year, but I’m hoping to get through to the Irish Set Dance workshop on Wednesday and may even stay for the Irish Hooley in the evening. It’s always a great week and a good excuse to get out and enjoy the sea air.

Dates for your diary

The Myth of Ageing – a Hanna Somatics workshop
Saturday 19 September 2015
Woodham Community Centre 10 am – 1 pm

The Myth of Ageing refers to the belief that as we get older our physical ability declines and we become more and more restricted in our movements. This need not be the case!

During this Workshop you will be introduced to the 8 basic exercises originally presented by Thomas Hanna in his book Somatics – Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility & Health. These are commonly known as the Myth of Ageing series, hence the name. More

Relax your Mind, Move your Body, Revive your Spirit, 6-8 May 2016, The Haybergill Centre, nr Appleby, Cumbria

Leave your cares at the door and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. You can choose to take part in Nia classes, explore the countryside, sun yourself in the gardens or just chill out by the wood burner in the main room with a good book. More