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Deepening our connection to the form, function and ART of the bones creates an organic and personal connection to movement and sensation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Sacred routine: what you notice in your body both during and after. (I’m feeling my LEGS – whoo Nelly!)

All the playlists from the week are below or you can listen to them by going to Spotify! Dance for free at Spotify! Sign up, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

And first the announce-y type things:

Memorial Day Nia – Monday, May 29 from 11-12:15pm
For the holiday, acac has a slightly modified schedule so on Memorial Day (and all Monday holidays), Nia at acac Albemarle Square will be from 11am-1215pm! Come spend some of your day off with your body and with us!

CHARLOTTESVILLE WHITE BELT TRAINING in September
Our friend, mentor and Nia Trainer, Helen Terry is coming to Charlottesville to offer a White Belt training! White Belt is the first level of Nia training, designed to provide body-centered training to anyone interested in living better in a body or teaching Nia. Helen is a First Generation Nia Trainer, chosen years ago by the creators of Nia to be one of the first Nia trainers. She’ll be retiring soon, so don’t miss your chance to learn from this amazing teacher and trainer! For more information and to register, please visit: https://nianow.com/node/1139984. Please feel free to contact Mary Linn at marylinnl@acac.com with any questions!

The Awesome Event sponsored by Divine Play October 27-29
Join us for the weekend of October 27-19 in exploring an understanding of the mind that will allow you to break free of limits, relate with others, and naturally ripple ease, resilience and FUN through your personal and work life. Get all the information, buy tickets at http://www.theawesomeevent.com or call Jeanne Catherine: 434-218-9500.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, May 22, 2017, 1045am ~ In Your Bones

All Colours Pt 3 2:50 Bob Holroyd
Factor 30 9:34 Bjarno
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Dr. Bones 3:34 Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Bollywood Drums 5:28 Desert Dwellers
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Father Space 5:56 Bjarno

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 840am ~ In Your Bones

All Colours Pt 3 2:50 Bob Holroyd
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Dr. Bones 3:34 Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Bollywood Drums 5:28 Desert Dwellers
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Father Space 5:56 Bjarno

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 11am ~ In Your Bones

All Colours Pt 3 2:50 Bob Holroyd
Factor 30 9:34 Bjarno
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Bad to the Bone 4:56 George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Bollywood Drums 5:28 Desert Dwellers
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Father Space 5:56 Bjarno

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 840am ~ In Your Bones

All Colours Pt 3 2:50 Bob Holroyd
Sunday Morning, Up All Night 4:54 NYXYSS
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Tala Odyssey (Drumspyder Remix) 6:07 Desert Dwellers
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Shake Your Hips 4:47 Desperado 5
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Bollywood Drums 5:28 Desert Dwellers
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Father Space 5:56 Bjarno

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

For the next two weeks, we’ll be dancing a new-to-me routine called Sacred, choreographed by Nia Trainer Kelle Rae Oien. The focus of the routine is the bones with the intent of creating sustainability in the body. In my White Belt Nia training, I studied the bones for the first time, in part by using an Anatomy Coloring Book. In working with the routine, I deepened my fascination with the art of the bones: their names, their functions, their sculptured design. 

 

The word “sacrum” is from the Latin for “sacred” or “holy bone.” The obvious question is, why sacred? Here are some of the theories:

  • the pelvis is the container of the scared organs of procreation
  • the sacrum is the last bone to decompose after death so ancient people perhaps saw this as the bone from which the afterlife begins
  • the sacrum may have been used as a vessel for holding offerings or sacrifices

What do you think the sacrum resembles?

The xiphoid process at the tip of the sternum is made of cartilage in a child and gradually changed to bone by the time an adult is around 40.

The manubrium, connects with the clavicles or collarbones (we’ll look at those in detail next week!) and connects to the 1st pair of ribs. The body of the sternum, the gladiolus, connects with the next 6 pairs of ribs. Together, these 7 pairs of ribs are known as the true ribs, beneath those are two false ribs (indirectly connected to the sternum) and two floating ribs (not connected to the sternum at all).

The neurocranium is the part that is around the brain as opposed to the viscerocranium which are the facial bones.

The sphenoid bone is one of the most complex in the body due to its connection to facial bones, ligaments, and muscles. It’s in the middle of the skull near the front and forms much of the nasal cavity.

The ethmoid bone (Greek for sieve) is a small bone with a lacy construction (hence the name) separates the nasal cavity from the brain.

dive deep 020316Deepening our attention and awareness about what’s happening around us enriches our lives. Deepening our attention and awareness about what’s happening within us creates healing and well-being. Plus, we can notice cool things like the code of 3 in Kelle Rae Oien’s Pulse routine!

Speaking of which, do you want to listen to the awesome music from Pulse and all our playlists from the week? You can do that for free at Spotify! Sign up for free, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

Below are the playlists for the week, but so much good stuff is happening this month so here is the scoop:

• 28-Day Meditation Challenge Starts February 1!
Interested in learning more about mindfulness and meditation? The 28-Day Challenge is a great way to get an introduction. Need some help strengthening your existing practice? This is a month when you have thousands of people practicing with and supporting you. Join me in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge. I’ll be blogging about my experience throughout the month and would love to have you be part of it. It’s all free and open to anyone. Check it out and join here.

• Winter Nia Jam: Spiritual High with Anne, Mary Linn & Susan ~ TOMORROW, February 5, 545-7pm at acac downtown
We are returning to the music and focus of a long-ago Nia routine originally created around 1995 by our teacher, Carlos Rosas. Together, we’ll create a new 21st Century take on the music, movement and magic. Free for members and members can bring a friend for free!

• Midwinter Movement Meditation with Mary Linn & Susan ~ Friday, February 12, 6-7pm at Buck Mountain Episcopal Parish Hall
Deep in the heart of winter is a time of quiet and reflection. Outside, the land is in a midwinter stillness waiting for spring rebirth. Join us for a special hour of movement and music focused on quieting and cleansing. Class will be led by Black Belt Nia Instructors Mary Linn Bergstrom and Susan McCulley and will use the rich music of ChakraDancer. Bring a friend — all are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Donations help support Buck Mountain’s wellness ministry. For more details, click here.

• One Billion Rising for Valentine’s Day with Mary Linn & Susan ~ Sunday, February 14, 1230-130pm & Monday, February 15, 1045-12noon at acac Albemarle Square
One Billion Rising is a mass action to end violence against women. The intent is to get one billion people around the world dancing and creating actions toward peace. As part of this world-wide campaign, Susan and Mary Linn will be team teaching an awesome and empowering class!

• Brownies for Breakfast in Honor of Chloe Rose ~ Thursday, February 18, 2016
On what would have been her daughter’s 8th birthday, join Mary Linn in honoring Chloe by making the day about love and connection and gratitude. In Mary Linn’s words, “In our house, we wanted to make every day “the best day ever”. February 18, 2016 would have been Chloe’s 8th birthday. To honor and remember my only child, my sweet Chloe Rose, I invite you to join me in making that day your version of “the best day ever”. Want to have brownies for breakfast? Yes! Want to watch movies all day? Yes! Want to go for a walk after dinner? Yes! Want to read your kid(s) an extra bedtime story? Yes! Whatever makes you feel grateful to be alive, do it. Together, we’ll make a beautiful day in memory of a beautiful girl.” You can join and share the celebration here https://www.facebook.com/events/927851827321712/928345693938992/

• dance. sit. write. draw. Saturday, February 20, 2016 – RESCHEDULED FOR FEB 20! STILL ROOM TO JOIN US!
Do you have a voice in your head that tells you not to do anything creative or different or risky? Of course you do. We all do. Mine is called Pointy Girl and this is the story of how I made friends with her. http://streetlightmag.com/2016/01/31/my-friend-pointy-girl/ If you’re interested in making friends with your Pointy Girl (or Guy), join me for this day-long retreat that explores the mystery of creativity. Come for a day of exploration at the intersection of movement, stillness and creativity. Find all the information at http://www.susanmcculley.com/workshops-retreats/ and register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop/dance-sit-write-draw-day-retreat-1 on http://www.susanmcculley.com

• Leap Day! ~ Monday, February 29, 2016
Leapin’ Lizards! On what would have been my beloved maternal grandfather’s 100th birthday (or 25th depending on how you look at it), we’ll do a special routine that will make our hearts leap for joy (whether or not you choose to leave the ground)! (In happy memory of Richard Crocker Reed ~ Feb 29, 1916 – Jan 27, 2008)

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, Feb 1, 2016, 1045am ~ Decoding the Details: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Notice the Ring 3:48 Chris Isaak
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016, 840am ~ Decoding the Details: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016, 11am ~ Decoding the Details: Pulse Plus

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Inspection (Check One) 6:29 Leftfield
Pursuit 3:55 African Head Charge
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
Stillpoint 4:18 Oliver Shanti & Friends

Thursday, Feb 4, 2016, 840am ~ Decoding the Details: Pulse Plus

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Inspection (Check One) 6:29 Leftfield
Notice the Ring 3:48 Chris Isaak
Pursuit 3:55 African Head Charge
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

decoding the details 3 013016

If you’d asked me a couple of months ago, I would have told you that Jazz just wasn’t my cup of tea (or shot of bourbon or whatever the Jazz-appropriate beverage is). I would have said it was discordant and random and long and frankly, irritating.

Lately, though, Frank’s been turning on a Jazz station in the evenings. And I like it. Well, I like some of it. A lot of it. Sometimes, I slam my teeth together and a painful noise but mostly, I like the feel of the sound.

Years ago when Green Day released their first album, I had a friend who was a huge fan. When he played their music it sounded crazy and loud and indecipherable to me. He said, It’s just unfamiliar. Once you listen for a while, you’ll get it. He was right.

With that in mind, Frank and I signed up for an online Jazz Appreciation course. We’re learning about different genres, the history, the classic songs, and we’re learning (slowly) how to understand forms of jazz.

It’s like we are breaking the code of the music. We’re listening and counting and counting and listening and confused and then, Ooh, yeah! There’s the change! It’s like understanding a different language or being in on a joke. Oh yeah, I get it.


have this feeling when I count music using the 8BC system in Nia. It’s a genius system, developed by Nia co-founder Carlos Rosas, and it creates a map for any song with a beat. With the 8BCs, I can decode the rhythm and speed, the sections, and the details within a song.

But it took me a while to figure it out.

I struggled mightily (and avoided the 8BCs) for years and it wasn’t until my friend and mentor, Helen Terry, showed me the joy and play of decoding music that I started to love the system. We call in “doing the bars” and Helen got me hooked on it.

Once Helen taught a song in class – Big Lie Small World by Sting – with the most unusual choreography. The movements made sense in my body but didn’t follow any pattern I’d ever danced before. I asked her was the Sam Hill was up with it, and she said, Do the bars.

I popped that Sting CD into my car stereo and I listened dozens and dozens of times. I’d listen and get lost and get lost and listen and count and get nowhere. But then one day (and I can tell you exactly where I was when it happened), I heard it. I broke the code. I felt like an 8BC super hero.


What the jazz course and the 8BC system is to music, meditation is to the mind and emotions. If I’m feeling a whole bunch of everything and my head is a mad house and my heart is pounding, getting still, pausing to sit can help me decode what’s happening.

Meditation allows me the space to feel physical sensation, label emotions that are moving through, notice when and what I’m thinking. Sometimes I just stay confused and upset, only calmer. Other times, I break the code: Oh, right. I’m embarrassed. I’m angry. I’m afraid. That’s what’s happening.


Whether I’m decoding music or my mind, the practice is noticing the details, becoming more familiar, more intimate with what’s happening. Sometimes (like in bebop or when I unexpectedly do something ridiculous), I’m still confused. But sometimes, sometimes, I break the code.



BONUS: Some Nia routines have codes built into them: recurring patterns or movements. Kelle Rae Oien’s Pulse routine has a code that shows up in almost every song. Here’s a hint.

DOUBLE BONUS: Tomorrow is the start of the 28-Day Meditation Challenge sponsored by one of my favorite teachers, Sharon Salzberg. Whether you are brand new to meditation or you are renewing your existing practice, this is a great way to get some support and community. I’m also blogging about my experience every day (ish) with a mandala that I’ll post on my A Thousand Beautiful Things blog (and on the 28-Day blogging site, too). Join me there!

Pulse the Core 012716
The first week of playing with a new routine is always a bit of an adventure. Sometimes more rocky than others. Thanks to all who dug out and came out to dance Kelle Rae Oien’s Pulse routine this week. And if school closings and poor plowing prevented you, don’t worry, we’ll dive into Pulse again next week!

Want to listen to the awesome music from Pulse? Just to go to Spotify and listen to all our playlists from the week! You can do that for free at Spotify! Sign up for free, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

Below are the playlists for the week, but first here are some groovy things you want to know about:

• 28-Day Meditation Challenge Starts February 1!
Interested in learning more about mindfulness and meditation? The 28-Day Challenge is a great way to get an introduction. Need some help strengthening your existing practice? This is a month when you have thousands of people practicing with and supporting you. Join me in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge. I’ll be blogging about my experience throughout the month and would love to have you be part of it. It’s all free and open to anyone. Check it out and join here.

• Winter Nia Jam: Spiritual High with Anne, Mary Linn & Susan ~ RESCHEDULED FOR Friday, February 5, 545-7pm at acac downtown
DUE TO THE STORM, WE HAVE RESCHEDULED THE WINTER JAM TO FEBRUARY 5. SEE YOU THEN… We are returning to the music and focus of a long-ago Nia routine originally created around 1995 by our teacher, Carlos Rosas. Together, we’ll create a new take on the music, movement and magic. Free for members and members can bring a friend for free!

• Midwinter Movement Meditation with Mary Linn & Susan ~ Friday, February 12, 6-7pm at Buck Mountain Episcopal Parish Hall
Deep in the heart of winter is a time of quiet and reflection. Outside, the land is in a midwinter stillness waiting for spring rebirth. Join us for a special hour of movement and music focused on quieting and cleansing. Class will be led by Black Belt Nia Instructors Mary Linn Bergstrom and Susan McCulley and will use the rich music of ChakraDancer. Bring a friend — all are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Donations help support Buck Mountain’s wellness ministry. For more details, click here.

• dance. sit. write. draw. Saturday, February 20, 2016 – RESCHEDULED FOR FEB 20! STILL ROOM TO JOIN US!
This TED Talk on creativity http://my.happify.com/hd/dealing-with-unexpected-can-take-creativity-to-new-heights/ fascinates me. It talks about how doing things that are a little uncomfortable or awkward lights up creativity. So whether or not you think of yourself as a dancer, a sitter, a writer or a drawer, this day of exploration might be for you! Join me for a day of exploration at the intersection of movement, stillness and creativity. Find all the information at http://www.susanmcculley.com/workshops-retreats/ and register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop/dance-sit-write-draw-day-retreat-1 on http://www.susanmcculley.com

• TEDx Charlottesville Talks Available Now on YouTube!
In November, I had the great good fortune to coach two of the amazing TEDx speakers at the Charlottesville talks. Elliott Woods’ talk on war and veterans changed the way I see and appreciate those who serve in the military. Leslie Blackhall’s talk on end of life, changed the way I think about dying and the way I make choices every day. I hope you’ll watch them. You can see Elliott’s talk here and Leslie’s here. And there are LOTS more incredible talks from the Cville event. Just go to YouTube.com and search for “TEDx Charlottesville 2015” to see them all.

• Two Essays Published by Elephant Journal!
I’m delighted and excited to say that elephant journal has picked up two of my essays this week. Whew! You can check out the one about Intentions vs. Resolutions here and the one about the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. here. Help out a budding writer by reading and sharing!

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, Jan 25, 2016, 1045am ~ Core Awakening: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
The Power Of Bhangra 3:27 Snap!, Motivo
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016, 840am ~ Core Awakening: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016, 11am ~ Core Awakening: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Adventure of a Lifetime 4:24 Coldplay
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd
Stillpoint 4:18 Oliver Shanti & Friends

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016, 840am ~ Core Awakening: Pulse

Here We Go 5:59 Deep Dive Corp. Ft. Hush Forever
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Don’t Stop The Dance 6:20 Martin Brodin
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Everythings Gonna Be Alright 4:33 The Baby Sitters Circus
Elephant (Dub) 6:07 Spiral System
Empty Vessel 3:46 Bob Holroyd

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

When my husband, Frank, and I moved into a smaller house this summer, we designed the living space to optimize efficiency and ease. And when I say “we,” I mean Frank.

kombucha station 012316

A wide hallway had enough space for recycling and laundry and a kombucha-making station. One small, efficiently organized bathroom is provides both storage and a double shower. Frank’s office is actually elegantly built into a closet.

frank's office 012316

In my office, instead of the oversized desk that I had, Frank built a small built-in one with cubbies for storage. He also made a little “standing desk shelf” so my computer can be easily shifted when I want to stand and work. And when I want to sit, I do it on an inflated physioball instead of a chair.

I love my ball-chair (except for that one time the cat miscalculated her jump into my lap and punctured it). I love the movement and comfort and awareness of sitting on a ball. And holy obliques, my core loves it, too. By sitting on an unstable ball, my core muscles are constantly firing to keep me from rolling off. Sometimes when I’m watching (yet another) TED Talk*, I’ll pick up my feet and let my core have an all-out stabilization party.

I’ve noticed the same sensation of core awakening as I learn Pulse, a new routine created by Kelle Rae Oien, one of the Nia Faculty Trainers. Kelle’s focus for the routine is the movement variety through the three “Arts” – Martial, Dance and Healing – but what *I* noticed immediately was that when I do this routine, my core wakes up and gets busy.

Pulse provides movements of balance and control, undulation and extension, explosiveness and (duh) pulsing to engage and stimulate the layers of muscle and connective tissue through the center of the body.

The core is the body’s source of power and grace and it requires more than crunches to function at its potential. Interested in waking up your core body? Find a variety of ways of moving to stimulate stabilization and mobility: contracting and crunching movements are great but also play with extending and reaching away from center, breathing deep and making sound, moving with precision and agility, fluidity and flow. Nia is a great way to do all these things, but so is yoga and dancing and, yep, sitting on a physioball with a cat in your lap.

sj at desk 012316

 

* Here are some of my current TED Talk favorites

Kathryn Schulz, On Being Wrong
Maragret Heffernan, Dare to Disagree
Bejamin Zander, Music and Passion
Elizabeth Gilbert, On Genius

And those don’t even include the ones from TEDx Charlottesville 2015:

Dr. Neal Kassell, Curing with Sound
Elliott Woods, Ever After: Finding Fulfillment in the Aftermath of War
Leslie Blackhall, Living, Dying and The Problem with Hope
Geoff Luck, Beyond Human

Like this post? You might also enjoy Explore from Core and Core Galore from the Focus Pocus archives.

 

 

 

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