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You’re original, with your own path
You’re original, got your own way
Leftfield, Original

echoes reverberating with echoes 020616Love like a signal you call
Touching my body my soul
Bring to me, you to meet me here
Moodswings, Spiritual High, Part I

Everything’s a remix. Everything. Everything is derivative. Even the things we think of as wildly original. Everything is an echo of what came before. Even you.


When I heard Queen Latifa’s 2004 album of standards, The Dana Owens Album (Dana Owens was her name before she Queened herself), my favorite track was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. It’s an awesome song that I love to use in class. If you listen to Queen’s version, you’ll hear her talk at the beginning. Check it out.

Cool.

But then I heard Cannonball Adderly’s 1966 original Mercy Mercy Mercy in the jazz appreciation course I’m taking. Evidently, one thing Cannonball was famous for was doing a little talking introduction to his numbers. Listen to what he says in his intro.

Super cool. Not only was Queen Latifa creating a kickin’ cover of a classic, she was echoing Adderly while she was doing it.


When it comes to humor, I am totally low brow. Show me a clip from America’s Funniest Home Videos of someone wiping out on a sledding run and I will laugh myself senseless. (A trait that was perhaps once endearing to Frank now is just an eye-roller.)

corkystclairIt stands to reason then, that a Christopher Guest mockumentary complete with ridiculous wigs and goofy songs about terriers and “armadillos in their trousers” is right up my alley. In Guest’s spoof on folk music reunions, A Mighty Wind, we meet the daft trio The Folksmen. Their series of 60s-era albums (covers complete with matching outfits and silly poses) include Ramblin’, Wishin’, Hitchin’, Pickin’.

ramblinwishin

hitchin

pickinWhich cracks me up.

But then I learned about The Miles Davis Quintet. In 1956, in a dash to fulfill their contract with Prestige records so they could sign with Columbia, Davis’ first great quintet recorded four albums in two days. The names of those great albums? Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, Steamin.’

Suddenly, Guest’s joke about the lame folk trio is even funnier for its echo to one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.


Every time you move your body, whether you are doing a lay-up or swinging a golf club or bustin’ a bad-to-the-bone dance move, you are echoing movement that has come before you. Someone taught you to walk, but no one walks like you. Someone can show you how to swing a tennis racket or do downward dog, but only you do it like you. There is the form of the movement and the form of your body and the form of this moment and the three come together in an alchemy of originality.


Every movement choice you make with your body, or for that matter, every thought you think and emotion you feel echoes in your bones. Especially choices you make regularly – always carrying your bag on your left shoulder, always running without stretching, always telling yourself that you aren’t good enough – will leave lasting impressions. Like the wind that blows and blows and blows to sculpt the pines, the choices we make echo into our future.


We have a similar impact on each other. Right now, you can think of a time when the words or actions of someone left a lasting impression of love and healing … or of pain and suffering. Just like your own choices, connections with others echo in our bodies and minds far into the future.


We are echoes reverberating with echoes. Original echoes. What is the tone you want to send into your future self and the future world?

P8 Core Nia mover

Waiting in line at the grocery store yesterday, I stretched a bit and felt my waist muscles sing with all the action they’ve gotten this week. I hope your body enjoyed the experiences this week as much as mine did.

We played with the paradox of increasing stability in the core by increasing mobility between the three body weights. We also listened to the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) sensations of the chakra energy system that resides in the core. All the playlists from this week are below.

In particular, if you’re interested in the chakra meditation that we did at the end of class on Thursday, you can find it on the NiaNow site here.
If I believed in coincidences, this would be one: as I was preparing for this week’s classes, I received an announcement that Mandy Blake, a wonderful teacher of somatic intelligence, is offering a free teleconference call next week titled “Can You Trust Your Gut?” Perfect expansion on what we did this week with Principle 8! I signed up right away here … want to join me?

Remember the wisdom of Principle 8:  a healthy core energizes and enlivens the whole body and the sensations we feel there offer a mandate about what is true ~ sometimes it requires silence and sometimes sound to respond to that mandate.

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

P.S. FOCUS POCUS MUSIC GIVE AWAY (MORE WAYS TO SCORE GREAT NIA MUSIC!): The offer is still good that I made in the Principle 2: Natural Time Post: email me (sjmnia@gmail.com) a picture of yourself wearing the 13-Moon Calendar color of the day (or wear the color to class and TELL me that you did it intentionally and didn’t just HAPPEN to) and I’ll send you (or hand it to you if you’re in Cville) a CD of official Nia music, either Sanjana or Dreamwalker or the Official Playlist for the Unofficial Guide! Another way to play: comment below (or on the Focus Pocus Facebook Page) about how you used any of the principles in your life recently! I’m only announcing this here so only Focus Pocus readers are in on this! [And even though it sounds like a McDonald’s contest disclaimer: good in the US only (unless you want me to email you the tunes); limit one per person; while supplies last; void where prohibited.]

Monday, Oct 6, 2014, 1045am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Core of the Body ~ 3 Body Weights

Orange Sky 6:11 Alexi Murdoch
Bodhi Mandala (Drumspyder Remix) 6:19 Desert Dwellers
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Qalanderi 6:55 Cheb I Sabbah
Welcome to the Journey 5:04 Cybertribe
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
The Hearts A Lonely Hunter 6:22 Thievery Corporation
Artichoke Funk 5:56 Zeb
Peace, Love And Happyness 3:43 G. Love & Special Sauce
Gandhi/Buddha 3:28 Cheryl Wheeler
Bach: Cello Suite #4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 – 1. Sarabande 5:03 Yo-Yo Ma

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Core of the Body ~ 3 Body Weights

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
You Can’t Always Get What You Want 6:47 Rusted Root
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Domination 7:26 Peace Orchestra
Sometimes 5:14 Kaskade
Shake Your Hips 4:47 Desperado 5
Hermes 4:09 Carlos Santana
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 3:27 Queen Latifah
Slip Into Something More Comfortable 4:48 Kinobe
The Barney Fade 3:34 Fragile State

Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014, 1055am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Core of the Body ~ Chakras

Earth Link 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Give-A-Way 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Sunset/Moonrise 7:10 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Anahata 7:03 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Vishuddha 7:59 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Sound of Light 7:23 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Crystaline 7:34 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Voice Inside 7:11 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes

Thursday, Oct 9, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Core of the Body ~ Chakras

Earth Link 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Give-A-Way 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Sunset/Moonrise 7:10 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Anahata 7:03 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Vishuddha 7:59 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Sound of Light 7:23 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Crystaline 7:34 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Chakra 1 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 2 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 3 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 4 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 5 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 6 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra 7 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds
Chakra integration 1:00 Chakra Meditation from NiaSounds

Friday, October 10, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Core of the Body ~ 3 Body Weights

Orange Sky 6:11 Alexi Murdoch
Bodhi Mandala (Drumspyder Remix) 6:19 Desert Dwellers
Something To Believe In 4:44 Parachute
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
Open Your Heart 5:46 M People
Welcome to the Journey 5:04 Cybertribe
The Hearts A Lonely Hunter 6:22 Thievery Corporation
Shake Your Hips 4:47 Desperado 5
Hermes 4:09 Carlos Santana
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 3:27 Queen Latifah
Falling Slowly 4:04 Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
The Barney Fade 3:34 Fragile State

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!

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