Sunday, December 27, 2009

Broadening Your Experience

The Three Planes & Three Levels
Nia Principle Number 7 out of 13

"Every movement can be done within three plane-low, middle, and high - and can be done with three different levels of intensity.

Mixing the three levels and three planes creates a wide repertoire of movement choices.

Transfer body weight along a Smile Line, moving from low to middle to high. Use three levels of intensity to vary your rate of exertion."

Visualization Pearls (words to trigger your mind and body to get the most out of your Nia workout):

1. See yourself rising high into the clouds as you rise.

2. Imagine your torso slipping below the waterline as you sink.

3. Imagine your body as a helium balloon that fills and empties as you move through three planes.*

*from the book, The Nia Technique

Commentary from Julia, Nia Teacher

Principle 7 combines two aspects of Nia, planes of movement and levels of intensity, that when consciously used together provide a customized work out for the participant. In every class the student has the freedom to choose her/his own level of intensity and plane of movement. This unique aspect of Nia honors every "body" in every class.

As stated in the name, there are 3 Planes of Movement - Low, Middle and High. Playing with the planes improves agility, mobility and balance. Having the freedom to choose these planes allows for unlimited options; the student can create their own movement within the framework of the day's routine. No routine will ever be exactly the same if the student plays with planes.

As adults we do not get on the floor very often a fact that ultimately hinders our range of motion. Playing with the low plane improves our agility. The middle plane is a place to work on deepening and intensifying movement. Playing with the high plane can speak to the spirit as well as the body. Stretch, reach, and create beautiful long lines with the body letting the spirit soar to the heavens. This is a wonderful feeling to receive in a "work out".

The three Levels of Teaching (One, Two and Three) allow the student to find ease in movement and to nurture the body. Every level has its benefits. Level one focuses on sensitivity. It conditions the intrinsic muscles and improves control of the body. Level two allows the participant to develop and deepen the movements. The focus of level three is on complexity and energy. Using level three allows the student to improve strength and endurance and eventually reach their full physical potential.

Mix up the levels and planes and the Nia experience will condition and tone the entire body and the class will never be dull. Dare to try something new you may surprise yourself!

Commentary from Allison, studio owner
When I think of moving my body in the three different planes, the first image I am reminded of is the scene from "Dead Poets Society" where Robin Williams portrayed a professor. In order to open up his student's minds, he told them to climb on top of their desks so that they could experience a different perspective. This was a powerful exercise for me and is something I've always carried with me.

Just as our minds become more embedded in habit, so do our bodies. We stand and walk in nearly the same way all the time. We tend to sleep in the same positions. These habits reinforce our experience of reality and in fact, define our own realities. While habits give us predictability and make it easier to multi-task, they can also diminish our sensory experience and encourage us to walk through life in zombie-like state.

I use the three planes and three levels in Nia class to break my own habits and perspectives. In general, the plane I spend the least amount of time in, is the high plane. I rarely think to reach high above my head, to stretch my arms and neck as high as they can go. In fact, during my Nia White Belt training, one of our trainers who teaches in New York City, commented that I wasn't keeping my head up. In order to encourage myself to grow outside my comfort zone and habits, I try to extend my arms and reach for the sky often.

What are your movement habits? Are there ways you can move in Nia that would encourage you to gain a different perspective? Perhaps you rarely like to get down on the floor? Or perhaps moving quickly from a standing position to a plank position is something you don't like doing but if you did it often enough, you will not only increase your flexibility but you will also increase your perspective on what your body is still capable of doing.

Each Nia class and each Nia movement gives you the opportunity to move in the three planes and utilize the three levels of intensity.

Nia studio member testimonial:

Thanks to my daughter, I found Castle Rock Nia. I had moved back here three years ago and didn't know there was one so near. Previously I had done Nia in Idaho and was missing it very much. Nia gives me something that other exercise doesn't. Not only do I get a good physical workout, but the music and movement touches my heart as well as my soul.

Also dancing like that puts me in touch with my femininity. In my day to day routine, I don't move my hips and sway to the music. I LOVE IT!

I live in Parker and can honestly say the drive to Castle Rock is no problem or hindrance. In fact it really gives me something to look forward to. Castle Rock Nia has a very comfortable and friendly atmosphere and the owner and instructors are wonderful. Nia is a so much fun and perfect for women of all ages. I am 61 and plan on doing this for years to come!

Castle Rock Nia Fitness Studio
Do you have questions about this class? Do you wonder if it is right for you? You are welcome to take a Nia class for free to see if it is right for your fitness routine.

Request a Coupon for a FREE Nia Class or call us at 303-522-4740

Listen to the music and see what Nia is like, watch a Nia video.

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