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Somatics – 8 Nia Principles

1 Energy comes from Behind and Under

Energy for the body comes from Behind and Under. The back of your spine and sacrum are the origin of every leg, arm, hand and head movement. They control the precision and range of motion of your limb movement. Your sacrospinal movement should be precise, yet flowing and flexible. This quality takes time to develop. Your feet, and the energy they retrieve from the earth, are also an origin of movement.

Energy comes from Behind and Under, Cont …
Every time you fully move your feet, you tone your stomach and firm your buttocks. Working with open feet elongates your body so you don’t tense, hold or overuse muscles. Engaging the spine and feet frees your self-expression. Then engage your pelvis and sacrum as an energy translator.  Tailbone to the back: Most moves are executed with the tailbone out to the back (not under).


2 The Feet Balance
Learn the “heel lead”. Your foot is a masterful network of 35 joints and 26 bones held together by 120 ligaments and activated by at least 20 muscles. Over 7,000 nerve endings in each foot constantly send messages concerning the balance and alignment of all body parts. Learn how to sink and shift your weight (using the “smile”). The heel lead allows you to gain balance and grounding – this activates the lower back and gluteals to strengthen and create freedom of movement through your pelvis.


3 The Legs Ground
The leg that is moving less is the Grounding Leg and actually has more energy going through it than the moving leg. The moving leg is light; the grounding leg is firm and strong, and goes Down (much like a stake). Keep a majority of your weight on the grounding leg. The gluteus of the grounding leg stabilizes the leg and pelvis. Legs spine, and pelvis first, arms after: Learn the proper way to move energy through the legs, spine and pelvis first. This energy will transfer up the spine and out the arms.


4 The Body Elongates
Extend your lines of energy, rather than just stretch. To connect and support the body more, visualize your energy expanding from your belly button out the top of your head, three feet or more and past, and expand down through your legs in the same way.


5 Emote the Muscles
For every feeling there’s a physical response, and for every physical response, there’s a feeling. As you open up parts of your body, you may tap into feelings locked deeply inside. Allow yourself to emote and move with feeling to enrich the way you move. If you simply try to mimic the instructor, you’ll miss out on your own dynamics and inner rhythms.


6 Emote the Hands
Have you ever heard that the most challenging part of the body to paint is the hands? That is because the hands can express so much, but in a much more elusive way than the eyes or rest of the body. The eyes and hands of the Mona Lisa are largely what make this painting so intriguing.


7 Emote the Eyes
The body absorbs energy through the emotion of the eyes. Ever see a really good actor? They can relay layers of the self – thought, feeling and emotion – through just eye expression.


8 Head Orients
How many of you walk in the opposite direction of that in which your eyes and head are turned? The body moves systemically, in the direction of your eyes and head. It feels best when move the head and eyes fully, and learn how to develop trust in strengthening your balance and coordination by NOT using eyes staring in the mirror to stabilize.

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