Follow Re-Discover Your Sparkle


Sparkle blog by email:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Funny Clips

Books to read
  • Vagina: A New Biography
    Vagina: A New Biography
    by Naomi Wolf
Fabulous Women


Move to feel Graceful and Alive

Now it's coming! The new, 4-week series of Nia classes on Fridays, starting Friday, 17 October: Dance - Sweat - Live!

I've been thinking a lot about this, what would be the reason for you to come to this 4-week movement and dance class?

Since I turned 50, a couple years ago, I've had a number of conversations with women who are going through menopause, and its symptoms. It can be lonely and frustrating. So I decided to dedicate these four weeks to women who are experiencing those symptoms.

In this 4-week Nia "course", we'll dance and move, feeling graceful and energised, with the aim of enjoying life despite going through the symptoms of menopause.

Each class will have a different focus to help you to cope better with the totally natural transition that the menopause is. The different focus subjects will be:

  • Physical Energy
  • Mental Energy
  • Emotional Energy
  • Spiritual Energy

Any woman is welcome to come and Dance - Sweat and Live. If you are not going through menopause or don't have any symptoms, come along anyway and support us who are, that would be lovely!

 I'm looking forward to seeing you and dancing with you soon.



Be kind to your Body this week

You might already know that I'm passionate about moving and dancing, primarily with Nia, of course, but almost any kind of movement. Every time I move with Nia I know and I can sense that I'm treating my body with kindness.

Here is a suggestion for you:Set up this week for you to be extra kind to your body. If you think about being kind to your body when you are exercising, moving, or dancing, you are being mindful. And with a "kind" intention I bet you enjoy it more, and are more likely to keep doing it.

What is the one thing you could do at least once a day this week?

Set it up so that you are more likely to remember doing it by choosing a certain thing that you do in a day, for example:

  • First thing in the morning, do some sort of stretching in bed before you get up, for a minute or so.
  • Wiggle your toes when you sit on the loo, perhaps one foot at a time to make sure you don't wiggle yourself off the loo!
  • Yes - what would you fill in here?.................

    Have fun with it. And remember to think about being kind to your body whenever you are doing your exercise. I'd love to hear your experience. 

    I often observe, if I get the chance, how a baby or a small child moves.

    Have a look at this two-year-old's moves.

    It's good for your body to connect to remember those innocent and freeing moves. 




    How Agile are you in your movement?

    This week we'll focus on your Agility. Agility is the second out of the five areas of fitness that are part of Nia, FAMSS:
    • Flexibility (how bendable you are, can you touch your toes etc. See last week's message.)
    • Agility
    • Mobility (how easily you can move).
    • Stability
    • Strength

    According to Collins English Dictionary Agility means: the ability to move quickly and be light on your feet.

    Since I started to practice Nia and improve my agility, I feel more alert and awake in my day-to-day life. Sometimes I play a song on the iPod and move around with agility, it really perks me up!

    So how do you improve your agility?

    By practicing start/stop. How fast you can start and stop. For example, a little jump to the left and then quickly stop and change to a little jump to the right. Repeat this a few times.

    Also, how agile are you in your hand and eye movements? The ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body's sensory functions e.g. catching a ball is a good test of hand to eye co-ordination.

    As we grow older, this is a particular good exercise to practice daily so that we can avoid injuries from tripping and having a fall, for example.
    As always - be safe, take it easy - it's not a competition!



    How (un)-fit are you?

    In Nia we focus on 5 areas of fitness and wellness, (FAMSS).

    • Flexibilty (how bendable you are, can you touch your toes etc.)
    • Agility
    • Mobility (how easily you can move
    • Stability
    • Strength

    What would you score yourself doing a 'Down to the floor and up again test'? Between 1 and 6 (1=very low, 6=very high).

    IMPORTANT! Do this with awareness and be careful not to injure yourself.

    How was it to get down and up again? Did you feel flexible in your joints? Did you move with agility and grace? How mobile were you in the move?

    How stable and strong did you feel moving down to the floor and then up again? 

    If you scored yourself a full score, great, keep doing what you are doing, I would say that there is always room for improvements though.

    If you scored yourself low (between 1 and 3), there is room for improvements for you too! Ha!

    My suggestion is that you set yourself a goal to move up one notch in whatever your scored in one or more areas. Then decide to take action, to start to practice some sort of movement exercise. Here are some examples: (all based on mindful practices).

    Nia Technique, Tai Chi, Tai Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance Duncan Dance, Moshe Feldenkrais, The Alexander Technique, Yoga.

    The brilliant thing is that Nia incorporates all of the above. 



    Dancing like children do - Freedom

    One of the BIG reasons that I love practicing Nia is that it encourages and inspires me to move freely and to have fun, like when I was a child.

    If you watch how children dance, up to a certain age, they move freely, skipping around, it doesn't even has to be in time to the music. To me that is freedom.

    I had a wonderful opportunity this week to dance  at an event called Woodland Art Festival, in Milford. I danced with some children aged between 7-14 to a Nia song that I'm currently teaching in my classes.

    It was amazing to observe the children who had absolutely no intention to look a certain way, no right or wrong, just expressing themselves. It allowed me to consciously get into what it use to be like when I was a child. Very moving. 

    Then we grow up and one day we start get more conscious about how we look when we dance etc. and we get separated from something within us that I call our drive, our life force. Some people stop dancing with the excuse 'I can't dance' or something similar. Where did that come from?

    Or we do dance, but feel so conscious about how we look that we don't really enjoy it.

    But it doesn't have to be like that! If we practice Nia, and use "no right or wrong" or "dance from a child's view", as an intention, We can move and dance with something like the freedom of a child.

    This video reminds me when one of our now grown-up nieces danced in front of the TV just like this.