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Funny Clips

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


How to befriend your criticising Mind

I'm sure that most of us know what it means to have a mind that sometimes (or often) sends us internal criticising thoughts, no matter how much we try to think positive thoughts, or affirmations.
I'm reading "Sane New World", the latest book by author and comedian Ruby Wax, who has struggled with mental health and depression most of her life.
What I find really inspiring is that she has found a way to deal with her condition. If it works for her, it should work for anybody whether or not they have depression. 

Her way of dealing with her mental state is mindfulness: learning to connect with your body when your mind is driving you somewhere you don't want to go. Also, she suggests that we are kind to our thoughts. I would say befriend our thoughts.

I often go on about this, but I think it's vital. As a practice, when you hear your mind criticising, instead of getting lost in its thoughts and feelings, take it as a sign to reconnect to your body.

Put your focus on sensing physical sensations somewhere, for example you feet. This way, instead of being an enemy of your thoughts, you befriend your mind.




Are you checking in with yourself emotionally?

I have three things for you this week: 
  • Checking in with yourself emotionally.
  • One Billion Rising 2014 - Stop the violence against women project.
  • An invitation to a one-off, special Nia event - Move with 'Grace'.

Checking in with yourself emotionally

So now you have been practicing being aware of how you feel physically and mentally. It's time to practice being aware of your emotional state.
This week, notice how you are interacting with people and life, is it freely and unafraid, or do you notice that you feel closed, or shut down? If you feel closed, I suggest that you see it as just a feeling, I'd like to call it a sensation, letting you know that that you are not paying attention to your emotional needs. 
Obviously there's much more to this topic, but like I've said before, the first step is awareness. 

One Billion Rising 2014 

I'd like to spend a little time to bring attention to '1 billion Raising for Justice'. This is a world-wide project aimed at stopping violence against women and girls. You might remember I did an event for this last year. Click here for more information.
This week, women, girls (and men) around the world will dance to raise awareness of violence against Women and girls all over the planet, with the intention of bringing an end to the violence. I think it would be great to support this again this year. I will play the song 'Break the Chain', of of the 1 Billion Rising Songs' that we will dance to. 
I'm really looking forward to seeing you and moving with you this week. 
Warm wishes,


Listen to and watch the song 'Break the Chain' dedicated to the '1 billion Rising for Justice.  

Move with 'Grace'

I'd like to invite you to a 'one-off' event of movement and dancing called 'Grace' by Nia Black Belt Fiona Winter.
Fiona says: "Grace is an elegantly crafted piece of movement medicine, designed to take you willingly into a state of 'Grace', of effortless, uplifting and joyous movement."  
It's on Sunday 9/3 at 12:15 - 13:45 at First Dance Studio in Woking. For full details and registration, click here and you will find a PayPal button to pay to secure your space. The event is open to all.

I'd love to see you there.




Are you checking in with yourself?

Did you check in with yourself, as I wrote in last week's email? Did you ask yourself, "How do I feel physically?" Yes? - Great! continue to do that at least once a day. No? - No worries, no point being disappointed in yourself, just start now.
I'm stating the obvious, but it's important to continue to practice, in this case, by finding out how you feel physically and if needed do something about it.
It could be that you just need to take a breath in and out, and just rest for 2-5 seconds, let your muscles relax for a few seconds and you might feel a bit better.
I'm really looking forward to seeing you and moving with you this week!

This week's video clip is about the neurology of dance. What goes on in that lovely brain of yours?


The trick to getting on the path to physical fitness 

To follow up from last week's broadcast - where I mentioned being fit from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. I'd like to go into a bit more detail about physical fitness. For a lot of people, the biggest problem is getting started. 

If you remember, I encouraged you to stand up regularly during your working day. I suppose you could call that getting started, and that's great, but I want to add a special ingredient that will help you no matter what shape your in: awareness. 

Let's look into that a bit more. Let's say you want to achieve some physical goal. It could be flexibility or gracefulness or cardio-vascular or whatever. How do you know what to do if you don't know where you are right now?

The first step to awareness physically is to ask yourself, once a day, how do I feel physically? Then find out by moving your joints, in Nia we refer to the 13 joints; ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and spine. Any pain, discomfort or maybe no pain at all.

If in discomfort or pain, is there anything you can do about it? If so, do it!

Now you are aware.

The focus for Nia classes this week is, you've guessed it: awareness. Come and practise!

This week's video clip is about somebody who really was aware of how he moved! Wow - what a mover, dancer and drummer!



Woooo hoooo - let's start the new year by standing up!

Did you know that your body deteriorates at a far more rapid pace in "anti-gravity" situations, such as sitting down too much!

I know that I sometimes go on about how important it is to move, get fit and healthy from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. If, when you read this, you feel that you are not ready yet to get moving, or you haven't got the inspiration to exercise somehow - I'd like to inspire you to start with a small step towards your health and fitness.

Now, I don't mean anti-gravity like in Star Trek. Read this extract about "anti-gravity" affecting your body.

"Earlier this year, I interviewed Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former director of NASA's Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, on this topic. Her groundbreaking research reveals why standing up is such an effective remedy - it's because when you stand up, your body acts against gravity. Sitting actually simulates a low-gravity type environment for your body, and your body deteriorates at a far more rapid pace in anti-gravity situations... Hence, the remedy is to continuously engage in physical movements, as this increases the forces of gravity on your body. "

You can read the whole article here, two-thirds down.

So, if you're still thinking you're not quite ready to start Nia or even if you are regular, your next small step to better fitness is to stand up more often! If you sit while you are working, set a gentle reminder on your phone or computer to stand up every 15-20 minutes or so. I can't promise you'll feel like you're floating in space, but at least you will be getting nearer!
Start your year by moving/dancing or just by standing up.