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Everything you wanted to know about the Nia White Belt Training (but was afraid to ask)…


by Jule Aguirre, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Nia Black Belt Somatic Educator + Trainer

(reblogged from MoveStudio’s Move+BeMoved Blog)

You may have seen it….flyers posted throughout the studio…or announcements posted on Twitter and FaceBook, over the last several months…

You may have heard it…announcements after Nia class of upcoming trainings or conversations with classmates who have said, “I’m a Nia White Belt”!

You may have wondered…”what is this thing called, Nia White Belt…and why do I want to become one?”

Great observations! Great questions! Now I am here to dispel any questions or misconceptions you may have about the Nia White Belt Training!

So, let’s begin with the beginning! What is Nia? (for those who have yet to step IN to your first Nia class experience).

Nia is the “Love Your Body Workout!” A powerful, unique, and inspiring, cardiovascular-based movement practice that stimulates and conditions body, mind and spirit! Through its conscious engagement of 52 Moves, 9 Movement Forms (from the martial arts, dance and healing arts) and focused attention, not on only on the outcome of fitness, but the SENSATION of “functional fitness”, Nia delivers a multidimensional body-mind workout that no other movement program can match! More than ‘working-out”, Nia moves you from the “inside-out”! Students are guided to “personalize” their movements toward what feels right for them, allowing each individual to ‘do it their way”. Mindfulness, imagination, and expression, are interwoven for a holistic, integrative, body-mind experience that leaves participants feeling energized, happy, healthy and WHOLE! And the BEST part? Anyone can do it! Nia is ageless and limitless, transformational and effective for every person everywhere, from athletes, dancers and fitness aficionados, to children, special needs groups and the elderly…most of all, Nia is exhilarating, creative, transformational, and fun! learn more at www.juleinthelotus.com and www.nianow.com.

OK…now I know what Nia is…and I LOVE the classes, but what is the Nia White Belt Training?

The Nia White Belt Intensive is a 7-day training that takes the passionate Nia student deeper into self-mastery through the Nia Movement & Life Practice! It’s one thing to come to class, follow the teacher, sense your body, connect with community, and vibe on really great music! For some…this is enough…but for those who are really, REALLY passionate about what the Nia Technique practice is doing for them…well…THEY WANT MORE! The Nia White Belt Training is THE best, and most practical way to learn how to go from Nia Student, to Nia PRACTITIONER (sounds kinda technical…but what I mean by ‘practitioner’ is learning Nia from the inside-out and transitioning from someone who simply ‘takes class’, following the teacher’s directions….to someone who can direct their body and life with purpose, power, and self-determination…what we call in Nia, a ‘Sacred Athlete’!)

The primary focus of the White Belt Training is aimed at helping participants “get IN their body”, embodying the sensation of

  • Joy

  • moving, systemically, in your own way, and in your own time

  • movement & energy variety from the martial arts, dance & healing arts

  • Nia’s unique and exclusive way of listening to, appreciating, and mapping music

  • techniques to stimulate movement creativity

  • methods for awareness and self-healing

  • anatomy–the makeup, design and function of the body and the Nia Moves that directly condition, energize and activate each body part

  • natural, organic, personalized methods to condition your body

  • structural anatomy/alignment/sensory awareness

  • working, living, moving as a sacred being, with purpose, and intent, living into your highest potential

  • body & life tools for transformation

  • communication using the body’s language of sensation

  • and more!

This seems like alot to learn! I’m afraid I won’t be able to absorb it all!

Everything we share with you will be translated in a way that makes learning personal, using body-centered methodologies, imagery, poetry, movement and metaphors to turn cognitive information into something you sense, feel and think about. Nia training is designed to give you the time and space to arrive to personal understanding in your own way and in your time, subjectively creating your own “knowledge map.” You will develop knowledge daily by exploring Nia’s tools for body & life mastery.

How is the Nia Training structured?

the Nia White Belt Training is typically offered in a 7 consecutive day format (usually Saturday through Friday, but days can vary)… and sometimes over 2 weekends (for those who are not able to take a full week off from work).

What are the hours?

Most trainings (dependent upon the trainer and location) start on a Saturday and end on a Friday evening.

  • Day 1 of the training typically lasts 4- 6 hours depending on the training layout.

  • Days 2-6 begin as early as 7:00 AM and generally end by between 5-7PM.

  • Day 7 begins between 7-8am and ends near 3pm.

But I’m too _____ (old, out of shape, low on energy, uncoordinated, yada-yada-yada…) I don’t know if I am able to sustain this type of training…

The hours may seem intensive…but it is TOTALLY DO-able! We’ve had trainees as young as (mature/focused) 8 years old and others on in to their 90’s! Just like in Nia class, we say, “listen to your body”…”do it your way”… “do your best”…”take care of your body”…. While we do cover an extensive amount of material, the intensive setting itself is an exercise in self-awareness, self-care, self-love, self-direction. EveryBody…whether old or young, fit or not-so-fit, men, women, dancers and non-dancers alike, can and DO get through the White Belt Training week with elegance, grace, Joy, fun….and their body, mind, & spirit intact! Every day of the Nia training is exhilarating! Stimulating! Transformational! All Nia experience levels are welcome, and THRIVE in the training!

What’s the breakdown of movement/lecture/interactive discussion ratio?

All Trainings involve approximately 60% experiential movement participation and 40% lecture/interactive discussion. Self-paced, everybody is encouraged to do their best, and find the structure of the training perfectly balanced for learning, embodying, and flourishing.

Is there anything that would limit me from participating in a Nia Intensive Training?

Only illness (mental or physical) or acute injury can get in the way of full participation. If you are unsure, speak to your trainer for clarification on individualized accessibility. I’ve seen people participate with all sorts of injuries, where the trainee participates while “listening to and taking care of their body”.

I do not intend to teach Nia… I’m not sure the training is for me.

EveryBODY steps into the Nia White Belt Training, first for THEMSELVES for personal development…to learn about their body, learning techniques for amplified awareness and transformation through Nia’s unique body and life practices. Some (roughly 40%) decide they would like to share Nia by becoming a Nia Teacher! Either way, whether for personal or professional development, the Nia White Belt Training will TRANSFORM you!

I’ve heard people in class state different colored belt levels. What is this? What does it mean?

The 5 basic levels of Nia education are fashioned after the martial arts, with people advancing through White, Blue, Brown, Black and First Degree Black Belt levels. Each belt level is built from the foundation of the White Belt, the first level of training. Here’s the breakdown of training for each of the belt levels:

  • White Belt Focus: Physical Sensation & embodying Nia’s 13 foundational principles

  • Blue Belt Focus: Relationship, communication & intimacy

  • Brown Belt Focus: Managing Energy

  • Black Belt Focus: Creativity and The Unknown

  • First Degree Black Belt Focus: Non-thinking/beginner’s mind

  • Green Belt is an optional belt for teachers to hone their mastery of teaching skill.

What is the cost of the training?