Moving From Center
Twice in the past two weeks during class, in the space between one song ending and the next song beginning, one of my students has asked, "Julie, what do you mean when you say, 'Move from center?'" Both times, I have attempted a quick body-centered and visual explanation, covering my solar plexus and hara with my hands, dropping my center of gravity, martial arts-like, and answering, "Your power comes from your center-- grounded, balanced, rooted into Mother Earth... I'll explain more later." Later is now, and I realize her question is my question... and maybe your question.
What does, "Moving from center," mean?
Before we move from center, I think we must first breathe into center, deepening our breath from the shallow, chest-centered adult breath into a fuller, belly-extending, baby breath. I just read recently that when we deepen (and therefore elongate) our breaths to 12 per minute,
physiologically, we cannot be stressed. Believe me... I have been practicing that 5-second breath!
Breathing into center slows us down, connects us to our self and our surroundings, brings us into the present moment: "be here now." In this moment, I look out the picture window onto clouds floating above a snow-dusted hilltop, Colorado-blue-sky backdrop. My visual sense is
heightened, and I appreciate the beauty around me.
In Nia, when we are moving our bodies through space, and belly-breathing into center, we begin to find authentic movement-- movement that is intimately and uniquely ours-- movement, truth, power that comes from the inside out. We come into a place of being self-directed, and from that place, truth-- our truth-- is revealed, and we can choose to become self-reflective, to witness the messages of the body.
In Nia, as in life. Moving from center on the dance floor, we find out what is real for us, and when we sense in the body what is real, we can begin to live from that place of truth, growing into our unique power, being as big as we are.