Joint Health with Nia
Just as seasonal changes may take our attention to shifts in our environment, Nia reminds me to pay attention to the health and mobility of my joints.
It was in a Nia class that I first heard the term “spring-loaded joints”. That phrase served as a catalyst for change in my body awareness and became a movement mantra for me both in and out of class.
I began attending Nia classes in 1997, shortly before embarking on a solo thru-hike of the 2,167 mile-long Appalachian Trail. Although I became highly fit, conditioned, and strong in endurance and musculature while training for my long-distance hike, my awareness of joint flexibility and health was minimal. In the spring of 1998, as I began my journey north, climbing up and down steep mountains, I was quickly forced to pay attention to the health of my hip, knee, and ankle joints in a way I never had before. I did all I could to keep my journey moving forward but, despite my best efforts to care for myself, the further north I traveled, the greater the toll on my joints.
The journey I took is a long story. Among the most important gifts of that journey were the first steps I took into a Nia class, two baby steps when I could barely walk, upon my return from six months of life on (and off) the trail. Nia taught me how to nurse my knees back to being healthy, spring-loaded joints in ways that will last my whole life. Nia is one of many gifts I give my knees and it is the one they seem to like the best.
So, while my senses are loading up on the sights, smells, tastes, and textures of summer, taking deep breaths of all it has to offer, my joints are enjoying a spring-loading every time I step in to my Nia practice!
Written By Karrie Korrach
Karrie is a Nia Blue Belt Teacher in Lansing, MI. Find out about the Nia Technique® & where to take a class below: http://www.nianow.com