Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Woman in her Thirties Works her 'Spirit Body'

As a general rule, I avoid hippies. It's not that I have anything against them, it's just that I have an affinity for designer jeans and Kiehls products, and based on that and so many other things we don't have much in common. But I do have my moments of clarity, moments where the smell of patchouli and a lifetime of yoga retreats sounds enticing. Yesterday I had one of those moments.

It was about 4:00 and I was desperate to get to the gym. The thing is that while I play the part of a woman in her thirties, I have the back of a woman in her eighties, and if I don't go to the gym regularly the vertebrae that make up my spine glue themselves together, my neck freezes in one place, and I spend most of my time praying for a swift death. So I looked and found a class called NIA, which stands for Neuromuscular Integrated Action, which meant nothing to me.

When I called the gym to ask what it was about, I heard something along these lines:

'Yeah, it's like yoga. Like, holistic and stuff. Like that.'

When I looked it up online, I found something more along these lines:

'Depending on your goals, Nia is everything from a fun class experience to a philosophy, lifestyle and personal/professional study. While often practiced in a group-fitness format, the true depth of Nia lies in a richly layered bodymind education, which for many becomes a personal lifestyle and/or professional practice.'

Which sounded a lot like hippie yoga to me. But my back was beginning the slow whimper it does before it gives out on me completely, and a woman in her thirties takes risks. So I went.

As I stood in the center of the room, the teacher turned to us and said something like:

'Thank you for taking this journey with me. Let's release the negative energy in our spirit bodies and begin.'

Uh... spirit bodies? A woman in her thirties does not have a spirit body. Does she?

Here is how I can describe my NIA experience: It was a combination of yoga, tai chi, African dance, Balinese finger-pointing (without the crazy eye movements), several minutes of jazz, a sprinkling of an Irish jig, and lots of flailing about. It was like a long audition of So You Think You Can Dance, minus the judgement.

And with the exception of punching an elderly woman in the head (yes it really happened, and no I don't want to talk about it), I LOVED IT.

When I left, I had that sensation that I have now come to equate with being a woman in her thirties. I felt happy that I'd tried something new. My back is happy, my thighs are sore, and I'm ready to take on the week. Just my spirit body and me.


  1. Oh my god, you totally went to hippie yoga. That's awesome.

  2. "Neuromuscular Integrated Action" sounds like a weird sexual position to me. Maybe it's just me. Yeah, probably just me.

  3. Note to self: don't stand next to L. Shanna when I'm elderly.

    Otherwise? HILARIOUS.

  4. A woman in her thirties definitely takes chances... if she's a smart, vibrant, and full of spunk, lol. Good for you! What a fun way to get a workout!