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Shaking My Sacred Vessel

February 18, 2005

Late last year I was lying on the floor stretching before Nia class when my instructor said, “Guess who’s coming in February?” It took my brain almost no time at all to come up with it thought was a reasonable answer: Carlos. (It took almost no time because I don’t know that many people connected with Nia.) “Yes,” she answered, a little surprised I’d actually guessed, “and Debbie.” They’re the creators of Nia and would be on a promotional tour for their book about Nia.

And last night was the night. It was a bit of an effort to get there from my office during rush hour. I used to work in the city it was held in, but that didn’t make me any less anxious about finding the building and a place to park, and indeed I drove by the building once without recognizing it, and my first attempt at parking led to a lot I couldn’t actually get into, and since another car had pulled in behind me, we both had to back down the driveway. Fortunately, this put us in perfect position to see the entrance to the public parking–it was in an underground ramp the signs for which were so subdued one might think that they were trying to discourage visitors all together.

I ended up missing almost all of the lecture portion of the program, but I got there in time to buy a book and change into my workout wear and chat with Erica before the dance class portion began. I was blown away by how many people were there–over a hundred. I’d never done Nia with more than six or seven people at a time. Evidently a lot of the crowd drove over from Lansing, where Nia’s quite popular. I’d been worried about being the oldest, fattest, least coordinated person there, but a look around assured me that I wasn’t the first two at least. I wish that kind of thing didn’t matter to me, but it does. As far as being coordinated, once the music started, I saw that yeah, some people were much quicker at picking up the steps than I was, but that was okay. I just told myself that most of them had probably been to more Nia classes than my paltry less than a dozen, and more recently than last December, too, which was the last time I managed to get to one.

So for an hour and a half, I danced and kicked and sweated and flexed with a whole room full of people doing the same. I mostly successfully suppressed a fit of giggles when one of the instructors said we should “shake our sacred vessel”; I’m not sure everyone found that as funny as I did, but I am not on as high a spiritual plane. I also tried not to stare at the alternative healing methods being employed by two women on a third who’d twisted her ankle. Instead of putting ice on the injury, they were directing energy toward it–at least I think that’s what they were doing. (I was glad to see that by the end of class, there was some ice involved.)

After class, Erica and I got our books signed–the line was long, but waiting gave us a chance to chat. Now we’ll have to see if I actually get around to reading the book.

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