Open Stance

Stand with feet hip width apart, toes facing forward and feet parallel. Weight each foot evenly as you explore the mobility of your joints. Sink and rise to find your body’s ideal open stance.

It is week two of my 52 week challenge, and this week brings us to Open Stance. If you are playing with me, the goal is to incorporate this move into your daily routine and to use the five sensations of Nia (stability, strength, mobility, agility, and flexibility) to explore the move. Using the three planes of movement and three intensity levels, play with Open Stance and report back in a week on your experiences and findings.

Last week we were playing with our good friend Closed Stance. Closed Stance as I washed dishes, Closed Stance when I made strawberry rhubarb pie, Closed Stance as I brushed my teeth, Closed Stance when I talked on the phone or read email, Closed Stance in the check out line at the grocery store. Yes, Closed Stance went everywhere with me last week.

Closed Stance is often the first of the 52 moves that you might encounter at a Nia class, and it is a move that I used to find very challenging. When I first started dancing Nia nearly four years ago, I could not stand in Closed Stance. My knees were just too chubby to allow me to keep my toes together unless I stood in a pigeon-toed posture with my heels far apart. I was reminded of that several times this past week as I marveled once again that I am able to easily stand in Closed Stance. I kept thinking of how far I have come on my personal Nia journey, and of course, there were also reminders that I still have an opportunity to improve and that my journey continues.

I noticed that my mobility and comfort are limited by an ankle injury that happened long ago. My left ankle tells me that I need to be aware of how I move and weight my ankle when I sink down to a low level. Having not danced as much as I would have liked over the last two months (agh! moving!), I noticed that my sense of stability was often lacking when I moved through the planes. I kept picturing the image of a brick layer building a foundation for a great work as I stood with my toes touching and heels slightly apart. I too am building a foundation for a great work, my work. And the building continues this week with Open Stance.

Last week standing in Closed Stance brought a sense of joy to me knowing that my fellow blue belt sisters and brothers might just be standing with me experiencing the gift of this move at any given moment in time. For that support, my own Nia foundation, I am very grateful.

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