I have had the same dream my whole life. I see a large tsunami form in the distance. In panic, I wonder, should I run? Should I hide? Each time in my dream I am either engulfed and wake up, or I survive only to find another one starting to form.
I have had depression from a very young age. Slowly, and only quite recently, have I learned how to manage it. One of the more difficult parts for me is the struggle for friendship and acceptance. Meeting new people can be hard when the voice of depression insists "of course they won't like you" or "they are just being nice to you because they feel sorry for you." To aid in my journey, I knew I needed a safe place to meet people. That is how I found NiaMoves.
I walked into my first class and wondered, why are people wearing costumes? Then, OMG, what is this teacher talking about? And then with free dance..."WHAT DO I DO WITH MY BODY?"
But for some reason I stayed. At the end of my first Nia class with the loving and talented Yvonne, I felt alive and at peace. When I left that day all I could think about was that I wanted to be part of this community. I tried to understand...what made me feel so good? Was it the teacher's soothing voice? The music? The mind-body connection? Or the way that I was treated when I walked in, as well as the way everyone connects to each other?
Here I am, back from Puerto Rico with a Yoga teacher training under my belt, and I've started teaching Yoga at NiaMoves! I lean on Angela for support if I am having a bad day; I take Helen's upbeat and energetic Nia classes if I am feeling lazy; I pull myself into Laura's Radical body love class when I am feeling sad. Then of course there is Yvonne's class and whatever secret magic she sprinkles on the senses when I am feeling out of touch. I give my yogis the gentle reminders of self-love, and tenderness towards our body and soul. And the best part of walking into a class is knowing that someone is there for the same reason as me, for community, support and friendship. I am a part of a loving community and that feels so good.
Last night I had a dream. There was an approaching tsunami like always, but this time it was different! Yes, it was still coming, still looming larger than life and unstoppable. But the panic I usually feel wasn't there! I knew I was supposed to be afraid, but I wasn't. For some reason I knew however hard the wave hit I could handle it.
For me, NiaMoves is a powerful step on the way to self-love and acceptance. It is different for everyone, but expect to find something you may not even know you needed.....that and a lot of genuine hugs.
- Esther Tell (Yoga Teacher at NiaMoves)