The transformative potential of Nia® as experienced by six advanced Nia® instructors
An interpretive phenomenological analysis
Keywords:transformative potential, long-term transformation, Nia practice, advanced practice, Black Belt Nia instructor, movement practice
This study explored the transformative potential of Nia as experienced by six Brown or Black Belt Nia instructors. Nia is a barefoot fitness practice that is done to music, focusing on technical precision, individual expression and the sensation of pleasure (Nia South Africa, 2010). The participants had experienced transformation which was defined as a change that brings about a long-lasting state, including a fundamental shift in perspective and attention. This shift in perception includes the way in which one sees oneself and the world, and consequently impacts one’s relationships and values in a lasting way (Schlitz el al., 2007). Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith et al., 2009) was used and semi-structured, online interviews and thematic analysis were conducted to derive overarching themes. Eight themes included valuing the body as the most important relationship, self-regulation through the practice of Nia, healthier relationships, transformation through embodied principles, Nia as a sacred livelihood, disciplined practice as key to on-going transformation, healing the world through Nia, and increased spiritual connection to the universe. The findings have potential implications for advanced Nia practitioners, the Nia community and those interested in transformation through movement practices. Limitations of this study and further research are discussed.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Chantal le Roux
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