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Nia with Sophie Marsh - June 2013

10 ways to dance with your inner critic

Your body is an instrument of truth. Move harmoniously with its melody, sweet and sensuous. Relax into its rhythm, pulsing pleasure. When sadness sings, anger trumpets or pain yodels... listen and love it all. Love yourself even when you feel out of tune for Love is the song of your soul.


As a child I remember taking to heart “you can be anything except mediocre” as a source of inspiration to excel at whatever I did. Learning new things, singing, dancing, being curious and creative lit up the motivational coach inside my head. Yet she also had a dark side who grew to be an insatiable taskmaster driven to neurotic achievement, pleasing others and external accolades. From my studies to my corporate career, my marriage and then into motherhood this critical voice got louder and louder. She translated ‘always do your best’ into ‘you have to be the best’ and set an impossibly high standard that meant constantly pushing myself, comparing, competing and judging; a wild ride between 'not enough' and 'over the top'!


Sometimes her voice stopped me from trying new things I feared I might not be good at or quitting before I could fail. Needing to prove myself I’d be anxious or overbearing, often without being sensitive to the needs or feelings of others. I've walked away from relationships and situations where I couldn’t meet my own or another’s high expectations. Of course I kept attracting those people and experiences into my life to prove my inner critic right, ‘I can never do enough’ or ‘I’m too much!’ just as I’ve judged others for not living up to my ‘ideal’. We are all mirrors after all.


By the time I stepped into my first Nia class in 1999 I felt like a failure, living someone else’s life. My inner critic was running the show and while I wore a mask of happy wife and Mum (or so I thought!), I was battling post-partum depression, feeling volatile, fragile and overwhelmed.


“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  Through Nia classes I began my journey back to knowing, healing and loving myself through the body. The real catalyst for change was my first Nia White Belt where I learned how to juice my life-force of Universal Joy, develop greater awareness, inner peace and balance in life, stimulate self-pleasure and self-healing, and find my sacred purpose. Slowly I began to realise and embody the fullest expression of my authentic being.


Wise teachers surround me, like my son who reminds me “Mum, you’re looking in the wrong direction. You can always find people better or worse off than you” and Nia co-creator Debbie Rosas and the amazing faculty of Nia Trainers who embody the spirit of Nia as a company and a practice founded on Love and collaboration. And when I need a reality check, Nia has given me a vibrant community of passionate people who want to do their best and make a positive difference in the world. We support one another to strive and thrive, together.


It hasn't all been pretty! Sometimes you have to break down to break through and I’ve signed up for the lifetime course in self-mastery. My inner critic still likes to be heard and cracks the whip when I am out of alignment with my truth. I recognise her as body sensations of separateness or dis-ease, or the voices of lack, comparison or longing. Now I listen and dance with her, a sensuous dance of love and compassion that brings me back to oneness. Yes, there is always more to learn, our potential is infinite and I believe that the best is yet to come... AND I love my body and my life, perfect as it is right now. 

Love Sophie


10 ways to dance with your inner critic

  1. Soften and breathe. Invite her into a slow, sensuous dance of Tai Chi or harmonious Aikido.
  2. Lighten her up by connecting to the sensation of Joy. Recognise that dimming your light to please others is a form of lack.
  3. The more you think about it the bigger it gets, so focus on and give gratitude for what you want more of; recognise and thank yourself for what you did well today. Teach your daughters it's ok to brag!
  4. FreeDance and let your your inner critic release and express herself or sing all out (aka car therapy). Give her a theme song depending on your mood like "All by Myself" or "Brass In Pocket" or "Brave".
  5. Satisfy your senses and make time for pleasure. Fantasise and daydream... even thinking about it helps us feel better.
  6. Witness your beliefs and stories around comparison and lack, the ones that come with sensations of tightening or heaviness in the body. The brain has neuroplasticity and CAN be rewired; it’s never too late to create a new story of abunDance and possibility!
  7. Surround yourself with people who you respect and adore and who respect and adore you just as you are, and who will also call you on your 'stuff'!
  8. Rejoice in the prosperity of others. Celebrating their successes brings a magic that expands your heart and juices your spirit.
  9. "I love life and life loves me!" Know it's never too late to begin... anything!
  10. Laugh. Play. Have fun. Get out in nature. Give your inner critic the week off! Gift yourself the Nia White Belt training.


Aussie Nia White Belt Trainings

The White Belt training is a magical exploration into the self via awareness, pleasure and your body's way. Nia's body-centered approach to wellness, and fitness draws from both the latest neuroscience and ancient wisdom and guides you to develop body knowing by learning to listen, interpret and consciously respond to the information your body communicates to you via sensation.


Learn to connect with Universal Joy. Discover what it means to feel at home in your body. Get turned on to life. Recognise habits that no longer serve and create positive alternatives. Cultivate self-love and practices for self-healing. Immerse in a vibrant supportive community. Explore your sacred purpose. Share what you sense. 


What are you waiting for? You are ready... just as you are. Payment plans are available. Register now by following the link below: 

Melbourne 7-13 July 2013

Brisbane 4-7, 11-13 October (split weekends)

Sydney 4-10 January 2014

Nia 'Journey Into Joy' Retreat in Fiji

Nurture yourself with a revitalising journey into Joy, a week of conscious movement, delicious nourishing local food, heart-warming Fijian hospitality, divine nature and gorgeous like-minded 'friends'... and soon to be featured in AsiaSpa Magazine. (read it first here!)


Experience up to 3 daily Nia sessions in the purpose built 'Shala' overlooking the magnificent Savusavu Bay. Begin your day feeling calm and embodied with 'Living Meditation' before a tropical breakfast by the pool. We'll dance Nia in the morning and a gentle class as the sun sets. There's plenty of time for relaxation, connection and exploration in between.


Choose from snorkelling, diving, hiking, visiting a local village, touring the J Hunter Pearl farm, swimming or enjoying a relaxing massage at the resort. We stay in traditional bure-style cottages and dine together with all delicious meals included. No prior Nia experience needs and non-Nia partners are welcome.  Bookings and info 

Womanhood - 7 week course

Created by the Women's WellBeing Association, ‘Womanhood’ is a 7 week program for a woman to explore various aspects of her being in a safe and welcoming circle.  Guided by experienced facilitators Sophie Marsh and Penny Hayes, each woman is supported to embrace her own authentic inner wisdom and deepen her knowledge of Self.  


We'll explore nurturing yourself and others; the art of giving and receiving; awareness of the ages and stages of being a woman; inviting in more intimacy through self-acceptance around sexuality and senuality; relationships, the roles we play and tools for positive interactions; letting go of the old to allow new possibilities; and acknowledgement of you and your journey into the feminine.


Held on Tuesdays 7-930 pm in a private home in Sherwood from 23 July.

Optional intro night 16 July.  For more info phone or email Sophie.

Sophie's events, playshops and trainings

28-30 June Nia onstage at Brisbane MindBodySpirit Festival

29-30 June YogaFest. Nia class with Sophie Sunday 10.10 a.m

7-13 July Nia White Belt Training Melbourne

16 July Womanhood Intro night 7 pm Sherwood

17 July Weekly GOLD classes begin, Sherwood

23 July WWA Womanhood 7 week course begins, Sherwood

3 Aug Brisbane Nia Community Dance Jam, Newstead

17-24 Aug Nia Retreat Fiji

8 Sep Nia playshop, West End

22-26 Sep Nia Green Belt Training with Winalee, Gold Coast

4-7, 11-13 October Nia White Belt Training split weekends, Brisbane

4-11 January Nia White Belt Training Sydney

In this issue:

10 ways to dance with your inner critic

Aussie Nia White Belt Trainings

Nia 'Journey Into Joy' Retreat in Fiji

Womanhood - 7 week course

Sophie's events, playshops and trainings

Nia class times

Take Nia home


Evonne's Nia Story


Nia class times

Monday - 900-955 a

Pure Health Clubs, 236 Old Cleveland Rd COORPAROO


Monday - 630-730 pm 

St David's Parish Hall, 62 Chelmer St East CHELMER


Tuesday - 930-1030 am 

Yoga on Parker. 23    Parker St NEWMARKET


Wednesday - 900-1000 am

St David's Parish Hall, 62 Chelmer St East CHELMER


Wednesday - 130-230 pm 17, 24, 31 Jul. 

7, 28 Aug and 4 Sep. 

GOLD for over 50s

Neighbourhood Centre, Thallon St SHERWOOD


Thursday - 520-620 pm

Pure Health Clubs, 236 Old Cleveland Rd COORPAROO 


Friday - 930-1030 am 

no class 19 July

St David's Parish Hall, 62 Chelmer St East CHELMER


Saturday - 800-900 am

Rio Rhythmics Studio 165 Boundary St (in the arcade) WEST END


Take Nia home

Nia DVDs $30 

Nia CDs $15

Nia Knee Pads $20


Class Prices

New to Nia? 3 classes $30

Unlimited Monthly $80

10 classes $120

5 classes $70/60

Sophie Casual $15/$13

Pure Health casual $17 


Pay for classes and products online: 

CBA BSB 064-178

Acct 10372619

Name Sophie Marsh


Journey into Joy. Nia in Fiji article by Ann Boon


Nia article in Australian Yoga Journal


Get the latest updates with Nia with Sophie Marsh on Facebook


video: Free online Nia class


article: Hungry For Change: Top 10 Fat Triggers


song: In the Light of Love - Deva Premal and Miten


Evonne's Nia Story

Overcoming an eating disorder with courage, connection and body bliss.


"I believe Nia is crucial to helping women overcome eating disorders, body image issues, low self esteem and a lack of joy in their life."   link to Nia White Belt testimonial by Evonne Englezos








“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ Brene Brown


"A great door opens when we walk our own way... the way that is encoded in the bones of our being. Walk with your head high and your heart open. The universe responds to authentic transformation. Nothing false will do. Out with the old, in with the true." ~ Jeff Brown


"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." ~ Marcus Aurelius


"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul." ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes


"There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them" ~ Sylvia Plath


"If light is in your heart you will find your way home ~ Rumi"


Moving Spirit Nia • 61 Plumer St • Sherwood Brisbane, Q 4075
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