“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” ~ Deborah Day 

Simple things can have profound effects on your physical health and mental wellness.

Have you ever felt out of sorts only to realise, you’ve been so focussed on caring for others, you’ve forgotten to tune in and ask yourself, “What do I need?”

Healing is not about being perfect. It’s being willing to take responsibility for all your feelings, staying curious and compassionate about how your thoughts and behaviour are affecting your health, and taking loving action to feel better.

Go gently on yourself… remember you’re doing the best you can!


1. Dance for health

Exercise improves memory, learning and concentration. Moderate intensity movement, sustained over time, promotes the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which causes nerve cells to grow and make new connections. It also helps improve your mood, boost your energy, and reduce stress in your body and mind.Recent studies say that dance arts like Nia have physical and cognitive benefits that may exceed those of other forms of exercise (We could have told them that!!)
Get started: take a 6 minute dance break with me on YouTube U R The Answer

2. Actively relax

With 95% of all illness caused or worsened by stress, we need to give our mind something to do, that leads to a feeling of deep inner calm. Active relaxation is a choice and a practice that leads to stress relief in a way that lounging in front of the television can never do.Not so long ago, we sat around the dinner table or village square and chatted… or we played a board game… or listened to stories. Today we’re bombarded with constant stimuli that the brain has not evolved to handle.The brain craves novelty, and nowadays that means consciously engaging in slower, concentrated activities. Make time everyday to turn off your devices and give your whole attention to something that makes you feel centred and uplifted.
Get started: Play any song and devote 5 minutes to Nia’s mindful practice of RAW listening – Relaxed Body, Alert Mind and Waiting Spirit. Song for Olabi by Bliss is a favourite go-to.

3. Make social connections

Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do to keep your body-brain chemistry happier and healthier is to make time for meaningful connections and relationships. Belonging to a group reduces risk of death from all causes and increases longevity, despite health habits.This is another benefit of dancing Nia in community.Research shows that moving and grooving in rhythm with others lights up brain pathways that blur the barriers your mind may otherwise erect between yourself and another, and helps you feel a sense of connection and unity. Nia is a great way to make new friends!
Get started: commit to coming to a weekly Nia class, and if it works for you, join us for a coffee afterwards.

4. See the light

UVB radiation from the sun is the best source of Vitamin D which allows us to more effectively use calcium, improve our immune system, help prevent cancer, reduce depressive symptoms, and support brain function. Sunlight stimulates photosensitive cells in the retina of our eyes to play a vital role in our body brain health. These cells directly affect the brain’s hypothalamus region, which responds to stress and controls our daily bodily rhythms such as the night-time secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland and the changes in cortisol (the stress hormone) and body temperature over a 24-hour period.
Get started: Create a ritual for yourself to get outside in the sun for at least 10 minutes every day. Maybe a mindful walk around the block, or a barefoot boogie on the grass. Physical exercise also boosts Vitamin D (We recommend Vitamin D.ance!)

5. Take in the good

Often when we get busy or feel depressed, anxious or overwhelmed, we can get stuck in a rut of negative thinking, instead of noticing and opening to things that bring us pleasure. In Nia, our lifestyle awareness practice of “Life As Art” helps retrain our focus by reminding us to put our attention on what feels pleasing and inspirational. Using your mind in this way will change your body-brain over time.
Get started: Notice something around you now that brings an inner smile… maybe a flower, a cloud, an object of beauty, the moon, an animal, a child. Give it your full attention and savour this positive experience by feeling it in your body, making that feeling as intense as possible. Stay with it, and as you sink deeper into the sensation, add a visualisation, like perceiving every cell bathed in golden light or imagining a soothing balm circulating inside yourself. Breathe it in and say ‘thank you’ for the aliveness and pleasure you feel.

If you are struggling in any way… please remember our wounds are not meant to be tended alone, but in a relationship, in a community… As Ram Dass says, “we’re all just walking each other home.”

Every day I support loved ones facing depression, anxiety, addiction, and sensory processing difficulties. I am here for you too, without judgment. Through movement, mindfulness, courage, and connection we find health.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  Joy as a Healing Energy

Sophie Marsh © 2022 • Web Design Seedhead




“Biology isn’t just genes playing out some unalterable script. It is sensitive to the world around it.”
Dr Bruce Perry, Child Psychiatrist

Environment dictates how your cells perform. If your body moves in an environment of pleasure and comfort, your cells vibrate at a higher frequency. If the environment is one of tension, fear, anxiety, every system in your body vibrates with this energy.

Practising Nia and 5Stages brings you to a place of sensitivity that enables you to observe and release stress and embrace the sensations of “dynamic ease”, pleasure, and comfort. Every time you vibrate higher, a part of you heals.

Prolonged pain, loss, and stress in the world around you, and in your own life can lead to persisitent inflammation in the body and can adversely affect brain systems linked to motivation and mental agility. Article: chronic stress and the brain

Often, we can’t control our external circumstances, but we can change our cellular environment by choosing how we move through life’s experiences, what meaning we give them, and how we direct our energy and attention.

Living with self-awareness and intention takes courage and commitment. It’s being willing to start where you are, and begin again, and again.  It’s staying open to learning, letting go of expectations, and allowing the aliveness of every moment to inspire you. It’s paying attention to subtle feelings and trusting what you sense, making choices that are in vibrational alignment with your highest – body, mind and spirit. It’s finding your soul’s medicine.


Take a moment to settle into your self, noticing the feeling of the earth or chair supporting you, maybe lowering your gaze, and letting yourself soften a little more as you exhale. Now think about a time and place in you life where you felt yourself bursting with Joy. Keep replaying it in your mind’s eye.

As you bathe in the memory with all your senses… the sounds, colours, smells… begin to notice what’s happening in your body now. Keep your focus on sensing into it. Maybe there’s a deeper breath, or your face moves into a smile, or your heart lifts or you feel a wave of warmth or a peaceful pulse or a tingling buzz?

Stay with this feeling and allow it to permeate through every part of you. Imagine your cells are swimming in light. Gently sway your spine and visualise loving energy flowing through every part of your body, and oozing out of your joints. This feeling is what in Nia we call the “Big J Joy.”

Big J Joy is a sensation of aliveness and wellbeing that permeates the Universe and every healthy cell in your body. It’s available 24/7, waiting for you to open to it. It’s not about putting a positive spin on things, or or even feeling happy. Often it’s when we are in our darkest moments that Joy does its greatest magic.  Sit with the sadness, pain, discomfort, fear. Acknowledge it, feel it and flood your cells with Joy.

Choosing to connect to this high vibration creates powerful changes to your biochemistry, thought patterns and energy. It creates a feeling of being at home in yourself, and connected to all. It helps you take your power back and self-heal.

“Each time an inner conflict is resolved, a person’s energy level increases.” ~ Alexander Lowen MD, Bioenergetics

Join me for a 3.5 minute Nia dance break to the song “Call Me Out Tiger” to practise choosing and oozing Joy, with the intention to self-heal.  Notice your energy before you move (give it a number out of 10) and then compare it again afterwards. Do you feel better?  More energised? Thank you body!

Sophie Marsh © 2022 • Web Design Seedhead




“I have met my self and I am going to care for her fiercely.” ~ Glennon Doyle

Think about how good you feel after a belly laugh with a friend, a relaxing bath, or a warm hug. When we feel satisfied and restored we are more efficient, vibrant, clear-thinking, energetic, loving, patient, and connected to others and the world.  Social connection, pleasure, and community are vital for our healing, wellbeing and immunity.

While most women may understand it’s important to “make time for self-care”… putting that knowledge into action is not always easy when we are juggling life’s many balls, especially if we’ve been taught to equate self-worth with putting others’ needs first.

Many of us (1 in 3 Australian women) also have a life experience of physical or emotional trauma, abuse, or violence, which may leave us hyper-vigilant to others’s needs, and disassociated from our own. As if this wasn’t enough… we now have endured prolonged exposure to unexpected emotional turmoil for the last 12 months.

Studies are confirming that the impacts of our global response to the pandemic:

  • is more likely to psychologically impact women due to their broader responsibilities – in addition to their professional role, they are usually at the heart of household chores, home schooling and childcare.
  • is impacting physical, mental and emotional health, with an increase in anxiety, depression, substance/alcohol abuse, vicarious trauma, PTSD, and other stress-related disorders.

If you tune into yourself, you might observe edginess in your nervous system that wasn’t there a year ago… maybe subtle shifts in how you relate socially, sense space, or perceive “crowds”. For the more sensitive, your brain may feel foggier, you may be more accident prone or feel uneasy in group situations.

You may even notice triggers from the past year like… sneezing is a symptom, hugs are harmful and dancing is dangerous. While your logical mind can process the facts now, your body may be holding onto the vicarious trauma of fear-inducing media reports, government warnings, social media bombardment, and compassion fatigue.

The good news is that when you consciously choose comfort, self-care, and community you can heal and grow from trauma, abuse, loss and enduring emotional stress.

What helps you heal?

  • Learning about your own needs. 
  • Reclaiming your inherent worth in having your needs met.
  • Practising self-compassion, forgiveness, positive affirmations and acts of kindness.
  • Reaching out for help and connection.
  • Moving your body with awareness.
  • Saying YES to pleasure and joy.

“There is no time limit on learning and healing, there is only the power of transforming our adversity into victory, one small step at a time.” ~ Shahida Arabi

My passion and purpose is helping women to heal through mindfulness and movement, to embody their sacred aliveness and sensuality. And personally and professionally, I am constantly open to learning. Since January I’ve been a student in 4 online trainings: Nia 5 Stages (for the 5th time); Mindful Leader: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; Nia as a Trauma Informed Practice; and Debbie Rosas’ Nia Evolution.

Each one of these profound bodies of work reaffirms the science and efficacy of Nia as a transformational, healing practice that helps people reconnect, recover and reclaim their sovereignty and felt sense of safety, Joy, meaning and purpose.

Nia offers a kind-hearted community space for you to feel welcome as you are, without judgment. We lift each other up, without needing to “fix”, helping people resource their own inner compassion, courage, wisdom and power.

Every Nia experience offers healing shifts and gifts – self-care, soul-purpose and sisterhood. I’m so grateful.

“When we gather and connect with others, we honor our own spirits and those of our community, building on each other’s knowledge and energy. We heal. We get stronger. We expand our understanding. We become more resilient and able to recover from setbacks!” ~ Starhawk

Join me for a 5 minute Gentle Nia dance break. Like a moving meditation from your feet to your finger tips, breathe deeply and let your whole body respond to Karen Drucker’s uplifting lyrics… “We are holy, holy, holy… We are whole.”

Sophie Marsh © 2022 • Web Design Seedhead