community, health, wellness

NIA | Body Movement


Mind/Body practitioner: NIA, Yoga, Pilates, 5-Stages of Healing & Thai Massage. Owner of Exhale Into Health, teaching in Port Hope and beyond!

A Certified Black Belt in NIA, Elizabeth is the only Nia Technique teacher in Northumberland County. NIA, an acronym for Neuromuscular Integrated Action, is a fusion of 9 movement forms: Duncan, Modern & Jazz Dance; Aikido, Tai Chi & Tae Kwon Do; Feldenkries Method, Alexander Technique & Yoga. Combined into choreographed routines set to eclectic music designed to create flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength. Tapping into the mind, body and emotions, the choreography of NIA reveals facets of our being that are often suppressed or unknown, leading to the journey of Self.



PHONE: 905-375-5903

This Feature is written by Elizabeth.

I discovered NIA following the birth of my twins, the divorce from their father, and the death of my parents – 3 life-changing events. Looking for something that would give me a cardiovascular workout that was also fun, challenging and rewarding, NIA filled the bill, while also creating a better understanding of who I was and who I wanted to be.

The deaths of my mother and father when I was at the relatively young ages of 39 & 41, respectively, combined with the end of an 18 year marriage, and the birth of my sons at 24 weeks gestation, I have been through a lot of emotional turmoil. In search of a way to find emotional stability and happiness, I was fortunate to live in Charlottesville, Virginia where I discovered the Nia Technique. It was this practice that allowed me to open the door to my emotions – both dark and light – and express them through choreography that encouraged me to tap into my anger through the kicks, blocks and punches of the martial arts, while also tapping into my vulnerability, femininity, sensuality through the dance arts. Combined with the postural alignment of Alexander Technique I felt a strength and confidence grow in my body that percolated into my mind and emotions.  It was this strength that allowed me to have the confidence I needed to leave my home country to re-locate in Canada.

Although I graduated university with dual degrees in History & English, it was the path of a mind/body practitioner that opened my eyes to seeing the world differently. I began dancing NIA in 2001 and by 2006 I took the White Belt setting me on the path of greater self awareness and discovery. By 2013 I had achieved my Black Belt, as well as my 5-Stages of Healing certification.  5-Stages is a movement form that takes you from fetal position to walking, going through the stages of creeping, crawling, standing, walking – in the same way a baby learns how to walk. Beneficial on many levels, 5-Stages is often used to rehabilitate post-traumatic stress disorder & psychological blocks, opening the door for self-realization.

As I became more body-focused, in 2012 I pursued certification in Mat Pilates, and in 2014 I became certified in Vinyasa Flow Yoga. During my 200 hour Yoga Training I was given the opportunity to take a Thai Masssage course concurrent to the yoga certification. Through the certification process of these movement modalities came an education of the body – the muscles, tendons & ligaments to bone, skeletal structure and function.

In being a mind/body practitioner, I allow students the space they need to grow in their body, mind, and emotions without judgement; meeting them where they are while giving them the tools they need for self-discovery, self-healing. Patience, compassion, encouragement and empathy are required to help others open their hearts to look within. What we find inside isn’t always pretty, in fact, some of the things we see are unnerving, but once seen it is hard to forget. Once acknowledged, healing can begin.

Come explore a class some time!

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