Art and Craft

Painting, drawing, sketching, beading, textiles


Snorkeling, diving, marine photography, bird watching…

Music and Singing

Sing! Music for beginners or those more experienced.


Creative fiction, travel writing, life writing


Soothe your mind, body and soul. Relax in Paradise

Home » Uncategorized

Nia: Journey into Joy With Sophie Marsh : 17 – 24 August 2013

Sophie letting it rip

Take Nia, add Sophie Marsh, mix it all into a week in Fiji at Daku Resort – and you have a life enhancing week that will let your light shine as never before.

Sophie Marsh is an extraordinary, passionate and inspiring teacher who leads her class with a blend of high energy, grace and compassion. She is a leading Na instructor, holding a Nia Black Belt and now one of 50 Nia Trainers worldwide – and the only Aussie Nia Trainer. Her week of of Nia is a magical journey into Joy.

Nia is a powerful life-enhancing practice that focuses on dance and free movement, and has been sweeping the world in popularity over the past few years. It’s young in lineage, but attracts adherents of all ages. If you’ve already experienced Nia, you’ll know what it’s all about. If you are new to it, then imagine a cross between A Chorus Line, The Karate Kid and Flashdance – with a bit of Irish line dancing thrown in. It’s movement and dance, with lots of music, and an

Feel the joy!

underpinning of self awareness and positive thinking: making choices to embrace joy in your life. Sometimes Sophie leads a routine, sometimes she gives you space to wheel around in free form movement. Her voice is always there to support and guide you in the practice, and to make sure you find the confidence and passion to embrace the experience.

Her workshops in Fiji have both been fabulous weeks of positive energy, dance, laughter and liberation – have a look at the blog on the 2012 Nia week. There’s a whole lot more about Nia further down the page, but first meet teacher Sophie Marsh and read about the programme.

About Sophie Marsh


Sophie is a Nia Black Belt Teacher and Education Trainer, and holistic health professional. SLast year she became of 50 Nia Trainers worldwide – and the only Aussie Nia Trainer.  Based in Brisbane, she presents Nia classes, workshops and events in a variety of healing, fitness, education, community and corporate settings. Her dynamic teaching style is an inspiration to all who attend her classes.


Cost and booking

$1550 twin share; includes accommodation, meals, excursions, free massage and course fees. Single room: $350 supplement.

Call  +61 (02) 8094 – 1613 or email

Program Includes
Return airport transfers from Savusavu aiport to Daku Resort.
7 nights accommodation at Daku Resort.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners
Course fees
Excursions as indicated.

Program Excludes
Travel to Savusavu.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
Optional activities not listed on the program.
Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, massages, private trips.
Meals taken in transit at the airport.

The programme

Enjoy 2 daily Nia sessions, which include energising movement, guided self-healing classes, soulful mediation and opportunities to learn and grow through Nia’s philosophy of Dancing Through Life.

In the morning we will have a Nia workshop when we explore and deepen our connection to sensation. Later in the day we have a class when we are invited to be ‘sensation scientists’, to explore the body and life via sensation, the ‘voice of the body’. This is based on the Nia philosophy that through self-discovery and body literacy we can make conscious choices to feel better/self heal and live into our greatness. And for those who want to keep going, we’ll have a late afternoon session to keep on Dancing Through Life.

During the rest of the day there’s time to swim, snorkel, have a spa massage, go into Savusavu town, visit the local J Hunter Pearsl black pearl farm, hike to a waterfall and visit a local village. Or just relax by the pool or in your room, drinking in the tranquillity of Fiji and the warmth of hospitality at Daku Resort.

Sat Aug 17


Local flight to Savusavu.
6.30 pm Welcome ceremony

Sun Aug 18
7.30  Buffet breakfast
9 .00 – 10.00   Morning workshop: information and experiential ‘play’
10.15 – 11.30  Nia class: integrating the lessons of the ‘playshop’ into the
Nia class experience
12.30 Lunch
2.00 – 3.00  Tapa (traditional Fijian bark cloth) making demonstration with Merioni
5.00 – 6.15  Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 00 pm  Dinner

Mon Aug 19
6.30 Morning stretch and meditation
8.00 Buffet breakfast


9.30 – 10.45 Nia class
12.30 Lunch
1.30- 4.30 Visit to Savusavu; free time for spa treatments, swimming, relaxing
5.00 – 6.15      Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 00 pm          Dinner

Tue Aug 20
7.30  Buffet breakfast
9 .00 – 10.00   Morning workshop: information and experiential ‘play’
10.15 – 11.30  Nia class
12.30 Lunch
1.30pm – 4.30 pm: boat / beach outing
3.15 onwards  Free time for spa treatments, swimming, relaxing
5.00 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 00 pm  Dinner in town

Wed Aug 21
6.30  Morning stretch and meditation
8.00  Buffet breakfast
9.30 – 10.45 Nia class
11.00 – 4.00 Visit to Wailevu village
5.00 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and


6. 00 pm          Dinner

Thu Aug 22
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9 .00 – 10.00   Morning workshop: information and experiential ‘play’
10.15 – 11.30  Nia class
12.30 Lunch
Afternoon Free time for spa treatments, swimming, relaxing
5.00 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 00 pm Dinner

Fri Aug 23
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9 .00 – 10.00   Morning workshop: information and experiential ‘play’
10.15 – 11.30  Nia class
12.30  Lunch
Afternoon free
5.00 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation


7. 00 pm          Final lovo dinner

Sat Aug 24
Return to Nadi and on to international flight

More about Nia……What is Nia?

Nia is a fitness and lifestyle practice that invites self-discovery through awareness, personal expression and creativity. Nia’s barefoot, grounded and dynamic approach will have you laughing, sweating and enjoying your body in totally new ways. Whether you’re new to Nia or an experienced student, Nia empowers you to be in the now and make movement choices that fit you and your needs. It’s fun, it’s funky and it creates change!

Nia’s 52 moves, covering the base, the core and upper extremities of the body offers variety and whole body conditioning by blending martial arts, dance and healing modalities.  Simple steps, free form movement and inner awareness allow for a blissful experience for every age, body type and fitness level.

While most often practiced in hour-long classes, the true depth of the work lies in a rich body of education that develops into a powerful life practice.  With a philosophy rooted in “The Joy of Movement,” Nia teaches people of all lifestyles to choose Pleasure as the path toward physical, mental and emotional health.

Created by Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas in 1983, over 2,500 Certified Teachers in 42 countries today teach Nia to nearly 100,000 students.

“We must explore ourself through the gift of a Body. We must open to life within us and sense, unearthing the treasures we have forgotten, and awaken our remembering of what it feels like to be free.” ~Debbie Rosas Stewart, co-creator Nia Technique

Why was Nia created?

Nia’s purpose is to grow a worldwide community of healthy people who are empowered to do great things. We believe every person can discover, explore, unleash and enhance their individual potential to live a fulfilling and meaningful life – by engaging their senses and listening to their bodies. With the right tools and education, we can increase our confidence and happiness. We can become connected to others to shape a consciousness that extends beyond our own. Together we will unearth possibilities never before imagined

Helpful Nia Tips for Beginners

1. Bring a water bottle and dress to move. When you dance, wear anything that makes you feel free, comfortable and excited to move.  Yoga clothing, street or exercise wear or even a skirt changes the way you move, feel and workout.

2. Go barefooted. Unless you need shoes for medical purposes, take off your shoes and let the bottoms of your feet send information back to your brain so your body can move safely and efficiently.

3. Start easy. Let your body slowly acclimate and adjust to Nia movement.  Allow yourself freedom to enjoy being a beginner.  Keep your interest and fascination up and your criticism and judgement down.  Be gentle, be patient, and allow yourself to move through levels and stay on plateaus – this is the way to master and enjoy Nia.

4. Begin small. At first, don’t reach out, sink or rise too far.  Build muscle strength and joint mobility slowly.

5. Pick up your feet.  To protect your knees, don’t drag your feet.  Instead, pick up your feet and place them in the direction you want to go.

6. Sit back. When you lower your body, sit back as if you were sitting down in a chair, moving your buttocks back behind you and away from your knees.

7. Train yourself. Talk to yourself like a personal trainer.  Use verbal guidance to remain focused on what you are doing and how you are doing it.  Push away all of your thoughts and worries as you exercise.  Use self-talk to coach your physical body into moving more efficiently and sensing more pleasure.

8. Strive for balance. Don’t strain.  Listen to your body’s signals and move in a smooth, relaxed way that doesn’t make you breathless or fatigued.  If your body does not relate well to a movement, adjust and move within your own comfort zone to put positive, loving information into the muscle memory.

9. Find your rhythm. Get in as much non-stop movement as possible by finding your own pace.  This may mean working slower and longer, rather than faster and harder.

10. Express yourself. Make the movements an expression of you – this is your workout.  Express your own unique rhythm and body language and use your emotions to fine-tune your physical body.  Be yourself and have fun.

11. Belly breathe. When you inhale, smell the moment, and feel your belly expand, then your ribs and chest filling.  Exhale, placing the tip of your tongue directly behind your top teeth, which naturally supports belly breathing.

12. Use your whole body. Connect with every part of your body and move as if your body were your ballroom dance partner.

13. Balance your fitness program. Combine a good diet with internal and external exercises.  With enough sleep, proper nutrition and exercise, you will see and feel results far beyond changing the shape of your body.

The instruction and advice presented by Nia Certified Instructors are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Please consult your doctor before beginning this exercise program.

From Sophie:

I love Nia! It’s a fun dance-like-no-one’s-watching workout, a way to calm my overactive mental realm, a playful and creative release, my practice for Living with Purpose and Dancing Through Life, an applied science for understanding the body via sensation, the joyful way I create my sacred livelihood… and much more!

Over 11 years ago I was living in Boulder USA when a friend suggested Nia to shake off the blues and postpartum weight after the birth of my second child. I’ve always loved to dance and was ready to try anything to feel whole again. Wow! In my first Nia class every cell tingled with sparkling aliveness and the music and movement felt like they’d been designed just for me. Now I realise that this is what happens when we quieten our mind, tune into our body, move with pleasure and express our unique spirit. Back then, I just knew that after Nia I felt amazing and I wanted more. So began my Nia journey into knowing, healing and loving my Self through the body and sharing those gifts with others.

Through the Joy of Movement I inspire people to freely embody their true magnificence as we laugh, shimmy, kick, sound and move our way to personal transformation, health and well-being. I love connecting people of all ages and backgrounds and Nia’s adaptability welcomes all in a safe and inclusive space. It invites change that begins with awareness, self-love and empowered responsibility to make a difference individually and collectively, as a conscious community.

I share my contagious passion for Nia in open classes, playshops and retreats and with high school girls, seniors’ groups, women’s circles, mental health groups and corporate clients. Since bringing Nia home to Queensland in 2004 I have had the joy of co-creating and supporting Nia’s growth and recognition in Australia while travelling annually to the US to continue my Nia education and belt trainings, becoming the first Australian Black Belt in 2009. My Nia journey continues to unfold now as a Next Generation Trainer. From 2012 I’ll facilitate White Belt Intensives, offering Nia’s rich somatic education around Australia and beyond.