Quick summary:
Style: Nia: free-form movement dance with inner awareness
Programme: Two daily workshops of 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Suitability: all levels.
Excursions and extras: free half hour massage; beach picnic; tapa making demonstration; visit to local village; visit to Savusavu town
Food: Mixed menu.
Itinerary: Arrive Savusavu August 23. Retreat starts Sunday morning August 24, ends Friday evening August 29. Depart Savusavu August 30.

Nia in Fiji Sophie Marsh 9Nia 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 fabulous music that seeps into your limbs and drives you on, and an 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. And, in case you think this is dancing for youngsters, her classes combine all ages into one glorious melange of movement that switches from free-flow mellow swaying to fast paced hard-ass moves and then back to the floor for a wind-down stretch and mediation.

Sophie Marsh Nia Fiji

Sophie Marsh

Teacher Sophie Marsh has been to Daku three times (check out the blogs that describe each week here) and comes back in August 2014 for a fourth. She is a leading Nia instructor, holding a Nia Black Belt and now one of 50 Nia Trainers worldwide – and the only Australian Nia Trainer. Her week of of Nia is a magical journey into Joy.

Sophie herself is a phenomenon. She has the energy of a meteorite. She has a smile that lights up dark corners. She has an infectious joy in dance that radiates out from her body as she moves. Her class has everyone sweating and grinning and pulsing with energy all through the week.

Her workshops in Fiji have both been fabulous weeks of positive energy, dance, laughter and liberation.

Cost and booking

$1550 twin share; includes accommodation, meals, excursions, free massage and course fees. Single room: $350 supplement. If you have any queries, please email us with the Contact us form, or if you would like to make a booking, please fill in our booking form. or call +61 (02) 8094 – 1613 or email susan@paradisecourses.com
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.

Wrapped up in the music

Wrapped up in the music

Daily 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 23
Arrive in Savusavu
7.00 Dinner and welcome ceremony

Sun Aug 24

7.30 Buffet breakfast
9 .15 – 11.15 Morning workshop and Nia class
12.30 Lunch
2.00 – 3.00 Tapa (traditional Fijian bark cloth) making demonstration with Merioni
5.00 – 6.00 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
6.45 Welcome ceremony
7. 30 pm Dinner

Mon Aug 25

Nia group 2013

Nia group 2013

6.30 Living meditation
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9.15 – 10.30 Nia class
12.30 Lunch
1.30- 4.30: Visit to Savusavu; free time for spa treatments, swimming, relaxing
5.15 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 30 pm Dinner

Tue Aug 26
6.30 Living meditation
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9.15 – 10.30 Nia class
11.30 Picnic Lunch at Devodara
Return approx 3.00 Free time for spa treatments, swimming
5.15 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 30 pm Dinner

Nia in Fiji Sophie Marsh 13


Wed Aug 27
6.30 Living meditation
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9.15 – 10.30 Nia class
12.00 Lunch
1.00 Waterfall and rainforest trek
5.15 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 30 pm Dinner

Thu Aug 28
6.30 Living meditation
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9.15 – 10.30 Nia class
12.30 Lunch
Afternoon Free time for spa treatments, swimming, relaxing
4.0 – 6.00 Village visit
7. 30 pm Dinner

Fri Aug 29
6.30 Living meditation
7.30 Buffet breakfast
9.15 – 10.30 Nia class
12.30 Lunch
Afternoon free

Beautiful feet

Beautiful feet

5.00 – 6.15 Nia class ending with floorplay and relaxation
7. 30 pm Final Fijian dinner

Sat Aug 30

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.
Nia in Fiji Sophie Marsh 11While 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.

Nia in Fiji Sophie Marsh 2 r

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’ve been facilitating White Belt Intensives, offering Nia’s rich somatic education around Australia and beyond.