The Transformative Potential of Nia
Author: Nicholas Theo
On November 3, 2018, at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK, Chantal le Roux, MSc, MEd, virtually presented ‘The transformative potential of Nia as experienced by six advanced Nia instructors: An interpretive phenomenological analysis’ from her residence in Cape Town, South Africa.
It was the research module of Alef Trust’s MSc programme in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology that inspired Chantal to choose a topic that was at once close to her heart and that could have a real impact on those engaging with and reading the results. Using a transpersonal definition of transformation to explore the lived experiences of six brown or black-belt Nia instructors proved to be transformative for Chantal as a researcher, as well as the participants. Chantal’s sister, an experienced black-belt Nia instructor in combination with the lack of research into the transformative potential of Nia at an advanced level of practice, made Chantal’s study a viable option.
Mrs le Roux described her experience: “I found the whole research process surprising – I was deeply moved by my interaction with the participants and with the data; the analysis process taught me so much about expectations and the power of listening. This impacted me personally and professionally, and has transformed my relationship to research. Before this MSc, I vowed to never engage with research again, but I now find the prospect of research exciting and truly meaningful.”
The culminating activity in the MSc programme of researching for her thesis inspired Chantal to live more authentically which in turn transformed her therapy practice. Mrs le Roux still works with adults with autism, and guides parents in supporting their children with special needs, however she now applies a range of holistic modalities in a new service, Whole Person Transformation. This sustainable, individualized programme was directly inspired by this MSc, and supports adults who seek transformation through addressing their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms. The programme includes movement practices, mindfulness and meditation, creative expression and self-compassion. Chantal added, “It’s about becoming who you truly want to be, having a structure to support you through the process, and ensuring its sustainable.”
Ms le Roux, who has more than 15 years of experience in autism and special needs therapy, wanted to bring her passion for applied kinesiology, yoga and Daoism into her practice. This goal led Chantal to enrol in Alef Trust’s MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology programme
Chantal le Roux, MSc, MEd
Chantal has a background in transpersonal psychology, special needs education and holistic healing. As a South African who lived in China for many years, she has a deep respect for diverse cultures and values both traditional and contemporary healing modalities. She is a qualified Vinyasa yoga instructor and certified Applied Kinesiologist, and is passionate about transformation through integral practice. She works with clients to create an individualized programme that addresses the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual dimensions through her therapy practice, which she runs online and from home in Cape Town. Research interests include the transformative potential of movement practices, such as yoga, Nia and spontaneous dance, factors and practices that facilitate sustained healing from a spiritual crisis, and the transpersonal nature of self-compassion. You can learn more about Chantal on her web site at https://www.chantalleroux.com, or by following the links below to her social-media profiles.