For those who might not know Nia, it’s a fun aerobic exercise routine performed barefoot to music. Nia combines dance with martial and healing arts and is a “creative holistic alternative to the modern-day fitness routine”. Classes were offered at my yoga studio for years but until a few weeks ago I hesitated to get involved.
I was looking for an efficient indoor cardio workout for the winter months when it’s hard to get outside and gyms are not my favorite…. Taking a Nia class first thing in the morning is an energizing way to start the day – the atmosphere sizzles!
It’s heart-warming sharing the joy of movement with others – all ages, sizes, and shapes – at various levels of Niability (don’t think that’s a word). The idea of flailing around in the back of the class while learning the routines was and still is a bit intimidating – BUT no one watches you or cares if you’re out of step! The thing that matters is you’re moving and hopefully the routines get easier as you shed “beginner stiffness” and let your body flow with the rhythm of the music.
“The Nia Technique has a strong healing component. The body awareness and acceptance gained through Nia, along with the Joy of Movement, encourages healthy choices and wellness. Nia incorporates the mind, body, and soul into a creative and empowering practice. Nia is the blending of nine body movement forms including T’ai Chi, jazz dance, modern dance, Aikido, Taekwondo, Isadora Duncan Dance, Alexander Technique, Yoga, and the teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais.” Feldenkrais was an Israeli physicist who designed a method to improve human functioning by increasing self-awareness through movement.
Nia classes are great for anyone who wants to become stronger and enjoys a good cardio-vascular workout. Following a Nia class with a Restorative, Hatha, or Vinyasa Flow yoga session – while your body is warmed-up – is beneficial!