Shake Up Your Fitness Routine with Nia

On Thursday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts, some 150 women and one man (one brave man) crowded into a Masonic Hall and flowed, stomped and joyfully expressed themselves for two hours doing a form of aerobic exercise called Nia (pronounced “Knee-ah”). It was so much fun I forgot that I was exercising until the next day when some previously unused muscles decided to speak to me.

According to Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nia_(fitness)  Nia stands for Neuromuscular Integrative Action and it’s a physical conditioning program based on the idea that movement is a pathway for self-discovery and personal transformation.  Created in 1983 by Debbie Rosas (now Debbie Rosas Stewart) and Carlos Rosas (now Carlos AyaRosas), it’s also terrific for whole-body conditioning.   

Actually, it’s fun.  The session I attended was two hour Nia master class led by founder AyaRosas and it kicked my butt.  Taking the class from one of the founders was a blast because his passion and commitment are palpable. In a typical one-hour class, a certified Nia instructor plays music and leads you through rhythmic movements that combine principles from yoga, martial arts and dance.  There is also time given to free-form creative movement, singing, and other vocalizations. 

Carlos Rosas teaching Nia

Rosas teaching Nia

For me it’s perfect because I love to dance but I rarely get out to clubs anymore and I can’t remember a dance routine to save my life.  Two other good reasons to do Nia are that you don’t have to be a great dancer and you don’t need a partner. Basically, you can be as goofy and as free as you wish – because everyone else is! Moving like this made me remember how good it feels to move with total freedom and abandon.  It was like being a carefree kid again.

If you think this might be an interesting addition to your fitness routine, check out the official Nia website http://www.nianow.com/  for more information and local opportunities. Many gyms and yoga studios also offer classes.

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Date: Saturday, 27. March 2010 19:08
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Creativity & Fun Stuff, Wellness

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3 comments

  1. 1

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Nia. Not many people know the Joy that is Nia, so thank you for sharing.

  2. 2

    Sounds like 5 Rhythms but with a more specific guided structure…

  3. 3

    Hey Anthony, I was not aware of 5 Rhythms, but I checked out the site, and I agree. Always love to learn about different modalities. Thanks for sharing.

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