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  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  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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  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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