Nia is the first fusion fitness practice of its kind. It has been around for 30 years. It is based on hundreds of years of movement practices stemming from the healing arts (Yoga, the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique), the martial arts (tai chi, tae kwon do, aikido) and dance (modern, jazz, Isadora Duncan-inspired dance). The primary focus of Nia is holistic physical fitness.
Life is a dance. All movements we engage in are choreographed to a certain degree. We follow cues – visual (green light means Go, red light means Stop), aural (the beeping at a crosswalk, the pause after, “Good morning.”), social (a smile from the person holding a door open for you) – and these cues give us chances to be lead or to take the lead in our dance through life.
In a Nia class, cues are given throughout to lead the students through katas (a series of movement patterns) which are blended with music. The primary purpose of the Nia experience is for physical fitness training. However, the difference between Nia and other fitness classes is that Nia’s principles and philosophy are designed to be fully integrated into your personal life, outside the dance space of class. Similar to your favourite cook book, Nia provides new ingredients with ideas for different combining formulas to add more depth of flavour and subtleties to your dishes. The Nia class experience is like following the recipe word-for-word from your book. Then once you are comfortable with that recipe you can feel more confident with experimenting!
The ingredients of Nia are the 9 movement forms and the 52 moves. The recipes are the routines, and the combining formulas are the focuses of each class. With all these elements present in a fitness class you can’t help but let them permeate your day-to-day living, allowing for more rhythm, flow, freedom and health in your body and relationships!