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Nia is about joyful movement. Move with joy. Move for joy. Move to joy.
On the surface Nia is a full body workout that is done to music in bare feet. Anyone participating in the Nia workout can elect to stay there, on the surface, or you can try to engage your mind, body, spirit, and emotions and get an entire PERSON workout. Either way, you will feel great!
A lot of workouts make you feel good after you do them. I believe that people should get moving and if they find something that they love that gets them moving, that is what they should do. For me, Nia is that something.
Nia is fun because it includes nine basic movement forms. From the martial arts; T’ai chi, Tae kwon do, and Aikido. From the dance arts; Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance, and from the healing arts; teachings from Feldinkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga. So in one workout you can experience all those things. Strength is balanced with grace. Fun is balanced with seriousness. Body is balanced with mind.
It is basically a workout, done in bare feet, to music. Because of the bare feet it is low impact, but because of the bare feet you can really work on your balance. It is also what I am calling “self-regulated” because YOU decide upon the intensity. The idea is for you to move your body in accordance to your body. So there is no one shouting at you to “lift that knee higher . . . . move your hands faster . . . .” Of course there is an ideal on how your body should be ABLE to move because there is a certain design to it, but it is understood that maybe you are tired today or you have pain in that joint so Nia does not force you to move it, but you are encouraged to “listen” to it and move it to make you feel better. Kind of opposite from most workout regimes.