The Fundamentals of Nia

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NIA - Joy of Movement


The Secret of Fitness


Many of us know how to exercise, but do not know how to move. People move mostly, because it feels good. NIA is about pleasure and ease. Feeling the JOY - this is the primary sensation we should seek from all movement.

It is not about struggling or punishing our selves to be fit, where movement becomes "work", i.e. the sit-ups, the push-ups, the leg lifts - repetitive drudgery. When our bodies become entrained to only one system, we lose the ability to adapt to the variety of rhythms and movements in real life.

NIA movements bring out the body's natural beauty, how you feel inside, and helps you to "fall in love" with the whole of you.


Fitness must address the Human Being, not just the Body

Exercise that is done strictly for its own physical reasons, divorced from the emotions and human spirit isn't satisfying or fun, and eventually fails.

To feel good enough to last a LIFETIME, an exercise regimen, must also satisfy the heart and soul. NIA is a holistic exercise approach - which addresses the WHOLE PERSON.

All movements in NIA are choreographed to music, and are fused together from several classic movement forms in the healing arts, including Yoga, the dance arts and the martial arts.

Movement must be conscious, not habitual

In Swahili, NIA means - 'moving with purpose'. - Living and moving by rote, habit and routine, kills consciousness and waters down the experience of life, turning people into hamsters on a treadmill. - In NIA, we turn off the automatic pilot and stop performing conventional repetitive exercises, because they limit movement choices.

In NIA, we gain fitness with stances, postures, dance steps, blocks, kicks and stretches (in varying levels of intensity, range and speed) that are compatible with your body's own natural structure and that FEEL GOOD. They also promote flexibility, agility, mobility, balance, grace, strength, endurance and good posture.

NIA is a non-impact program and can be done barefoot. This makes people aware of exactly how they are moving, via the 7000 nerve endings that are in each foot, and intensifies the physical and psychological feeling of being grounded. In NIA we call the FEET, "the hands that touch the earth".

Use your body to heal your mind, emotions and spirit

In NIA we become aware of the wisdom and power of our own body, and it's ability to self heal. Take the arms, hands and fingers for example. They are tools for healing, touching, directing energy, and creating connections. They are extensions of your feelings and thoughts and allow you to express yourself in personal and purposeful ways.

Every movement in life is a dance and every movement can be used to self heal. Every NIA class is an opportunity to explore and increase our potential, through movement.

The easy way is the natural way

The militaristic punishing element in conventional physical fitness programs, often creates resistance and insecurity, rather than enthusiasm and self-respect. It creates too much strain, to be worth the gain.

In NIA, we move in accord with YOUR OWN BODY'S WAY - the structural design of YOUR body, that dictates its own proper use, because no two bodies are exactly alike.

When you experience the primary essence of NIA - that life should be lived through sensation -to move & dance what you sense, you become connected to the JOY of being alive.

Extracts from the book - The NIA Technique

By Debbie and Carlos Rosas (founders of NIA)