What is Nia?


The Nia Technique was created in 1983 by a successful aerobics instructor, but after a series of sports related injuries she, and one of her trainers, began to research and develop an alternative method of aerobic exercise and strength training that aimed for a more safe, non-impact, body mind based movement. This led to the creation of the Nia Technique.

At that time, the widely accepted health mantra was, “no pain, no gain.” However, the Nia Technique rejected that notion and defined a new approach to wellness, one that broke away from high-impact aerobics, repetitive movement and mind-body separation.

Rather than obsessing over physical results, Nia tuned into the needs of the body, mind, spirit and emotions. Athletes, dancers, casual exercisers and gym-haters alike began to embrace this movement lifestyle because it felt good. It was exhilarating, not guilt-driven; expressive instead of one-dimensional. Healing, not exhausting. Nia ultimately forged the category known as mind-body fitness as we know it today.

Nia combines dance arts (Duncan dance, jazz and modern), martial arts (Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do and Aikido), healing arts (Yoga, The Alexander Technique and the teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais) with mindfulness, in 52 simple moves that aims to get you fit and toned. More than just a cardiovascular workout, Nia is a holistic fitness practice addressing each aspect of your life – body, mind and soul. Each workout brings mindfulness to your dance movement leaving you feeling energized, mentally clear, and emotionally balanced.

Nia is non-impact, practiced barefoot although jazz shoes or non-slip socks can be worn if preferred, and can be adapted to individual needs and mobility.  It is ideal for those returning to fitness after illness or injury.

I came to Nia in 2000 when my aerobics instructor told the class to take off our trainers we are doing something “different” and I have never looked back and never worn trainers again.  Nia allowed me to continue dancing throughout my pregnancy. In 2010 I was fortunate enough to train to be a Nia White Belt Teacher.

For more information about Nia see www.nianow.com

Photograph provided by Nia Technique (www.nianow.com)

“Through Movement, We Find Health”
– The Nia Technique