|New to Nia|
|Written by Studio Sway|
|Saturday, 01 January 2011 21:48|
THE NIA TECHNIQUE™
The Nia Technique™ is a sensory-based movement practice that leads to health, wellness, and fitness. Nia class empowers you to connect your body, mind, and spirit so you can create a healthy body and the life you want.
Created more than 20 years ago by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya-Rosas, Nia draws inspiration from the dance arts, martial arts and healing arts for a cardiovascular, aerobic, and super fun workout that is challenging and stimulating, yet easy to follow. Just as dancers do in modern dance or martial artists move in the dojo, we practice class in our bare feet so we build strength from the ground up.
You're also encouraged to move in Your Body's Way, learning what brings you the greatest pleasure and following the invitation to experience the joy of movement. Most of the class, you will follow the instructor through steps and stances; however, within these moves is the opportunity to find your own rhythm and beat and to dance it your own way. A typical Nia class includes some elements of free dance in which you shake, boogie, rock, roll and sway as you please; anything goes. A lot of what makes Nia fun is that we also are dancing together. Nia offers us the opportunity to explore and to play. The hour you'll spend in class is your time to recharge, connect, let loose, and get fit.
We think the best way to learn about Nia is to come take a class. Many of the instructors at Sway offer a first class free of charge. In every class at Studio Sway, movers of all abilities and levels of experience are welcome. Students who are new to Nia are welcome in every Nia class.
HOW DO I START?
You don't need to preregister or let us know you're coming. Just find the time and day that works for you and join us for class.
Dress to sweat and move in anything that makes you feel good. We encourage everyone to dance in bare feet, though some of our dancers prefer a light shoe (the Vibram 5-Finger or a Foot Undy from a dance store). If you want to wear your soft-sole sneakers, please wear a pair that is worn only inside so we keep our floor happy and smooth and clean.
All our classes are open to students of all levels. There are no beginner and no advanced classes; we all dance together. In Nia, we offer 3 levels of movement, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 1 is a level at which we learn the technique and learn about our bodies in movement. We pay attention to sensation. This is excellent for when we are healing from an injury or wish to promote a deeper awareness of our structure and movement. We may have a smaller range of movement, staying close to the core, in Level 1. In Level 2, we get our heart pumping a bit more. We may move more through the planes, going higher or lower, and we may sustain a sweat-inducing level of movement throughout our bodies, from fingertips to toes. In Level 3, we hit a peak. We go all out, whether this is by going fast or by going very high, or low, or wide. We do not sustain this peak. It's meant for us to find our limits and play at the edges safely.
The basic movement in Nia is a step. If you can step, you can dance Nia. It's up to you how much to engage your spine and core and limbs in order to play in all 3 levels. In addition to the three levels of Classic Nia, Nia offers an athletic version in which we do a small amount of hopping. Just as with Classic Nia, in which we step, Athletic Nia has 3 levels, again based on range of motion from small to large.
Students who are new to the Nia Technique may find it takes a few classes to start learning the lingo and remember some of the most common patterns. Pick any class that fits your schedule, and have fun exploring the different teachers, styles, and classes to find the ones that work best for you.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NIA?
Read the book! The Nia Technique: the High-Powered Energizing Workout that Gives You a New Body and a New Life by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas is available from many of your Nia teachers, from Amazon.com, and from the local library. (By the way, the title is a bit hokey, and it's true. Nia really does change our lives. The book is fun, with lots of exercises, stories, and ways to explore your life.)
Learn about the Nia Technique, and read stories of Nia students and teachers when you visit the home of Nia, The Nia Technique International Headquarters.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 13:03|