February 2, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Imagine moving your body to music with dance, martial arts, stretching and breath work. Welcome to Nia. The workout is a blend of dance arts, martial arts and healing arts is adaptable to any body and ability.
The Nia Technique was created by aerobic instructors Debbie and Carlos Rosas in the 1980's on the west coast and is now practiced throughout the world. Originally an acronym for Non Impact Aerobics, it eventually morphed into Neuro-muscular Integrative Action, as the technique evolved into a gentler workout connecting mind and body. The name does not quite describe the sensation of Nia which follows the pleasure principle of "all gain, no pain." Participants are encouraged to move at their own pace following "the body's way."
Nia has grown in popularity in New Jersey and for the first time, classes are happening in Blairstown at Chow & Zen. Intro to Nia classes are taught by different instructors, each with their own unique style. Every Nia class moves through seven cycles: set focus and intent, step in, warm up, get moving, cool down, floor play and step out. Nia classes require no equipment, just clothing that allows free movement. Classes are practiced barefoot, like martial arts for greater sense of awareness of motion.
Nia Instructor Kim Lane of Randolph teaches throughout Morris County and now at Chow & Zen in Blairstown. For her, "Nia is fitness and conditioning for your mind, body and soul." New student, Kath Cameron is "thrilled to see more Nia classes happening in our area." Cameron finds, "It is a great way to condition and tone, without pounding or straining your body while having an absolute blast. For me it works better then any other exercise and I look forward to class."
There will also be a free 90 minute Nia Jam to benefit the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation on Sunday February 24th from 3pm to 4:30 at Chow & Zen. A Nia Jam features different instructors taking turns leading a Nia dance party to raise funds and awareness for a different charity each month. RSVP is required and donations will be accepted. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or 862-266-1754. For more info about Nia, log on to http://www.nianow.com/niasite/new-jersey
Nia class takes place at Chow & Zen, 14 Bridge Street in Blairstown on alternating Sundays at 1pm. The cost is $10 for the one hour class. For more info http://www.chowandzen.com or 908-362-1900.
Video about Nia:
Nia co-Founder Debbie Rosas: