These days, the Nia technique has gone global and for a good reason - its focus is therapeutic and caters for people of a diverse range of ages and stages.
Nia's best described as a fusion of "martial arts, dance arts and healing arts that brings together the body, mind, emotions and spirit" of the Nia participant within a 1 hour work-out comprising of a range of up to 52 movements accompanied with rhythmic music. In simple terms it's movement and music put into play at the participant's own pace.
Pictured here is Debbie Rosas, CEO & co-founder/co-creator of Nia Technique. Image courtesy & copyright of Nia Technique (NiaNow.com)
This year saw the Nia technique introduced to the Adelaide metropolitan area by Natalie Ermer Jensen who had the opportunity to experience Nia first-hand whilst living in the USA.
Natalie managed to transition from being well versed and disciplined in the very conventional Iyengar yoga to the endless freedom and range of what is the Nia technique and has brought her wealth of experience back to Adelaide to share with others at a range of metropolitan locations.
My mother and I attended Natalie's Tuesday evening class at the Energy Clinic, Mile End which consisted of 1 hour's mind-body-dance movement to what was some wonderfully uplifting music.
There was plenty of room to move and the only equipment we needed to bring was ourselves, dressed in comfy clothing (minus the shoes - as 'bare is best'. We were advised if there were any medical/physical reasons preventing us from participating bare foot, soft soled shoes could be worn). For more information/FAQs click here.
Nia aims to free your body and mind - each session consists of 7 cycles incorporating 52 movements. Photograph provided by Nia Australia
Coming up in December 2013 will be a couple of great opportunities to try Nia out at the Energy Clinic, Mile End: the first workshop will be held on Saturday, 21st December from 1pm to 3pm and is titled 'The Nia 52 Moves: the building blocks of all Nia workouts'.
The second workshop will be held on Friday, 27th December 7pm to 9pm and is titled 'Music, Movement, Magic! 3 pillars of the Nia class experience'. It will be the perfect opportunity to work off those Christmas excesses and kick-start your New Year's resolutions!
There are no set entry fees for these special workshops which will be hosted by Kate Bray (a Blue Belt instructor currently based in Italy) but as it is a fundraiser, the suggested donation for each session is $15, with proceeds going to Catherine House - a not-for-profit organisation supporting women experiencing homelessness.
Hey Bryony, Iyengar is a beautiful discipline. I guess in the intense focus on alignment, you could say it is similar to martial arts. I think many eastern based practices have principles that are in line with each other - the different types of yoga, and martial arts movements. They all seem to have that Mind/body/breath focus which I find very centring and powerful. What I like about some of the new fusion practices, like Nia, is the melding of East and West. Nia also brings awareness to our tendency to either be drawn to strong linear Tae Kwondo type exercise OR soft flowy Tai Chi, and allows us to play with both aspects of movement - one of the ways this practice aims to bring balance -and then you have the playfulness and fun of dance to up the vibe. Hayley, I look forward to seeing you there :-)