Nia technique is a sensory based-movement exercise, which was originally known as Non-Impact Aerobics and Neuromuscular Action. It involves various physical conditioning programs that integrate the principles of movement as a pathway for self-discovery and personal transformation. The reason for its creation was to bring cardiovascular aerobic exercises and whole-body conditioning together in one exercise. Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas first created this program in California, in the year 1983.
Nia is basically composed of 52 different movements that integrate movement modalities from dance, martial arts, and healing practices. It blends nine movement forms from martial arts like tai chi, tae kwon do and aikido; from dance arts like jazz, modern dance, and Duncan dance; and from healing arts like Feldenkrais method, combined with yoga and Alexander technique.
Different varieties of musical styles are also played during the program, which makes the exercise more fun and enjoying to perform. This enables the person to forget about his or her external environment and just focus on their movements by freely moving the body in response to the song or music played.
Combining each basic dance moves from those various arts with music; clients are able to move their body more naturally and gracefully to the tune of the music played. This makes their bodies less stiff and more flexible. It is said to be much similar to meditation, only that it involves graceful and flexible movements.
With Nia technique, healing is not merely physical or mental but also spiritual. Benefits from this exercise include better balance and coordination, better cardiovascular function, reduction of stress and anxiety, improved self-esteem, energy build-up, and improved body posture and self-awareness. Along with all these benefits, Nia technique can help increase one’s self-esteem and boost their self-confidence. This will result to better socialization with other people and better performance with their daily activities.
There was a study done by a Nian instructor, Dr. Deborah Kern, which studied the effects of Nia on women. According to the women who performed the Nia technique, the exercise does not only benefit the physical aspect of their health but also the emotional health. Some say that there is greater improvement in their mood after performing Nia technique. According to them, they feel that there is an increased sense of well being and decreased of tiredness and hunger.
According to Debbie and Carlos, they believe that exercise should be pleasurable and enjoyable. So, if you want to live a healthy life, why not try Nia technique? It is beneficial to the body and helps a person grow spiritually and mentally.