So I know this has nothing to do with food; however, it is, in a sense, a type of cleansing – only it’s for the spirit and body rather than the palate. A few months ago I discovered Nia. “Nia?” you ask…”What is Nia??” Nia (pronounced ‘Knee-uh’) is a form of dance which has been around since the 1980’s. It incorporates several different styles of movement including jazz, salsa, martial arts and yoga. What I especially love about it is that while there IS a structural base, there is also freedom within the structure. If one doesn’t move exactly as the instructor that is not only okay but often encouraged. In fact, most classes have a ‘free dance’ element. Nia is for all body types and all ability levels. The classes I attend include several people who I am fairly certain are/were professional dancers. On the other end of the spectrum there are those who have limitations in their mobility. And then there is everyone in between…it is a wonderful mix!
Nia, for me, is joyous and mind-opening. It brings to me a sense of peace, self-awareness and self-confidence…after a class I feel centered and more conscious of my life. And the people I have met are some of the most beautiful I’ve encountered. It is an ecclectic group for sure, but I believe that is part of what makes it so beautiful and fulfilling. My instructor has an awesome spirit. She expresses joy in every movement. The people in my classes include singles, mothers, grandmothers; a chef, a sex columnist, a lawyer – and then there’s everyday little ol’ me. Different as our life stories and paths are, we are all looking for something the typical cardio dance class falls short of providing. And I appreciate the fact that there is no one telling me I have to do this or have to move like that…there is no competition over who does Nia ‘best’ or is the most intense. There really is not a ‘wrong’ way to move. I consider it my form of ‘group therapy’. I am hooked, and this is one habit I don’t plan to break! If you haven’t given it a try I highly encourage you to get right over to the nearest group…but watch out, you might get hooked, too!