In this series on movement and exercise, I’ve written about yoga and tai chi, two movement forms that fit in well with a Low Density Lifestyle approach to movement.
Today’s article is guest
written by Katie Capelli, who is a Certified Nia Black Belt Instructor and who has been sharing the joy of Nia with students for 11 years. She has created a holistic movement studio, Bloom, that offers classes in Nia and other movement techniques. She is also a Certified Nutritionist and co-owns a Natural Foods store with her husband in upstate NY.
Here is Katie’s article:
In contrast to a fitness philosophy that pushes us into pain and discomfort to achieve results (“no pain, no gain”), sits the choice of Nia. An expressive movement and lifestyle technique based on a philosophy that Through Movement We Find Health, Nia is guided by the sensation of pleasure.
Nia embodies “The Body’s Way” – that is, everything we do in Nia is supported by the unique design of the body’s own elegant neuromuscular systems. Through this practice we learn how to foster our own body awareness to make movement choices that let the body say “aahhh” in response.
As a unique blend of technical precision and free-form expression, Nia offers the body, mind, emotions and spirit an integrated balanced state of health and is based on nine traditional movement forms: from the healing arts (Yoga, Alexander Technique, The Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais), from the dance arts (Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Jazz Dance) and from the martial arts (Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, T’ai Chi).
The goal is not how deep, how fast or how much we can do in class but rather how aware we can become of our own physical sensations. We become our own personal trainers.
As this awareness or inner voice begins to direct our movements, we then are free to adapt the movements to our own body potential. We explore how it feels to move from sharp to fluid, from large to small, from high to low. We learn to listen to our body while having fun, as it tells us how to adjust the movements so we will feel pleasure and joy.
Nia is adaptable to meet the unique needs of all ages, sizes, shapes and fitness levels and acknowledges that the body requires movement and energy variety. Practiced barefoot to all kinds of music, Nia is truly designed for every body.
Through Nia, it is possible to achieve mobility, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular conditioning, agility – all of the components that lead to whole-body conditioning. Most importantly, Nia leads us to a loving, sensory relationship with our own body, a body that holds an innate intelligence on how to live and be healthy.
To learn more about Katie’s Nia work and her studio, check out Bloom, A Movement Space.
And here’s another video that shows you Nia in action: