Yoga, Pilates or Nia?

While yoga and Pilates are praised for the body and mind connection they provide, Nia brings a number of additional benefits that promote an overall sense of well-being.

Though I continue practicing yoga and Pilates, only Nia brings joy and playfulness to my exercise routines. Nia consists of 52 easy, body-centered moves that include various steps, stances, and foot, hand and finger techniques just to name a few. These particular moves, combined with a free dance element make Nia a wholesome practice that helps to bring physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being to the Nia participant.

It is with Nia, that I came to truly understand and love my body through discipline, healthy eating habits, exercise and rest. I have learned to let go of my negative emotions and allow my body to thrive on joy, love and pleasure, and all while dancing

Here are the 6 reasons as to why I practice Nia and why you should as well.

1. PHYSICAL TRAINING

A Nia class works through 7 cycles, starting with a gentle warm up and ending with ‘floor play’ movements. You choose your intensity level from 1 to 3, and shape your workout according to your own needs. If you feel like having an athletic workout, stick to level 2 and 3. If your focus is body awareness, use level 1 and 2. Your teacher will suggest all three levels in the class.

2. FREE DANCE ELEMENT

Free dance can be guided or not. I use it for self-expression, self-affirmation, sensing my body, self-reflection or movement meditation.

3. BODY AWARENESS AND THE BODY’S WAY

Since everybody has difference levels of mobility and stability, students are encouraged to pay special attention to their body in order to develop body awareness. At the same time, students need to recognize body sensations such as pleasure and pain.

4. RELEASE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

Delight in your Nia teacher when she laughs and plays like a child, then follow her lead. Express your personal power by doing your arm blocks, chops, and kicks.

5. BALANCE AND ENERGY

The playfulness of Nia helps to relax your body as you let go of your emotions. This allows you to recharge and rebalance, which in turn helps you to accomplish more of your daily tasks.

6. EXERCISE YOUR HANDS AND FINGERS

Have you heard of catching flies, creepy crawlers, and claw hand or spear fingers? These are Nia moves that train the small muscles in your upper extremities. I personally practice these everyday because I spend way too much time on my Mac using repetitive movements.

To find a class near you go to http://www.nianow.com.

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