Nia With Guki

Principles I live by:


Principle 1 : Enjoy the Joy of Movement


When I discovered Nia a few years ago, I was facing challenging physical limitations. I could not fathom how I would go to a “dance” class feeling how I did. My daughter inspired me to give it a try and I grudgingly accepted.  After being in painful physical therapy for 2 ½ years, and looking at another potential 2 years of the same, I decided I had nothing to lose. So there I went.


I hated the first class. But I decided to approach the teacher after class and ask if there was something else that might help? And that was it. I went to a Nia class, and when we laid down on the floor to cool down and do floorplay, I couldn’t stop crying. Those were tears of relief and of gratitude when I understood my body was a wise vessel and that with tender, loving awareness it would let me know how to move, how to balance, how to sink deep, how little to stretch, how wide, how expressive…  


The Nia motto “Move your body’s way” with joyful sensation became my motto too. 


And now I find that it is possible not only to move with Joy throughout life but to literally dance through life. 


What is Nia?


Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts suitable for all levels of fitness. It’s a tailored workout done barefoot for body, mind and soul that uses multi-directional movements, easy choreography, soul-stirring music, diversity and a subtle way that engages your mind and body without you even noticing that you’re working out. 


It has been defined as “joy-based fitness for people who dislike working out”.


This system was designed in the 1980’s by Debbie and Carlos Rosas in Portland, Oregon with the intention to offer a way to work out without pain or discomfort in a way that heals the body as it build strength, mobility, flexibility and agility.


With the focus on the joy of movement and feeling good, it is designed to suit every BODY emphasizing the uniqueness of every individual allowing each person to tap into their own power at the level they’re at.  


Frequently asked questions

Why is Nia done barefoot?

Without shoes, one comes directly in contact with the ground enhancing the sensation and feedback of 7000 nerves ending in each foot. This is essential for our motor coordination, balance, stability, flexibility and strength. (Think of all the countless hours your feet are inside a shoe; dancing barefeet is one of the joys of life.)

What are some of Nia’s benefits?

Nia has been described by many as joy in motion. It focuses on the sensations of the body through specific movements and by using a phenomenal array of world music, Nia offers several ways to incorporate pleasure into your movement by achieving more strength, flexibility, balance and relaxation. As well as improving posture, it is an excellent cardio workout. It is also excellent for the brain by activating the left and right hemispheres in creative and fun ways through rhythm, step counts, left and right among others.

Who can benefit from Nia?

Nia classes can be adjusted to meet participants exactly where they’re at in their “now” body. It’s suitable for all age groups independent of fitness or training levels. The basic premise is anyone who is interested in exploring the joy of movement in a safe and pleasurable way is welcome. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary.