"Exercise that's done strictly for its own physical sake, divorced from the emotions and human spirit, isn't satisfying, isn't fun, and eventually fails. To feel good enough to last a lifetime, an exercise regimen must satisfy the heart and soul."
The Nia Technique, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Enjoy a Nia Class Experience

Nia DVD's
You can enjoy a "Nia class experience" in your own home!
I have several Nia DVD's for sale, $20 each includes shipping in the USA.
Send me an email for details: niaondine(at)gmail.com
(note you need to format the email address...)

I am not teaching any regular classes at this time, but there are great Nia teachers in the Asheville/Hendersonville area. Please see www.niacarolina.com for the schedule of classes. Best to contact the teachers to make sure their posted schedule is current.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nia Dance Jams and ongoing classes

Get a great workout and join the fun at several Nia Jams throughout the year, which raise funds for a different local non-profits. Check www.niacarolina.com for the schedule of events.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nia is personalized to your body's way

Nia is the "feel good" fitness technique. The sensation of bliss in motion is your own internal, personal trainer! If it feels good, your body will tell you, "yes, this is what I need".

In Nia class, you'll learn to recognize this healing, energizing, relaxing, and empowering sensation that we Nia teachers call the Joy of Movement. As a result, you get a complete, holistic workout without stress.

We each have a life story in the structure of our bodies, old injuries for example, or patterns of tension. By being sensitive to what makes your body feel good, you are moving in your body's way, not a cookie-cutter imitation of the instructor or anyone else in the room. You are encouraged to personalize your Nia experience!

Many people have found Nia to be a very effective part of their physical therapy after injury or illness. Let your your Nia teacher know if you have some special conditions, such as arthritis in the knees, etc., and he or she can give you some pointers.

Nia is usually done barefoot to improve balance and stability. With bare feet, our proprioceptors give us more information. (Proprioceptors are special nerves which relay information to the brain about our movement and position.) Shoes "muffle" the messages from our feet, and can overshadow the subtle learning process that helps you develop stronger arches, more stable ankles and knees, and better posture. I encourage everyone to do at least part of the Nia class barefoot. However, follow your body's way: you are welcome to wear shoes, orthotics, arch supports, etc. if you need or prefer. (Ballet slippers, jazz shoes, or other flexible soft-soled shoes are good options). I often wear Yoga Stick-e socks to keep my feet warm and relaxed, while still allowing my toes to spread and my feet to have a solid connection with the floor. If you wear socks, they should have nubs to prevent slipping. Some people like to wear Bare Paws or Foot Undeez, which give a little padding for barefoot dancing.

Nia can also be done seated, a wonderful option for those in wheelchairs, or with knee or foot pain.

See the post below about Barefoot Conditioning for tips for healthy, happy feet!

To see more articles on this site, click on "home" below.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ayurveda and exercise

Visit my holistic health site for my article on Ayurveda and Exercise - Coaching from the ancient Science of Life.

Ayurveda is the health care system of the ancient Vedic Tradition of India and is the world’s oldest and most complete system of natural medicine. The aim of Ayurveda is to enliven and maintain the body's natural healing mechanisms.

Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, medical doctor and expert in Maharishi Ayurveda, specializes in women's health. She says, "Exercise is at least part of the answer to so many problems women commonly have — It improves sleep, lifts mood, reduces anxiety, gives your complexion a healthy glow, boosts energy, improves metabolism and helps control weight. It also improves your memory and keeps your brain young, not to mention tones your muscles and gives you a great looking body!"

"It does this all by helping the body's intelligence do it's job better — move the lymph, clear the toxins, digest, circulate nourishment to the tissues, and clear the mind of stress and clutter. It's amazing what being naturally active does for the body. We were born to move, not sit at desks!"

For more information about exercise and ayurveda, click here.

Dr. Lonsdorf offers tele-seminars on topics such as the Ayurvedic approach to menopause, bone health, and weightloss, as well as personal health coaching. www.drnancylonsdorf.com

To see more articles on this site, click on "home" below.

Foot fitness & barefoot conditioning

For the complete article about healthy feet and barefoot conditioning, see my holistic health site.

For years I had chronic ankle and arch (plantar) pain that limited my enjoyment of hiking and other activities. In 2005 I started taking Nia classes, and within the first 3 weeks the pain in my ankle was greatly relieved and my foot felt more relaxed than it had in years. I continue to learn about foot care, and in addition to Nia, I've found these things to be helpful: a daily foot-massage, trigger-point therapy, and foot soaks. See below for recommendations.

For those with plantar fasciitis, weak ankles, etc. Nia will help increase the strength and flexibility of your feet and the stability of your lower extremity joints. It's gentle on the joints (non-impact), and will teach you to heal yourself through the sensation of pleasure. Nia is usually done barefoot, but if you need or prefer, you can wear a flexible-soled shoe with orthotics, or arch support bands. Comfort is the key.

  • Give yourself an Ayurvedic foot massage (pad-abhyanga) in just a few minutes a day. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning 'science of life,' and is the most ancient system of natural health care (from the same tradition as yoga). See www.MAPI.com for the Rejuvenation massage oil for feet and legs - wonderful stuff!
  • See the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, a guide to self-care pain management, for many common conditions including plantar fasciitis. Based on medical research, this book has helped me, my family, and friends relieve pain in the hips, knees, shoulder, back, and foot problems including gout!
  • Contrast hydrotherapy foot soak, alternating HOT then ICE COLD several times, for 5-10 minutes. End with the hot soak.
  • A great aromatherapy foot soak called Savoir is available at Nest Organics on Lexington Ave. in Asheville.
  • Acupuncture and reflexology can also be very helpful.
  • Stretch your calves, flex your feet, spread your toes, and roll your ankles before you get out of bed. This is especially helpful for plantar fasciitis. Do this frequently during the day.
  • Try a Prostretch calf stretcher to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, etc.

  • To see more articles on this site, click on "home" below.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    Interview with Nia Co-founder, Carlos Rosas

    Celebrating 25 Years of Nia—A Conversation with a Fitness Pioneer

    In 1983, Carlos Rosas and Debbie Rosas created the Nia Technique, an internationally acclaimed “body-mind-spirit movement and lifestyle practice.” They have presented at many leading health conventions, and currently sponsor Inner IDEA, an association of holistic fitness professionals.

    "Nia is a body-mind-spirit practice. Spirit stands for all that is unique and different to each person."

    "...In Nia, just as we are for body relaxation, we’re for mental relaxation. Instead of saying “be mindful,” I’d rather say be aware of your body, be sensitive. The practice of Nia has some qualities that are like mind-body programs, but it’s truly more expansive. (read complete interview, including Carlos's Nia tips you can use in any sports)

    To see more articles on this site, click on "home" below.

    Recommended Reading

    Here are some great books (available on Amazon or can be ordered by your local bookstore):

    • The Nia Technique - The High Powered, Energizing Workout that Gives You a New Body and a New Life, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. A fascinating read, with beautiful, illustrative photos and detailed guide to the movements of Nia and their specific benefits. See www.NiaNow.com
    • Ageless Woman - Natural Health & Beauty After Forty, by Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf. Menopause reveals imbalances in your system that may have been building up for years. This book provides a simple guide for understanding menopause, and easy steps for creating balance in your mind, body and emotions. Read this book BEFORE and after menopause! Read before considering any hormone treatments or other "natural" approaches to menopause symptoms. See www.drnancylonsdorf.com for articles, tips, etc.
    • Heaven's Banquet - Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the Ayurveda Way, by Miriam Kasan Hospodar. Excellent recipes, fun to read, and a great introduction to Ayurveda. (Also includes ayurvedic recommendations for non-vegetarians.) Her colorful website, www.miriamhospodar.com, features Miriam's art, writing, and cooking.

    • Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition, by Clair Davies NCTMB. For examples of these effective self-treatment techniques, see www.triggerpointbook.com
    • Total Heart Health, by Richard Schneider, MD FACC. How to prevent and reverse heart disease and its risk factors — stress, high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight, smoking — naturally and without harmful side effects. See www.totalhearthealth.info
    • The Science of Being and Art of Living, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation program. In this classic book, first published in 1963 and read by millions of people, Maharishi unfolds his vision for “a new humanity, developed in all life’s values — physical, mental, material, spiritual.” Available from www.MUMPress.com
    • For more about Transcendental Meditation,visit these links:

    To see more articles on this site, click on "home" below.