Nia at NiaMoves hosted by Helen Terry and Kristie Bryant

What to Wear:  Something comfortable and easy to move in

Level of Difficulty: Anyone can do it – definitely a great cardio workout but how hard it is depends on how much you move

Areas Worked:  FULL Body

 

Maggie’s Review

First Impression: The first impression I had after hearing about NIA was “cool, the Olympic volleyball team trained using this, so it must be legit”. That however, was a falsely led first impression. The Olympic volleyball team did not train for the Olympics using NIA. It was just a fib Kory told me to get me to agree to the review knowing that I am more of a cardio and weights type, and less of a free expression dance girl. It wasn’t until a week before the review that I called her out on it when I told her I could not find any information supporting this endorsement. It was then that she told me she had made it up. Her reason? She said she knew she would never get me to try it unless she told me something like that. Apparently, she knows me better than I thought. No, I am not the type of person who would sign myself up for a NIA class. In fact, in all of my fitness interests I have never even tried Zumba because the thought of doing any sort of “dancing” as a class intimidates me more than jumping out of a plane. Setting all fear aside and knowing that it couldn’t be any worse than an hour of me reliving my awkward years (hey! most everybody has them), I figured why not give it a try? We are all about trying new things right? The NIA studio was awesome; it was very calm, welcoming and beautiful. From what I had read prior to attending the NIA class, NIA is about positively shaping the way you feel, look, think and live and the people we met really and truly exemplified this mantra. Everyone was very genuine and welcoming. While still a little nervous (as I am sure that my mom thinks I am a good dancer, but that may be a biased opinion) my mood shifted immediately upon walking in the door.

What I liked the Most: Every part that involved free-form movement. Sexy Walk- I mean seriously? Who doesn’t like to sexy walk? I guess people who aren’t sexy.

What I liked the Least: The after effects of NIA which for me were blisters on my big toes. However, I think it was more a testament of how much fun we had shredding it on the NIA floor.

It Was…. More fun than I could have ever anticipated. Prior to beginning class, we were standing in a circle and a gentleman was giving a piece of advice. His advice was to “move authentically”. I thought that was an excellent piece of advice to begin the review with. I have never had any sort of dance class in my entire life and I was getting ready to participate in an activity that incorporated Yoga, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz, Modern and Duncan dance styles. I wasn’t sure how to move “authentically” without “authentically” looking like I had no idea what I was doing. However, as the class began, and our amazing NIA instructor Helen Terry began leading us through the “passion routine” it became apparent what he meant. The energy in the class was amazing. It wasn’t about moving an exact certain way or staying in exact coordination with everyone else. Even though we were all following the same basic steps, everyone looked different. It was more about making the time and space your own and being mentally and physically aware of what is going on with your body and mind. Overall, I had a blast! Again, I am not a dancer, and this is not the type of thing I would have tried on my own, but if anything, I hope that sharing my experience of NIA really helps drive the point home that anyone can have fun doing NIA regardless of skill (or lack thereof). Even if you think you are not “the type” of person that would enjoy this sort of thing. I urge you to challenge that assumption and give it a shot. You will likely have way much more fun than you think.

That kicked my ass: Not bad… not bad at all.

Will I ever do it again? Absolutely!

Overall I think: I loved it!

 

Sara’s Review

First Impression: I hate admitting I am wrong – but I was wrong about Nia.  I had a bad attitude walking into it.  I looked up some Youtube videos before I went to the class – thought it looked weird and – yes…I tried to get out of going.  It looked like a lot of people moving around in ridiculous ways and I was certain I would embarrass myself.  There. I admitted it.  Turns out, I was wrong.  I LOVED NIA!!!

From the minute we walked into the studio, we were met by the friendliest people.  We happened to show up on the day they were doing the “Passion” routine.  Everyone takes a place in the room facing a wall of mirrors and follows the instructor as she leads you through a series of movements (like we practiced our “sexy walk” several times) interspersed with “free dance” where you get to move however you want.

What I Most Liked: I can honestly say Nia was 50 minutes of the most non-self-consciousness  (NOTE: I realize this is not an actual term, but I felt like making up a term was the best way to describe the experience…I think you get the picture, right?)  I’ve ever felt.  I say 50 minutes even though the class lasted 60 because I spent the first 10 minutes watching myself in the mirror thinking a combination of “I’m not doing this right” and “I look like a jackass”.  Then you start to loosen up and look around the room and you realize no one cares whether you are doing it right because there is no right or wrong and that – even though you might look  like a jackass – no one is judging you.  Well…maybe they were…but no one was obvious about it if they were judging me and I was having so much fun I didn’t have any attention left to judge anyone else.  It was like participating in 50 minutes of dance off.

What I Least Liked: I somehow ended up with blisters on both my big toes.  I thought I was uniquely odd until I found out Maggie and Kory had the same blisters.  Reason?  I’m not sure.  But that was really all I didn’t like.  The rest was a great time.

It was…Liberating.  Usually I spend my time in group classes critiquing my form and worrying I’m not doing things as well as the person next to me or in front of me.  Nia wasn’t that way at all – it was just fun.  And, while it didn’t work any particular muscle to exhaustion, it was an excellent cardio workout if my sweat-drenched outfit was any indication.

That kicked my ass: Not bad…not bad at all.

Will I ever do it again? I already have it on my calendar!

Overall I think: I’m in love!!!

 

Kory’s Review

First Impression: I heard of Nia about a year ago, but I never really understood much about it. So when we went to Houston to take a class, I walked in with only the knowledge of a few videos I had seen on YouTube. Nia is based on The Body’s Way, which means using the body’s natural design to improve function. Nia addresses the body’s five main sensations: flexibility, strength, mobility, agility and stability, and focuses on conditioning the body and the nervous system. The class is led by an instructor who teaches you some pretty basic moves to really great music. You can jazz things up at will and make the class as intense or as technical as you like. Basically, allow your body to be free and know that everyone else is doing the same!

What I liked the Most: Yeah, it took me a good 10 minutes or so to loosen up. And by that I mean, to stop looking in the mirror and not worry about what I looked like. Once I stopped doing that, things got really fun! I actually loved the class. I taught all kinds of aerobics for years and instead of following a very specific routine followed by extreme boredom; this class was invigorating, involved dancing, free-styling and was much more cardiovascular than I had anticipated! I left feeling energized and stretched, and found that because the class is lower impact, my body didn’t ache or feel like I had just gone through some terrible workout that did more harm than good. I was light on my feet, except for that freaking blister……

What I liked the Least:  As I just mentioned, I got a huge blister on my big toe! Since shoes and socks aren’t worn during the class, you don’t realize how unconditioned your feet can be on as you are moving and grooving on a wood floor. Yeeouch!! Note to self: Toughen up the feet before my next Nia class.

Overall I think: The class was more fun than expected. Don’t let the videos on the internet persuade you not to try Nia. Some of the videos are easy to laugh at, but that is not the experience that I had. Our teacher was amazing, the music was awesome, and it’s a type of workout that reminds you to let go of your ego and to be more natural in your movement. We all need to dance more, to be free, and to not give a care in the world as to what anyone else thinks. We stress enough in our lives. This class encourages you to let down your walls and to feel like you don’t have a care in the world!