A classic Nia class follows a seven cycle program:
1. Setting the focus: We focus on one aspect of the practice, it is woven artfully throughout the practice.
2. Stepping in: We enter and step into the experience, leaving all distractions and concerns behind.
3. Warming up: This is where we prepare our body to move, warming up the joints.
4. Getting moving: We move at a higher energetic pace, conditioning our body and cardiovascular system
5. Cooling down: Still dancing and upright we use movements that cool down our body.
6. Floor play: Using the floor, we play and condition our body using gravity, space, and the art of moving on the floor to become strong, stretched, defined and balanced.
7. Stepping out: We seal the experience by consciously stepping out.
The technique is founded on 52 basic moves for the base, the core, and the upper extremities, that are used to create the body-friendly choreography of the class. The nine movement forms, of Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique and Yoga, inspire the class with soft and slow dynamics, as well as the powerful energy of Tae Kwon Do and the playfulness of Dance. Nia choreography blends these dynamics to create a class that offers ample movement in a state of dynamic ease. Everyone can do Nia because the movements are so adaptable to varying skill and fitness levels. Nia is generally done in bare feet. Shoes are also fine.
The first principle of the Nia Technique is the Joy of Movement. We believe movement can be pleasurable to the body, and when we move towards pleasure we move towards healing. There are lots of smiles and happy people in Nia classes. Some even say Nia has changed their lives!