A class designed to enhance self-awareness and health, while freeing the spirit, is growing in popularity on the Coast.
The programme, known as Nia, which started in the United States 30 years ago, is a relative newcomer to NZ having begun in earnest here around 2007.
Nia blue belt Sally Cook says numbers are growing at her classes in Albany, and at Balanced Energy in Whangaparaoa, as news of the benefits spread. Around 90 percent of Nia students are women – Sally’s oldest student is 79, and several women in their late teens and twenties also attend classes.
Sally, whose background is in counselling and massage, says when a friend introduced her to Nia, it immediately felt right.
“I knew instantly that I wanted to become a Nia teacher,” Sally says. “This instant connection is common with Nia – it strikes a chord with many women.”
The routines are based on a blend of dance, Tai Chi, martial arts, the Alexander Technique and yoga and while they may look like free-form dancing, they are specifically designed with natural body movements and alignment paramount.
“We’ve all had injuries and developed habits, and if we free-dance, we do what we’ve always done,” Sally says. “Nia supplies a form that promotes flexibility, agility, mobility and strength.”
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