Discover the joy of movement - an update

Last month I wrote briefly about Nia, an exercise system that I recently discovered.
Those of you reading this is the USA may already be familiar with this free-style dance based exercise system. However, it's less well known here in the UK and there are only 2 teachers where I live  in the north east of england

Nia is described as a fun low impact workout, which combines elements of martial arts with easy to follow dance moves that can be done by people of all ages. As a dance lover and having done a lot of T'ai Chi over the years I was eager to give it a try. So, earlier this week,  I turned out on a freezing cold night in the pouring rain to attend a taster session not far from my home. My husband also joined in as I wanted to see how well it suited a man with no particular dance skills!

The taster session was held in a (warm - thank goodness)  church hall and lasted 45 minutes. 11 people attended and all but one (my husband) were women over 50; some of whom had joint problems. The session teacher, Anne Cosgrove, was friendly and obviously enjoyed what she was doing; which made us all feel at ease.  From the outset  it was made  clear that at any time anyone could sit down and either rest or continue performing  the moves in a modified way from a seated poition. However, apart from one woman the rest of us were able to keep going throughout the session.

The music helped us engage with the rhythm and created atmosphere. The moves really were easy to follow and, somewhat surprisingly, the whole thing just  flowed along almost  seemlessly; with plenty of opportunity for free-style dancing. I found it engagaing and I really did end up dancing like there was no one watching! By the end I was  invigorated and keen to do more.

The only down side for me was that the session did seem to exacerbate my lower limb joint pain. It's unclear why. However, it may have had something to do with not being fully aligned correctly at all times and maybe over-extending. Perhaps I should have taken it slower and created the moves in a narrower stance. That said if a class become available locally I would probably give it a trial run.

Overall, Nia is a good all -round exercise for women over 40. It's load bearing, so it's good for osteoporosis prevention. As with other types of dance it's also good for balance and improving core stability. It's also a sociable non competitive actvity and I can see how it mght be useful for anyone with low mood or confidence issues.

And what about the 60 year old lone man in the group? Well, I can report that  he enjoyed it too. Furthermore, he  said that if there was a class locally he would probably attend regularly!

Nia is a lovely form of exercise and, if you're lucky enough to have a teacher near you, then it comes recommended.

For further details  click here -

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that both you and your husband enjoyed the class. It was wonderful to see so many people turn out on a freezing, wet evening. I do need to point out though, that there were people in the room who were under 50, and one who I think is actually under 40, rang me yesterday to say how much she'd enjoyed Nia, that it was quite different from what she'd expected and that she'd love to join a regular class. So age is no barrier!