Another one of the 52 Moves of Nia is the “A” Stance. This is the stance where the position of the legs allows the body to look somewhat like the capital letter A. The legs are placed wider than hip distance apart, even wider than shoulder width. The legs are far enough apart and wide enough for them to appear to be as the bottom “legs” on a capital letter A. The feet are parallel, the upper body is relaxed. The Nia Technique Book states the benefits as: “Practicing “A” Stance improves hip flexibility and leg strength, which improves agility and mobility.”
I would like to add that it improves or at least allows the practice of balance. Not balancing on one leg which we do a lot in Nia, but balance between the body and the legs, balance between both legs, and balance between the legs and feet. Also balance of weight between the two feet. This is a stable and balanced stance. The weight is not on one foot more than the other. The weight is not on the front or the balls of the feet more than on the heels. This is a great stance to practice balance in. To allow the body to rest onto the whole foot.
Not only having the feet be parallel but even. If you were to stand at a line would your toes be even, both up to the line? I had noticed with myself for a while now that when I step into an “A” stance my right foot is ALWAYS slightly back from where my left foot is. I have been noticing this since I injured my foot in November of 2010. Just last week as I was teaching my regular Nia Class in Willow Glen, I noticed I stepped into “A” stance and my left foot was the tiniest bit back from the line on which my right foot landed (had there been a line). I thought that was funny. I giggled, but I hadn’t thought of it again until now. I don’t always think about my uneven landings until I have the opportunity to land in a stance where I see my feet several times in a routine. Then during the routine I focus on having my feet land even. There are times, of course in a dance where they don’t need to be or aren’t supposed to be even, but when doing a regular closed, open, A, or sumo stance I think the feet should be even. The “A” stance is a great stance to practice that because you can clearly see your feet and the pose is relaxed enough that there are not other things you might be thinking about. I feel the “A” Stance is a great way to practice balance.
As with all stances one way to practice the “A” stance is to simple stand in one place and move through the stances. Another way to practice is to walk and then stop in the “A” stance. Walking and stopping into an “A” Stance would be a great way to work on landing “even” — as I mentioned before. Walk, then stop, then look at your feet, notice the sensation in your hips, if your feet are even then that is the sensation you want to replicate, if not, then adjust your feet, notice the sensation in your hips and try to replicate it again as you step into “A” Stance.
The “A” Stance is just one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves.
What do you sense when standing in the “A” Stance? When you step into the “A” Stance do your feet land “even”?