According to Wiki a Kata “is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs.”
Even though we do not do it solo or in pairs, Nia™ has adopted that word to describe the movements we do to a song. Nia classes are similar to other group exercises in that the teacher leads the group through moves.
Nia uses music and Katas strung together to form a routine.
The average seems to be between seven and ten katas to a routine. Since one of the goals in Nia is to find health through movement, we move in all different ways to the music. Sometimes the katas can be similar and sometimes they can be completely different. One might have you swirling in place or moving around the room. We often use the face of a clock as a pattern for our feet. We will, as an example, step to 12:00, then 6:00 and then maybe out to 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00. We might cross our right over to the left and step at 11:00 and/or our left over our right and step to 1:00. All the while moving our arms, of course.
The most recent kata I learned is full of kicks, chops, blocks, shimmys, and rumbles. It has front kicks, back kicks and side kicks. It has downward chops and upward chops. It has upward blocks, downward blocks, and outward blocks. It is somewhat energizing because you can really put some “oomph” into your blocks—really contracting the muscles, then when you do the shimmy it is a nice relaxing release.
Nia is a full body workout. The katas that are put together to form a routine that gets the whole body moving. Would you like to come see how its done?