Terre Pruitt's Blog

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The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2009

Niais about joyful movement.  Move with joy.  Move for joy.  Move to joy.

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts:

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.
From the dance arts we embrace styles from Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance
And from the healing arts we are mindful of teachings from Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

At times we might move slow, focusing on movements centered around the body’s inner core, as in T’ai chi.  We might kick or punch as one might do in Tae kwon do, and these movements might flow into a spiral motion that is associated with Aikido.  We could decide to play the showman and do the entire routine with a jazzy flair or just add movements of creating shapes, dropping and then recovering the body’s own weight as a modern dancer might do.  There is always a chance we could give into our inner child and run free and honest with the playfulness of a Duncan dancer.  While we’re doing one these things we are keeping in mind the teaching of Moshe Feldenkrais and being conscious of sensations.  We could stretch to the top with utmost concentration one might contribute to the Alexander Technique, then move onto a dance of bone alignment increasing awareness, relaxation, and balance the could be thought of as Yoga.*

So in one workout you can experience all those things.  Strength is balanced with grace.  Fun is balanced with seriousness.  Body is balanced with mind.

The music is varied and is intended to promote the movement of the routine.  There is no doubt something for everyone.

*based on information from The Nia Technique by Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas

13 Responses to “The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia”

  1. judy said

    I read this post yesterday and thought, “I need to see it to understand.” And then, you read my mind and posted videos on Facebook. What a smarty-pants you are! Thank you!


  2. […] Nia White Belt Principle #2 is Natural Time and the Movement Forms. I have posted about the movement forms, here I talk about Natural Time. There is the Natural Time of the Mayans with the 13 moons to a […]


  3. […] a chance to work at balancing your types.  The system of energy typing Nia uses is connected with the nine basic Nia movement forms; T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the […]


  4. […] we do a lot in our routines.  It could be considered part of the Jazz Dance that is one of the Nine Movement forms that make up Nia.  Well, not everyone has had dance lessons or knows how to do a Jazz Square.  So […]


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  9. […] In the first newsletter I received from my then soon-to-be Nia (Non-impact aerobics) instructor, she talked about how Nia allows you to dance with both yin and yang. Both the masculine, and the feminine. On reading her words in the newsletter I thought, “Well golly this sure makes it sound like Nia has been tailor made for me!” After all, for most of my life I felt like an ogre crashing through my days, thus putting me far afield from the graceful ways that as a woman I feel pressure from society to conduct myself in with at least with a modicum of savvy. For me, doing something that would help me move and carry myself with more grace struck me as really important. At the same time carrying myself as someone who is able and strong, positioned to defend herself likewise struck me as really important as a woman in our society. It was with those thoughts in my head that I was sold and soon thereafter I took my first Nia class. When I say, “I’ve started taking Nia classes,” the most common reply I get is, “Cool! But— Just what is Nia?” Nia is a mashup of martial arts, dancing and the healing arts with a common thread of movement wrapping all three elements together. As it happens, said mashup of things make up the core discipline of Nia where each can be broken down into three sub-parts: […]


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