Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Nia is Play

Posted by terrepruitt on September 4, 2010

Nia, at one point, was called NIA or Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  Neuromuscular pertains to both nerves and muscles.  Our movements involve both muscles and nerves.   In a Nia cardio class, we stimulate and activate both during the workout.   While leading a group of elder adults in a mobility-enhancement exercise (in a job unrelated to Nia) an observer commented, “It is like kindergarten.”  My response was, “Yes, and isn’t it fun?”  As I continued to watch these 90+ year olds toss around the ball, she said, “Yeeaaaahhhh!”

Adults just lose it.  The stigma that comes with adults playing just to play is too great.  Yes, there are competitive teams that adults can join, and those that do are exercising their inner child and having fun, but what about playing just to play.

If a suited adult were to skip down the cubbed corridor they probably would be put on leave of absence.  If an adult were to be alone, without children, and were to walk down the street balancing on the curb, they would receive stares from others.  Breaking out in song is only acceptable for children and actors in musicals.  As adults society does not generally allow us to let out our inner child in everyday life without thinking we are a little off balance.

That is where Nia comes in.  In a Nia class we get to play.  Also our dance is something that allows you to release that inner child.  Nia invites and encourages you to skip, jump, run, walk, shout out, crawl, and move as you did when you were a child.  In a non-judgmental freely accepting atmosphere we get to play.

Does that sound like something you could enjoy?  Doesn’t it sound like something your body longs to participate in again?  Come to a Nia class and find out.

4 Responses to “Nia is Play”

  1. Wait a second, I thought NIA stood for Non Impact Aerobics!


    • FOODIE! Thanks for stopping by.

      At one time, it did. At one time NIA was Now I Am, Non-impact aerobics, and Neuromuscular Integrative Action. Then it was the Nia Technique. It still is the Nia Technique, but it is also just Nia.


  2. niachick said

    Oh this is one of my favorite subjects…play and Nia. I so enjoy the playfulness afforded in a Nia class — whether I’m teaching or as a student. I find I have to invite students to be playful though. Just as you mention in your blog, adults have lost their inner playfulness guide.

    When I get into a “mood”, the best way for me to break out of it is to FreeDance or practice a Nia routine and just take the opportunity to be child like and playful with my dance. It works every time.

    There’s a video on YouTube by David Guetta and Estelle called “Why Go”. It’s a must see. You mentioned how seeing someone in a suit balancing and walking along a curb might get some weird glances…this particular video, not to mention the music is so compelling, speaks to letting go to the inner child…

    Thanks again, Terre, for a right-on blog post!!!



    • I think that the world would be a better place if adults SPONTANEOUSLY walked on curbs and crawled on the floor. Sounds ood though, but I think it would work! 🙂

      Oh my! I think I saw the video you were talking about. That would be amazing if we could just MOVE through life and not have to worry about what people thought. I can see SOME instances where being still is good, but . . . . that was a fun video.


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