I was able to try a NIA class yesterday and LOVED it!!! Actually, you might say it was more personal instruction in NIA, since it was a class paid for by my company as part of a retreat and nobody else showed up. But anyway, it was incredibly fun!
NIA is a fusion of dance, martial arts like tae kwon do and tai chi, and healing arts like yoga. The instructor said it was developed by a group of aerobics instructors that were concerned about aerobic's impact on the joints. So they looked around at other disciplines and created something that was both healing and fun.
I found the pace challenging, and the movements empowering (it included kicks and punches and blocks that made me feel strong and in control) and flowing and freeing. The instructor said to allow my body to dictate how the movements should be done, which was good since in the past, I have had trouble with Latin dances and bellydancing because my hips just don't move like they're supposed to. I always come from those classes feeling awkward and frustrated. But with NIA, I came out feeling like I was a graceful, powerful, wonderful person.
And another cool thing about it was that I was able to keep up and put my energy into it even though I was up in the mountains. I've often found that exercise at higher elevations is extremely challenging! This time, I was drenched in sweat by the end, but still felt invigorated!
I am going to have to do more of this!!!