This is Nia. Call it fusion fitness, part dance, part martial arts, part yoga. And if you ask David Gaskin, its the escape from the treadmill he was searching for. "I joined the gym a year and a half ago and had hired a trainer to set me up with a routine. And I was doing the treadmill and lifting weights and I hated, just hated it. Finally one day I was talking to a trainer and told him this is not working for me and he said why don't you try Nia. And so I did and I loved it," says David.
Students say it beats the monotony of traditional exercise. The music always changes and so do the movements. There's even a chance to dance to the beat of your inner drummer, but don't confuse free expression with a free ride. This is a full body workout. (sot: monica welty/ nia instructor) "A lot of people see the free movement and think, 'oh look at them they are flowing around,' and it's just kind of, woof, you know? and there is so much to Nia that is very cardiovascular," says Nia instructor, Monica Welty.
"I've gone from size 12 pant to a size 8 and I've lost 20 pounds," says Cheryl Wilson, who thanks Nia for her new figure. And there are other benefits: improved flexibility, muscle strength and tone. Instructor Monica Welty reminds students to listen to their bodies and don't feel compelled to do exactly what she's doing if it's uncomfortable. For a many Nia novices it's a welcome change from the pressure to perform she's felt during traditional aerobics classes.
Monica Welty is an instructor at a NIA dance/exercise studio in the San Francisco Bay area. Nia exercise is the newest rage in some metropolitan areas. If you know of someone who is starting a NIA program in the Lubbock area, please let us know and we will include that information on this website.