Health & Fitness

By Jasmin Guleria

In search of breaking out of my workout rut, I tried a new class being offered at the 14th Street Y. The class was called Nia and going into it I had no idea what it was about, but the class regulars assured me I would have a blast. My hour of Nia consisted of barefoot jumping, twirling, and dancing as if no one was watching. I felt like I was a 6 year old running rampant! Although I didn’t break as much of a sweat as I would have running a few miles on the treadmill, I still felt like I’d gotten an interesting workout. But the highlight of the workout was what came after class. My stresses of the day had literally been danced away in my carefree child-like workout session. My back was less tense and my night’s sleep much deeper.

(A Nia class in session)

After doing some research, I found out that my experience with Nia is actually a general consensus for those who practice it! The Nia workout helps to integrate the body with the soul thru free and fluid motion. The technique is actually a blend of martial, dance, and healing arts. It’s almost like a 3 in 1 class for your mind, body and spirit!

When I began the class, I definitely felt a bit weird spinning in circles with my classmates. But after letting myself go – it was a great time! The Nia concept focuses on listening to your body and learning to love and appreciate it and I’ll admit, it does seem a bit far-fetched. However, there are countless testimonials from Nia-fanatics that describe how Nia changed their lives, boosted their self-esteem, and even healed their depression. Nia classes are even used to help women with anorexia or bulimia. Even if you don’t buy the hype, check it out for a change of workout pace. Plus, you never know – Nia may be your ticket out of costly sessions with your New York therapist!

Check out the 14th Street Y’s class schedule for more info. For more information on Nia, check out

Originally published October 2008
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