In 1983 in Santa Rosa, California, at the height of the no-pain no-gain fitness mentality, Carlos Rosas and Debbie Rosas, both successful fitness instructors, began to question the traditional models for exercise and began to craft a more holistic way of being healthy in one’s body. They incorporated mindfulness, the Joy of Movement, comfort, passion, and pleasure into their lives and their workout as the new way to feel and create both fitness and well-being. They discovered that getting fit and healthy through pleasure is the way to heal, and is the key to health.
From their discoveries a new lifestyle and fitness practice was born—Nia—which offers a new perspective on how to get fit and be healthy while embracing individual creativity and self-empowerment.
In the early 1980s, as aerobics dance classes started to become popular, some people found the practice potentially too difficult to do. Pounding music and instructors inciting people to work hard could feel jarring to some, and injury was not uncommon especially with high impact work.
The Rosas sought to change this by putting together a more “gentle” program in the NIA technique that would integrate a number of fitness disciplines but still create a healthful, calorie-burning workout. Many disciplines are included in the NIA technique, but all include the idea that anyone taking a NIA class needs to stay firmly grounded in body awareness. Doing what feels natural and good, and modifying exercises as needed so that all fitness levels can participate helps people retain that body awareness, focusing less on pain and gain, and more on natural movement.
Nia’s ground-breaking work is now recognized as one of the most innovative and safe cardiovascular programs to date. Nia is a pioneer in the health and fitness world, and offers the very best in body-mind training, programs, and on-going education.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come most alive, because what the world needs is people who have”