7 ways Nia’s movement variety benefits your body and brain
“Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” ~ William Cowper
Variety is the spice of life and the key to longevity! Movement variety is needed for optimal physical functioning and healing. It helps develops attention, creative expression and your sense of self. Here are 7 ways Nia stimulates movement variety for your body and brain health.
1. Listening and moving to different kinds of music makes Nia a total body brain workout. Nia consciously chooses different tempos, genres, and instrumental sounds. Songs with strong rhythm can activate more grounded dynamic movement; songs with meaningful lyrics touch our heart and spirit; songs from different cultures bring out our playfulness and creativity. In Art of Sensation, you learn tools for whole body listening that can help you improve memory, boost creativity, reduce stress and regulate your mood.
2. Nia infuses movement with energy inspired by 9 different movement arts. 3 Martial Arts – Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido – inspire inner calm, agility, and spiral-flow. 3 Dance Arts – Jazz, Modern and Duncan – invite fun, emotional expression and free-spirited movement. 3 Healing Arts – Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, and Yoga – enhance sensory awareness, levity and alignment.
3. Nia activates both intrinsic and large muscle groups for optimal function and balance. “Do it in your body’s way” means Nia is adaptable for every body, regardless of fitness level. As you learn to tune into your own body and explore smaller movements closer to the core as well as bigger ranges of motion, you stop copying the teacher and learn to personalise every class to be nurturing and healing as well as enlivening and conditioning.
4. Nia movement integrates a variety of sensations – flexibility, strength, mobility, stability, agility and stillness for optimal joint, muscle and bone health.
5. Nia uses visualisation and imagery to engage the brain and whole body naturally. Imagine you’re drumming the earth. Imagine a cape wrapping around you. Imagine hugging a tree. Imagine throwing your worries away!
6. Nia encourages emotional expression and sounding to enhance your core strength and release stuck stress and trauma from the body.
Saying YES or NO can feel empowering and help you find your voice. Singing, toning and humming creates vibrations that activate your vagus nerve and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. When you hum or sing a song you associate with calm, happiness or courage, it can activate those feelings for you again!
7. Nia engages all of the senses and brings you into mindful awareness to feel safer, calmer and more in tune with yourself through the body. It teaches you to notice without judgement, and feel to heal.
Moving is your body’s way of artfully expressing the present moment. Focusing your attention on moving centres your mind in your body. Practising movement variety develops body-centred awareness while enhancing motor skills.
~ Nia, Art of Sensation
MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE – GENTLE NIA PRACTICE
First, tune in to your body and notice any places that feel heavy or tight. Take this 3 minute dance break with me and then afterwards, notice what feels better and give gratitude for that. Thank you body!