For a long time the Nia website displayed the slogan: "Love your body, Love your Life." Being new to Nia, I puzzled over what that meant.
Here's what I've learned so far over the course of seven years. Nia has made me much more sensitive to physical sensation in general, and it has given me the vocabulary to express these sensations. This heightened awareness, in turn, not only greatly minimizes my risk of injury in my physical practice, but it brings me closer and closer to discovering my own unique "body's way."
What is the Body's Way? The body's way (and Nia's way) is to seek pleasure in movement--always. I think of it as a way of honoring my body's limitations and talents. And I also think of it as the physical embodiment of my personal spirit or unique personality. Rediscovering and tapping into that spirit has turned out to be a powerful way of reclaiming myself from the sorrow and trauma that has accumulated over the years.
The technical term "Somatic Awareness" succinctly sums up this idea of "knowing" through the body, but it fails to convey the extent of the far-reaching psychological and emotional benefits that often result.
I did lose a significant amount of weight with regular practice. What I noticed most, though, was the palpable sense of strength and well-being that came from feeling completely at home in my own body for the first time since childhood. I have more energy, I am happier, and I feel younger.
Nia has re-opened my heart to joy and that, regardless of the ravages of time, makes my life better with each passing day. Seek pleasure... Find Joy. Now that's a fitness regimen I'll be sticking with!