There's no wrong way to do Nia





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Published on 28 Feb 2007

Students are allowed to take a break when they get tired. But instructor Leela Devi will just keep going.

"It's given me a place to come and celebrate living, celebrate
being," Devi said.

There's no pressure to match Devi's energy. In Nia, you just do what you can.

"There's no wrong way to do it," Devi said.

"If I don't look great it's okay as long as I'm having fun," Harriet Saikin said.

This self-described "young senior citizen" has been hooked on Nia since last fall. "I love the beat, I love the body movement, I love that I have more agility. And the cardiovascular is fabulous." WATCH THE VIDEO
More Information Neuromuscular Integrative Action

NiaSpace is a movement fitness studio that combines simple dance moves, martial arts and yoga.

In 60-minute doses, this low key aerobic workout will burn a calorie or two.

Nia combines 52 basic moves from three dances: jazz, modern and Duncan dance; three martial arts: tai chi, tae kwon do and aikido; and three healing arts: yoga, Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques.

The basic idea is simple: it's fun to move, and it's good for you.

"There's form to it, and there's also freedom," Donna Starnes, owner of NiaSpace, said. "So everybody can do it and get something out of it."

"We don't live to work and be miserable," Devi said. "We live to have joy and feel good. And this connects us to joy and feeling good."

And when you can follow along in whatever way is most comfortable for you, Nia is an inviting way for anyone to get Fit for Friday.

Nia stands for Neuromuscular Integrative Action. In Swahili, it means "with purpose," and in Hebrew, nia means "a tiny movement."

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