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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > October 2019 > Why should I try…? The Nia technique

Why should I try…? The Nia technique

Practising this fusion fitness technique isn’t only fun, it’s bound to help your running too, says Lisa Jackson

You may have seen Bonnie, the character played by Zoe Kravitz in season one of the hit TV series Big Little Lies, teaching a Nia technique fitness class. Created in 1983 when aerobics teachers Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas had a series of injuries that led them to rethink their approach to exercise, this ‘fusion fitness’ is a blend of 52 moves drawn from dance (jazz, modern, Duncan dance), martial arts (Taekwondo, Aikido, tai chi) and healing practices (Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique and yoga).

Each hour-long routine is danced barefoot to an eclectic range of music. In a single class you might find yourself rotating your wrists and hips around like a belly dancer, shimmying and shaking your hands as if you’re auditioning for cabaret, stomping and punching the air in time to African tribal beats and stretching your spine on the floor.

Each class includes a warm-up, several tracks to get your heart pumping, some floor-play and time at the end to focus on relaxation and your breathing. There’s an emphasis on play and fun and an element of freedance, where you’re encouraged to let yourself go and fuel your dance with emotion. The concept of fitness as punishment (‘feel the burn’) is turned on its head: Nia is all about fitness as pleasure (‘feel the joy’).

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About Women’s Running

Women’s Running is leaping into autumn with a new passion with the November issue. We uncover the best way to keep your running mojo fresh: pick a goal – any goal – and work towards it. From running a race to building strength, we unpick the best way to keep your feet on the path. We also embrace ultrarunning that anyone can do: slow ultrarunning! Cutting your speed is a filthy concept in other publications, but for us it’s a secret weapon in running further and longer than ever before. We talk to warrior Lowri Morgan who has a few ultramarathons under her belt, including the 350-mile Arctic Ultra (we didn’t ask how slow she ran, but she was the last person standing). Plus, we review all the latest shoes, the best running bras, jackets and reflective clothing for these shorter days. We also take a fond look at the incredible Flo-Jo: the passion, the fashion and the talent of a legendary runner.