BODY & S OU L                                                                                              The 52 movement...
train for years earning degrees of belts in    focused on passion and bringing joy to                       intelligent, t...
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New Haven May2011 Nia


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Nia is one part movement, one part awareness and a whole lot of fun. But don\'t call it Zumba!

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New Haven May2011 Nia

  1. 1. BODY & S OU L The 52 movements that comprise Nia transcend boundaries of dance, martial arts and healing.A Fitness choreographed routines that are fun, challenging and personally expressive. says. Nia is a whole body experience that tantalizes your muscles and stimulates your senses and leaves you wanting more.Potion “Nia is like chocolate,” says instructor Nancy Hammet. “You just have to taste it.” For many, though, it’s still virtually You don’t even feel like you are exercising. It is more about energizing areas that needHigh on unknown and hasn’t caught on like the latest fitness fad, Zumba. For instance, to be awakened. The benefits are tremendous. NiaEmotion there’s only one professional Nia studio in New Haven County, and it’s Hammet’s. Sound Mind & Body is located in Milford stimulates weight loss, strengthens muscles, improves endurance — all while relieving stress and providing a sense of and offers Nia classes four times a week. calm.Nia: One part movement, But be forewarned, you just might becomeone part awareness and a Steeped in spirituality, Nia was first addicted and leave your Zumba at the founded on the West Coast in 1983 bywhole lot of fun door. Nia is healthy life choice, Hammet then-husband-and-wife fitness team says, and it’s here to stay. “It is the most Carlos and Debbie Rosas and has sinceBy Karen Pasacreta physically comprehensive workout spread across the globe. This body- program I know of,” she says. mind-spirit discipline is now taught in 40 countries by more than 1,750 licensedA re you ready to learn the secrets of the pleasure principle? All youhave to do is let your inhibitions go A Lifestyle Practice We all need a little something to get us teachers. Originally an acronym for Neuromuscularand dance. No experience required. Get through the day. Nia is the aphrodisiac Integrative Action, Nia incorporates ayour body moving to jazz, funk, Middle offering that special touch — just like combination of nine different movements:Eastern chants and yes, even disco. It’s chocolate. And once you try it, you keep three dance, three martial arts, and threeall in an incredible exercise called Nia, a coming back for more. Like when Fairfield healing. All work to create fitness throughcombination of modern dance, martial resident and former Nia instructor Pam dance with different dance routines. Likearts and yoga that’s designed to make you Murphy had to quit to make time for yoga, Nia is practiced in bare feet, andfeel good. massage therapy training, she found begins with a warm up of exaggeratedAnd although all these disciplines may herself craving it. “I just had to have my arm and leg movements all designed toseem like an odd combination, they are Nia,” Murphy recalls. “So I put it back in jump start your heart rate, loosen up yourblended into beautiful free-flowing arm, my life.” muscles, and promote flexibility. And likeleg and whole-body movements to create the martial arts it incorporates (t’ai chi, Hammet says that happens often with Nia. tae kwon do, aikido), instructors need to “It is the work of body awareness,” she30 May 2011
  2. 2. train for years earning degrees of belts in focused on passion and bringing joy to intelligent, therapeutic, expressive andorder to teach it. your life. “Are you ready to dance today?” fun! But even more, as a lifestyle program,Presently a brown belt, Hammet began she said as she entered the carpeted room it offers infinite possibilities. Throughher training in 1999. A former dancer, she full of about ten students. For a full Nia, students discover the best inhas used Nia as a way to cope with muscle hour participants smiled and laughed as themselves.”injuries she developed over the years they sweated to Hammet leading with And that’s why students are encouragedfrom working out and sitting at a desk beautiful gestures at three different to go at their own pace, as low- or high-as a former marketing professional. “Nia learning levels. impact as you need it to be. Nia routineschanged my life,” says Hammet, who Any inhibitions were left at the door with range from a low pace, which keeps yourgave up dance at a young age for a more this group, who weren’t afraid to let their legs on the ground, to picking it up bypractical job. “It allowed me to continue bodies feel and respond to the music. If lifting the legs slightly, to lifting themwith dance in my life.” It also helped heal you wanted to spin around, you spun. higher and adding a bounce in your step.her injuries and get in touch with inner If you wanted to slide, you slid across A total of 52 movements are distributedemotions — the kind that come when you the room. If you felt like popping into a among several routines. Some moves areget older and realize you are not living up penguin dance, you popped. so recognizable you may even feel like youto your dreams. Nia is about finding your “Nia is about enjoying your body and not are in a chorus line on a Broadway stagebalance. feeling bad about it like some gyms make auditioning for a show — without theSandy Giordano knows. Just last year you feel,” says Pam Murphy, who has been anxiety that comes with winning the part.she lost her job and as an older female, practicing Nia for more than eight years. You are competing with yourself, pushingshe knew finding work would not be “It’s about rewarding yourself for feeling your body to be more coordinated,easy. Depression set in. “Nia was a lot good.” stretching it a bit further, enduring justcheaper than going to a psychiatrist,” says Again, the pleasure principle. The a little bit more. But only if it feels rightGiordano. “Nia is joyous. The music is sensation of pleasure is at the heart of that day. It’s a holistic philosophy withhealing.” every Nia practice and gives you access to the benefit being greater than the sum of a deeper level of self-knowing. With Nia its parts.Finding a Focus you find your inner voice, pull it out of “Your body is telling you what feels good yourself, become vulnerable and reach for in the moment,” says Hammet. “WeNancy Hammet begins her class with a the highest level of confidence possible. believe in if it feels good, do it. No pain,focus: passion, love, joy, self-expression —these are only several of the Nia principles “Nia has it all,” says Hammet. “It is easily no gain doesn’t apply here.”embodied. During a recent class, Hammet adaptable to every fitness level — it’s Awaken your little one’s love of learning. goodwill Unique, high-quality books, goodwill ® games & toys that stir your child’s imagination. 7,500+ books 1,000+ related educational toys Encourages early literacy Good Stuff. Good Price. Goodwill. Charming shopping experience Jeans from $5.99 Ties from $1.99 Shirts from $3.99 Shoes from $3.00 Clinton Groton Hamden Middletown Wallingford 2862 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518 (860) 664-9211 (860) 448-6400 (203) 230-2910 (860) 347-5404 (203) 265-4211 (203) 248-READ | (866) 248-READ New Haven Norwich Orange Rocky Hill Southington (203) 397-2735 (860) 204-0018 (203) 795-3333 (860) 529-6838 (860) 621-0775 (203) 468-2355 new haven 31