Dress to move. Wear whatever makes you feel free, comfortable, and excited to move. People wear Yoga clothing, street or exercise wear, skirts, dresses, it all changes the way you move and feel and work out. So wear what works for YOU and your body. Go barefoot. Nia is non-impact aerobics, so unless you need shoes for medical purposes, leave your shoes at the door. Allow the bottoms of your feet to send information back to your brain so your body can move safely and efficiently.
Train Yourself to clear your mind. The purpose of “stepping in” is to leave all of our “outside of Nia” thoughts and worries out. Be your own personal trainer, talk to yourself, to help yourself remain focused on what you are doing and how you are doing it. Coach yourself to get your physical body into moving more efficiently and sensing more pleasure.
Start easy. Let your body slowly acclimate and adjust to Nia Movement. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy being a beginner. Stay focused and excited by keeping your criticism and judgment of yourself down. Be kind, be gentle, be patient, and allow yourself to move though levels and stay on plateaus---this is the way to master and enjoy Nia.
Start small. You don’t have to do anything bigger and “better” than anyone. The whole point is “YOUR Body’s Way”. So especially at first, don’t reach out, sink or rise too far. Build muscle strength and joint mobility slowly.
Pick up your feet. To protect your knees and to keep from getting blisters on your feet, don’t drag your feet. Instead, pick up your feet and place them in the direction you want to go. Sit back. When you lower your body, sit back as if you were sitting down in a chair, moving your buttocks back behind you and away from your knees.
Strive for balance. Both in your posture and in your entire body. Don’t strain; listen to your body’s signals and move in a smooth, relaxed way that doesn’t make you breathless or fatigued. If your body does not relate well to a movement, adjust and move within your own comfort zone to put positive, loving information into the muscle memory.
Find your rhythm. Get in as much nonstop movement as possible by finding your own pace. This may mean working slower and longer, rather than faster and harder.
Express yourself. Make the movements an expression of you—this is your workout. Express your own unique rhythm and body language and use your emotions to fine tune your physical body. Be jazzy, luscious, lyrical, snappy, or sensual. Most of all, be yourself and have fun.
Belly breathe. When you inhale, smell the moment and feel your belly expand, then your ribs and chest filling. Exhale, placing the tip of your tongue directly behind your top teeth, which naturally supports belly breathing. Participate in the verbal exercises as well. Breathing is one of the most effective ways to strengthen and relax your body, mind, and spirit, so don’t hold back!
Use your whole body. Connect with every part of your body. Incorporate every part of your body in your dance and movement.
Balance your fitness program. Combined a good diet with internal and external exercises. With enough sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise, you will see and feel results far beyond changing the shape of your body.
From The Nia Technique Book, Nia Tips for Beginners, pages 104-105